Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eight Crazy Nights

OK, the holiday is over and everyone survived I assume. Family time can be so....interesting...is a word that comes to mind as "desciptive enough". Unfortunatley I was not able to be with my family, but I had a great time anyway. Some buddies of mine own a restaurant here in town. They closed it for the day and had friends and family over to the restaurant. It was a blast. We had a brined turkey, a fried turkey, a ham and a pot roast. If you are one of those people who is sick of hearing people rave about how good a fried turkey is, because you still have yet to eat one, let me ask you something: What in the hell are you waiting for? I was one of you at one time, but now I am that other guy. Fried turkeys are out of this world. They make every other turkey ashamed of themselves for even thinking of getting killed, gutted, plucked, roasted, carved and eaten. Non-fried turkeys are the dial-up internet connections of the poultry world. Get with the program people. Remember: If something makes a food less healthy, by definition it also makes it taste better. It's just that simple. Hamburger? Good. Bacon cheeseburger? Way better. Pickles? Who doesn't like pickles? But deep-fried pickle are outstanding. I think I have made my point here.

So in addition to Thanksgiving, we had that Discovery Channel viewing party on Sunday the 21st. Huge success. Yes, on a Sunday at 10:00 pm. You offer people rare and crazy Dogfish Head beer and they show up. Hey lonely people without any friends! I just gave you that advice for free. You're welcome. Get a bunch of crazy beers together and put the word out. All of a sudden you're popular. It's like magic, but not fake. So the show has already been moved to Monday nights at 10:00 after just two episodes. Remember what I said about sharks not being prime-time material back in the day? Well it looks like beer is poised to kick some shark ass. Unless those sharks have laser beams attached to their heads. Then beer would be in trouble, because who can deal with sharks with frickin' lasers? I mean, really? Plus, I discovered that the show where they drive trucks over a road of solid ice is on The History Channel, not Discovery. What is historical about trucks on ice? Stupid. I also pretty sure that Bear Grylls show is on History too. What a lame show. How am I expected, as a viewer, to believe that this guy is in actual danger when there is a f---ing camera crew following him? How stupid do they think we are? "OK, this is a real dangerous situation here. Except over there is Bill with the camera....And the director is on his cell phone. Sally is holding the microphone, drinking a latte from Starbucks. Oh, here comes the caterer. Thank god, because I am starving. Cut! Hey Bear! (If that is your real name there....ahem...Todd...cough!). Put down that slimy piece of animal shit and come have a falafel!" Really dangerous situation there. I am sure that falafel is going to be hot. Careful pal.

We are currently deep into our He'Brew Jewbilation event at Mall of GA. They have tapped 6 rare kegs over 6 consecutive days, and killed them in 1-3 days each so far. They only have 2 more to go, with # 7, the Jewbilation 14 getting tapped tonight. The whole thing starts up again at Crabapple, Kennesaw and Newnan on Wednesday of this week to coincide with Hanukkah. So go tell Veronica, have a happy, happy.....what, no Adam Sandler fans out there? The Hanukkah song? Tough crowd. So get your people together and check out these stores from December 1st through the 8th. There will some great beers that you will probably never see again. I have done my part. Now it's up to you to finish the job.

On Friday we are doing the Lenny's Mania (previously called Lenny's 3 Ways, but apparently some of you have dirty minds and were not entirely sure of what you were being invited to) at Canton. I will be up there if anybody wants to have a beer with me. You just might learn a little about beer packaging and serving methods and their impact on flavor. Tim (our guy in Canton) has some other specialty He'Brew beers to bust out, so like I have said in the past, please plan ahead. You forget about safe transportation, you just might wake up looking at the wrong kind of bars.

That's all for now. I am off to Charlotte today for some work stuff. I am also going to a Chimay beer dinner tonight, so that isn't going to suck. Pretty psyched about that as you can imagine. "Why, yes. You can just stand there and keep refilling this glass with Chimay all night. I thought you'd never ask." Take it easy folks. I will be back in touch soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Got Beer....Bitches

The keg of Dogfish Head Bitches Brew is en route to The Fred now. It will be getting tapped for the broadcast of Discovery Channel's new series, "Brew Masters". The show airs at 10:00 pm Sunday. The beer will be available at 8:00 pm. No earlier, no later.

I have hats and really cool key-chain bottle openers to give away. So try to stay a little bit sober this Sunday and come out to watch a great show and drink this rare and historic beer. See you there.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Trade In Your Birthday Suit For A Santa Suit (And Do Everyone A Favor)

The Discovery Channel, which used to be about nature and history and documentaries, has a new program debuting on Sunday. It is called Brew Masters and features Dogfish Head deity Sam Calagione. It follows him on his adventures in beer land, which are far more interesting than mine. Sam gets to brew crazy beers using unusual ingredients, and sometimes he does it in very unique surroundings. Long story short, this is not some boring old documentary following a guy around a brewery. Sam is no ordinary guy either. This is a new series of shows featuring this guy and his world. Beer world. On a major cable TV network. Sure, Discovery used to be a great place to watch wild animal shows and Hitler documentaries, but that was then. Now it is full of shows about trucks driving on ice, science dorks blowing stuff up, sharks, and some guy named Bear Grylls. Not be mistaken with Bare Girls, which, I would assume, is on Cinemax late at night. I do not have Showtime, Cinemax or HBO (death to Comcast!). My internet and digital cable are enough. If I need more channels, I am watching too much god-damned TV. End of story. Did I mention "Death to Comcast!"?
But I will be watching Brew Masters on Sunday night. Want to watch it with me? 'Cause there's a big slumber party at my house! Wrong. We are having a viewing party at The Fred. Here is the deal:
  • The first episode centers on the brewing of a wacky stout of some sort. It was brewed to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. Don't know who Miles Davis is? Then you no longer have to wonder if you are cool or not. (Hint: You're not, sorry.) The beer is inspired by the album and its groundbreaking fusion of jazz, rock & funk. The beer is a blend of mostly Imperial Stout blended with a honey beer flavored with gesho root. No, I do not have any idea what a gesho root is either, but thanks for asking. 
  • We will kick off the evening around 7:30 or 8:00-ish with some Bitches Brew music to get everyone in the mood, followed by some educational beer programming on the TVs. Libations will be DFH Chateau Jaihu & Chicory Stout drafts, some Palo Santo Marron and Red & White bottles. We may, and I stress MAY, have a small keg of the Bitches Brew. It is leaving Delaware on a truck today that is supposed to arrive on Friday. If that happens, we will have the keg. If this truck (they make multiple stops, not straight from DE to ATL) shows up late Friday or on Saturday, no DFH Bitches draft. I understand that this is a deal breaker for many of you. I will try to notify you all here as soon as I find out the good news. No post between now and then, no Bitches Brew. but it isn't like The Fred isn't loaded down with special beer any way, so we won't cry if it doesn't show.
  • At 10:00 we will watch the Brew Masters show on Discovery. Yes, 10:00 pm on a Sunday. Where did you expect a beer show on Discovery to debut? Friday at 8:00? That is prime time to watch trucks drive on ice! Or sharks. Do you want to watch a beer show in prime time some day? Then you should be sure to support this one, because this is your chance. Watch it. DVR is cheating. E-mail the station and tell then how much you like it. If they can milk extra ad dollars out of this thing by moving it to a better time slot, they will. What if Shark Week got replaced by Beer Week? Can you imagine that? This, readers, is where it starts. Sharks were not always prime time, and I am still baffled by the popularity of trucks on icy roads. I drove a Ford Escort on icy roads in Michigan for years and no one made a TV show about me. Now the pawn shop show, that I can watch. Quality programming there.
  • Free stuff! A package from Milton, DE arrived at the office today. I am not there, so I have no idea what is in it. But whatever is in it will be for any attendees Sunday night. I will open it up around 9:00, but don't get too excited. I expect it to be bottle openers and stuff like that. Hats and t-shirts? Maybe. Depends how big the box is. It will not be full of free beer and locks of Sam Calagione's hair, so keep it in your pants beer geeks.
I have three more things for you before I go:
  1. The first of the eight days of He'Brew craziness starts Wednesday at Mall of GA Taco Mac. Eight different beers tapped on eight different days. Read the last couple of posts for more details. Remember that these are small kegs and will not last more that a day or two. You can taste new batches of the last six recipes for He'Brew Jewbilation, their anniversary strong ale. These are made with the number of hops and malts that correspond to the year's anniversary, and are all different. Start on Wednesday with Jewbilation 8 (eight malts, eight hops, 8% ABV). On the seventh day you will get the new version, Jewbilation 14 (yes, 14 malts, hops & ABV). The eighth day will be Vertical Jewbilation, a blend of 8 through 14, barrel aged in sazerac barrels. Three more stores launch the same series December 1st: Crabapple, Newnan & Kennesaw.
  2. Fred & Peter's All-Star Holiday Extravaganza beer dinner is selling fast. At last count there were 14 seats left out of 50. The event is Tuesday, December 7th at The Fred. I gave you a link to the menu last week. It looks pretty awesome if you ask me.
  3. The Beer Connoisseur Magazine One-Year Anniversary Party is Wednesday, December 8th at Deckard's. Tickets are $40 each, and HERE IS A LINK to the info. There are certainly some bells & whistles for the price tag. We are simply the venue for this event, so you need to open this up to find out more and who to pay. They are looking for someone to don the Santa suit for their birthday event, so if you are jolly and feel like drinking beer through a fake beard, call the number for the BC mag people. They would love to have as many Santa's as possible I imagine. And if you want to wear your birthday suit to a Santa event, I think the people at Cinemax may want to do a show about you. 
That is all I have for this week kids. Hopefully I can get my new camera out of the box soon and take some more pictures for your entertainment. I don't have any beer trips planned until February though, so not much is happening for a while. We did something fun Monday night, but if you weren't there, you don't want to hear about it now. Have a good week and keep that going into the weekend. Peek here Friday or Saturday to see if we received the Bitches. Later bitches.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Event Reminders & Updates!

Here is a boatload of special events to clue you all in on, plus an update on the Lenny's 3 Ways that has been getting moved around. Got it pinned down finally. Here it comes:


There is a bountiful harvest of events on Friday, November 12th (tomorrow!). If you need detailed info on any of these events, try checking an older post. I can't keep repeating myself all of the time. Plus, based on your choice of on-line reading, you are clearly above average intelligence. Be sure when reading old posts to check more recent ones for accurate dates. I promise to get better at getting these dates solid earlier and keeping them that way. Fall is crazy, so give me a break.


The Kennesaw store's three-year anniversary is Friday. They will have a ton of good beers (see last post), including a cask of Terrapin Moo-Hoo. If you missed the Moo-Hoo cask at The Fred last week, don't make that same mistake again. This beer is selling, according to Spike (Terrapin brew master), faster than a cow with its tail on fire. It's that good. I will be there, for whatever that's worth. 


Also on Friday there is a crazy wooden keg of Schneider Edel-Weiss at Deckard's. It gets tapped with some contraption that I have never seen before. People, I have been in and around the beer business for 20 years, and I have never seen anything like this before. Want a unique beer experience? This is it. Here is their description and invite:


"Many years ago, the beer brewed for Octoberfest was not necessarily the standard marzen style lager beer associated with the event today. At this time, there were many styles of beer brewed there. The festival was in October rather than September, and it was often quite cold out, making necessary richer and stronger beers. Thus, Schneider's Wiesen Edel-Weisse was made to be warming. It was quite full bodied, as the malt contained a fair amount of unfermentable sugar. In order to balance such a beer, it had to be brewed with more hops for balance, resulting in more noticeable hop character than is usually found in hefe weizens. In celebration of fall we will be tapping a wooden cask of this delicious October wheat beer. Make plans to join us for this amazing beer on cask! Tapping will be at 6:00pm sharp this Friday."


The Fred is tapping a cask of Lagunitas Barrel-Aged Cappuccino Stout for Friday. See, this is what happens when events stack up on top of each other. I can't be at more than one place at a time, and I would have spread these out if I could have. Not for your benefit, but mine. Sorry. That's not true. I know plenty of you are going to have a hard time deciding where to go on Friday. I love you all very much, you crazy beer drinkers you!


What about the chance to meet Shmaltz founder Jeremy Cowan at Metropolis on Friday? He will have some of the advance copies of his book, "Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah" and will sign them if you can manage to get one. There will be kegs of Jewbilation 13 from last year (and these age really well!) and the debut of Jewbilation 14 (14 malts, 14 hops, 14% ABV). Jeremy is a very interesting guy, and our local Shmaltz guy, Darren, is great too. All of these events are awesome! Aarrgghh!


Our original store at Virginia-Highland has just recently brought in a bunch of rare large bottles that you may have not seen before. There are some Allagash, Avery and Lagunitas specialties if you are interested. They're not cheap, but hey, you're worth it. Call them if you want specific details. Ask for Alex or Andrew.


So that's just one day. Wow. You have your assignments. Godspeed, beer drinkers.


The Lenny's 3 Ways in Canton has been OFFICIALLY scheduled for Friday, December 3rd. We will have He'Brew Lenny's RIPA on draft, and in a firkin with a gravity tap, and in a cask-conditioned keg through a beer engine. Ever wonder how the same beer tastes with different serving methods? Show up on the 3rd and wonder no more. We will be un-fogging the foggiest minds, then re-fogging them with great beers. There will also be '08 & '09 He'Brew Rejewvenator on draft, plus big bottles of that Jewbilation 14 I mentioned earlier. This is going to be a great event for lovers of strong/hoppy beers. Like lighter beer? Stay home.


If you or someone you know lives in the Charlotte area, we are hosting a holiday beer tasting on Wednesday, December 1st at our South Park store. If anyone is interested in going, they should call the store and ask for Mrs. Garrison. Or Towelie. But not Kenny, he is either dead or about to die. But seriously, Charlotte Magazine is putting on this event, and people can pay through:


http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/Promotion-and-Events/Holiday-Beer-Tasting/index.php 


There will be eight holiday/winter beers to sample, and brewers will be on hand to talk about their beers and beer in general. Light apps will be provided, and the cost is $30.00. It will be a great chance for people in that area to meet like-minded folks and talk beer with the professionals.


Lastly, the Third Annual All-Star Holiday Extravaganza beer dinner is scheduled for Tuesday, December 7th at The Fred. The menu and payment link should be up at www.tacomac.com today. If you have always wanted to attend one of these events but have not, this is the one you want. We will feature six different holiday/winter beers with our new chef's expert food pairings. Reception starts at 6:30 with a home-made eggnog spiked with Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum. Beer and food follow at 7:00. 


That is all I have for now. Enjoy your weekend. It isn't like I didn't give you enough to do. Look for me at the Falcons game tonight. I will be the guy that looks like me drinking beer. See you around.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Have You Seen My Pictures? No? Me Either.

First I need to update everyone on some upcoming events. By upcoming, I mean that they could be either over or ongoing by the time you read this. So get ready, because here we go:
  1. Tonight there is a cask of Abita Vanilla Turbo Dog at Metropolis. Scott from Abita will be there with some freebies. Go meet Scott. He's a good man to know.
  2. Tonight is The Fred's one-year anniversary. There will be a cask of Rogue Brutal Bitter upstairs and a cask of Terrapin Moo-Hoo downstairs. There will also be a bunch of special beers on tap & in the bottle downstairs. Need more details? Show up.
  3. Next Friday the 12th is the Kennesaw store's three-year anniversary. Here's the line up: Terrapin Moo-Hoo cask, kegs of Founders Breakfast Stout, the Left-Hand/Terrapin collaboration Oxymoron, Brooklyn Detonation, Terrapin Hopzilla, DFH Chateau Jaihu, Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla, Bell's Sparkling Ale & Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog. That is not a really old keg of Smutty OBD by the way. That is a special high gravity brown ale from Smuttynose; more like an old ale than a brown ale. Very rare. That is pretty stellar line-up.
  4. Also on the 12th you can meet Jeremy Cowan, owner and founder of Shmaltz Brewing. If you are not a big beer label reader, you may not recognize the name of Shmaltz. They are the brewers behind the He'Brew & Coney Island brands. Jeremy has written a book about the formation of his company, which literally started with cases of beer being hand delivered by Jeremy. His story is also unique in the aspect that when you think of beer magnates, not a lot of Jewish names pop up right away. If you are able to get a copy of his book, he will be available to sign them. They will have a few copies of the first run on hand for purchase. There are only 150 in existence right now, but the first big printing is happening very soon. And.....there will be special beer, of course. More about this guy's beer in a minute.
  5. On Sunday the 21st we are going to have a viewing party of a new Discovery Channel show called "Brew Master". Basically the show is going to feature Sam Calagione, the mastermind behind Dogfish Head, and the crazy things that he does around the globe. Sam is known for using odd ingredients, ancient recipes, brewing with other renown brewers and brewing in exotic places. So imagine all of that in front of a camera. He is also a really intelligent and engaging person with an infectious wealth of knowledge about everything beer. It should be a cool show. The viewing party details are getting fleshed out right now, but here is the basic framework: The first episode involves the brewing of Bitches Brew, which was made to commemorate the 40th anniversary and release of the landmark Miles Davis album of the same name. So the evening will involve some Miles Davis, maybe a viewing of the documentary "Beer Wars", and then the Brew Master show on Discovery. Oh, and some free stuff. Plus some wacky DFH beers. Will we have a keg of Bitches Brew? Maybe....But if we don't, attendees will get an invite to a private event when the beer shows up. Stay tuned for more details as they come into focus. This will take place at The Fred and should run from 7:30 to 11:00 pm.
I mentioned a while ago about a multi-day beer event that you would really want to be a part of, and here it comes. I also mentioned that there would be more discussion about Jeremy Cowan's beers, and guess what? They are tied into each other. Didn't see that one coming, did you? Here is the breakdown:
  1. Every year there is a new He'Brew Jewbliation to commemorate their anniversary. This year we have Jewbilation 14 to mark their 14th anniversary. It is made with 14 malts, 14 hops and is 14% alcohol. Last year's Jewbilation 13 was made with 13 malts, 13 hops....you get the picture. The beers are outstanding.
  2. This year they re-brewed the recipes of all of the Jewbilation beers going back to Jewbilation 8 (8 malts, 8....). We are going to serve each one on a consecutive day leading up to Vertical Jewbilation on the 8th day. What, you may be wondering, is Vertical Jewbilation? Read on.....
  3. They took some of each Jewbilation 8 through 14 and blended them together. Sounds good, right? Then they aged that beer in a sazerac barrel. Now it is a 10.5% barrel-aged blend of seven different recipes that is ready to rock your world.
  4. We are starting this event at Mall of GA on Wednesday, November 24th. Why? Because that coincides with the holiday shopping season. After that mess, everyone needs a strong drink to squelch the desire to kill mass amounts of people brought on by all of that god-damned Christmas music everywhere. Why do we all have to listen to that same music every year for six weeks? It is not that good! What other collection of 28, maybe 32 songs would anyone even attempt to bear at any other time? Let's take Led Zepplin's first four albums. Classics. We can all agree on that, right? Now put them on Shuffle, and listen to nothing else, and tell me how you feel about "Misty Mountain Hop" in six weeks. I hate Christmas music. Hate it. Play it for a week and I could deal with it small doses. SMALL doses. "Gee...how can we make a mall experience suck even worse? I got it! Play this shit all day and night for basically ever!" And can't someone make a Christmas soundtrack for the South? Why are we hearing "Let It Snow"?  Have you been here when it snows? It shuts down the whole city! We don't want that. "Walking In A Winter Wonderland"? Where? It's gray and rainy here in the winter. That's not a wonderland, pal. Make a Christmas song aboud cold rain and not having a warm enough jacket because it's only like that once in a while. Call it, "Jesus Christ! This Sucks!". More of a rock song really.....
  5. The other three stores participating in this eight-day beer bonanza are Crabapple, Newnan and Kennesaw. They will be starting on Wednesday, December 1st. Why? Because that coincides with Hanukkah, which may or may not have terrible music. I am not aware that it does, but I am not aware that it does not either. So...the jury is still out on that one. 
  6. Please remember that these beers are not going to be on tapped all at once. Each keg is only good for about fifty 11oz. pours. So the Jewbilation 8 getting taped on Day One may be gone by the time they tap Jewbilation 11 on Day Four. In addition to that, the stores are spread out geographically to draw customers from the entire region, not just the immediate vicinity. Not to mention, you would not want to sit down and drink all of these beers at once. You would be babbling incoherently and most likely piss your pants. Please enjoy Jewbilation 8 through Vertical responsibly.
  7. Intrepid credit seekers may be wondering about these beers being "new credits" since they are old recipes. The answer is "yes". Jewbilation 10 will be named Jewbilation 10 '10, for example, to indicate that this is the recipe for Jewbilation 10 brewed in 2010, not 2006 when it was originally produced. All of the Jewbilations numbered 8 through 13 will have that special "10" and be completely new credits. Any questions? Yes, you, in the back......I see. The question was, "How did you come up with such an awesome idea?" Well, ma'am, it wasn't my idea. The guys from the brewery cooked it up. Yes, they are geniuses, I agree.
I know I promised you great pictures and stories from my trip to San Diego, so here it is in a nutshell:
  • San Diego and its breweries were 100% awesome. Plan a trip as soon as possible. Use one of the multiple van services that do brewery tours. We saw two companies where that is all that they do. They take people around to some of the 30 breweries in San Diego County.
  • I lost my camera. It was (maybe still is?) full of pictures of Stone, Lost Abbey, Green Flash, Pizza Port in Solana Beach, Alesmith and Ballast Point. The last place I had it was at the counter at Ballast Point, gathering up beer and t-shirts and Bloody Mary mix. Must have left it on the counter or something. I am beyond angry with myself, because I don't lose things. I have had the same sunglasses since 2007, and they were half the price of that camera. In fact, if you see me put my sunglasses down, please steal them. I want a new pair, but can't exactly justify that while I have a perfectly good pair that I am just bored with. Not to mention, now I need a new camera, so actually, don't steal my sunglasses. I need them for a little while longer now.
  • Beautiful city, amazing beer, lots of personal tours and tasting and free beer, free beer, and more free beer. Then we paid for a lot of beer, went to the Chargers/Titans game (great seats--too bad I can't show you a picture!) and came home on Monday.
So in lieu of a slide show of San Diego breweries (and a distillery with a secret speakeasy room!) and Qualcomm Stadium on a beautifully sunny 80 degree day, there's a picture of our marketing VP, Bruce with Jim Koch. He owns Samuel Adams, you may remeber him from such places as....TV. He is the guy in the ads talking about beer and beer stuff. He was at Metropolis on Wednesday. We had lunch and a beer. So the next time I see hum on TV I can be like, "I had a beer with that guy!". He was very cool and extremely knowledgeable about what he does. I can certainly say that I am very glad to be able to say that I have met the founder of Samuel Adams. A true pioneer and an iconic figure in the brewing world, right there at Taco Mac in midtown.

Have a great weekend everyone. Don't be at mad at me about the loss of the pictures. I am mad enough at myself for all of us. Luckily there are no major trips or events planned between now and when I will be able to buy another one. See ya.

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse

From My September Trip-Sierra Brewhouse
This is the top floor of the brewhouse, with buckets of fresh hops about to go into the kettles.