Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cask-Mania All Over Again

Peaceful firkins full of deliciousness
Here are some pictures from the ACAT. The event was outstanding as I mentioned earlier. If you are interested in attending next year, figure out a way to stay informed, because it sells out quickly. One of the best elements of this event is the crowd size. There's a crowd alright, but a manageable and well-behaved one (for the most part...let's be realistic). How do you stay informed on ticket purchases? Not here. We co-hosted this event, but are not involved in it in any other way. It is not "our" event. It was partly in one of our buildings, that's it. If I were you, I would use my computer to find out how to get on the e-mailing list or something like that (hint: try

Here are the judges results:

1st PLACE CLASSIC STYLE: Stone Ruination - Dry-hopped heavily with whole leaf Simcoe (an intense American hop variety introduced in 2000), this impressive IPA explodes with notes of pine, citrus, wood and passion fruit. This cask was made by Stone's assistant brewer Kyle Carne who worked with cask ales in the past while brewing in Scotland.
1st PLACE SPECIALTY BEER: SweetWater's A Barrel Full of Drunkies. This 11% ABV, blended cask is our rendition of a Quad cellared in an American bourbon barrel for 10 months and blended with another Quad cellared in a French Bordeaux barrel with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus for 10 months. This fusion was then topped off with our adaptation of a Tripel that was cellared for 28 months with fresh blackberries in a French Bordeaux barrel.

ACAT in full swing
2nd PLACE OVERALL: Left Hand Milk Stout. Dark and delicious, America's great milk stout changes your perception about what a stout can be. Characterized by roasty, chocolately goodness with the addition of sweet milk sugar to balance out the flavor, this cask is also dry-hopped with Cascade, just for fun. It's "udderly" delightful!
3rd PLACE OVERALL: Weyerbacher Fireside Ale is an intricate dark ale with a touch of smokiness. The rich malt flavor, crisp bitterness and smoke nuances reach perfect equilibrium in this 7.5% ABV brew. Fireside Ale will warm you up as the temperature drops.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE: 5 Seasons Prado AAAH... BACON! Scotch Ale. Our 8% ABV, signature Scotch Ale sports a smooth, complex malt character with a slight roasted note, sweet balance and subtle hop finish. What could possibly make this beer more enjoyable? Bacon, of course. Whole leaf Hallertau hops, hickory chips and bacon were smoked with staves from our Heaven Hill Bourbon barrel, then added to the cask before secondary fermentation.
Happy ACAT attendees

Pre-game @ The Fred
 There were 32 casks total. There were also casks for the people on the VIP guest list before and after the event at The Fred. Unfortunately this was limited to brewery reps and ACAT organizers, but there were enough of them to fill the room quite easily. The pre-game cask was Sierra Nevada's Estate Homegrown Harvest Ale (unbelievable!) and the always tasty Peak Organic IPA wrapped it all up afterwards. I think I was home by like 8:00 pm. Nothing good was going to happen if I stayed any longer. And for those of you that do not recall January 29th at this point, it was 65 degrees and sunny. Mother Nature sure did smile on the Atlanta beer drinkers that day.

Sierra Estate...Wow!
Enough about the past. Here is what you need to know for this week:
  1. On Wednesday we are hosting an all-ladies beer tasting with Heavy Seas at Taco Mac Lindbergh Center. This is in coalition with Tower Wine & Spirits and GALS (Georgia Ale & Lager Sirens). GALS is an all-ladies beer appreciation society that does functions like this. Beer can be a pretty dude-heavy crowd most of the time, but these gals are trying to make the ladies out there who appreciate good beer feel a little more comfortable. If you are interested in coming (the cost is only $25 and includes food), go to Put your cursor on the glass of beer, then click events. Kevin from Heavy Seas will be there to do the presentation. And guys, although it may seem like a great idea to come to an all-ladies beer event to pick up on some action, it is restricted to ladies only. Leave these women alone for one night will ya. If they need you, they'll let you know.
  2. Thursday there is a Bell's event at The Fred. Tina from Bell's will be there, as will I. There are 2 casks, 2 other rare drafts and 3 or 4 rare bottles. As I have said before, if you want to know what we have at this event, you have to show up. Will you die if you don't come? Not likely. Will you miss out on some beers that you may not see again for a long time? Yes.
Don't forget about Deckard's Valentine's Dinner. Make a reservation (404-941-3520) for either Saturday, Sunday or Monday for this menu:
Lobster “Pot Pie”
carrots, fennel, biscuit crust, tarragon cream
Ommegang Triple Perfection

Fudge Farms Pork Tenderloin
sweet and sour belly, crispy blue crab hash brown, beer braised Napa cabbage
Ommegang Cup O Kyndness

Chocolate Indulgence “Float”
Chocolate Indulgence Ice cream, drunken cherry jubilee
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence

No, I did not get paid to put this on here. I just like their beer. A lot.
The price is only $35.00 per person for the food and $10.00 extra for the beer package if you want that. Why is the beer separate? Because you can sub a $10.00 wine package if you, or the person who is currently tolerating you, prefers wine over beer. What will the wine pairings be? I don't know. This is not "Fred's Wine Page" now is it?
If you don't hear from me for a while, don't freak out. I am leaving for Germany on Sunday. I will be there for 6 days, in Brussels for 1 day, then in Amsterdam for 2 days. Pretty excited for that as you can imagine. Have a great week everyone.

PS--I was just in Charlotte and our store there has a cask of Foothills Sexual Chocolate. Stay tuned for a date to tap that sucker. Wow.