Tuesday, April 26, 2011

When Casks Attack

Here is an event update & reminder. Have a seat, it's a big one:
  1. Fuller's ESB cask at Decatur tomorrow, 5:30 tap time. Why 5:30? Because cask expert and all-around beer guru Owen Ogletree is in town, but he has to be on the other side of town around 7:00. He is going to tap the cask, answer any questions you might have, all of that. I will be there too if that matters at all. Come out and taste what real, cask-conditioned English ale tastes like.
  2. Thursday night we have a cask of Left Hand Fade To Black Smoked Baltic Porter at Crabapple. That is getting tapped sometime around 5:30 too. I know that is kind of vague, but have you ever seen the traffic on that road? Not pretty. Once the beer drinkers show up, we'll get into the beer. Word of warning though: This store has set records in the past for blowing through special beer, so don't screw around and miss it if you want to taste this rare beer.
  3. Friday night it is Fuller's ESB cask-mania! Perimeter, Canton and Peachtree City are all tapping these firkins on the same night. I will be in Peachtree City personally. Maybe I'll see you there.
  4. Saturday is the Prado Beer Festival! The line-up of breweries is stellar, of course. All of your favorites will be there from the American craft beer scene, plus some high-end imports. Lots of brewery reps will be on hand, some from as far away as New York and California. You can also taste some regional beers that you may not be super familiar with. Jail House, O'Dempsey's, Moon River, Five Seasons, Wild Heaven and Thomas Creek will all be featured. The weather forecast is for 80 degrees and sunny by the way. So....I am going to be outside drinking beer. What are you doing? Don't say yard work. Don't say pool party. Don't say anything else that is lame. And drinking beer outside with a ton of other cool people is the ONLY thing you can do this Saturday without being lame. So deal with that. (PS- Moon River is an award-winning brew pub in Savannah, GA. They can't sell beer here legally, but they can participate in festivals. So unless you go to Savannah, this is the only way to try their beer.)
  5. Next week there is the final Fuller's ESB cask getting tapped at Windward Pkwy Taco Mac. This may be your last chance to taste this beer from a firkin for a LONG time. If Alpharetta is your 'hood, you will want to be there.
The last thing I have for you is two things. Maybe three. It goes a little something like this:
  • Tuesday, May 3rd. Beer dinner. Peachtree City. Bell's. Five spots still open. www.tacomac.com. Go!
  • Tuesday, June 7th. Beer dinner. The Fred Bar. St. Martin beers from Belgium. Brewer will be there (also from Belgium--duh!). His name is Marc-Antoine de Mees. Told you he was from Belgium. Menu coming very soon.
  • Tuesday, July 12th. Beer dinner. Duluth. Southern Tier. Brewer is in town. He is not from Belgium, but his name is Phineas De Mink. He is from Kalamazoo, MI. You don't hear that every day. A guy named Phineas from a place called Kalamazoo. People, I don't make this stuff up. Menu is coming in a few weeks.
Over and out. See ya 'round.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fuller's Update & Reminder

Just in case you forgot to write it down or enter into your little mechanical calendar, there is a firkin of Fuller's ESB getting tapped tomorrow at Metropolis. I will be there before I have to leave for the Hawks game.

The next one is getting tapped at Decatur on Wednesday the 27th. Then on Friday the 29th you will be able to get one at Peachtree City and Perimeter. Solid dates for Canton and Windward Parkway will be coming soon.

Thanks. Bye.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Firkins Have Landed

That's right folks. Six firkins of cask-conditioned Fuller's ESB are in our stores as we speak. This is a rare treat, so let's get down to business:

  1. Where are they? Canton, Decatur, Metropolis, Peachtree City, Perimeter & Windward Pkwy.
  2. When are they being tapped? Some dates are still being worked out, but here is what I have so far: The first one is getting tapped this Friday at Metropolis at 6:00 pm. No reason to freak out anyone! If you live in town and can't get there Friday, then just come by Decatur on Wednesday the 27th. That one is getting tapped at 5:30 pm so that Owen Ogletree--resident cask expert and Georgia's foremost appreciator of cask ales--can be there and say a few words to anyone in attendance.
I will be posting the rest of the dates as they materialize. But you can count on Friday the 29th being one--if not two or more--of the next dates. I apologize to those of you living in the northeast part of metro Atlanta. These were not delivered to the distributor that handles Gwinnett and Forsyth, which is why they are all conspicuously missing from those areas. I still love you people up there. It is simply a matter of legalities.

Lastly, it needs to be said that I had to really work on getting these casks over here, and I can't promise that I can do it again. These have been anticipated since January, and finally are actually here. I realize that there are quite a few cask events these days, but these may not be seen again for a long, long time. Real ale straight from England is something you just don't see in U.S. very often. I hope that you enjoy them. See you around.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Dog Would Eat A Booger; Any Time, Any Where


Here is your event reminder for the weekend, and even some events heading into next week and beyond.

  • If you dig Allagash beers--and you do!--The Fred is the place to be tonight. How does a keg of Allagash Bourbon Black sound? If you are having a hard time figuring out what that is, then I suspect that as a child you ate a lot of paste and boogers. They are also pouring a year-old keg of Allagash Curieux, which is a bourbon barrel-aged Belgian-style Tripel. It is one of those beers that is SO good, nobody else even tries to imitate it. I would like to take this opportunity to help everyone with the pronunciation of this beer. Say it with me: cure--EE--oh. I have heard some very creative attempts to pronounce this beer. But hey, when a seven letter word has four vowels, plus an "x", that's a tough one.
  • Tomorrow we are the launch place for the newest Red Brick seasonal. Can you guess what it's called? It is a Hefe-Weizen, and I tasted it today in Chattanooga. It is very good; dry and not too banana-y. There's a definite hop presence that let's you know it was made in the good ol' US of A. You can get it at every Taco Mac in GA and TN after 5:00 pm Friday.
  • On Monday you can try the Sierra Nevada Stung at our Cumming store. This beer was made by a local beer freak during a recent beer camp. If you want to know more about what you just read, the dude (Phil) will be on hand with a slide show. He can tell (and show) you all about his experience at Sierra Nevada helping craft this beer. It is an 8% rye IPA made with honey. We had it a few weeks ago at a Chancellor-only event, and it is great. This thing gets started at 5:00 pm.
  • Also on Monday there is the Belgian beer and Georgia cheese event at Deckard's. I mentioned it a little while ago, so you can scroll back a post or two for all of the details. Or just stop screwing around and call 404-941-3520 to make a reservation. That is an option.
  • If you are in Charlotte, we have a cask of Olde Hickory Death By Hops scheduled to be tapped on the 21st. If the name of that beer alone doesn't get you excited, maybe check your pulse. 
And speaking of Olde Hickory and hops, this Saturday is the Hickory Hops Beer Festival. It is, for you former* paste and booger eaters, in Hickory, NC. It is a great fest that I went to once a few years ago. All of the NC breweries are there, and the thing isn't too crowded, which is key. I am going up there to meet some of the brewers and brewery people from that state. There is a private party for those people that I am going to tomorrow night too. You know, more "networking". Work work work. Unfortunately we might see a big thunderstorm on Saturday, but we'll make the best of it. 

Have great weekend everyone.
    * We know that you still eat your boogers. It's OK. I mean, you're gross, but you're not hurting anyone. So keep on digging in there for those tasty little green morsels. Do whatever makes you happy.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy!

    "I love you."
    That is a quote from one of the most influential comic geniuses of the 20th century, Stimpy. I think he is referring to the arrival of Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA on draft tomorrow. Go to Deckard's American Tavern to taste an IPA of unparalleled awesomeness on tap in Atlanta for the first time since its test batch was here like 3 or 4 years ago. In a world awash in IPA's, I must say that Sierra Nevada really threw the gauntlet down with this one. "Who has been making craft beer since 1980? We have. So check this sh@t out. That explosion you are hearing is your mind.....being blown. You're welcome." That is not a direct quote, just my imagination. Enjoy.
    This is what a genius looks like.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Hi. It's Me Again.

    Seriously, there are actually more things going on that you need to know about. I know, it's crazy. Check it out:

    1. First off, I need to remind you about the Coney Island Freak Show going on at Metropolis this Saturday at 10:00 pm. Yeah I know it's kind of late for an event, but this guy is going to do some weird and wild stuff that isn't suitable for "normal" business hours. We don't want to scare the kids. Adults, sure, but not the kids. I will be there, along with Darren--the hardest working man in the beer business--from Coney Island.
    2. Come to Newnan on Wednesday the 13th for a cask of Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted. Yes, I know you've never heard of that. Yes, there is a firkin of it in Newnan. Jan Pierce will be enjoying it as her 1000th beer on her Brewniversity list. Nice work, Jan!
    3. On Thursday the 14th we are doing some Allagash stuff at The Fred. Like what? Like a barrel-aged keg of Allagash Black, a 2010 vintage of Curieux, a keg of Four and some bottles of Allagash goodness. I don't have time to name them all right now. You're coming for the barrel-aged Black and the Curieux '10 anyway, so you'll see the bottles when you get there.
    4. Like cheese? Who doesn't, really? Read below to see details of chef Matt Deckard's incredible Belgian beer and cheese pairing event taking place at Deckard's American Tavern on Monday the 18th. Each cheese will be presented in an artful manner, not just a slab of cheese on a plate. He is keeping the actual preparations a secret, so if you think you can handle having you mind blown, keep reading.
    Join us on Monday, April 18th as Deckard's American Tavern and Latis Imports bring you a night with Georgia-made cheeses. We will be pairing cheeses from local cheese producers with the great brews from Latis Imports. 

    1st course - Palm Speciale paired with Flat Creek Lodge Feta 
    2nd course - Rodenbach Red paired with Sweetgrass Dairies Asher Blue
    3rd course -  SteenBrugge Dubbel paired with Flat Creek Lodge Lowcountry Gouda
    4th course -  SteenBrugge Tripel paired with Sweetgrass Dairies Thomasville Tomme
    5th course - Rodenbach Vintage 2007 paired with Sweetgrass Dairies Green Hill

    All courses will be served with creative accoutrement. 

    The cost is $50.00, and you need to call Deckard's at 404-941-3520 for reservations. If you are unclear on the magical flavor combinations that are created when beer meets cheese, you'll want to go to this. Or if you are curious to see what a chef's palate comes up with when faced with some incredible and exotic beers, then you really want to be there.

    As if all that was not enough, there are six firkins of Fuller's ESB arriving from England next week. Yes, these are the firkins that we have been talking about for five months. Expect to see some dates get put together in a hurry. You are going to want to taste a true cask-conditioned English ale fresh off the boat. Stay tuned for details. 

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    How Do You Like Them Apples?

    Want to take advantage of a sampling opportunity tomorrow night? A guy I know is now the rep for two new brands of cider coming into Atlanta. These are very much in the European tradition of ciders: dry and bubbly, not sweet and gross. If you are a cider hater (and I was one too!), then you probably have not had a really good cider. I put one on a beer dinner menu a few years ago and thought that the people would throw their food at me once they got served a cider. But once they tasted the dry, sparkling, and refreshing cider, they really dug it. It can have a more Champagne-like taste than a cloyingly sweet taste. In fact, one of them is actually made with Guinness yeast. Pretty cool right there.

    These guys are going to buy some bottles tomorrow night and share them with whoever stops by The Fred around 7:00 and before 8:00-ish. There isn't really a lot of structure here in case you couldn't tell. People are in  town to show off this product, and those are the times when The Fred is usually the most full. If a bunch of folks show up (i.e. you), then they will probably hang out a little past 8:00ish. In case you could not tell by my (not exactly) elusive hint, you won't have to pay for these samples, so what have you got to lose? Enjoy.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    What I Want To Know Is: Where Does The Time Go?

    Truly, where did the last two weeks go? The Craft Brewers Conference in San Francisco blew out the week of the 22nd (and it was awesome by the way). Then the past week was spent getting caught up from being out of the office for three week days. Remember, I do have other work responsibilities besides drinking beer and writing blog posts about it. Eventually I would like to divest myself of those other responsibilities and stick to earning money just for drinking beer, but that hasn't happened just yet. Baby steps...

    Hopefully you are keeping up with the event announcements, because there were a few things last week that kept me busy. We had the Samuel Adams Long Shot event last Tuesday. A local home brewer was one of the winners of the Long Shot contest and got his home brew recipe made by Samuel Adams. You can find it in their mixed 12-packs only. It was a hoppy Belgian-style brownish ale and was extremely good. There were lots of beer people, media people, etc. on hand, along with the winner himself. Great guy. There was a Heavy Seas Black Cannon cask at Cumming last week too. Delicious. We didn't break the 31-minute record for emptying a firkin (held by the same location), but it was close. And if you were a Chancellor, there was an event at Prado just for you on Saturday featuring a local beer freak's Beer Camp beer from Sierra Nevada (for more info on Beer Camp, see old posts and pics from late 2008). There are only two more un-tapped kegs of this beer, so be on the look-out for announcements for when we are tapping them. One keg is at Deckard's and the other is at Cumming. Prado had two of them, so if you get over there soon, there may be some left. It is called Sierra Nevada Stung and it is an 8% ABV Rye IPA made with honey. It is great, people. Get some.

    In between all of that I flew to Hampton, VA to see a concert and party with some old friends from back home. Thank you, tax refund. But seriously, if I don't see the inside of an airport or an airplane for a few months, it will be a good thing.

    But, not rest for the beer-y! Tonight we launch New Belgium Abbey and Trippel at Deckard's. Be there at 6:00 pm to try Abbey in a bottle (draft coming soon) and Trippel on tap and in a bottle. Don't be surprised if the New Belgium guy shows up with some limited amounts of glassware to give away either. Both of these beers are very old recipes in the NB portfolio, and a big reason why this brewery has the word "Belgium" in its name. There will also be a very rare keg of New Belgium Lips of Faith Metric 10-10-10. What is it? It's rare and crazy and was brewed on 10-10-10. If you need to know more you either have to A.) Show up, or B.) Ask someone who does. I will be in the first group. What group will you be in?

    But we are not done this week folks. Oh, no. On Saturday we have Captain Stab Tuggo performing his unusual talents at Metropolis at 10:00 pm. Why so late? Because this guy is going to swallow swords, hammer spikes up his nose, eat light bulbs and stuff like that. Not exactly suitable for dinner time. But this is all part of the Coney Island portion of our beer of the month for April. The Captain is our own hometown freak show performer from right here in Atlanta. If you have any sense of curiosity, you will want to see what this guy does. I realize that many of you don't live downtown, and that many of you are completely incapacitated with alcohol by 10:00 pm on a Saturday night, but we have a plan for that. Metropolis is one block from the Midtown Marta station. They also have 140 beers on tap. Let's see....easy to get to, incredible beer selection, crazy-looking guy doing freaky things to his body...and free admission....? What's not to love? I will be there for sure. Can you handle it? Check out http://www.stab-tuggo.com/ to find out.

    But before we all get too excited about freaks and beer geeks, please take a minute to consider the Prado Beer Fest this year. It is on Saturday, April 30th at...do I really need to tell you where the PRADO Beer Fest is being held? This will be a beautiful late-spring afternoon with over 150 beers, a live band, and all kinds of great people getting their beer fest on. You can get advanced tickets (and save $5.00!) by going to www.pradobeerfest.com. The major issue that I am dealing with right now is having too many breweries that want to participate and how to cram them all into this event. Oh, but it will happen. These people want you to have their beer, so by god I am going to let 'em. Get it together and get a ticket. This thing will sell out.

    OK, the last thing I have for you is our May beer dinner. It is being held in Peachtree City and features the wonderful beers from Bell's. Want to see the menu? Try www.tacomac.com., then click on "Events & Communications". You are going to want to go if you can. This menu looks awesome.

    So that's it for another fun-filled week. I have a whole bunch of other stuff on the horizon, so stay tuned for more. I don't plan on leaving town again for very long until July, so I should post a little more regularly for the next couple of months. Have a great week everyone. See you at Metropolis for the freak show!

    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.