Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What Smells Like A Beer Festival All Of A Sudden?

My cousin killed Osama Bin Laden
I have some special events coming up that you may want to know about:

It's almost time to cut the cheese! OK, so maybe you think fart jokes are a little immature. That's your opinion, and I can appreciate your high-brow intellect and elitist sense of humor. I really do. But let's ask someone who had a reputation for intellectual humor, Kurt Vonnegut, about the fart joke milieu. In his novel "Galapagos", the only humans to survive a global disease lived on a remote island. Everyone else was rendered infertile by the disease, leading to the near extinction of our species. However, living on a remote island for millions of years, the survivors naturally continued to evolve in ways we would not have evolved otherwise. We become more like a furry version of a seal, with virtually no resemblance to the humans of present day. In fact, one of the only remnants of humanity as we know it today is that everybody still laughs when someone farts. So there you go you elitist, high-brow intellectuals. Kurt Vonnegut made a fart joke. In your face. He didn't make the fart joke actually in your face. That's just a figure of speech. And he's dead, so presumably not farting in anyone's direction at all. Unless of course there is 1.) Heaven, 2.) He is there, 3.) People still fart in heaven. I am going to let you ponder that one on your own.

But back to the cheese. If you attended the last beer & cheese pairing we did last year, then you have been anxiously awaiting the next one. Well here it comes, Saturday, July 9th at The Fred Bar. Last year's event featured some of the best American craft beers we could find, paired with a selection of cheeses from around the country and the world. To outdo that performance, we had to come up with something really special. So this time around we are offering the following beers:

Boon Mariage Parfait
Palm Speciale
Rodenbach
Rodenbach Vintage '08
Steenbruge Dubbel
Steenbruge Tripel

These beers, of course, are from Belgium, and represent some incredible breweries and styles. We are going to be pairing these with cheeses made at Sweet Grass Dairy in south Georgia. Not only are the cheeses going to be featured, but the head "cheese" from the dairy is also going to be at this event. He will be there to help educate you guys about cheese making, Georgia cheeses, cows I suppose, and whatever you want to know. These folks are personal friends of our chef, Peter, so it will be a great opportunity for you to mingle with them if you are curious at all about what they do. Peter is going to feature the cheeses creatively in small bites, not just a piece of cheese on a plate. This is not, I repeat, not a beer dinner. This event is going to run from 3:00-5:00pm and consist of those six beers in 4 oz. pours and the six little bites to feature the cheese and compliment each beer.  The cost is $30.00 (cheap!), and there will be guys from the importer of these beers on hand to talk about beer (if you are into that kind of thing, and you are). The structure will be loose, with each pairing at stations located throughout The Fred so that you can move around and taste at your own pace. Will have cool beer stuff to give away? Probably. We usually do. No promises though.

The next event is the first in the Brewniversity Back-To-School program. On July 16th at Deckard's American Tavern, we are going to give you a stiff drink of learnin' with the first annual Whiskey Class. You will get to taste five different whiskeys from 4 different countries. All top-shelf stuff and up. No cheap hooch here! Now since I know that you are beer drinkers, I am going to pair a different beer to compliment each whiskey. You are going to need something to sip on while you are getting educated, and we can't give you that much hard liquor. I've heard about you and hard liquor....Expect lighter bodied beers with lighter whiskey, rye ale with rye whiskey, etc. On hand will be Kevin Mulcahy, an expert on all things related to whiskey. This guy is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining, so come with questions and be prepared to learn something. This event, like the cheese one, runs from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, and the cost is only $25.00. Chef Deckard is also going to have an affordable, whiskey-themed food special that evening if you want to stick around for dinner. We did this type of event last year as well, but with tequila, and it was a huge success. Frankly, I don't actually have a good reason why it has taken so long to do another one.

So as you can see, we are taking the Brewniversity in a bit of a new direction with some actual "learning". I know that "learning" usually means "boring", but I am here to change all of that. The other event we have coming up is the beer dinner on July 12th with the brew master from Southern Tier in town. Bet you can learn something from that guy. That event, along with the Belgian Beers and GA Cheeses event can be found here. The Deckard's Whiskey class can be accessed by clicking this link. I realize that it is hard to think about July events in June, but these events will sell out, so don't procrastinate if they sound like something you are interested in attending.

I think what we have actually done here is given a new life to the "stay-cation" idea. Why leave Atlanta in July? Just bounce around from one drinking event to another. I have some more things to insert before, after, and in between the three things mentioned here today, so why go anywhere really? Any highly-evolved furry sea creature knows that I have all of your entertainment needs covered.

Have a great week everyone. I will be in Charlotte for a meet & greet with a brewer from Stone on Friday night, so if you are in the area, you should come by. We have a cask of double dry-hopped IPA and a regular keg of Stone Belgo Russian Imperial Stout. You don't see that every day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One You Are Related To; The Other Is A Pile Of Crap

Patty and Selma
So does everybody have their Father's Day plans dialed in? Now trust me on this, as much as taking dad to The Cleremont Lounge and setting him up in the corner with a few PBR's and a stack of ones seems like a good idea when you're drinking, I think you should reconsider. Unless he did something to really piss you off, he probably deserves more than that. Anyone recall the post about the Father's Day event at Deckard's? To recap:
  • There will be tasting stations pouring high-end spirits for you and dad to sample. They will have some really nice whiskey, rum and scotch.
  • Beer tasting stations will be set up too. One of these beers is something that has been in the cellar since 2009, and Deckard's will have THE LAST BOTTLES ON EARTH. No, you will never see this beer again. As far as I know. At least for a long, long time. "Forever" is a big statement. Tell that to the random idiot bothering me last week in a bar. "The Detroit Lions will never win a Super Bowl!" after overhearing someone I was with say that we were from Michigan. Really, guy? Never? OK, this guy was from Wisconsin, and I realize that Green Bay winning the Super Bowl last year was the biggest thing to happen to him since he found that pile of cow poop that looks just like his Aunt Patty. But "forever"? That's a long time. Oh, and I'm not even a Lions fan. But instead of trying to find out anything meaningful about the people whose conversation he had barged into, he just disparaged where we were from, AND the football team that plays there. Real classy. And it is June. Can we take a break from talking about the NFL for a second? If you or someone you know likes to bother strangers in a bar, please stop. Just because someone is in the same place you are does not mean that they want to talk to you. 
  • But dad wants to talk to you! So let's get back to that. The event at Deckard's will also feature live music out on the patio. Fun!
  • Cigars? Sure. Highland Cigar is providing some quality smoke-ables if you and dad are so inclined. No smoking inside though. So if you don't partake, you won't be bothered by the smoke in the building.
  • The grill will be all fired up too. You can munch on brats and ribs and stuff like that.
  • Here are some details you might need: Make reservations at 404-941-3520. This thing goes from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and it costs $35.00 per person. Cheap! Sample food, taste top-notch hooch, smoke a stogie and get some of that beer before it becomes extinct, plus hear some live music...sounds like a pretty killer afternoon to me.
The only other pieces of notable news are:
  • The Fred bar will be open 7 days a week starting this Monday the 20th. We have a great cask to kick this off. Read an older post if you don't know. Come early to beat the crowd. Call in sick or use a vacation day. Do what you gotta do.
  • Newnan has a cask of dry-hopped French Broad 13 Rebels ESB getting tapped on Wednesday. That sounds good doesn't it? Not every day that you see a French Broad cask....
That's all I have for you right now. For the record, I typically like Wisconsin-ites. They like to drink a ton of beer and wear accessories made of fake cheese. What's wrong with that?

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    OK, This Really Is The Last Reminder....

    Cherry trees and Grand Traverse Bay, MI
    The brewer put some Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter (a high-gravity, extremely rich take on a classic style) in 23 year-old Pappy Van Winkle barrels. The oak provided not only flavor, but a natural souring agent to give it a  bit of acidity. That sour aspect then is further enhanced by Montmorency cherries* from Michigan. Then this beer was put in a firkin, sent to Atlanta, and tonight we are going to tap it. To describe this beer as rare would be an understatement. A popular beer rating web site has only 3 reviews for it, one from Denmark, one from Massachusetts and one from Virginia. Comparatively, Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter has nearly 700 reviews. We will be tapping it around 6:00 tonight at The Fred Bar. Don't be stupid and miss it.

    *The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) grown in the United StatesCanada and France, particularly in Michigan and in Door CountyWisconsin. Montmorency cherries are part of the lighter-red amarelle cultivar of sour cherries, rather than the darker-red Morello cultivar.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Down Boy! Down! Bad Beer Geek!

    Isn't it annoying when you tell someone about a movie you liked, and they say, "Oh, well, the book was so much better." They have this smug air about them like they are some sort of superior intellect because they read the book and you didn't. Get a life people. Do you know why the book is always sooo much better? Because if you've already read the book, then you already know what's going to happen. I watched a movie this weekend, and I had previously read the book like a year ago. Great book. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Check it out. Then while I was watching the movie I was like, "OK, this is where he sleeps with that one girl. Now here comes the part when the crazy guy turns out to be really smart event though he's weird as shit. And this is where she has sex with the neighbor in the car. Hmmm, only fifteen minutes until the movie's over? She's gotta die here pretty soon...." So yes, compared to the book, the movie kind of sucked. Not because it was a bad movie, but because I already knew the whole damn story.

    Here's the whole damn story about some upcoming events:
    • Three new Lazy Magnolia beers make their Georgia debut at Taco Mac Cumming on Wednesday. Lazy Magnolia is out of Mississippi. How much can you tell someone about Mississippi beers? Not much I bet. Me either. Let's get educated together.
    • The super-wacky, sour cherry, Pappy Van Winkle barrel-aged Baltic Porter cask from Duck Rabbit gets its freak on at The Fred Bar on Thursday night.
    • Get ready for Father's Day! Deckard's is doing a tasting from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, June 19th (that's Father's Day....duh!). For $35.00 a person you will get to taste fancy spirits, some rare beers, get a quality cigar to smoke (on the patio--NOT inside), hear some live music and chow down on some brats and ribs and other tasty morsels. So if dad likes beer, whiskey, cigars, rum, music and food off the grill, Deckard's has you covered. This is going to be set up as tasting stations. You and pops can stroll around at your leisure and taste whatever you like, as often as you like. I know for a fact that one of the beers available is so rare, the last bottles ON EARTH will be poured. You know that all dad really wants for Father's Day is to spend some time with you anyway, so this way you can do it in style. 
    • Monday, June 20th marks the first day that The Fred Bar is open seven days a week. We will have a firkin of Stone IPA dry-hopped with Simcoe. Yes, this cask was sent all the way to Stone to be filled for this event, and that is what they sent back. Pretty kick-ass, I know. Now go throw some cold water on the nearest beer geek, because I am sure that he or she is humping the furniture right about now. If you say the words "Stone", "firkin", "IPA" and "Simcoe", you can pretty much guarantee that a beer geek will go into helpless convulsions of uncontrollable humping. Try it some time. There's is no doubt that this cask is going to taste great though. We will be charging extra to hug or kiss it, though. If you want to get to second base (or more!) with this cask, you will have to wait until it is empty.
    That's all I got right now. Have a great week.

    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.