The same holds true of specialty beers from some breweries. Sure, they all have some wacky stuff that may never see the beer coolers of Taco Mac-land. And you want them. I know you do. But again, for some boring economic/production/shipping/prioritization reasons, we don't get them. Not the end of the world. I mean, it's not like there aren't a bunch of great beers around here to drink. But for the most part, when I am at breweries--whether we get beer from them or not--I am building relationships with these people, and banking on that to persuade them to do the right thing. On their own terms. When the time is right. So I am not actively "getting" beer for you at those moments. I am getting new beers for you to have at some undetermined later date. Except in this one case...which has now come to fruition, and here is that story.
Before I went to Germany, our local rep for Merchant du Vin asked me to do him a favor when I was at Ayinger. To clear up any confusion, MdV is an importer of specialty beers from Europe. They help you get beers like Samuel Smith's from England, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle Trappist ales, as well as Lindeman's lambics from Belgium, and of course, Ayinger from Germany. You're right, they do have a kick-ass portfolio. The favor he asked me for was to pester the brewery folks to send some kegs of Kirta-Halbe to Atlanta for us. He had tasted the beer at a trip to the brewery one time and fell in love with it. After many requests to get some stateside had been denied, he had pretty much given up. Why he thought that I had any more clout that he does, I don't know.
|From L to R: Ayinger beer sommelier, Franz II, Owen, and Franz III|
Up in the tasting room, which is also the top floor of the brew house, I got a one-on-one with Gertrude, and we started talking some numbers. She said that it was pretty unlikely, but that she would think about it. Long story short, we had a great day at the brewery, but still no promises. And then, about two months ago, the phone rings. It's the MdV guy telling me that kegs of Ayinger Kirta-Halbe are on their way to Atlanta. Now they are here. So in this one particular case, I did go somewhere and get you some awesome new beer to drink. Some stores already have it, and the rest of them should be getting it soon. Call your local Taco Mac to see what their deal is.
|Donald, Gertrude, and yours truly in the tasting room|
On a different note, you have virtually never heard me say anything about cider. This is not Fred's Cider Page. But I will tell you that some cider producers make some extraordinary products. For imports, look for Aspall or Etienne Du Pont. But for domestic ciders, there are two new lines available doing some interesting things. Like what? Oh, fermenting cider with Guinness beer yeast for one. Or with a Japanese sake yeast. Or aging their ciders in Sauvignon Blanc wine barrels. You can now get the Crispin Joan Of Arc and Fox Barrel Maid Of Orleans on tap for a VERY limited time. The Joan Of Arc is made from apples, the Maid Of Orleans from pears, and both are aged in those wine barrels I mentioned. Taco Mac locations in Decatur, Crabapple, Cumming and Kennesaw will be pouring them both on Friday (that's tomorrow!). Each location only has one keg of each, and they are the really small ones, so they should go quickly. Deckard's and The Fred Bar have the last two sets, and they will be pouring them at events in the future. Stay tuned for details.
Lastly, don't forget the Belgian Independence Day events at The Fred and Deckard's. On Wednesday the 20th, The Fred will have special Ommegang beers on draft (two new ones and one out of the cellar), plus bottles of Duvel Triple Hop and Liefman's Cuvee Brut being sold by the glass. Deckard's will have those same new Ommegang drafts, plus some themed food specials to match. It starts next Thursday the 21st and runs through Saturday. Go check it out.
Have a good weekend everyone.