Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For Me? You Shouldn't Have!

Yes folks, it is another birthday weekend for yours truly. Luckily, there is something going on for my birthday that is...oh, kind of cool: the Great American Beer Festival! That's right, day two of the GABF is on my birthday this year. So if you were wondering if I have any pull in the beer world, well, there you go. Just kidding, it is a total coincidence. Or is it...(cue X-Files music, if you are old enough to know what that is)?

Anyway, I will regale you with stories about that after it all goes down. I leave on Thursday for Denver. Coming back on Monday. But first, you need to know about a few critical events that I know you will be excited about. Atlanta Beer Week is coming up, and we have some doozies on the agenda.
  1. We kick things off with the Harvest Beer Dinner at Deckard's. This is a seven course meal of locally sourced foods and beers. Yes, each course is served with a beer from a different Georgia brewery. You can view the menu in an older post, or go to the Deckard's web site. Do that, because that's where you pay for seats anyway. The date is Tuesday, October 11th. This is chef Deckard's first beer dinner since his triumphant tenure doing beer dinners with me for years. Please do yourself a favor and check out the menu. Just go to http://www.kitchenandkegs.com/ and click on "Food". I know that it hard to think of October events in September, but October starts on Saturday, so get moving. Space is starting to get limited.
  2. On Wednesday, October 12th we have another beer dinner at Lindbergh. This is the Dogfish Head Ancient Ales Beer Dinner. Don't know what Ancient Ales are? These are the beers that DFH has recreated from archaeological evidence from four cultures, dating back 3000 years. This event has been on the "DL" for a while because, well, it is going to be a big hit. If I were you, I would go to http://www.tacomac.com/ before it sells out. Click on "Events". You will be fine from there. It's a web site, not a puzzle. You can do it. There is one special surprise beer too. I can't tell you about it, but you want it. You really, really want it. There will be a DFH guy there too, so if you were always wondering what those wacky dudes look like in person, this is your chance.
  3. On Thursday there is a HUGE event with Sierra Nevada at The Fred Bar. Details will be coming later, but a very inportant Sierra Nevada brewer will be there, plus lots of specialty beers you don't see often/ever. Just be there. Stop screwing around.
I have more things planned, and I will get you all of the info next week. For now, just sign up for these two beer dinners, clear your calendar during beer week, and set aside a lot of money. You will either be drinking a lot all week, or be sorry that you didn't. Time for the pros to clock in, and the amateurs to start getting their Halloween costumes together. Because the real party starts early in October people. Bye...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Event Round-Up!

Below is the Pay Pal link for the Tequila School this Saturday at The Fred Bar. This thing is a steal at $25.00. That, of course, is on purpose. We like to do some events that are designed to show you folks some new and different things that we can do. We all know that you can get great beer and food and watch the game and all of that stuff at Taco Mac. These little educational classes are just something else fun for you to do, in the comfortable environs of a familiar setting, with other like-minded people.

The class runs from 3:00 to 5:00 pm, and you will get beers paired with four different tequilas (all really good stuff), plus some light apps. The beers are for you to sip on in between tequila tastings, plus, you're a beer person. Beer needs to be involved. Done. But the tequilas will be the star of the show, and tequila expert Francisco will be on hand to walk you through everything you ever needed to know about tequila. If you don't know much about tequila--or distilled liquors in general--this is a great way to learn. His presentation won't last the full two hours. Trust me, this is just called "school". We don't intend to bore you to death like real school.

I think the main benefit to anyone attending this class will, of course, be the education. But the auxiliary benefit will be that this knowledge is not something that many people possess. The next time you have company over, you can serve some quality tequila and also be able to speak intelligently about it. Just think how sophisticated and well-travelled you will appear. Just think how jealous that jerk neighbor will be when everyone is impressed by your superior intellect and charm. And all you single guys...how about showing the ladies that you are the kind of smart and desirable partner that they are looking for to procreate. Because let's face it, attraction is pretty much biological. Why are fit people more attractive? Because they appear to have good genes, capable furthuring your genetic code to an offspring. Why is stupidity unattractive? Because stupid people make stupid babies, who have a lower survival rate. We're going back to caveman times here people. The dumb, deformed, buck-toothed caveman had a much harder time getting a mate than the good-looking cave man. Especially when the good-looking cave man realized that if he got in the lake every now and then and washed off some of that stank, then things were really happenin' when the camp fires went out. Fast-forward to modern times. Do you want to be the dumb guy with the light beer and the funnel, or do you want to be the one who gets to mate? Be smart. Get to mate. You can thank me later. Here's the link:

Also, I mentioned the October Harvest Beer Dinner at Deckard's on Tuesday, October 11th. If you want to find a link for that, use this one. In a nutshell, this is a seven course dinner with dishes paired with seven different beers from seven different Georgia brewers. That link takes you to a place whre you can view the menu and/or just pay for the dinner. For those of you who remember when Matt Deckard did Taco Mac beer dinners, you know he rocked the house. This menu looks outstanding, and it appears that his house-rocking days are not over.

More event details to come as we approach Atlanta Beer Week, but that should give you all a few things to consider this week. Thanks, and talk to ya later.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Georgia Harvest Beer Dinner

OK everyone....Here comes the menu for the Harvest Dinner at Deckard's that I told you about. If you want to come, CLICK HERE to reserve your seat....and take a look at the menu below. Remember, 7 courses all featuring locally sourced ingredients, and 7 different beers all in GA. Celebrate Harvest season and support your local Breweries!

For those of you that have been around for a while, this is Matt Deckard's triumphant return to beer dinners from which he has been absent for the last year and a half due to the opening of his new restaurant, and he has pulled out all the stops. Take advantage of this opportunity to indulge yourself in Matt's genius cooking as well as check out Deckard's American Tavern if you haven't been there yet. I'm willing to bet you will want to return on a regular basis.

Sweet Grass Goat Cheese Flat Bread, local watercress, roasted Georgia peppers
Wild Heaven Invocation--
Belgian-style golden ale with hints of dried fruit. Noble and West Coast hops lend an earthy spiciness, and a Belgian yest contributes a dry yet fruity finish.

Spotted Trotter Brat Corn Dog, Allison’s Blackberry honey dijon
Terrapin Rye--
The flagship Pale Ale from Athens is nicely hopped, but still well balanced. The rye malt contributes a nutty component that is this classic beer’s signature.

Wild Georgia Shrimp, grilled Spotted Trotter bacon, Georgia squash hash
SweetWater Georgia Brown--
Designed to be a session beer (i.e. you can have a few!), this Brown Ale has a slight nuttiness from its ample dark malts, while still maintaining a smooth, drinkable character.

White Oak Pastures Lamb Meatballs “Swedish style”
Monday Night Drafty Kilt--
A Scotch Ale style from one of Georgia’s newcomers. This full-bodied, ruby-colored beer has malty sweetness, tempered by a hint of smokiness from malts smoked over oak.

Tasso stuffed Georgia Plantation Quail, local field peas, peanuts, natural jus
Jail House Mugshot IPA--
Featuring an “arresting” lineup of Warrior, Chinook, Cascade and Sterling hops, balanced by malty flavors for a nice, dry. finish. This is what American IPA tastes like.

BrassTown Pork Porchetta, braised Georgia kale, Georgia apple pickles
O’Dempsey’s Big Red--
What’s big, delicious and red all over? An Irish-style Red Ale with North American attitude, that’s what. All of the body you want, with just the right amount of hoppy goodness.

Pumpkin - Porter Whoopie pie, candied pecan ice cream
Red Brick Porter--
This beer is determined to let the world know that great dark beer can be brewed in the American Southeast! Dark, rich, and smooth, with hints of cocoa, coffee and roasted malts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time to Hit the Books...With your FACE!

Just kidding, nobody falls asleep in Tequila 101. That's right folks, can you say, "Tequila class!" The date is Saturday, September 24th. Some of you may recall that a year or so ago we did one of these in the evening on a weekday. It was a great turnout and a spectacular event. This time though, we are going to use that Saturday 3-5 pm time slot that has been working so well. You can get some stuff done around the house (or just stay in bed), then spend a few hours learning something (now you're really being productive), enjoy some afternoon libations, and be home in time for dinner. We will be holding this at The Fred Bar. DON'T WORRY! The TV's will be on, and the programming will consist of football.

But here is the deal, for $25.00, you get to try four different tequilas, plus a beer to help wash it down. I will pick Latin American beers of varying degrees of darkeness to compliment the different varieties of tequila you will be tasting. I mean, you can't just sit there and pound tequila all afternoon. Plus, you are beer people. I get that. A guy named Francisco will be there to educate you on the tequlias that you are drinking. This guy is an expert in the field. This folks, is what he does for a living. Me, I do beer stuff for a living. Francisco does tequila stuff for a living.

Now in case you were wondering how you were going to get home after four beers and four shots of tequila, let me explain a few things.
  1. You will have some light apps on the table as well. Chips and salsa, some flautas, that kind of thing.
  2. The beers will be 8oz. portions, so like 2/3 of a beer.
  3. Tequila will be served in 1oz. portions, which is 2/3 of a measured shot.
So as you can see, this event is not only a great value, but your personal safety is a concern. I don't want any of you staggering in the house at 5:30 and getting a fight with the spouse/signigicant other/booty call/voice in your head.

The tequilas will be Don Julio Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, as well as the new Don Julio 70th Anniversary. These are high-end tequilas, on par with the Patron (cough...overpriced....cough, cough) brand that seems like a household name these days. So if you feel like coming to this event, there is a Pay Pal link below. Space is linited to 25 people. This will count as a Brewniversity credit. Because hey, the "--niversity" in "Brewniversity" means you need to learn something, and it doesn't have to be ALL about beer. As long as beer is involved. Hope to see you guys there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Updates And Clarifications

Here are the locations serving Red Hare beers on Wednesday, along with the (APPROXIMATE!) times that the guys** from the brewery will be there. I hope you get a chance to get out and continue supporting Georgia brewers. Have a great week.

Suwanee* & Prado @ 6:00 pm
Decatur & Woodstock @ 7:00 pm
Metropolis & Kennesaw @ 8:00 pm
*Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd., not Peachtree Pkwy.
**One "guy" per location.
Enough with the disclaimers. Now some clarification:
  • OK, maybe I didn't "look at the calendar" (picture me talking, but making air quotes). In fact, that may have caused me to give you the "wrong information" regarding an October event. I mean, it's not like anything down anyway. "He'll remind us like 5 or 6 times between now and then." That was you talking or thinking, possibly both if you talk to yourself out loud. So the big Harvest Beer Dinner at Deckard's is Tuesday, October 11th. The menu will be posted this week once we make it look pretty. But let me tell you, the food looks incredible just in regular old letters on paper. Seven course, all paired with some of the outstanding beers from seven different local breweries. This will be part of Atlanta Beer Week, but more on that later this month.
Now before I go, I have one last reminder: Mall of Georgia, this Sunday night at 6:30 pm. Get your seats early for the big Eagles/Falcons game and drink some tasty Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from a cask. OK, I know that Atlanta did not exactly look like a contender yesterday. Well they lost game 1 last year and finished 13-3. So don't freak out. And I watched the Eagles yesterday for a while. Until the Rams' starting running back went out of the game, they were handling the Eagles just fine. Have a great week everyone.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Is It A Six-Pack Or Another Name For A Support Group?

I hope everyone had a good week and is ready for the weekend. I have some reminders and some brand new events for you folks. This list is going to take us into October, so you may want to enter these into that hand-held device that has recently taken over your life. Here we go:
  1. Tonight at The Fred Bar you can taste all of those crazy Mikkeller and Stillwater beers I told you about. They open at 5:00pm, so the drinkin' starts immedialtely after that.
  2. On Wednesday we will be releasing Red Hare's Gangway IPA and Long Day Lager at the following Taco Mac locations: Decatur, Kennesaw, Metropolis, Perimeter, Prado, Suwanee and Woodstock. The guys from the brewery will be making their rounds in two groups, so depending on what time you are at where you are at, you might be able to meet them. More details will be coming next week when we have their whereabouts finalized. Feel free to ask them anything. Like, "How in the hell did you guys open a brewery in Marietta with virtually nobody knowing about it until now?" That's a good place to start. I met one of them earlier this week, and he was about as pleasant as he could be. Try to make it out on Wednesday, if you like to support local breweries. More on this later....
  3. Next Saturday the 17th is the big SausageFest at Deckard's American Tavern. Here is the skinny: $15.00 gets you all-you-can-eat sausages from Atlanta's own Spotted Trotter (support your local sausage stuffers!). You can chooses from four different varieties. Beers are served a la carte, and you can chooses from lots of Oktoberfest beers, or any of the great selections Decakrd's has pouring that day. You can also get a super-fresh Terrapin PumpkinFest from a cask. That's going to be delicious, and you can support local breweries by having one--everyone wins! There will be a live band rockin' out on the patio and all of that fun and festive stuff. Come by and see for yourself why the slogan for SausageFest is, "Let it all hang out!" I came up with that one myself. Hey, I never claimed to be mature.
  4. The following Sunday the 18th, the Mall of Georgia Taco Mac is going to tap a firkin of Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster around 6:30 pm. Why Sunday? Why 6:30 pm? Just open up your NFL schedule and see what's happening that night. If that doesn't clear things up, please enroll in "Football 101" by sitting in any Taco Mac this Sunday. You'll figure it out pretty quickly. And hey, this cask is yet another opportunity to--you guessed it!--support local brewers.
  5. Did I say local brewers? Indeed. How about a beer dinner that showcases one beer from all seven GA breweries? What a great idea. Good thing we already thought of it. So you'll want to check out the 2011 Harvest Dinner at Deckard's on Tuesday, October 12th. That menu is being worked on right now, so stay tuned. The seven GA brewers are SweetWater, Red Brick, Terrapin, O'Dempsey's, Wild Heaven, Jail House and Monday Night. OK, so there's eight with Red Hare, but this idea happened before we knew about those guys. And yes, I know that there are some great brew pubs in Georgia, but for legal reasons, we can't offer their beers. If you need a lesson in alcohol laws, just attend one of my events and ask me. I don't want to bore people with that business here. And before anyone goes running around criticizing Georgia for outdated laws, I need you to know that it's like that in every state. Brew pubs are brew pubs, breweries are breweries. A donkey isn't a horse just because it has long ears and a tail.
On the repetitive theme of supporting local breweries, I just have one more thing to say: It is easy to walk around telling everyone that you "support local breweries". But I need you to look at your receipt the next time you go out drinking. Look in your grocery cart the next time you are at the store. Take a peek in your fridge the next time you have company over. If you don't see local beer in any of these places, then shut up. If you support local beer, that means that you buy local beer.

And the last thing I have for you is some (more) reading material. Ever looked at a newspaper and thought, "I wish that was just all about beer, and wasn't made out of paper"? Well think no more, because your prayers have been answered. Check out Beer Street Journal by clicking here. I don't want to go into all of the details right now, but for simplicity's sake, I know these people, and they do good work. I fully authorize you to enjoy a second piece of on-line literature. Enjoy.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sale Of The Century!

Look how happy I am!
Let's begin by reviewing a few events. Not "review" like express opinions about events that have already happened. I mean like "preview" events that I already told you about. We are going to review the preview. Everybody with me? Here we go:
  1. Next Friday the 9th there is a Gypsy Beer take-over at The Fred Bar. Go taste some great beers from brewers without breweries. Crazy, I know. These are some out-of-this-world Mikkeller and Stillwater beers. Please be forewarned, these beers are rare and strong (Translation: Expensive!).
  2. Here is a link to a Facebook event that you should know about. I suppose some of you know what "Facebook event" means. I don't really, but that shouldn't stop you form checking it out. I have no beef with Facebook, it's just that at my age, Facebook is not my #1 method of communication and social interaction. I am not saying anything bad about it, just that it isn't my style. But who cares about that, when that link will tell you more about the Deckard's First Annual Anniversary Sausage Fest! That's right, it's September, and if you aren't thinking about giant mugs of beer and tasty sausages, well, you probably should be. The fest will feature four different types of locally made sausages, and it is all-you-can-eat. That's right, for $15.00, you can keep ordering plate after plate until you feel that you have reach the right level of sausage-intake density. There is no prize for winning, so don't hurt yourself people. And when you think about it, who isn't a winner when there are unlimited amounts of sausages to cram into your face? OK, so the pigs and chickens and cows aren't winners, but if I tasted that good, I'd want people to eat me too. But as I've said before, this isn't Fred's Sausage Page, so we should probably talk about the beer. Terrapin PumpkinFest...in a firkin (very rare). Bell's Oktoberfest (rare). Spaten and Ayinger Oktoberfests (two true Bavarian breweries I visited in February--awesome), and many other Oktoberfest beers to choose from. Giant mugs. Live band. What more do you want? Sorry, the beer is not all-you-can-drink because, frankly, people have a hard enough time controlling their alcohol as it is, so why encourage them to be dumber than they already are. Not you. No, clearly based on your choice of internet-based reading material, you are of a superior intellect. Did I mention that all-you-can-drink events are also illegal? Yep, and for a reason. People have to be protected from themselves. If you are still reading, this is where I tell you that the Sausage Fest is Saturday, September 17th in the afternoon. Clear your calendars people. This is going to be cool.
Did I mention giant mugs of beer yet? In case you forgot "Boot Mania 2010" or even last year's installment, "Boot Mania II", that is where you could get a one-liter glass boot filled with Warsteiner beers. And you got to keep the boot. Was it a popular program? It isn't called Boot Mania for nothin'. This year, though, we switched it up a bit. This year we have one-liter dimple mugs, just like the ones they use in Bavaria for Oktoberfest. These, however, can be bought filled with our September beers of the month from Sierra Nevada. OK, so not "traditional" beers for Oktoberfest, but who cares? Trust me, the liter of Torpedo I had yesterday tasted about as good as any beer possibly could have tasted. Here is the kicker: These are available for $16.00--filled with beer ($17.00 at Philips Arena)! These mugs are going for $34.98 on e-Bay (with a Hofbrau Haus logo), and $24.95 on http://www.mybeersteins.com/, and there is no logo on 'em! These have a sweet Sierra Nevada logo on them that looks great. Last night (September 1st) we went through about 1/3 of the nearly 4000 of these we have. Want a giant Sierra mug full of beer? The you better act now folks, because these are bad ass and going fast.

If you are wondering why these are so cheap, it's because we're crazy, and we love our customers.

Have a great weekend everyone.

PS--If you are upset about the September beer dinner selling out, keep Wednesday, October 13th open. I have something for you that is going to cause a stampede.