Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Event Reminder For Beer Lovers

Here is the entrance to the La Trappe brewery in The Netherlands. This is the only Trappist monastery outside of Belgium that brews beer. We couldn't tour the monastery, but we did into the brewery. And frankly, any monastery that let's tourists in doesn't really exude "serious religious institution", so I was fine with what we got. Anyway, as promised, I will get a slide show of my trip together some day. I don't know when, but it is on my TTD list.

Let's talk about next week's events:

  1. This Friday at 8:00 pm, The Fred Bar is hosting a TON of guys from the Left Hand brewery in Colorado, including their brew master, Ro Guenzel. They are in town to release the Nitro Milk Stout in bottles. There will also be a small cask of Milk Stout, a new beer called Ambidextrous Ale # 1, a Widdershins Barley Wine aged in Stranahan's barrels, a keg of the Beer Week Sauce, and tons of other Left Hand year-round offerings on tap. Plus the Nitro Milk bottles, duh.
  2. On Wednesday at the Perimeter store we are tapping a firkin of Brooklyn Irish Stout at 6:00 pm. Brooklyn firkins are very rare. This one was filled specially for Taco Mac customers as a "thank you" for the support during their August beer of the month last year. Plus it is a great way to getting the St. Patrick's day spirit a little early. There will also be a regular keg of the Irish Stout on draft, so you can compare the cask to the regular. If you have not had a draft of Brooklyn Blast! yet, that will be on tap too. Rich from the brewery will be in attendance as well, so if you have any questions about Brooklyn, he's your man.
  3. Tuesday, March 13th we have a firkin of Heavy Seas Pale Ale that has been dry-hopped with something (details are on the way from the brewery). This beer has never been available to us in a cask format, so come check it out the new East Roswell store on Holcomb Bridge Rd. (east of GA 400). Probably tap it around 6:00 pm, but I will remind you sometime next week most likely. Kevin from the brewery will be there. He's cool.
That is all I have time for right now. It has been a busy week already, and that isn't changing anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Good thing this case is locked.
Well, I made it back from Europe in one piece. It was a great trip, and I will get my photos organized eventually and try to post a slide show here and all of that good stuff. I would have to say that the highlight was visiting Cantillion (pronounced: "can-TEE-on", not "can-til-yun") outside of Brussels, but the La Trappe abbey was really cool too. So far that is the only true Trappist brewery that I have been to at this point. But aside from the breweries (and we visited a lot), we hit a ton of beer bars across three countries. And of course the Germans tried to kill us with delicious pork. I don't know what the pig did to piss those people off, but that is honestly just about all they eat. Pigs and potatoes. And bread. Pork and carbs. That's it. Cheese every now and then, but mostly just pork. Gravy gets involved occasionally, but that is pork based, so it fits with the theme. And I don't need to tell you about how much beer those people drink. That is well understood. Listen: If you like to drink in the morning, but hate the awkward and condescending looks you get, then Germany is the place for you. They look at you funny if you aren't drinking a beer before lunch. And there is no such thing as having "a" beer with those people. Sit down and get comfortable pal. You're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Anyway, on the right is a picture of something fastened to the exterior wall of a building in Amsterdam. I don't know what it is or what kind of message it is trying to get across. It looks like a shrine to human anatomy, where you sacrifice empty cigarettes to the holy torso. God knows the Europeans aren't going to give up any real tobacco. They love that shit. I think when you are 18 over there you get a voter's registration card and a carton of cigarettes, whether you want them or not. For as progressive as Europeans are in many ways, they haven't really taken to heart the whole "smoking is bad for you" thing. I am sure there are plenty of things they don't understand about America, so who am I to judge? You wanna smoke? Then by all means, enjoy it, and the increasingly shortened rest of your life.

Here is some important news from this country though:

  • Whitney Houston died? Apparently that happened while I was gone. What is surprising is not that she died, but that anyone acted like they hadn't seen that coming for about 15 years. I am not trying to be a jerk or insensitive, but the woman was a train wreck. Sorry, that's just a fact.
  • There are only 6 spots left at the Victory Beer Dinner in Cumming next Wednesday, February 29th. If you were planning on going, you better get your tickets now. Just go to www.tacomac.com and look for "Events" in the upper right. The menu looks outstanding.
  • Plan on being at The Fred Bar on Friday, March 2nd. There will be a group of 8-10 Left Hand VIP's there all the way from Colorado to help kick off their Nitro Milk Stout in bottles. This is the first nitro bottle without a widget. Need an explanation on that? Better show up next Friday night. There will be a bunch of Left Hand drafts (and a few really special ones), plus a small cask of Milk Stout. And, of course, you can be the first kid on the block to try the Nitro Milk in a bottle (hint: It is really good!).
  • On Wednesday, March 7th we will be pouring a firkin of Brooklyn Irish Stout at Perimeter. Trust me on this one, casks from Brooklyn Brewing are very rare, and they filled this one especially for us. By "us" I mean Taco Mac and its customers, so it was filled for you. Come out and drink one with me if you can.
That is a quick update for now. More to come in the next few weeks, but that should at least get you started. Have a great week everyone.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hi And Bye Again!

Yes, that is a brewery. Attached to a windmill.
Well I made it back from Las Vegas in one piece, and I even came home with some money. I guess when you haven't been there in 10 years, they let you win a little. Must be some sort of face scanner at the airport that recognizes who you are and checks your visitation status. Watch, if I go back next year I will get wiped out in like 20 minutes. Luckily I went against everything I wanted to happen in the Super Bowl, and it worked out for me. I don't like the Giants at all, but my wallet sure does! The roulette table was pretty friendly too. That game is WAY more fun when you are winning.

Tomorrow I am leaving for Amsterdam, followed by a jaunt into Belgium and northern Germany. My group will be visiting breweries and notable beer bars along the way, ultimately departing from Dusseldorf, bound for the ATL, on Sunday the 19th. That's a 10-day beer drinking trip. So you will not hear from me for a while, but I will take lots of pictures while I am away. I really need to shake this cold that I have had for like five weeks. Ugh.

Some of the breweries that we are going to visit I have never heard of, like the one pictured. It's a freaking windmill. How cool is that? Here are some that you may have heard of though: Rodenbach, Cantillion, Gruut and Uerige. While we are in Koln and Dusseldorf, the birthplace of Kolsch and Alt beers respectively, we will be learning all about those styles. Last year was Bavaria in southern Germany, whose beers are totally different than what I am in for in the north. Want a good Alt Bier in Bavaria? Good luck. They don't drink that beer there, they drink Bavarian beer, mainly Weiss beers. And if you want a slice of fruit on your wheat beers in Bavaria? Well, you might as well just piss on their flag. But that was last year, so this will be a totally new experience for me. It will also be interesting to see how the food is different in the north. The food in Bavaria was awesome, and so much lighter than the stereotypical "German" food we think of around here. Sure, there were sausages, but man was their so much more. Fish and soups and dumplings and lightly dressed salads. Those people can cook, I am telling you. Go to Germany if you have not been there already.

Anyway, that is all I have time for now. I promise that I will drink as much beer as possible on this trip. I won't let you down. Later.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Bye. I Will Miss You.

Casino sports book. Lots of old dudes.
No, I am not going away for good. I am saying good-bye to my money. I leave tonight for Las Vegas. Trust me on this one: If you love NFL football and you can't be at the Super Bowl, then Las Vegas is the next best thing. I am having a very hard time deciding who will win the battle of beauty vs. the beast. I mean, Tom Brady is prettier than a lot of women, and Eli Manning looks like the drunken and retarded son of Frankenstein. Gotta go with Brady I think. Plus, his wife just became a billionaire. From modeling. He makes 25 million dollars a year, and he isn't the principal wage earner in the family. If you are pulling in 25 million, and your super-model wife makes more than that, then you qualify as being "The Man". And the 2007 game between these two teams was a fluke, and it cost New England a 19-0 season. And if we know anything about Bill Belichick, it is that he has a vengeful streak, and he isn't afraid to make some pay for pissing him off. So I am thinking Patriots, or just not even trying to bet on the game's outcome. You can bet on about 100 other things in this game: So-and-so's rushing yards being over or under a certain number, odds on so-and-so to score the first touchdown, if the first point are a filed goal or not, etc. I am not a big gambler (anymore), but once a year? What the hell. Life is for living.

Here are some notable beer events coming up. Next week is going to be hectic for me, so you might not hear from me for a little while. I am back to work on Tuesday, then off to Europe on Friday. That Friday, February 10th there is a cask of Heavy Seas Black Cannon at Lindbergh. If you like black IPA's, that is one of the best. Then on Saturday the 11th we are releasing the new Red Hare Imperial Red IPA at The Fred Bar at 5:00 pm. The guys from the brewery will be showing up around 7:00-ish, and they are great. This will be the first place to taste this new, 8% ABV beer, unless you are at the brewery earlier that day.

That's all for now. My flight is in a few hours. Pray for me. Thank you.

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.