Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thank The Lord For The Night Time (Beer Events)

There was a time when this look was manly. Seriously.
Whoa! It has been a while since I posted something here. Last week was a mess: Short week from the holiday, beer event the first day back, and then pretty much just being busy the rest of the week. I hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day, but that is pretty much ancient history by now. So let's get started. There is a lot to cover.

First things first, let's look back at the Burnt Hickory event. Number one, the brewery is in Kennesaw, not Acworth. Sorry about that. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. No, really, there's a bunch of garbage out there. It's true, I swear. Anyway, without going over the grisly details, what was expected to be a small gathering on short notice the day after a holiday turned into a mob scene, and we ran out of beer way too quickly. Let's just chalk that one up to experience, because it was kind of a disaster. By "kind of" I mean, "entirely". But that is in the rear view mirror now, and if you are mad about what happened, I probably already apologized to you. Really you should be mad at all of the people who don't normally show up for beer events. I based my expectations on...oh, over fifteen years of planning beer events. The thing wasn't put together by a bunch of amateurs who had no idea what they were doing. I am rarely wrong on my attendance projections, but man was I wrong this time. Moving on though....

This week is pretty quiet, unless you speak Gnome. The Fred Bar is celebrating Gnome Week by tapping a different Chouffe beer every day, starting tonight, and ending on Saturday with a special toast. "Why"--you may be wondering--"is Gnome Week starting on a Wednesday and ending on a Saturday? That's not even a week. Grumble, grumble, grumble." You see, even a week is shorter to a gnome. If you are unfamiliar with the Chouffe brands and their gnome thing, let me enlighten you. The owners actually believe that gnomes not only exist, but that they discovered the brewery, and all kinds of crazy gnome-based weirdness like that. The area where the brewery is located is reputed to be the ancestral home to these creatures etc, etc. This is not some marketing gimmick. They actually are serious about this. So apparently the use of LSD is still popular there too. The culmination of Gnome Week is The World's Smallest Toast at 6:66 pm. For those of you that don't use gnome time--and why would you, the watches would be impossibly tiny and hard to read--that would be 7:16 pm. Oh, those wacky Belgians. The world's smallest toast will be conducted using really, really small glasses, and we have some to give away. These are like the tiniest little mugs you have ever seen, and they have a Chouffe letterhead on them. Tonight we are tapping Houblon Chouffe, tomorrow is the 2012 release of Biere de Soleil (awesome), then Friday is their collaboration with Ommegang called Gnomegang, and Saturday's culmination and toast will feature the original and classic  La Chouffe. Pretty cool idea, all thanks to the wonderful people (and gnomes!) of Duvel-Moortgaat. They own Duvel and Chouffe and Ommegang and all kinds of awesome breweries. So stop by this week and drink some great beers to get revved up for the toast on Saturday. And if you start seeing gnomes running around, just keep it to yourself. Unless you want to wind up in a mental hospital or drug rehab (again).

Next up is the week of June 11th, which is also a little quiet, for a reason I will get to later. But we have a double bill on Wednesday the 13th. At our store in Canton we have a rare and storied cask of He'Brew Hop Manna getting tapped at 6:00 pm. Not only is this the first time we have had this tasty IPA in a cask, but this cask was sent to the brewery, by me, well over a year ago, and lost. Luckily it was empty when it got lost, and once it was recovered, someone miraculously remembered that Taco Mac was the owner of the thing, and they returned it full of fresh IPA. Please come out on the 13th and welcome home our wayward firkin. Secondly on the 13th we are tapping a firkin of Heavy Seas Loose Cannon at the Perimeter location. If you love IPA's, and Canton is a little far for you to travel, them we still have you covered. They will be tapping that at 6:00 pm as well. But wait, there's more! On the 14th at The Fred Bar we will be debuting two new drafts from a small brewery in Chattanooga, TN. It is called the Chattanooga Brewing Co. (or just CBC for short), and these guys are great. If you are interested to learn about what it takes to start up a brewery, they are a lot of fun to talk to. After seeing their brewery, I am surprised that they are coming into GA so soon. Surprised and excited, because we currently do not get any beer from Tennessee in this market.

On Saturday the16th we are hosting the first ever Can Jam at The Fred Bar, and it starts at 5:00 when we open. There will all kinds of fun craft beer in a can. Like more than ten different kinds. Closer to fifteen or twenty. A lot of these are really new or really, really new to the area. There will be some new credits for Brewniversity members, an educational piece on the canning process and all kinds of fun stuff like that. A full list of beers will be available next week. In the meantime, go ahead and look for a You Tube video called "Bud Light Lime In A Can". It is very funny, in a PG-13 way. If you like your comedy no more racy than a Madagascar sequel, this is not for you. For the rest of you perverts out there, it is hilarious.

And why are there only those events that week? Because on Thursday I am going to Lexington, KY to visit the Woodford Reserve distillery. We are going to pick out a single barrel of bourbon with characteristics we like, and then later they will bottle it all and send the bottles to our stores. If you are unfamiliar with bourbon making, each barrel has its own flavor profile based on many different factors: Attributes of the barrel, aging time, temperature and location in the aging room, etc. The distillers blend multiple barrels before bottling to get the precise flavor profile they desire. But we are going to just pick one barrel (we will be tasting a bunch of them) and get the whole thing bottled up for us. There will some events and such surrounding the arrival of these bottles to our stores in September, which is National Bourbon Month, as established by the U.S. Congress. Bourbon, as you may know, is the only spirit indigenous to the U.S. Then on Friday we are going to Churchill Downs to watch some horses race. I guess that place is kind of famous for that or something? Yes, I am very excited about going there. If you have never beer to a thoroughbred race track before, trust me, it is a bunch of fun. I'll take some pictures for you when I am there. I will not wear a stupid hat though.

Next up is the week of June 18th, and it is a big one. Starting on the Tuesday the 19th, Prado is the place to be. Upstairs we will be launching Green Flash from San Diego. These guys as so well known for making west coast IPA's that they have an excellent beer called...you guessed it, West Coast IPA. Expect to see that, along with Hop Head Red, Double Stout and Le Freak, plus hopefully a few more specialties. Details will be coming as this event gets closer. Two important people from the brewery will be there as well. Meanwhile, downstairs at The Fred, we will be having a Heavy Seas event, with one of their important brewery people in attendance. The beer line-up is still coming into focus, but you can count on a cask of Letter of Marque 2012, a keg of Plank Two (incredible), and Sea Nymph, among others. So you basically get a two-for-one beer event night at The Prado. I agree, that is a freaking awesome idea, and I am psyched for it too!

On Wednesday the 20th you can be the first kid on the block to get a taste of Boulder Mojo IPA from a cask at the East Roswell store on Holcomb Bridge. That gets tapped at 6:00 pm like the rest of them, and this is another one that has never been available in that format here before. On Friday the 20th we are tapping a cask of Left Hand 400 lb. Monkey with our friends at the store in Chattanooga, TN. We don't get a lot of opportunities to do casks up there, so this is going to be fun. Great people up there.

There is a Jail House release of their new Prison Camp Pilsner at Metropolis on Tuesday, June 26th at 6:00 pm. This recipe was created by two brewery employees, not the owner and brew master, and I hear that it turned out great. All of those folks will be there for the launch, so if you want to meet some of them, you can do some one stop shopping.

That about does it for today. I hope that keeps everyone busy for a while. If you are going to Philips Arena tonight to see Neil Diamond, look for me. I have never had a chance to see this living legend of American music, so I am looking forward to it. When was the last time you saw a concert, and every song was a huge hit? And when was the last time you saw old ladies throwing their panties on stage? Really? Not that long ago, huh? It was what kind of party? OK...so on that note...I am outta here. Bye for now.








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.