Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eight Reasons To Be Thankful You Love Beer

A really cool opportunity just manifested itself, and man am I excited to tell you all about it. Get ready to put some miles on the car and some wacky credits on your Brewniversity list, because starting next week, we are doing eight firkins of O'Dempsey's Inukshuk IPA on eight consecutive days, and all of them are a little bit different. Here is what we have planned so far:

  • The Fred Bar 7/26-- Cask #1 - Lemongrass and Crystal Hops
  • Cumming 7/27-- Cask #7 - Ginger and Northern Brewer Hops
  • Decatur 7/28-- Cask #4 - Lychee Fruit and Northern Brewer Hops
  • Newnan 7/29-- Cask #5 - Pink Grapefruit Zest and Crystal Hops
  • Kennesaw 7/30-- Cask #2 - Lemongrass and Perle Hops
  • Perimeter 7/31-- Cask #3 - Apricot and Newport Hops
  • Old Milton Pkwy 8/1-- Cask #6 - Pineapple and Newport Hops
  • The Fred Bar 8/2-- Cask #8 - A combination of Perle, Crystal and Northern Brewer Hops
The distributor told me that they would try to get each specified cask to the correct stores, but before you go writing this down in stone, let's just chill out for a second. The beer will be going out late this week and early next week, so we will know more as early as tomorrow. I just wanted to give you an idea of what we are dealing with here. Each cask will be a special credit, like "O'Dempsey's Inukshuk Cask 1", and so on through number eight. If you can make it all eight of these events, you will be a legend among lesser beer drinkers. It starts on a Thursday at The Fred Bar and ends on a Thursday at The Fred Bar. All tap times are 6:00 pm except the Sunday in Newnan. We are doing that at 3:00 pm, because no one wants to wait until 6:00 pm to start drinking on a Sunday. Why? That's just the way the world works, man. Don't try to fight it.

Now even if each of these casks do not make it to the exact location specified, then the only thing that will change is the order. We are still getting all of these casks to these locations, but maybe # 7 winds up in Alpharetta and # 6 winds up in Cumming for example. Who cares? Not me. As long as everyone has delicious beer to drink, I am happy. Don't forget the fact the O'Dempsey's crew will be at all of these events to talk to you folks and help drink these casks. They are a fun bunch, so make sure to introduce yourself when you're out. It's easy, "Hi Randy, my name is ______________, and I love beer." The rest will be easy after that. 

So other than that awesomeness coming up, there are a few other things of note. First of all, there is a small keg of a barrel-aged Highland Cold Mountain being tapped at The Fred Bar on Friday night at 5:00 pm. This thing will go fast, so don't screw around and miss it. The other event happening in July is the All-American Extrava-CAN-za beer dinner on July 31st in Duluth. If you haven't seen the menu yet, just click here. It is going to be great, so sign up now if you are interested.

I will be gone for a while pretty soon. If you don't hear from me temporarily, don't freak out. I am going to Oregon for a few days, mostly all of next week. Then right after I get back I will be in Charlotte on business for a couple of days, so I may be a little behind in general after that. Might not be hittin' the old blog for a minute. But who knows, maybe I will find some time between brewery visits and beer festivals in Oregon. Until then, take care. 

PS: In the upper right there is a new slide show with a few pics from Victory. I finally got a new camera that can make good slide shows. Check it out.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Be Afraid To Drink Beer Today

Today is Friday the 13th, and for some reason this day is associated with scary stuff. Before there were ever any movies with a machete wielding weirdo in a hockey mask, this day of the year was just considered to be unlucky. Like, "Oops, I locked my keys in the car. Damn you, Friday the 13th!" Not, "Oh no! We're all going to be murdered, one by one. Must be Friday the 13th." But today is actually your lucky day, that is if you love drinking exotic beers. In case you missed it earlier, there is a Mikkeller vs. Evil Twin event at The Fred Bar tonight. Lots of crazy beers from two gypsy brewers who make very intense and expensive beer at various breweries around the world. That is why they are called "gypsy" brewers. They will not put a curse on you, or read your palm. To my knowledge. I haven't met them. They live in Denmark most of the time. But if you are into beer...and I know you are!...then The Fred bar is your place to be tonight.

Tomorrow you can swing by the Taco Mac on Peachtree Parkway in Suwanee for a cask of Jail House John Dillenger IPA. They are going to tweak their IPA every time they put it in a cask and name it after a different, famous criminal. Glenn from the brewery will be there, so if you like to talk to guys that brew beer for a living, here's your chance this week. They are going to tap it at 6:00 pm. Should be really tasty.

There are three more Mondays left this month, which means that there are six more chances for home brewers to enter their beers in the Southern Brewers Challenge. The dates and places are below, and the details of the contest are as follows: The winner will have their recipe made by Red Brick to be served at all Taco Mac locations throughout the southeast. Once that batch is done, there will be another one put just in bottles to be sold at package stores for take-home consumption. Pretty cool, I know! So if you are a home brewer, or know one, then spread the word. Here are the dates and places:

  • Monday, July 16th at Taco Mac at Prado and Metropolis
  • Monday, July 23rd at Taco Mac in Duluth and Crabapple
  • Monday, July 30th at Taco Mac at Windward Pkwy and Decatur

Submissions will be accepted by a Taco Mac or Red Brick person between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. Please do not drop beers off at these places any other times, or on any other days, or at any other stores, and expect them to get where they need to be. We are trying to keep this organized as best as possible. So far it has been great. Thanks to all that have participated so far.

Don't forget about the beer dinner taking place in Duluth on July 31st. The menu is right here, and it looks fantastic. Check it out. Think you "can" make it? Better sign up soon.

This picture is of a place I was referred to in Philadelphia. The guys at Victory Brewing (I was there last Friday) kept telling me how great this Johnny Brenda's place was. I know what you're thinking. It sounded like a tranny bar to me too. You wake up as Johnny, get dressed as Brenda. Whatever makes you happy. I couldn't figure out why they thought I would like a tranny bar so much, but they swore it was a beer bar. So the next day when I was in Philly, I had nothing better to do, and hey, I am always up for an adventure in a strange town. So I took the train up to a station where I was warned not to go the wrong way out of (always a reassuring suggestion), walked around the corner, and there was Johnny Brenda's. Clearly, I thought, this not a tranny bar. Trannies have more style in one wig than this building does. This is no tranny bar, this looks like the bar where Fred gets stabbed to death by a hobo. I always knew I would die someday, and I have had my suspicions that hobos may be involved, but I did not think it was going to be on a Saturday in July, inside a bar in Philadelphia. But what the hell, I went in anyway. What a surprise! No hobos. Just really cool people drinking awesome beer. They had about 16 beer son tap, two beer engines, some chick in 80's clothes playing great music, and a few tattooed guys making incredible food. The next time you are Philadelphia, go to Johnny Brenda's. Trust me on this one. I scoped it out, and it was a terrific place, although maybe a little rough around the edges appearance-wise. But if you are afraid of a little dive bar, then you are definitely no friend of mine. You will love the food, and get to drink the best of what PA beer is all about. That is all they serve, and there are a bunch of really solid breweries up there.

I should have some pictures from Victory eventually, but I just don't have them at my fingertips right now. Stay tuned as always. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Coozie Up With A Good Beer (Or Five....)

The distillery of Woodford Reserve. Go there. Do yourself a favor.
Hey everybody. In case you are wondering where all of the great beer events are in July, I am here to tell you that although they do exist, they may be a little sparse. Please forgive me, but this month I am going to be gone quite a bit, so it is difficult to be in two places at once. This weekend I am going to Philadelphia, and will be working in a visit to Victory Brewing on Friday. That is one of my favorite breweries that I have never  been to before. I have some other things going on for Saturday that will not involve any actual breweries, but plenty of beer drinking for sure. Then later this month I will be gone for a week in Oregon, visiting breweries and checking out the Oregon Brewer's Fest. That's not going to suck. So as you can see, July is going to be kind of busy, and of course tomorrow is a holiday too. Please try not to blow off any fingers while playing with fireworks tomorrow, unless you are the town redneck/idiot, and then by all means, entertain us. It's your calling.

Below is the menu for the first annual, All-American Extrava-CAN-za beer dinner. That's right, all canned beer from US craft breweries, and good-ole American-themed food, with a chef's twist. The date is Tuesday, July 31st at our Duluth location. You can view a prettier copy of the menu if you click here, and that should take you to where you pre-pay for this event. It will sell out, so if you are planning to go, you should get signed up sooner than later. It is already a third full. Anyway, take a look at the menu, get hungry and thirsty, and think about it. You may notice that this is the first dinner (that I can remember) with no pork or beef, so if you know someone that would love a beer dinner, but there is always something they don't eat on the menu, this might be the one for them. There will also be a souvenir coozie for you to take home. It is the same one from Can Jam earlier this summer, so if you got one of those, well, now you can have a set. And in case you were wondering, you will get an entire can of beer with each course. And yes, you will get a glass to pour it into if you like, or you can drink it straight from the can. Whatever makes you happy. We're not here to judge.

The First-Annual American Extrava-Can-za
Taco Mac Duluth, Tuesday, July 31st

Reception- Shrimp and sweet corn fritters with corn cream &
Horseradish red potato salad rounds

New Belgium Shift-
A pale lager from one of America’s oldest craft breweries. Lightly hopped yet full-flavored, this beer is named for the free beer that brewery employees get when they clock out. How cool is that?

First Course- Grilled peach and blue cheese salad
spiced pecans, champagne vinaigrette

Abita Amber-
The first beer ever offered by Abita, starting in the late 80’s, and still their leading brand. This extremely versatile beer is smooth and malty, with slightly caramel flavors balanced out by a touch of Perle hops.

Second Course- BBQ spiced Salmon
watermelon salsa, cheese grits

21st Amendment Bitter American-
Have the “extreme” beers left you feeling bitter about, well, life in general? Then here is a session ale that bridges the gap between drinkability and your love for all things hoppy. Low ABV plus higher IBUs equal good-old Yankee Ingenuity.

Third Course- Pit Smoked Barbecue hen
Vidalia onion and chipotle bbq sauce, baked potato pie, garlic green beans,
corn spoon bread

Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale-
The critically acclaimed trailblazer that changed the way craft beer lovers perceive canned beer. Before 2002, nobody expected delicious, heavily hopped, real American-style ale to be flowing from a pop-top. Recognize the original.

Dessert- All American shortcake
strawberries, blueberries, sweet cream

Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale-
Named for Adam Avery’s late Labrador Retriever, this deep russet beer is sweet and slightly nutty, with hints of vanilla. Generous amounts of crystal and chocolate malts are tempered by subtle hopping. Is this the best brown ale made in America? You decide.

On Friday the 13th at The Fred there is an event called Mikkeller vs. Evil Twin. Those are two of the most coveted gypsy brewers from Denmark. Gypsy brewer does not mean that the people are, in fact, real gypsies, but that they brew in other people's breweries, wandering from place to place to make incredible and expensive beers that people love. More info to come later, but there should be eight or so draft beers that will be super crazy and delicious. It will start at 5:00pm when we open. Mark your calendars and start austerity measures around the household. You'll need some extra loot for this one, but hey, you're worth it.

And as we approach August, you will start hearing more and more about this special Woodford Reserve that we hand-selected from the distillery. I just pulled those pictures from my new camera. It appears to be working great, so expect not just a cool slide show from Woodford, but more and better pictures for all of my upcoming adventures. Happy 4th of July everyone. Bye!