|Jason (right) in the brew house with THE MAN.|
Beer Camp was great. We were going to be sharing the experience with a group of folks from a large chain that I can't reveal. Why, you may be asking, will I not name them? Two reasons. First, they did not show up. Secondly, I don't know who they are, because the brewery did not want the world to know who the first people were to ever cancel on a Beer Camp invite. Whatever came up that kept them from coming to Chico must have been a really big deal. I had a personal vacation planned that week, but when I got the invite, I cleared my calendar. Why? Because that meant I could bring some really special beer back to Taco Mac-land. What I had planned for myself could wait. So I totally understand the brewery's position on not sharing the identities of the people who bailed. If I had to bail out for some reason, I wouldn't want the entire world telling me that I should have my head examined. Over and over. For the rest of my life. Plus, suddenly myself and a co-worker had Beer Camp all to ourselves, and more importantly, we get all of the beer for Taco Mac.
For those of you unclear what Beer Camp at Sierra Nevada is, I will make it brief. If you already know all of this, just skip to the good stuff in the next paragraph. Beer retailers occasionally get invited to Sierra Nevada to tour the brewery and learn about the incredible commitment to quality that Sierra puts into everything that they do. That is the truth, too. Just go there some day. You will walk away with a strong sense of what true integrity in a business actually looks like. From beer quality to green initiatives to employee quality of life, those people know what's up. Once the type of beer being made and the recipe are decided, by committee, then you get to help brew it on their pilot system, which makes about 20 kegs per batch. You brew two batches in one day, and the brewery keeps half and the rest comes to the retailer(s). Instead of Taco Mac getting half of one half of the total, we get all of the retailer's half, thanks to the no-shows. Expect about 16-20 kegs to arrive in October or November. As a point of comparison, when I did Beer Camp in 2008, we only got 8 kegs.
|That is the beer in the sight glass. Told you it was RED.|
So that is the skinny on the incoming Beer Camp beer. For anyone keeping score at home, I was part of Beer Camps # 3 and # 88. Hopefully it is not 4 more years until I get to return. However, THE MAN (pictured above) wrote both recipes, and told me that this recipe is shaping up to be incredible. He was just putting the beer through the hop torpedo when we corresponded this week. The hop torpedo is like a dry-hopping boot camp for a beer.
Now here are some upcoming events you need to know about:
- This Friday at Prado there is a cask of SweetWater Low-Ryeder Rye IPA. Two things are worth noting here: SweetWater casks are less common than one might think. When was the last time you saw one outside of the brewery? Second is that yes, we are doing an event UPstairs at The Prado, not downstairs in The Fred Bar. Why? Who cares? You do your job, and let me do mine. (In this scenario, your job is drinking beer, in case you were wondering. Technically that is my job too, but who's keeping track really. And no, that last sentence does not need to end in a question mark, because it's a rhetorical question. I am not actually asking who is keeping track of whose job it is to drink beer. That would be stupid, because I don't think that anyone is keeping track of whose job it is to drink beer. Nobody cares. Why are you still reading this?) They will tap the cask around 6:00 pm. I suspect it will be delicious, and highly recommend that you get over there before it is gone.
- Next up is the New Holland Brewing launch on Monday at 6:00 pm. It's at the Fred Bar. See, back to being predictable. Are you happy now? If not, then I bet some delicious New Holland Dragon's Milk, Ichabod Pumpkin, Mad Hatter IPA or The Poet on tap will cheer you up. There will also be New Holland spirits available. One is even made with hops for flavoring. A liquor, full of hops. Craziness. Dogs and cats, living together. The brewery guys will be there too, so that is always a plus.
- The following Tuesday (9/25) we have a cask of Heavy Seas Red Sky At Night at Crabapple. To learn about the rarity of this draft, please read an earlier post. I can't be expected to repeat myself over and over again because you burned out your short-term memory on video games and hemp-based recreation. Not my problem sir or ma'am. Please try to stay with us here. I will be in attendance, along with Heavy Seas' local rep, Kevin, who now pretty much now just goes by Kevy Seas. And yes ladies, he is available.
- And then, as if you haven't spent enough time chasing delicious beers all over the city, we will be launching Lone Rider beers (from NC) on Saturday the 29th at The Fred Bar. These guys make some solid beers, and we are happy to have them come into GA. There is a lot of beer made in NC, and we do not get very much of it across the border, which is kind of odd. Well, maybe now we are seeing things to come. This event starts at 6:00 pm, and there will be at least 3 beers on tap from Lone Rider. More may arrive in the next few days, but I know I can guarantee 3 for sure. Come out and meet Zack from Lone Rider. Great guy. Sorry ladies, I think he is married.