Friday, December 21, 2012

....And We're Back!

Sr. Sol in Athens. Attached to a gas station. Rules. Totally.
Sorry for the long absence. It all started, innocently enough, with our annual holiday beer dinner, followed by the onset of "The 12 Casks of Christmas". Somewhere in there I tried to get prepared for the holiday season, stopped in Athens for the best tacos in The World (pictured), watched a lot football, drank some great beers, and left my valued readers hanging. But wait until you hear what we have been cooking up for beer events for 2013. I think you'll let me slide this time. But first, let's recap a few things.

  • These casks of O'Dempsey's Inukshuk IPA from "The 12 Casks of Christmas" have been delicious. Tonight in Peachtree City the cask has lemongrass and Centennial hops (my favorite), and will get tapped at 6:00 pm. If it is as good as the one we tapped last night at Prado (lemongrass and Amarillo hops), then you are in for a real treat. We tapped that one yesterday, never shut off the tap, and killed it in 17 minutes. No joke. It was delicious. There are only two more, and they are....
  • Saturday we are tapping cask # 11 at the Mall of Georgia, but this time we will tap it at 1:00 pm.Yes, right in the middle of the day. Why wait? Christmas is right around the corner. Let's get festive with a firkin of IPA, treated with some additions pineapple and Cascade hops.
  • The last and final cask in the Christmas run is on Sunday, again at 1:00 pm, this time at the Perimeter Mall store. Need to do some last minute shopping? Me too! Malls make you want to shove people down an escalator? Understatement! Will a beer help preserve your sanity? Of course it will, and I have you covered. This cask has additions of oranges and Chinook hops. It should be terrific. 
Now moving forward into the new year.

  • Feel like watching the bowl games on New Year's Day? How about we tap a firkin that I made at Red Hare a few weeks ago? This is a Chocolate Porter with additions of real coconut, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla beans. I called it the Christmas Cookie cask. We are going to tap it at noon. Yes, noon on New Year's Day. How long did you want to wait to start drinking good beer in 2013? That's what I thought. This will be in Duluth. Hope to see you there.
  • On the 2nd we will break out a keg of the beer I made at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp in September at our Johns Creek store. It is a red IPA with wheat, made primarily with Simcoe, Centennial and the experimental Hop 644. Yes, it is still an unknown hop variety that is unnamed at this point. I know what you are thinking, "But Fred, what does it taste like? Tell me please oh please oh please!" Maybe you need to come out and drink it if you want to know what it tastes like. We will have many opportunities to drink this beer, and it may be coming to a store near you. I am going to give you a list later of where and when these will be getting tapped. I will be there with a detailed recipe sheet, in the brewer's handwriting, and hopefully a slide show. I say "hopefully" because technical difficulties have arisen in the past, mainly because the user (me), is not the most technically adept person in the world. And that is not because I am stupid, it is because I am not all that enamored with technology like some people. I am not suggesting that we go back to riding around in buggies pulled by horses. I am just saying that little electronic gizmos don't make me get all giddy like they do to some people. You know who you are. Your kind is slowly taking over the planet, and the rest of us realize we let that happen. The geeks have taken over, and we all answer to Apple and Google now.
  • If you like new beers...and I know you do...then on Thursday the 3rd we are launching two beers from North Carolina's "LoneRider". We will have Sweet Josie Brown and Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen on draft, along with a firkin of Sweet Josie. The brewery owner and other LoneRider notables will be on hand as well, so if you want to join us at The Fred Bar, we will kick things off around 5:00 pm when we open. Probably tap the cask around 6:00 pm.
  • On Friday we have another keg of my beer camp beer (called "Hop Secret 644") at Decatur. See you  there around 6:00 pm.
  • The first week of the new year wraps up with the one-year anniversary of the East Roswell store opening. They have some nice stuff lined up, like Sweetwater 15th Anniversary, Left Hand Ambidextrous Ale Step #1 and a cask of Red Hare that the management and staff of the store made especially for their big night. It is on Saturday, January 5th.
I have one last thing to tell you about before I sign off, which is the cellared beer situation at Canton. Someone unearthed some Barley Wines and Imperial Stouts from 2009 and 2010. You may want to follow that store on Twitter to see when they are going to put some of these out for sale. I don't have a schedule for them at this point, and on Monday I am out for the holidays. After some family time I am headed to Baltimore to visit Heavy Seas and make some customized casks for you folks. Then I am going to visit some other breweries up there, freeze my ass off at an NFL game outdoors in December, and then come home on the 31st. You guys be careful out there on New Year's Eve. I will be safely tucked away, resting from that East Coast trip and avoiding the general mayhem that is New Year's Eve. Enjoy the holidays everyone. Peace. 

Hop Secret 644 Schedule:
Jan. 2nd--Johns Creek
Jan. 4th--Decatur
Jan. 8th--Mall of GA
Jan. 9th--Dallas Hwy. (Marietta)
Jan. 11th--Canton
Jan. 14th--Old Milton Pkwy.
Jan. 15th--Perimeter
Jan. 18th--49er (Charlotte)
Jan. 21st--Lindbergh
Jan. 22nd--Duluth
Jan. 23rd--Woodstock
Jan. 28th--Suwanee
Jan. 29th--Virginia-Highland
Jan. 30th--Crababble (Last keg in GA! Help kill the keg in 15 minutes!)
Feb. 4th--South Park (Charlotte)
Feb. 5th--Huntersville (Charlotte)