Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Diversify Yo' Job Skills, Bee-Yotch!


This sign caught my eye as I was entering a very good BBQ place in Murphy, NC last weekend before a wedding. Murphy is about 30 miles east of the Tennessee border, and 20 miles north of the Georgia border. This is very beautiful mountain country, and apparently is where old streetwalkers go to retire and fry pies. I can't explain how the world works, but if that is what they want to do when it is time to stop doing what they did, who am I stop them? Go fry your pies ladies. I won't judge you.

I was in a very crazy bar in San Francisco on New Year's Day 2012 that was run by two semi-retired prostitutes. They had a crock pot set up on a card table, and something--possibly of Korean origin--was cooking in there, but that is another story. No one fried a pie. If you ever find yourself in need of something truly weird, go to RJ's Sports Bar in San Fran. Go while the sun is still up. Trust me on that one.The beer selection is surprisingly good. Quite unexpected, considering the surroundings. Here are some interesting Yelp reviews, in case you thought I was embellishing the story. 
On a serious note, I am going to give you your weekly update on the SweetWater cask series. We are getting near the end, and the beers are still tasting as excellent as when we started. I just finished one of those brown ales with cardamom up here in Charlotte. Here is the rest of the list. Notice where I specified the last opportunities to taste each variety. I did that because I care.
  • Fri. 6/28 UNCC-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.
  • Sat. 6/29 Mall of GA 2:00 pm- IPA with orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra hops. LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Sat. 6/29 Duluth 5:00 pm-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.
  • Wed. 7/3 Cumming-- IPA with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary.
  • Fri. 7/5 Windward 5:30 pm-- Brown Ale with cardamom, cocoa & orange peel.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!  
  • Fri. 7/5 Old Milton 7:00 pm-- Porter with chicory, vanilla & cocoa.
  • Sat. 7/6 Crabapple 4:00 pm-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Sat. 7/6 Woodstock-- Porter with chicory, vanilla & cocoa.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Wed. 7/10 Suwanee-- IPA with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary. LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
This is also the LAST CHANCE for any local home brewers to get ready to submit their beers for the 2013 Southern Home Brewer's Challenge. You can bring your submissions (I know that you already read the rules and regulations, right?) to the specified locations below. Basically, I will be at a different store each Monday in July to collect your brews and take them safely to the judging panel. You need to be there between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm to get them in my hands.
  • Monday, July 1st-- Decatur
  • Monday, July 8th-- Peachtree City
  • Monday, July 15th-- Kennesaw
  • Monday, July 22nd-- Cumming
  • Monday, July 29th-- Suwanee (Lawrenceville/Suwanee Rd.)
Last but not least, here is your reminder about some wacky casks coming up at Metropolis in July:
  • Abita English Mild on July 9th.
  • Duck Rabbit Brown Ale on July 16th.
  • Abita Naughty Crumpet on July 23rd.
  • JailHouse somethin' or other on July 30th. The guys at JailHouse are whipping up something special for us, we just don't know what it is yet.
That is all I have for you right now. I will back in Atlanta on Thursday for a special show at The Tabernacle. I am not going to tell you who is there. You either know, are going, wish you were going, are going another night, live on Mars, or are wondering why you did not know about something so monumental. If the last option best suits your position, then maybe...just maybe...you might be a dork.




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Is The Cat Even In The Bag In The First Place?


Big props to the folks up north in Forsyth County. They came out in force on a Tuesday night anddrained a SweetWater firkin in about 40 minutes. That is basically just over one pint every 30 seconds. Impressive indeed. Let's see what we can do tonight in East Roswell with this IPA. Here is the remaining calendar for these great SweetWater casks. Read through it, and then see some of my comments afterwards.

  • Wed. 6/19 East Roswell-- IPA with orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra hops. TONIGHT!
  • Fri. 6/21 Chattanooga-- Brown Ale with cardamom, cocoa & orange peel.
  • Tues. 6/25 Huntersville-- IPA with orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra hops.
  • Wed. 6/26 South Park-- Brown Ale with cardamom, cocoa & orange peel.
  • Fri. 6/28 UNCC-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.
  • Sat. 6/29 Mall of GA 2:00 pm- IPA with orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra hops. LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Sat. 6/29 Duluth 5:00 pm-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.
  • Wed. 7/3 Cumming-- IPA with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary.
  • Fri. 7/5 Windward 5:30 pm-- Brown Ale with cardamom, cocoa & orange peel.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!  
  • Fri. 7/5 Old Milton 7:00 pm-- Porter with chicory, vanilla & cocoa.
  • Sat. 7/6 Crabapple 4:00 pm-- Imperial Stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Sat. 7/6 Woodstock-- Porter with chicory, vanilla & cocoa.  LAST CHANCE to try this beer!
  • Wed. 7/10 Suwanee-- IPA with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary. LAST CHANCE to try this beer!

For maybe the last time this month, I want to remind everyone that the tap time is 6:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. I added a helpful reminder next to each of the last casks of each flavor/style. If you are seeking these rare and unique, never-to-be-seen-again credits, that should help you figure out when it is really crunch time. One of those chances is coming up in about 10 days, and it is in the middle of the afternoon, so it is kind of tricky. Stay on your toes people. You may also notice that we have more than one cask on three separate days. Take a look at 6/29, 7/5 and 7/6. I am trying to help people consolidate their movements, and have a nice variety in each geographic area. Why do I do it that way? Because I care. I care about the busy beer lover who wishes there were more hours in the day and days in the week to drink more and more beer. I am here to help by making some days so jam packed with excitement, that when it's over, it feels like two days, not just one.

But don't think for one second that we are done here. Oh no, there are four casks to be tapped at Metropolis in July. On four consecutive Tuesdays, here is what you are going to get:

  • Abita English Mild on July 9th.
  • Duck Rabbit Brown Ale on July 16th.
  • Abita Naughty Crumpet on July 23rd.
  • JailHouse somethin' or other on July 30th. The guys at JailHouse are whipping up something special for us, we just don't know what it is yet.

How, you may be asking, can you keep all of these events straight? I mean, it's not like you can just sync these things right to your calendar or something. Or can you? Soon...very, very soon...there will be...oooh...wait for it...wait for it...an app for your phone that does just that and more. That's right, for the low, low price of nothing you can have your very own Brewniversity app for your smart phone. It slices, it dices, it removes stains, it paints your house, it gets your teenagers out of jail! Well, OK, it does none of those things, but it does a lot of other cool stuff. It will send beer events to your calendar. It will help you find beers you never had before--by store location!--and more importantly, it will do it accurately. You don't need all of the techie details, but just understand that it works. Lost your card? Who cares? Your phone will know your Brewniversity number! Are you enjoying a particular beer so much that you just have to tell someone about it? No problem, the app lets you share your thoughts through different media. In short, it will take longer to tell you what it does than to tell you what it doesn't do. It is currently being tested by Apple, followed by Google, and when they are done with it and it is approved, it will be available to you. Think roughly four weeks, and that is about right.

Feel free to spread the word about any and all content you have just read. I am Fred The Beer Guy, and I approve of this message.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's Brewing Out There?

We have been having a lot of fun with these SweetWater casks these days. The beers have been
Our brew system at the office.
exceptional, and everyone is enjoying them immensely. If you have been waiting to get out and try them, here is the line-up for this week and next. Remember, casks from SweetWater are rare, unless you go to the brewery for their tours. So don't act like this is not a big deal and that you can catch these again some other time. You can't. Check it out:
  • Thurs. (tonight!) 6/13 Fred Bar-- IPA w/ grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary
  • Fri. 6/14 Newnan-- Porter w/ chicory, vanilla & cocoa
  • Sat. 6/15 Canton-- Imperial Stout w/ mint, lactose & cocoa (4:00 pm!)
  • Tues. 6/18 Johns Creek-- Porter w/ chicory, vanilla & cocoa
  • Wed. 6/19 East Roswell-- IPA w/ orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra
  • Fri. 6/21 Chattanooga (6:00 pm)-- Brown Ale w/ cardamom, cocoa & orange peel
The week of the 24th we will be in Charlotte tapping three more of these casks. We resume in GA on Saturday the 29th in Buford and Duluth, but I will remind everyone about all of those later. Just remember that all tap times are 6:00 pm unless otherwise specified. I do want to warn you that by the time we get back into GA on the 29th, we will be getting very close to only having one cask of each beer left. If you were looking for these rare Brewniversity credits, it will start to get to a critical point really soon. 

How are the submissions for the 2013 Southern Home Brewer's Challenge coming along? Do all of the home brewers out there know about this pro-am competition? One winner will get their beer made by Red Hare in Marietta to be part of our Beer Of The Month program in January. Pretty cool. Last year's SHBC was a big success, and we have big plans for this year's to be better than ever. If you know a home brewer, make sure they know the deal. If that home brewer is you, and you like to talk to yourself, feel free to tell yourself whenever you have time. Remember that the submission form is linked above, just look to the lower right of the picture of our brew system that have at the office. All of the details are in that form.

In case anyone is getting bored reading this because I have not been talking about any wild and wacky adventures, I am sorry. Been too busy to travel much these days, but I will be hitting the road again soon enough. Don't worry, I can't stay in one place for too long. I did go see Tracy Morgan at The Tabernacle last week and went to a concert at Variety Playhouse on Friday. I really feel sorry for the 30 Rock fans that showed up to see Tracy Morgan, expecting that kind of comedy. No, they got some seriously raunchy humor, and by the looks on some of their faces, they were not pleased. Let's just say that I was kind of shocked by what I heard, and I am not exactly a housewife from the suburbs. Nothing against housewives from the 'burbs, but by and large they do not tend to like very graphic jokes of a sexual nature. And if they do enjoy a dirty joke from time to time (who doesn't, really?), they still probably don't like a solid hour of them. Non-stop, filthy, in your face for an hour. This Saturday I am going to see Daniel Tosh. Very excited about that. If you don't know who that is, well, he sold out two shows at the Cobb Energy Center. Get with the program out there. The guy's hilarious. Then on June 27th I have tickets to see Dave Chappelle. That's right, the man who changed comedy and sketch TV as we know it is back from seclusion, and packing the Tabernacle. It will be very interesting to hear what is on his mind now after his meteoric rise to fame, at the peak of which he just walked away. 

And on that note, I am outta here. Need to wrap up a few things before heading down to The Fred Bar tonight for that cask. Talk to you later.

Friday, June 7, 2013

On A Roll Now

SweetWater, on cask making day.
The beginning of this SweetWater cask series is off to a great start. We have already tapped two of the five
(that is 40% for those of you keeping score at home) of the brown ale with cardamom, oranges and cocoa, and they were seriously outstanding. But we are just getting started...
  • Tonight at 6:00 pm in Decatur we tap one of the porter casks with chicory, vanilla & cocoa. I will be there, and I am anxious to see if this flavor is as good as that brown ale was on Wednesday.
  • Next up is the In-town Cask Crawl on Saturday. It starts at Virginia-Highland at 4:00 pm on Saturday. We make the next stop at Metropolis at 4:30 pm, then Lindbergh at 6:00 pm. They are, in order of first to last stops: IPA w/ grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary; IPA with orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra; imperial stout with mint, lactose & cocoa.
  • Heading into next week, we have Perimeter Taco Mac scheduled for Tuesday the 11th with their cask of IPA w/ orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra. We will get into it at 6:00 pm.
  • Kennesaw is the next stop on Wednesday the 12th, and they have a cask of IPA with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary. Tap time is 6:00 pm.
  • Fans of The Fred Bar will be excited to see one of these casks show up there on Thursday the 13th, and it is one of the IPAs with grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary. Same time, different channel. (Translation: 6:00 pm tap time.)
  • Friday the 14th we roll into Newnan, and their cask of porter with chicory, vanilla & cocoa gets tapped at...you guessed it, 6:00 pm. Can't get anything past you. Crafty devil.
  • On Saturday the 15th we tap a cask of imperial stout w/ mint, lactose & cocoa in Canton at...curve ball!... 4:00 pm. This one will be poured through their beer engine, so it will be a little bit different of an experience.
That is the list for now folks. More to come, but I think that is about as much information as you can handle until next week. So mark your calendars and get psyched to drink some great beers. See you out and about.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Don't Be Like Randy

This little gem of graffiti was found in the Marta station near my house. I am so glad that Randy felt
compelled to let everyone know his whereabouts. Besides being conscientious, here is what we know about Randy:
  1. He is an idiot.
  2. He was in a place one time, and he wanted you to know about it.
He was able to spell "hear" using only one indecipherable character. Is that a "K" and an "R" at the same time Randy? I am so proud of you for writing 75% of that word using actual letters. You get a C in writing with the actual alphabet of the language in which you are trying to communicate. Not too shabby. Unfortunately the word you spelled has a different meaning that what we can only assume was your intent here Randy. So this is where your score goes down a little. You see, other than your name, which is probably one of the first things you ever learned to spell, and one of the most used words in your written vocabulary, you only spelled one other word correctly. Was. You spelled "was" correctly, then after that, right down the toilet. I am not sure how the judges are going to score that, but I think it is safe to say that it is going to bring that C average down into the D range, which I am sure you are quite familiar with at this stage of your life.

But I didn't come here today to make fun of yet another person let down by our society, our education system, or our parenting standards. No, the reason we came here today is to reminded you about beer events, because those are fun, and you probably forgot about everything I told you last week, because you knew I would send you a reminder this week when it was really important. So here you go:

  1. Thornbridge event tomorrow at The Fred Bar. We will have the collaboration beer that Spike from Terrapin brewed while we were there when we went to England in February. It will be on tap and on the beer engine from a firkin. There will be three other Thornbridge beers on tap, plus some Terrapins as well. Spike will be on hand to tell you about brewing this Imperial ESB, and there will be a slide show for your viewing pleasure. Should be a good one.
  2. SweetWater cask-o-rama begins at Dallas Hwy on Wednesday at 6:00 pm. Brown Ale w/ cardamom, cocoa & orange peel.
  3. SweetWater cask tour rolls into Decatur on Friday at 6:00 pm. Porter w/ chicory, vanilla & cocoa.
  4. In-town cask crawl starts at Virginia-Highland at 4:00 pm on Saturday. We make the next stop at Metropolis at 4:30 pm, then Lindbergh at 6:00 pm. They are, in order of first to last stops: IPA w/ grapefruit, apricots, orange & rosemary; IPA w/ orange, grains of paradise, Cascade, Chinook, Summit & Citra; Imp. Stout w/ mint, lactose & cocoa.
Astute readers might notice that we have no duplicates in week one. These are the five varieties, and there will be one of these at every store except Philips Arena (yes, you too Chattanooga and Charlotte!). This tour will last into early July, so if you are busy this week, there is still time to get on board. Hope to see you their, Randy!

Last but not least, it is time to announce the 2013 Southern Home Brewer's Challenge contest. Remember last year when we received submissions from home brewers around metro Atlanta, and one winner had their beer made by Red Brick for a January beer of the month? Well here it comes again. This year we are partnering with Red Hare Brewing Co. in Marietta. Submission dates will be each Monday in July. So tell all of the home brewers you know to get their best recipes together and start brewing. The first Monday in July is four weeks away, and there are five Mondays in July. A list of the location for submissions each week is below. But all I am really trying to do today is get everyone fired up and get those home brewers brewing. Last year's SHBC was a big success, and this year it should be bigger and better. Get the word out! If anyone is ready to go, the submission form is linked to the right of this post. Go for it.

Bye for now. See you around.

The submissions will be at the following locations on the specified dates:

  • Monday, July 1st at Taco Mac in Decatur
  • Monday, July 8th at Taco Mac in Peachtree City
  • Monday, July 15th at Taco Mac in Kennesaw
  • Monday, July 22nd at Taco Mac in Cumming
  • Monday, July 29th at Taco Mac in Suwanee

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.