Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cute Beer Recommendation Flow chart

I really do need to change my blog format so I can put my fave links on the edge, but for now....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Craft Beer Geeks

Just read a great blog post on craft beer culture that I loved
And it reminded me of what a great time I had this weekend with the GALS from the Georgia Ale and Lager Sirens group. They were invited to brew a beer for the Sweetwater Cask Ale Fest and welcomed all GALS to join. They were so helpful in explaining every step of the brewing process for their ale to me (who knows very little about homebrewing, but is trying to learn the basics.) They were so much fun to hang out with trading leads on good beers to acquire, discussing what we all like, and sharing info on good festivals coming up.

It also reminded me of all the local Atlanta beer folks I've met over the past few weeks at events. Even retailers aren't withholding information about their likes/dislikes and plans for the future: they're sharing so we can all learn about the beer world. It's endeared Atlanta to me a lot more, and gotten me even more excited about craft beer!

This is what being a beer geek is all about. If you really love something, you want to share it with the world so we can all appreciate it, not withhold your knowledge only for yourself. After all, none of us can enjoy it alone.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Resting up for a big Beer Day in Atlanta

Just read a few tidbits while getting psyched up for two fun events tomorrow:

  1. GALS (Georgia Ale & Lager Sirens) January Meeting at Hop City, where the owner Kraig Torres will be talking to us about the beer retail business. I'm even dragging a friend along because I love encouraging other ladies to get into beer culture! To be followed by a scavenger hunt OR homebrewing lesson. Can't wait.
  2. Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting. OK, so I dropped the ball on this one. I mentioned it to Mr. Know-it-All when tickets went on sale, but he just grunted. I should have realized that all he heard was Charlie Brown's teacher, but I didn't, and this week he asked if we were going. Well, it was sold out, so no. But not so fast. Some of the great people on Beer Advocate's website responded to our plight and we have each procured a spot on the list. Thanks beer peeps! This event is supposed to be pretty great. It's partially sponsored by Beer Connoiseur Magazine, and thrown by Lucky Devil Brewing (or 5 Seasons...I'm not sure because they recently defected from the 5 Seasons Chain) and Taco Mac. Casks are concoted by craft breweries around the USA, so I hope they taste better than some of the wacky stuff I had at the Sweetwater event last year! (though I still loved that). Even better is that it's supposed to be a high of 65 degrees tomorrow. Yahoo!

And now onto my items

  • just released their "Top Beer Bars in the World" list. 2 Atlanta bars are in the top 10: The Porter Beer Bar and Brick Store Pub. Both I love, but I'm calling a little "B.S." here - Monk's cafe in Philly a distant #50? And in the top 10 in the WORLD? Just shows why I like Beer Advocate better than RateBeer.

  • Sounds like Cigar City Brewing products are FINALLY hitting Georgia in March of this year. Hooray for Jai alai IPA!!

  • Brick store is going to have 2 rotating casks going of Port and Lost Abbey products - can't wait to try more from these awesome producers who are new to the Georgia market.

  • Porter is having their LAST wild friday tonight. Wish I were there, but I have to rest sometime!

I'll update this post with pictures tomorrow and a summary - it oughtta be a great day.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Success! The Angel's Share Captured in the Wild in Atlanta

Well, we thought it was all gone, but it's NOT!

Had some errands to run yesterday, so we headed to little 5 points and afterward had lunch at The Porter so we could try some of their sour ales left over from Friday night's "Where the Wild Beers Are" event. The had a lot of kegs remaining from the event (yay!) and we were also able to get the very end of their Mikkeller Baconator, which we've been hunting for months. It was SMOKEY as expected. Anyway, I had a super Bell's Wild One and Mr. KnowitAll had an Ichtgem Grand Cru. Food was awesome as always, but we had to move on to get closer to Decatur so we took off and headed east.

Our next errand was trying a new beer shop in Decatur called AleYeah! on W. College Ave. Wow. What a concept. Great beer, beer making supplies, glassware, local craft foods (can you believe they had my favorite Spotted Trotter Items and Cheese from Sweetgrass Dairy, including a cheese made using Arrogant Bastard???). We picked up a lot of things, including The Angel's Share from Burbon Casks, Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, and a store assembled 4pk of 2 Young's Double Chocolate Stouts w/ 2 Timmerman's Strawberry Lambic (obviously for me, thank you whoever came up with THAT idea.) This place is definitely worth the trip and we're planning to add it to our rotation. Anyway, the proprietor was talking with us about The Angel's Share he had in stock and happened to mention that he had tried the brandy aged variety at Leon's Full Service the night before...and that he was pretty sure they still had it. Can you believe it!!??? So of course we headed there immediately....

And they still had it!!! Can you believe it??!! Beautiful, delicious, and as amazing as we remembered from our last opportunity to taste it in 2009. They also had a tremendous draft list there, which included Port Mongo Double IPA (which we were also hunting), and Mikkeller Chokolat (which was a very nice complement to my Book Kreik...sorry, I'm a chick and I like that kind of stuff.)

All in all an "unbelievably" productive day, and we still made it to our chili cookoff on time!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hop Slam Weekend

Had a big coup this week - my spouse was following the Tower Liquors blog while I was in a seminar and found out they got some Bells HopSlam in this Tuesday. I was able to swing by and get a mini keg PLUS their last 6-pack. I even gave one bottle to their beer manager so he could try it out. He said when there is such a buzz, he feels bad reserving some for himself. How awesome is that?? I'm going to email him to see if he liked it or not. I'm thinking definitely.

We were also lucky enough to get on the Green's wait list, so we got another case of HopSlam, too. Don't worry, I'm planning on sharing the wealth with a few coworkers and friends over the next week.

Anywho, what we did Thursday was we had a HopSlam tasting. We had saved a bottle of 2010 HopSlam and "blind tasted" it against a HopSlam 2011 and a Port WipeOut. I correctly identified them all (and I must say the Port WipeOut was great, but not a double IPA so it was kind of unfair to it). But I was able to confirm two things about the HopSlam: 1) that IPAs indeed to not age well, but also that 2) the 2011 is even better than the 2010. The 2011's well balanced fruity strawberry grapefruit smell gives it a BA 5.0 in my mind, and the taste has a great hop citrus zing with citrus fruit juice and peppery spice on the tounge. Incredible, and worth the trouble and cost.

Tonight I'm drinking a Yuengling Porter, which was tough to come by here in Georgia, but is full of nostalgia for me and is just as good as I remember. Maybe even better. On to make dinner and add some reviews later on whatever else I get to. A coworker gave me some of his homebrewed ale, and I'm looking forward to trying it out!