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Start your year with beer! 

Beer dinners (and lunches) for the new year

Victory Beer Dinner at The Spotted Dog: On Tuesday, Jan. 15, The Spotted Dog in Midtown, part of the chain of Derek Lawford pubs, will serve a 5-course dinner prepared by Consulting Chef Shaun Doty of Shaun’s in Inman Park with beer pairings from Victory Brewing Company. The cost is a mere $35 per person (plus tax and tip). The welcome beer reception begins at 7 p.m. and the dinner begins at 7:30 p.m. For reservations, call 404.347.7337 or email and mention Spotted Dog Victory Beer Dinner in the subject line.

Sweetwater Beer Lunch at Steinbeck’s: Putting a twist on the beer dinner concept, Steinbeck’s Oyster Bar in Oakhurst gives you a chance to get an early beer buzz on Saturday, Jan. 19, with a three-course beer lunch at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The pairings include Sweetwater Hummer with steamed Georgia Shrimp and Belgian endive and lentil salad, Sweetwater 420 with a house smoked sable fish and a filet poached in the same flagship pale ale, and Sweetwater Blue with vanilla bean ice cream and a white chocolate banana bread pudding drizzled with Sweetwater Blue caramel sauce. Check here for all the details.

Highland Beer Dinner at 5th Earl Market: This friendly little gourmet sandwich shop in Decatur continues its monthly beer dinners on Monday, January 21 with a slate of beers from Asheville’s Highland Brewing Company. Five of Highland’s beers will be paired with an intriguing array of dishes, including a pair of desserts made with the brewery’s delicious Black Mocha Stout. Cost is $55 per person. Their website has the full menu and pairings. Call the store at 404-377-5477 for reservations.


Perhaps to deflect any spurious interpretations of the meaning of Wake-n-Bake, Terrapin Beer Company is sponsoring its 2nd Annual Wake-n-Bake Off on Sunday, Jan. 20 from 6-10 p.m. at Aromas in Athens. Entrants must bake a dessert using Terrapin's Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout or one of the two other featured beers—Atlanta Brewing Company's Red Brick Winter Double Chocolate Oatmeal Porter and Oskar Blues' Old Chub. The $5 entry fee includes admission to the event. If you just want to sample the featured beers and the desserts, admission is $10. Spaces are limited for both for entries and attendees, so if you have a recipe idea or just want to partake, call Heather at Aromas (706-208-0059) now.


5 Seasons North in Alpharetta and Twain’s in Decatur have both been brewing for a year now, which is cause for celebration.

5 Seasons plans to celebrate for five days leading up to the anniversary day of Jan. 17 with three special casks and two aged versions of old favorites. The party kicks off on Sunday, Jan. 13 with a cask of oak-aged saison, followed Tuesday by a cask of whiskey barrel-aged brown ale (the old Dogwood Decadent recipe), and capped on Thursday with a cask of espresso imperial oatmeal stout. A cellared tripel and a whiskey barrel-aged barleywine (Quintessence) should be available all week. I am considering renting a room at the Extended Stay up the road.

Twain’s has no specific party plans, but a recent Friday night visit found the place packed with imbibers, so I guess the festivities are on-going. While I was there, I sampled an aged version of their original Murphy’s Cousin Pale Ale and yet another version of their brown ale, both quite tasty. Jordan has an imperial stout on tap now, with plans to have a barrel-aged cask of it soon. If it is as good as the recent cask of barrel-aged coffee stout he cooked up, it should not be missed.

Talking Head columnist Jeff Holland can be reached at
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