If you read the paper or watch the news, you are probably thinking that 2009 will be year to survive rather than enjoy. This doesnt have to be the case. If good beer makes you happy, there is much to look forward to, even before the first daffodils start popping up. Heres a look ahead.
Terrapins Sweet Tooth. The fourth installment in the Terrapin Beer Companys Side Project, Dos Cocoas, should be hitting stores soon. It is brewed with cocoa powder and aged on cocoa nibs. The chocolate theme continues at the 2nd Annual Wake-N-Bake Off, where participants incorporate Terrapins Wake-N-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout into a dessert recipe. The judging takes place at Aromas in Athens on Sunday, Jan. 25. Contact the brewery at 706-549-3377 for more information.
Duck-Rabbit in Da House. The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery founder Paul Philippon will be in Atlanta for a run of promotional events in late January. You can catch him at a beer dinner at Taco Mac in Duluth on Tuesday, Jan. 27, a 3-year vertical tasting of Duck-Rabbit barleywine at Taco Mac in Suwanee on Wednesday, Jan. 28, and a meet-and-greet at The Porter in Little 5 Points on Thursday, Jan. 29.
Leons Full Service. Brick Store owners Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher, and Tom Moore jump into the gastropub frenzy with their latest project, located in the old gas station just around the corner from the Brick Store vacated by Rue de Leon. The menu, under the direction of Chef Eric Ottensmeyer, will feature locally-cured meats and cheeses, fresh seafood, and exotic twists on pub food paired with the best craft beers from the U.S., Belgium, and beyond. P.E.I. mussels steamed in Wittekerke ale with lemongrass and chicken legs with stone ground grits and a dubbel-mushroom jus are some of the entrees that feature beer. Pub fries will be served with a trio of condiments that includes such off-beat notions as goat cheese fondue, curry catsup, and horseradish mayonnaise among others. This should be a great addition to the burgeoning Decatur dining scene and its already top-notch beer scene.
5 Seasons Westside. The long-promised third location of Atlantas best all-around brewpub is in the build-out phase in the BrickWorks complex at the intersection of Marietta Street and Howell Mill Road. The tanks have been moved into the basement brewery, but there's still considerable work to do to make the February opening. At least by the time the weather starts warming up, you should be able to enjoy as many as 9 different house-brewed beers on the rooftop patio with views of the Midtown skyline. On the main floor, Chef David Larkworthy will be turning out his innovative locally-source cuisine, and Beverage Manager Matt Williams, a former Dogwood Brewing Company employee and wine manager at Greens, will be whipping up signature cocktails with in-house infusions and fresh ingredients. There will also be a beer garden out back and several rooms for private functions. The best part? Plenty of free parking.
Happy New Beer. Portsmouth New Hampshires Smuttynose Brewing Company will begin distribution in Georgia soon, according to company president Peter Egelston. Ranked 27th in the world by RateBeer.com, Smuttynose produces five well-regarded year-round beers (Shoals Pale Ale, Old Brown Dog Ale, Portsmouth Lager, Finestkind IPA, and Robust Porter), along with a slate of four seasonals and its acclaimed Big Beer Series that includes everything from a maibock to a wheat wine. They also have some of the coolest labels in the industry. Look for them soon.
Other breweries rumored to be considering distribution in Georgia are two of Michigans finest, Bells Brewery in Kalamazoo and Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids.
Sunday Sales Redux. State Sen. Seth Harp has promised to re-introduce legislation to allow local-option referendums to permit Sunday liquor sales in Georgia, which would move the state ahead of Connecticut and Indiana in the We Understand the First Amendment race. The trump card proponents hope to play this time around is the potential tax revenue at a time when coffers are drying up. Will Sonny sell his soul for a bit of extra sin-tax money?
Stay tuned! It looks like a great year for beer!
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