The AJC reported Sunday that the Senate Regulated Industries Committee will hold a hearing this Wednesday on legislation to allow local jurisdictions to vote on Sunday retail alcohol sales. Opposition to the measure, introduced both this year and last year by Sen. Seth Harp (D-Midland), may be softening, and proponents are contending that Sunday sales could add $5 million in revenue to state coffers at a time when the money is desperately needed. However, Gov. Sonny Purdue's spokesperson indicated that the governor remains opposed to Sunday sales, and the Christian Coalition has promised to make the issue part of its agenda for the upcoming gubenatorial primaries. As usual, tax revenue is more important to legislators than individual freedoms, but if it means I can get a beer when I want one, then I'll take whatever reasoning I can get.
James Beard Semifinialists include three brewers
The James Beard Foundation announced the 20 semifinalists in each category for the prestigious James Beard Awards, to be presented in May. The category of "Wine and Spirits Professional" is dominated by the wine industry, but this year three brewers have been selected, perhaps indicating an increased respect for beer as an integral part of the gourmet experience. Congratulations to Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company, Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, and Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, who hope to be among the finalists when they are announced on March 23. Koch and Oliver were also among the semifinalists last year, along with Sang Yoon, the chef and proprietor of Father's Office in Santa Monica, CA, a celebrated gastropub. None of the three semifinalists last year were on the final list of nominees.
Opportunities for cask ale around town
Just a few years ago, cask ale was practically unknown in Atlanta, but nowadays it can be found on a regular basis at several establishments including 5 Seasons in Alpharetta on Thursdays, and now Sweetwater Brewing Company on Wednesdays. The Friday afternoon "tour" at Sweetwater Brewing Company has been one of the city's most popular get-togethers, but now the Wednesday tour is looking good as well, when Brewer Nick Nock will be showcasing a special cask ale from 5:30-8:30. Last week featured the Happy O, Happy Ending Stout with six oranges added to the firkin. This Wednesday you can sample the Sweetwater Greyhound, Sweetwater IPA with the addition of 4 grapefruit and an orange and dry-hopped with Simcoe.
All Summits Wayside Tavern locations will be tapping firkins of Rogue's Double Dead Guy ale on Sat, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. According to the brewery, this limited edition dopplebock from Rogue has a "buttery peanut brittle and orange blossom tea aroma and a rich chewy and fruity full body with nice notes of caramel-drizzled, dried apricot and roasted grains and spice." It "finishes with a long, tangy grilled grapefruit and chocolate fade." Yummy.
The Brick Store Pub will finish off its whiskey barrel-aged Ola Dubh series with the 40-year-old barrel this Thursday. I have had two versions of this and they are fantastic, especially if you are a fan of peaty single malts.
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