Rob mentioned that this summer, as usual, has been jam packed with cookouts, camp outs, trips to the lake, trips to the beach, weddings, pool time and every other imaginable summer activity including LOTS of beer drinking. Just not so much beer making; It happens OK. Looking back at some earlier post we realized a lot of stuff beer related HAS happened this summer but what we want to tell you about now is “THE GUINNESS 250”. Steve told you guys about our incredible meeting with Fergal Murry the Brewmaster for Guinness, if you don’t remember you can read it here. What we haven’t told you yet is that a few weeks after our meeting we all received an email from Rich Gallagher of Taylor, Guinness’ PR firm, stating that Guinness was creating a group of only 250 of the biggest Guinness fans in the country and that this group was made of up celebrities, media personality and the three of us. Because after all we had met with Fergal so we must be some of Guinness’ biggest fans. We were pumped! We thought this was the coolest thing ever and couldn’t wait to be involved in all of the specials and activities they promised us. A few days later, after confirming our desire to be part of this select group, our welcome packages arrived. They were decent sized FedEx boxes filled with goodies like bottle openers, rugby shirts, coasters and a nice little certificate with our name printed right on it… That was April, this is the end of August. Have we heard a peep from them since? I think not. We are still waiting around to find out what if anything “THE GUINNESS 250” was all about. We’ll keep you posted.
I posted the other day that we had a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Guinness’ Brewmaster, Mr. Fergal Murray, this past Monday. (twice because we saw him again that night at the Perfect Pour, heh heh…) It was an unforgettable experience and we learned A LOT about Guinness and the man behind the stout! We learned…
1. Fergal is the freakin’ coolest name ever.
2. (Quickly) how to properly enjoy a Guinness. I cannot divulge in writing because it is a rather fun and amusing experience that must be shared while drinking the beer!
3. That Fergal has the most pimp job in the world: It consists of traveling the world talking about Guinness and how and why everyone should love it! He gets to judge beer contests and watch soccer in the middle of the afternoon.
4. That girls don’t have an excuse not to drink Guinness. It’s relatively low in alcohol, lacks in high calories, and has very little carbonation (doesn’t make you gassy/burpy/farty). It tastes like coffee so if a girl enjoys coffee, she can’t say about Guinness, “eewwwwah. it doesn’t taste goodah.” BOOM.
5. And to wrap it up, Jamie and I are going to Ireland later this year, and if any other lads or lassies want to come along, yer mere than welcome te! (that’s right, spelled-out Irish accent)
I go down to Florida for a couple of days and this is what I get when I come back. Good googalamoogalie it’s cold! Which gives me a great idea for the holiday season…brewing up a lovely, smooth, and subtly warming seasonal oatmeal stout. We have not brewed this particular beer since last year and are looking foward to brewing it tomorrow night and having it ready for any pending Christmas/New Years parties.
We have a couple of goals we would love to accomplish in this beer; Give a heavier and creamy mouthfeel, a rounded roasted barley character, and a very smooth and lingering finish surrounded by sublte coffee aromas. We’ll age 4-5 weeks and lightly carbonate, keeping close to the British Ale tradition of lower carbonation. This will accentuate the desired flavors in the beer rather than be masked by a spritzy fizz.
Enough of my rambling about a beer that won’t be ready for a month. We have beer to drink now! Beer tastings are every Wednesday as we brew, and I will brag that last Wednesday was incredible thanks to our friends. Come out and join us because a good beer is better with friends and tales never lose in the telling!
Beer reviews? Of other people’s beer? Definitely a first on this site, but not a last…at least until everyone is drinking ours! I will however preface this review, and by the transitive property any others henceforth, by saying that I’m no expert. None of us are. We like what we like, and that said, we all like good beer (Eileen?), but everyone’s taste is different. Just because I say that something’s good or bad doesn’t mean I know what I’m talking about. Hopefully you’ll be able to align yourselves with some of our tastes, and share a contrary opinion on others. Please comment! We’d like to know what everyone thinks!
So, I went to Total Wine yesterday, and as usual, spent a bit too much money on perhaps a bit too little beer. For those of you who don’t know, Total Wine is something like the alcohol equivalent of Whole Foods. They have tons of stuff, more than anywhere else in the Marietta area, and they let you “build your own” six packs of single beers. I came home with two. For $43. Needless to say, there were some special things in there, and I’d like to briefly tell you about one.
I discovered this little gem while perusing the menu at Taco Mac the other night: Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. That’s a lot of descriptors. But, as the name(s) implies, it’s big, it’s dark, it’s complex, it’s everywhere. According to the brewery’s website, this is exactly the same beer as the Yeti Imperial. However, it is aged in oak casks (hello Real Ale) to impart a smoother taste accented with vanilla undertones. Clocking in at 9.5% ABV and 75 IBUs, it’s no session stout, and that’s a great thing. You pour it into a glass and are greeted by a strong, frothy head bursting with coffee aroma. Your first sip is similar: strong, and bursting. The mouth-feel is rich, as it should be in a beer of this stature, and the heaviness of the brew totally mellows out the bittering hops, creating a collision of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla (as described above) on the palate that drinks smoothly despite the high alcohol content. Definitely recommended to any who appreciate a little coffee kick in their stout. Also, try pouring a little in the bottom of a mug and top it with vanilla ice cream. Let the ice cream melt for a minute, and enjoy!