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Archive for November, 2011

Beer Town: Great beers you can’t buy here

Over more than a decade of Beer Town, I’ve rarely written much about breweries or beers I don’t like — preferring to celebrate the good stuff and advocate for the growing craft beer movement, rather than waste time moaning about the bland mass-market lagers that still take up too much space on store shelves.

During that same time, I’ve rarely written about breweries or beers that aren’t available in Georgia — reasoning that there’s no sense in teasing you with unattainable treats. But there are ways to get beers that aren’t distributed here, whether it’s trading for them, bringing them back from a trip or ordering them from a mail-order site. And, of course, new beers arrive in Georgia all the time.

With all that in mind, here are four great beers I wish I could buy at my local beverage store, right now.

Alaskan Smoked Porter

alaskanspThe classic German smoked beers of Bamberg, such as Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, are lagers. Alaskan Brewing Co. founder Geoff Larson …

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Atlanta’s Best Sommelier

There is a palpable energy among these active, engaged wine minds. Their collective goal is the red lapel pin of the Master Sommelier, the ultimate wine certification. In the next two to three years, we will see an unprecedented number of certified Master Sommeliers from Atlanta.

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Beer Town: Jeremy Cowan and Rob Tod in Atlanta

Two of craft beers most talented brand builders and innovators, Jeremy Cowan and Rob Tod, will be in Atlanta the next few days.

Shmaltz-Brewing-Brewing-Book.jpgCowan, founder of Shmaltz Brewing Co. and author of the hilarious and insightful new book, “Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah” (Malt Shop, $16.99), is on the kind of book tour that allows him to hang out in bars and drink beer.

Here’s where to look for him:

November 13, 5-7 p.m. at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N. Highland Ave N.E., Atlanta, manuelstavern.com. Cowan will do a book reading and signing, and several Shmaltz beers will be on draft. The event is cosponsored by A Cappella Books.

November 13, 7:30 p.m. at Brick Store Pub, 125 East Court Square, Decatur, brickstorepub.com. Tapping some new, rare and cellared beers, including, HeBrew Hop Manna IPA and the Twains/HeBrew Collaboration, the Last Twaltz imperial brown ale.

November 14, 4-6 p.m. at Hop City, 1000 Marietta Street, hopcitybeer.com. Cowan will do a book signing.

November 14, 7:30 p.m. at …

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Beer Town: Beer for fine dining at Woodfire Grill

One of the surest signs of how far beer culture in Atlanta has progressed is the number of fine dining restaurants that now treat beer with the kind of respect once reserved for wine and spirits.

Woodfire bar manager Blake Morley

Woodfire bar manager Blake Morley

Recently, Woodfire Grill bar manager Blake Morley invited me to taste a trio of dishes he and chef de cuisine E.J. Hodgkinson were trying out as pairings for three different large format beers.

“We put together some nice dishes, two savory and one dessert, to go with the beers,” Morley explained as we sat down one afternoon and munched on an amuse-bouche of spiced Pink Lady apple and caramel popcorn.

“This is kind of meant to mimic what we’d do on a tasting menu.” Morley said. “Where we want to go with this is to be able to do a five-course or seven-course menu. The large format beers give us the flexibility to do that.”

For those not familiar with the term, large format simply means bigger bottles — usually 22 ounces or 750 …

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