Friday, September 14, 2007

It's time for planning the next three draft festivals.

As Publican and ranking beer chieftain at NABC, my beer acquisitions calendar generally proceeds according to serendipitous whim. I’ll now explain what this implies, but first, here’s a glance at the physical plant and the weekly operating scheme.

At NABC, Rich O’s Public House and Sportstime Pizza, we have 35 draft spouts on site. One of these is a swan neck attached to the firkin cabinet and is used only sporadically (mostly) in cooler weather, as there is not cooling system within. Another pours Sprecher Root Beer throughout the year. Eight more are dedicated to New Albanian house beers, and nine (sometimes ten) are permanent guest taps that customarily do not rotate.

15 or 16 draft slots are given over to rotating guest beers. These are the seasonal beers, the specialty beers, the crazy one-off limited engagement beers that provide much of the cachet when it comes to the experience we seek offer.

Much of the time, my only guiding principles in selecting the beers that will be pouring from these taps combine equal parts opportunism and personal mood, with a dollop of contrarianism (me?) thrown in for good measure. Yes, during warmer weather I’ll have lighter, fruitier, wheatier beers on tap, but there’ll always be an Imperial Stout or Barley Wine even when the temperature is 103 degrees, and there’ll always be two or three choices that were unplanned but sounded like fun when the time comes to choose from the array offered by our wholesalers.

Some weeks it sounds promising to have multiple offerings of the same style to facilitate comparison, and other times I prefer each tap to be dispensing something different. I don't eat the same food each day, either. The object is choice.

The topic of creative foraging is better left for another time, but suffice to say that there are boldly delineated times each year when the calendar comes out and more forethought is required of me, and we now are approaching the next such period. The dates for the next three draft beer celebrations have been set, and I don’t expect them to change:

October 19: Lupulin Land Harvest Hop Festival 2007
December 7: Saturnalia Winter Solstice Festival MMVII
February 29: Gravity Head 2008 (A Leap Year Volume 10!)

At the present time, preorders for all three are being calculated, and I hope to keep readers updated with the ordering process as it unfolds. In today’s first installment, I’ll share with you an e-mail reply to David Frost, the regional sales guru for the B. United International importing company. It is typical of where things stand each autumn when the selection and stockpiling begin in earnest.



Greetings. Here’s the “key” to what follows:

LL – Lupulin Land hop fest, begins October 19, 2007
SA – Saturnalia Winter Solstice fest, begins December 7, 2007
GH – Gravity Head, begins February 29, 2008

Here’s what we already confirmed, I think:

LL Gaspar 30L
GH Podge Belgian Imperial Stout 30L
GH Dulle Teve 30L (two)
SA Jan de Lichte 30L
LL Wintercoat Double Hop 30L

Here’s what we need more information about (is it on the web site at all? I can’t find any Internet information not written in Italian):

GH (?) Beba Birra Integrale Birra di Natale

Then, from the remaining list:

SA Wintercoat Yule Ale
GH Wintercoat Cockney Imperial Stout

GH Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Special Reserve in Highland Park 30-year casks.

GH De Glazen Toren Angelique 30L (early November)
GH De Glazen Toren Canaster 30L (early December)

SA La Rulles Cuvee Meilleurs Voeux 20L (winter)

SA Brouwerij Strubbe Ichtegem Grand Cru 30L

GH Ettaler Curator Doppelbock 30L

SA Einbecker Urbock Dunkel 30L

GH JWLees Harvest Ale 2006 50L

LL Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted 50L

I suppose now you can tell me what can be here and when; if not in time for the various fests, and then we’ll scratch them if necessary.

Have fun on your various journeys and such.


1 comment:

Jo4nny said...

Sounds like fun, but you must be getting anxious!

Check out my Booze Journal if you get a second. It's a personal project to chronicle my beer-drinking habits & it doesn't have many readers: