Sunday, November 09, 2008

Roger's believe-it-or-not: Saturnalia's planned and ready, a full month ahead of opening night.

Just the facts, reader: In professional terms, the effort required to breathe life into a business expansion and new brewery in downtown New Albany has deprived me of a substantial portion of the time I used to invest in beer-related matters at our original Grant Line Road location.

In 2008, I was forced by necessity to put the “Your Name Here” fest into what I hope is temporary cold storage, and owing to issues pertaining to timing (wholesaler timidity?) and availability in distribution, there was little choice in electing to take a year off from Lambic by the Glass. The Sandkerwa homage to Franconia wasn’t what I wanted it to be, either, but it went on as scheduled.

In my estimation, Lupulin Harvest Hopcoming went pretty well on the hop-infused American end (a half-dozen or so beers are still pouring as I write), but I could have done a better job with the foreign contingent.

Mind you, not that we haven’t given good event during a year that’s almost concluded. The tenth anniversary edition of Gravity Head rocked. We’ve had more one-off, in-house promos than ever before, involving two or three Schlafly visits, exciting new Italian drafts, one Dogfish draft extravaganza already passed and another Dogfish celebration coming with the Hootenanny this Friday night, November 14.

And, in anticipation of the forthcoming Bank Street Brewhouse and our Louisville metro rollout for NABC brands, we’ve done a few great local gigs with our own house beer in addition to the usual summertime festival road show, including showcases at Nachbar and Monkey Wrench, the Volksfest with BBC and other area micros, and our own Fringe Fest during Harvest Homecoming in New Albany.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that although numerous things have gone right this year, others haven’t been as smooth, and as a result, I’ve taken extra time to ensure that Saturnalia Winter Solstice will kick major butt this year in its fifth incarnation.

In fact, I’ve finished the prep work, and the program could actually be printed today if I had the additional time to bother. Saturnalia begins on December 12, meaning that while I’m forever notorious for waiting until the very last minute to concentrate and finish any project, this time I’m a month ahead of schedule.

I’m going to be publishing the contents of the Saturnalia program here on the blog, beginning tomorrow with the conceptual overview, and then followed by the individual beer listings with links to further information. Of the big three draft overkills we do on an annual basis, Saturnalia remains my personal favorite. Gravity Head choices must be big, and ones for Lupulin Land hoppy, but during the holidaze, anything goes. “Festive” is my watchword when foraging for the fifty-plus beers that will pour a baker’s dozen at a time from December 12 into January, 2009.

Hold on. They’re coming.

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