Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Liver Olympics: Gravity Head schedule of events for 2009.

It’s almost time again for our annual foray into the mind-of-its-own hysteria otherwise known as Gravity Head, and again this year I’m far enough ahead of the game, if only slightly, to note the following special events and noteworthy appearances that will occur on fixed dates during gravity’s annual amok time.

Note also that the soft opening of NABC’s new Bank Street Brewhouse is scheduled for some time around Gravity Head’s kickoff, probably the first week of March. There’ll be more information on our new location as the date draws nearer. Meanwhile, here’s the calendar for gravity season, 2009.

Wednesday, February 18
“Liver Olympics Lineup Revealed”
The starting lineup of 15 kegged gravity beers and one hand-pull will be announced by the Publican, which leaves a final starting 17th selection to be voted into the lineup by you.

Thursday, February 19
“Vote for the 17th Tap”
Internet voting begins for the 17th starter, to be chosen as always by diligent readers, besotted regulars and fervent gravity fans.

Thursday, February 26
The Night Before Gravity Head: “Liver Olympics Limbering Up with Sierra Nevada”
Sierra Nevada’s representative in Indiana, Steve Thiel, will be in town to preside over a Sierra Nevada bottle tasting at Keg Liquors (617 E. Lewis & Clark Parkway, Clarksville) from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check out the Keg’s tasting first, and then come to the Public House for a Gravity Head draft preview and bonus:

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine … year-old 2008 release

Sierra Nevada Double Debockel … limited seasonal availability

Sierra Nevada Chico IPA … Indiana’s only keg from the second batch of an “accidental” ale that has seldom been spotted outside the state of California. 7.2% abv

Friday, February 27
“Gravity Head Tailgate Breakfast”
In 2008, a hardy band of early-rising regulars convened for gravity breakfast with Terry Meiners of WHAS television in Louisville. In 2009, we’re tweaking the concept by starting slightly later in the morning, 7:00 a.m., when it’s actually legal to drink beer in Hoosierland. There’ll be doughnuts, Ed Needham's homeroasted coffee and Founders Breakfast Stout, and perhaps something more substantial before you go to work (why go to work?) if we can locate a cook for the job.

Friday, February 27
Opening Liver Olympics Ceremonies: “John Freyer and the Mystery Beers of Gravity Head”
Members of the FOSSILS and LAGERS homebrewing/beer appreciation clubs enjoy preferred seating in the Prost room beginning at 3:00 p.m. Our special guest for the evening is John Freyer, regional representative of Dogfish Head, who will be bringing two “mystery kegs” of gravity beer, one from Dogfish Head, and one from Three Floyds. We’ll tap these in Prost when they arrive … until then, we don’t know what they’ll be, either!

Saturday, February 28
“JW Lees/Buckeye Contingent Day”
The Saturday afternoon tapping of a wooden pin of cask-conditioned, barrel-aged JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale is an annual Gravity Head ritual worth observing. Pat and Larry will be bringing the Ohio revelers for day-long barroom duty, and Prost will be available at 3:00 p.m. for open seating.

Sunday, March 1
"R & R"
We are closed. Do not come. Listen to your body. Drink liquids, rest, and avoid heavy lifting and the operation of heavy machinery. After all, it’s only just begun.

Monday, March 2
“Liver Olympics Daily Grind Begins”
The marathon starts in earnest. Check NABC's web site for daily lineupdates.

March 12-16
“Kim’s Coming to Town”
To know the Publican is to know his Danish friend Kim “Big Kim” Andersen, who currently resides in Copenhagen and will be coming to New Albany for a well-timed visit and stay at the fabled Chez Baylor bed & breakfast. Kim, a member of the Danish Beer Enthusiasts, might be spending brief milliseconds sampling Gravity Head wares … so look for us in the pub. We’ll be the big guys.

Saturday, March 14
“My Wild Irish Rose”
NABC will again participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade along Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road in Louisville. Look for our fire/beer engine, and both Kim and the Publican in prime(d) form.

Saturday, March 14
“FOSSILS Meeting with Ron Downer”
The FOSSILS homebrewing club meets in Prost, and will be welcoming special guest Ron Downer, who will present a short talk on the Saison beer style. Ron is a legendary homebrewer and professional brewer, but more importantly, he is an old and dear friend of the public house owners and regulars. Not a member of FOSSILS? Join.

Tuesday, March 17
“St. Patrick’s Day”
Wearing of the green is one thing, but drinking it is something else entirely. Ingesting green-tinted swill is tantamount to wearing a badge that reads, “I’m neither Irish nor particularly bright – scoff at me.” If you’ve ever actually been to Ireland, you know that the accepted colors of Irish beer are black, red and gold, and in our traditionally minimalist fashion, we’ll be offering one keg of each (two Gravity Head listed selections, and one not) while shunning other, more egregious and inauthentic forms of Hibernian revelry.

Rogue Kells Irish Lager … Tasty, full-bodied lager. Brewed in Oregon, and superior to Harp.

Upland Ard-Ri … More craic than Smithwicks, any day of the week, and especially this one day a year.

Stone Imperial Russian Stout (2/6/08) … Yes, I understand that Russian and Irish aren’t the same thing, but this choice is intended as homage to the 1980’s joint venture between Aeroflot and the Shannon Airport authority, which led to the airport’s rise to prominence (and did not prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union).

March 19-22
First and second rounds of the 2009 NCAA basketball tournament
March Madness (the roundball version) begins. The Prost seating area is equipped with a flat screen and will be open for non-smoking seating on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Smoking is permitted in the Pizzeria zone, which also will be showing the games.

March 26
The Fabulous Gators with Roz Tate
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in Prost ... NCAA games will be showing in the pizzeria.

March 26-29
Regionals of the NCAA basketball tournament
See preceding.

April 4 & 6
Final Four and Championship of NCAA basketball

I’m worn out just typing the schedule, so it must be time for a beer.


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