Thursday, 7 May 2015

Atlanta day two

Good news is that breakfast is included in the room price. Bad news is that it’s another disposable plate/cutlery/cups affair. Weird in quite a nice hotel where I have a suite.

I go back to my room for a lie down after I’ve eaten. No rush today. My event isn’t until the evening.

Around noon I take a wander down the main drag. I hadn’t realized just how downtown I was. American cities can be hard to work out from maps. Where exactly is the city centre? It’s not always easy to spot.

I’m vaguely headed towards Max Lager's brewery. Though I’m not totally committed to reaching it. It’s a bit of a walk and I’m a lazy git.

Atlanta isn’t like I expected. Downtown is far livelier than Birmingham. It reminds me a bit of Manhattan. Tall buildings, lots of people milling about. Sort of like a city. No half wrecked buildings, either. I quite like the place. They’ve even got trams.

I spot an Irish pub, walk past, than go back and peer through the window. Looks like they have a few beers as well as the usual Guinness and Kilkenny crap. And, as I used to tell the kids, it is unlucky to walk past a pub that’s open.

I take a seat at the bar, as I usually do when I’m alone. What to try first? Something local.  I opt for

Sweetwater Imperial Stout
It’s black as night on the dark side of the moon.  Nice looking head. Imperial Stout – the perfect lunchtime drink. Bit odd getting it in a Newkie Brown glass. A pleasant enough balance of citrus and roast. Not too crazy and pretty drinkable.

US pricing structures are weird. My 9% Imperial Stout costs the same as 5% Guinness Blonde, $7. What a strange place the US is. No wonder session beer has such a hard time.

Time for another beer.

Sweetwater PA

Not too murky, but little head. Bit bland, if I’m honest. Little aroma, bit of bitterness, but not much going on. Won’t be having another.

They have homemade salt and vinegar crisps on the menu. Ineed to eat something, but not too much as breakfast wasn’t long ago. I just get a starter, Devils on Horseback. It fills my food hole perfectly.

Just noticed that they have both Smithwicks and Kilkenny. Aren’t they the same beer?

I stray outside Georgia for my next beer

Goose Island IPA
Crystal clear, thin head. Not much aroma again. But some citrus peel in the gob.

On the way to the bog I notice a Tetley pub sign. That’s not very Irish, is it? Though some of the best Irish pubs in Leeds were Tetley houses.

Brings a tear to my eye. The house style of Tetley's houses from the 1970's. So many memories of Leeds flood back like the beer over a glass the economiser way. Black Dog, Cardigan Arms, Rising Sun.  Sheepscar, Roscoe, Regent, Brasmoulders Arms, Garden Gate and many other wonderful Tetley's pubs, where the Mild was spot on pint after pint.

We won't see those days again.

I don’t stay too late. This evening’s event is at 6 PM. And it’s miles out Acworth.

My taxi takes quite a while to turn up. When we hit the motorway, I realise that it’s rush hour. We aren’t going as fast as I’d hoped, due to the heavy traffic. I’m supposed to be meeting, who’s organizing the event, at 5 PM in Freight Kitchen & Tap in Woodstock for a bite to eat. I’m not going to make it. Not even vaguely.

By the time the taxi pulls up there, it’s almost 6 PM. I bump into David, who’s just about to leave, in the parking lot. No time to eat, so we head directly to Dogwood Growlers, site of the event.

I’m not sure what they have planned. Seems they want me to do some talking. No problem. I do half an hour or so on historic beer. I’ve spoken on the topic so often that I could do it in my sleep. Come to think of it I do sometimes in my dreams. I get some good questions from the audience. That always livens things up.

After drinking some beer and flogging a few books, we go for a bite to eat. When it starts getting late, I get a limo back to my hotel. It’s quite late by then. And I need to be up fairly early. I’ve a Greyhound bus to catch. Riding a Greyhound is always an   . . . experience, let’s just say that.

Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery
320 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Meehan's Public House
200 Peachtree St NE
Atlanta, GA 30303

Freight Kitchen & Tap
251 E Main St
Woodstock, GA 30188

Dogwood Growlers
6215 Bells Ferry Rd
Acworth, GA 30102
404-981-BREW (2739)

Buy my book:

The Home Brewer's Guide to Vintage Beer

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