I love craft beer almost to a fault.
Workers at Hop City, Ale Yeah! in Decatur and the Green's on Ponce all enjoy a significant portion of my paychecks. When I venture out in Virginia Highland — usually to Taco Mac or The Bookhouse Pub — I always try to find new and exciting beer.
Newcomer Wild Heaven Craft Beers will be featured along with the Georgia Big 3 of Red Brick, SweetWater and Terrapin. Keeping with the local theme, hometown rockers Yacht Rock Schooner and Stokeswood will be rocking out the tasting. Tickets are $30.
The beer showcase is the cousin of the venue's summer beer festival, and is one of our neighborhood's only claims to festival-drinking fame. Candler Park's SweetWater 420 Fest and the various drinking events in Decatur usually take top billing.
There's a strong link between beer and music.
Of course, the Masquerade's meal tickets — punk, ska and metal bands — are great proponents of beer-themed songs and lyrics, but craft breweries also use music as inspiration for their wares.
The most obvious, semi-local example is Terrapin's Georgia Theatre Sessions, a release of four, limited-edition brews that has forever tied the brewery with the Athens landmark. When the historic venue burnt down, Terrapin rushed in with this unique recovery effort and promised that money from each beer sold would be used to help reconstruct the institution.
In the ultra-famous arena, Dogfish Head Brewery brought jazz fusion to the beer-tasting experience with its highly limited edition release of Bitches Brew, a celebration of the 1970 Miles Davis album. The popularity of Dogfish Head, and the fact that Bitches Brew had a central part in the premiere episode last fall of Brew Masters on the Discovery Channel, meant that the beer was nearly impossible to find.
I traveled all over the metro area looking for it — the more popular spots (see above) were sold out of the brew immediately. When I found an out-of-the-way store with five or so bottles left, I packed three into my cart (one is still tucked away, waiting for a rainy day). A second release of the beer was in even shorter supply.
For me, these beers don't evoke the music from which they draw their muse, but that's fine. I will admit, however, that I first tried North Coast's Brother Thelonious hoping to hear "Four in One" or "Blue Monk" when I popped the cap.
I also have a distinct yearning to try Angel City's Lester Young Pork Pie Hat Dark Lager and Rashaan Roland Kirk Bright Moments Stritch Stout simply because of the music-centric names. If I lived in Portland, I'd most likely be drinking Upright Brewing's beer inspired by The Clash right this minute.
The second Georgia Theatre release, Double Feature, will be available at the Winter Beer Festival. I doubt any other musically inclined brews will be present, but if you do find a new beer that also functions as a hip musical reference, please drink responsibly, and by all means, let me know.