Just as last year, we honor Classic City Brew Fest by brewing over at Gratis Brewing. This year was a lambic that’s surely to wreak havoc on all the brewing equipment. Not so fast Rhino-virus! Brian got smart (sorry if this sounds like a recent accomplishment) and acquired a ceramic vessel before used to ferment sauerkraut in. I just realized we need to name it, since we have so much fun naming all the brews out of Gratis.
For instance the last brew that Brian and I did together was a Belgian IPA. We were talking about being politically correct while bottling. Later he manages to tug so slightly on the bottling hose and pull the bottling bucket off its perch some 3′ – 4′ in the air. In super slow-mo (from my vantage point) he reaches out with a bent arm and catches the bucket inside his elbow, kicks his pint glass 6′ half full without it tipping over and realizes the bottle with the wand in it has fallen over with a single drop out of it, that I quickly stand up. We later decide via some back and forth text messages that “One Arm Snatch” isn’t ‘pc’, so we called it “Single Arm Snatch”.
Rambling is not as cool as shuffling, sorry. The lambic had some crazy 5 step mash process with increasing steps of only a few degrees for 15-20 minute ranges followed by a two-hour boil. With all the extra hands hanging around though helped finish brew day after the 6:30am start. The vessel didn’t want to play well when it came time to chill the wort and pitch the yeast. So we did that later in the night. The two-hour boil gave us plenty of time to enjoy the huge lunch Jen Rawlph supplied of burgers, brats and wieners while sharing some homebrew and popping some good craft beer, although the libations were kept to a least because we had somewhere to be.
And there’s nothing better than being on the VIP list for a beer festival, no matter how small it is. Whether you call Terrapin Beer Company’s 10th Anniversary Carnival a blown-out brewery tour or a beer festival is up to you. They didn’t bother to hold anything back and if they did I can’t wait to be there when they let it all out. Even the glasses were representative oh just how big of a deal this was. If you kept count last week you know they had 500 pre-sale vouchers and would release 1000 at the door the day of. Terrapin kept Tweeting and updating their FB status on their suggestion to arrive early. I have to be honest, if I wasn’t lucky enough to be with the crowd that I was with and saw that line wrapped down the front of the building, along the side of the building. Then turning a 180 all the way back to the road almost making a 90 degree turn going away from downtown and stretching to the next road where people were walking up from parking down the road from the brewery, I’d kept driving until I got to J & J Flee market and looked for a beer there. While I’m not complaining one bit, I was a little shocked, disappointed and in awe that beers were gone by 4:30 with more gone by 5:00. But by the time we made it behind the cask tent with everyone else of the local ‘elite’ beer community all my sorrows were gone. My glass was kept full by the awesome beer community that we have here and those that made the trip to enjoy it with us. Cheers to everyone at Terrapin for having us. We thank you for what you do for the Athens Craft Beer Scene, even if we are second sometimes to our big drinking brother known as Atlanta.
Once back at Gratis and after a great dinner, the fun continued around the fire pit. More homebrew and great craft beer began popping and being passed around for everyone to have a pour. Earlier we had fabricated up a couple of new copper gustungling rods. Gustungling is the old colonial error method of inserting a hot rod into beer after being poured to caramelize some of the malt sugars. Its super cool when doing it as the head will begin to climb your glass you hear the rod making a dense boiling noise while in the beer. The beer remains cool and the flavor can change from slight to extreme. I suggest everyone try it, CAREFULLY!
Sarah later decided I needed to go home and made me start walking. No, she was nice enough to hang out with us and bring me home. She was even nice enough to take me to CCBF the next day where the weekend would climax (I just wanted to say climax in one post, so deal with it).
As great as CCBF was last year and this year, the close-knit friendship we enjoyed on Saturday far outweighs it. Cheers to great beer and greater people! Pints Up.
Posted on April 17, 2012, in Beer Events, homebrew and tagged Athens, beer, Classic City Brew Fest, craftbeer, Gratis Brewing, growlers, gustungling, homebrew, lambic, Terrapin, Terrapin 10th Anniversary, Terrapin Anniversary, Terrapin Carnival. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.