I am sorry for my lack of posting lately, but the Alabama tornados have refocused my time and energy on utility restoration for the citizens of the great state of Alabama.
In the meantime, check out Dan's posts at the Free The Hops blog. I'll see you guys in a few weeks.
UPADATE (4/23/11 - 3:01p): Why FTH are doing this.
UPDATE (4/23/11 - 6:30a) : Free The Hops Blog post.
WHAT: The IronHop has learned that Anheuser-Busch (AB/InBev) and their distributors in Alabama have been conspiring to destroy proposed legislation that would support bringing better beer to the people of Alabama. AB's powerful national lobbyist and a slew of lobbyists for the local wholesalers and distributors have been working behind the scenes in Montgomery to kill Free The Hops sponsored bills that would allow the following:
WHY: AB believes that they will essentially be locked out of the breweries taprooms thus further eroding their market share in a craft beer boom! They fear that expanding choice in a market they dominate will also erode their market share.
This is UNACCEPTABLE. Alabamians have missed out on fine beers that are not available in 12 oz bottles/cans, taking tours at their favorite brewery, and having a beer at after a brewery tour.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: FTH has announced a boycott of ALL products sold/distributed/sponsored by AB/InBev and their Alabama distributors (Birmingham Bud, Turner Beverage (Huntsville), Budweiser Busch Distributing (Mobile)) Beers from these distributors will be banned from FTH events including Magic City Brewfest and Rocket City Brewfest. Folks are encouraged to support the FTH boycott and better beer choice in Alabama by not purchasing their offerings.
Besides their well known lagers other products that you can avoid purchasing are:
- Back Forty brewing
* Naked Pig Pale ale and Truck stop Honey Brown
- Great Divide beers
- Avery Brewing Co.
- Rook Hook beers
- Widmer Brothers beers
- Boulder Beer Co.
* Hazed and Infused, Mojo Risin', Mojo IPA, Sweaty Betty
- Red Brick
- Gordon Biersch
For a list of ALL products that you can avoid purchasing to support Free The Hops and beer choice in Alabama visit:
More coming.... in the meantime:
Ladies and gentlemen! Spring is upon us and thus festival season begins. While many great beer events will be getting started this spring (see Rocket City Brewfest May 13-14) there is one beer festival that is near and dear to the Hops heart; Magic City Brewfest.
This year the festival will occur Friday and Saturday, June 3rd and 4th. Again there will be two sessions Friday night, 7pm-11pm and Saturday's new time, 4pm-8pm. This will be the 3rd year since the passage of the FTH Gourmet Beer bill in May 2009. One can only salivate at the new beers that are sure to be present this year.
As for some of the one-off, unique beers that might be present this year; rumor has it Good People Brewing Co's FATSO will be making an appearance for the first time in awhile. If you're new to craft beer scene we recommend you stick your big toe in the preverbial water before knocking back a Fatso. It isn't that it is extremely high gravity, 8.5%, its that you'll never look at another Imperial Stout the same. Ruined. But I digress.
As for other special beers you’ll have to check back here over the next few weeks to see what we find out.
And finally a word for the wise festival go’er; get your tickets early. EARLY. You're paying attention right? This festival has been a sellout and will most certainly sell out again this year. So if you plan on going get your tickets now. And if you're standing outside the gate showtime, yes those people inside are laughing at your misfortune and lack of better planning. Go slash their tires. Just stay away from the IronHopmobile (aka: 73' Cutlass Supreme).
FRIDAY, JUNE 3RD, 7pm - 11pm | BUY TICKETS
SATURDAY, JUNE 4TH, 4pm - 8pm | BUY TICKETS
Check back in the coming weeks for a “MCBF tips and tricks guide” exclusively from the IronHop.
Here is your beer list for The JClyde's birthday celebration starting tonight through Saturday! We'd like to thank our buddy DK for the list. We'll see you there!
You can find out more about each of these Rogue beers here.
Wednesday - Rogue Night - April 13th
Double Mocha Porter
John John Dead Guy
Dad's Little Helper
Anniversary Love and Hoppiness
Cask-conditioned Dad's Little Helper
Thursday - Terrapin and Friends - Lazy Mag - April 14th
Rye Pale Ale
Cask-conditioned Mystery Beer from Terrapin (they haven't told us, seriously!)
Cask-conditioned Southern Pecan with Candy Sugar fermented with Cherries, Raisins, and Vanilla Bean
Friday - Local Brewery Night - April 15th
Yazoo Bourbon barrel-aged Sue
Good People Brown
Good People Coffee Oatmeal Sout
Good People IPA
Good People Pale
Good People Snake Handler
Cask/brett-conditioned Brewer's Reserve Dark Saison Dry hopped with Columbus and Mt. Hood
Saturday - Free the Hops - Top Rated Brewery Night - April 16th
Avery Ellie's Brown Ale
Avery The Reverend
Bell's Batch 10,000
Bell's Two Hearted
Great Divide Belgica
Great Divde Collette
Great Divide Double Wit
Great Divide Grand Cru
Great Divide Titan
Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubble
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Cask-conditioned Avery Joe's Pilsner
At the IronHop we are always up for a party, celebration, bar-mitzvah,
or just about any reason to have a beer! So we were considerably excited to hear that The JClyde would be celebrating its birthday for FOUR days instead of the customary and dull one day affair. Short of getting arrested we'll be able to party every night at the Clyde. We only hope that Jerry provides cake, 'cause it ain't a real birthday without cake.
Here's what they have planned this week:
Day 1/Year 1: Wednesday April 13th – Rogue Night! Serving Chatoe Dirtoir and John John Dead Guy plus a cask-conditioned Dad’s Little Helper – a black IPA.
Day 2/Year 2: Thursday April 14th – A cask of Southern Pecan and Terrapin Hopsecutioner will be served. They'll also be giving away t-shirts and pint glasses.
Day 3/Year 3: Friday April 15th - Celebrating our local Good People Brewery and the passage of the Gourmet Beer bill in 2009. They'll be serving a special cash of Good People and a possible brewer visit.
Day 4/Year 4: Saturday April 16th – Serving special beers from Sierra Nevada, a firkin of Avery Joe’s Pilsner, a special firkin from Great Divide, Bell’s Batch 10,000 and 2011 Hopslam.
Free The Hops BMA bill (SB192 the Brewery Modernization Act) has passed the state Senate. While this isn't the final step it is a significant hurdle in accomplishing the goal of reforming yet another archaic Alabama law. Next up the bill will be sent to the House for initial reading and on to House Committee.
Hopefully we'll hear some good news regarding HB408 - The Gourmet Bottle Bill and HB266 - Homebrew Legalization in the next few weeks.
We've heard that a delicious Belgian dark ale / brown ale is available in very limited quantities at the JClyde. Leffe Brune according to its maker is a traditional Belgian abbey beer with a deep brown colour and a full, sweet and fruity aroma.
Ingredients: dark and torrefied malt, corn, water, hop and yeast.
You had me at Belgian brown ale!
Evidently January 2011 is IronHop love up on the JClyde month. (For our slower readers, this is the 2nd article about the Clyde this month) Draft Magazine named two Alabama beer bars to their top 100 in America list. The JCylde in Birmingham and the Nook in Huntsville. Considering the Gourmet Beer Bill's passage is still shy of 2 years old this is a pretty big honor for the Magic City and Alabama. The Clyde was also named the 22nd best beer restaurant in America by RateBeer.com in 2010. These are big honors for such a young beer state and developing market.
A few facts about why the J. Clyde deserves such recognition:
- 3 traditional British beer engines for cask ale (Alabama's exclusive)
- 43 taps
- 200 bottled beers
- Knowledgeable staff
- Awesome atmosphere
- Great food
All of this can be attributed to the hard work and smart planning of the J. Clyde staff, but Free the Hops should also get some of the accolades for laying the ground work to successfully changing Alabama alcohol laws. Hopefully this provides encouragement to the our friends at Raise Your Pints and the people of Mississippi in their mission to get Mississippi's laws changed.
So to wrap up. The J. Clyde rocks. Kudos to the Nook. Thanks Free The Hops. We'll be at the Clyde Thursday, January 27th to toast the good news and enjoy a beer! Look for the beer geeks at the end of the bar......... Hope to see you there!
There is no better way to develop your tasting skills and identify your favorite selections in a style than to sample a selection of beers blind.
TAKE NOTE: Seating will be limited so you'll want to stop by or call the Clyde (939-1312) to reserve a spot in advance. The exact lineup of beers is a secret, but you can be assured that the fine beer connoisseurs at the JCylde will have a selection of likely rare in Alabama and altogether delicious imperial stouts!
If you're looking for more details about the Imperial Stout style check out the BJCP style guidelines for Category 13, Stout.
This will be the 3rd such tasting in the past few years at the JCylde. They don't happen every day! We'll see you there!