Sunday, July 29, 2007
A few months back one of my catering gigs had me slinging food in the VIP tent at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh. As part of the VIP ticket, customers where treated to "exclusive" beers which weren't being tasted by the public in the two makeshift beer halls.
I had the smart sense to pull a double that day, working both the afternoon and evening sessions. This allowed for a one hour break in between to rest - and well - sample a few beers. I chatted up one of the volunteers who man'ed one of the beer stations asking him about the beer he was serving. This in turn led to a conversation with one of the master brewers who insisted I stop by his tent at some point.
"They can't fire you for drinking beer at a beer festival can they?" he said.
I told them that they could.
"Well that's not right man!" he said.
On the other hand, it's not unusual when working in fine dining that one has to sample or taste what you are serving. A lot of times tending bar, obscure wines will be served and you at least need to take a swallow just to be able to aptly describe said beverage to your guests.
So with an hour to kill and an empty VIP tent, I sampled a beer or two. I noticed Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewing's 420 Ale which I've had in the past and had half a glass. They don't distribute it around here but I did score a six pack in western NC when we rented a cabin in the mountains last spring.
The other beer I tried was from Bell's Brewery and it was called Two Hearted Ale.
It was yummy. Very yummy.
So the following week at band practice I told my fellow beer geek bandmates about the beer and how I met the publisher of All About Beer magazine at the beer fest and he told me about some other noteworthy brews to try which of course I couldn't remember nor did I have the chance. Practice was a good one and we felt we'd accomplished a great deal in a short period of time so we called practice and went to the local bar... which turned out to have Two Hearted Ale on tap!
Which was not only awesome news but also meant the beer was being distributed locally.
I've since found a few places that carrying it but it's not cheap. It $8.99 a six pack but well worth every penny. I don't get to drink it as often as I'd like because of that but then again if you drank good beer all the time it wouldn't be that special when you did have it right?
But I do plan on taking at least a 12 pack to the beach when we go next week.