Smitty's Tips for 12 South Winter Warmer

I am excited, how about you guys? I know most of you have attended beer festivals and know the routine. But just in case there is anyone somewhat new to a high alcohol beer festival, I thought I would share some pointers. Please don't take this as me acting like some know-it-all. I am just trying to be helpful so that everyone has a blast. Cool?

1. Unlike the summer beer festivals, these beers will be 40-50% higher in alcohol. So do the math. Twelve 2 ounce pours over 1 hour will be 24 ounces, which is about the size of a bomber. If you go at that pace for 4-5 hours drinking 9-11% beers, you are likely to get pretty messed up. Trust me on this - these beers sneak up on you FAST. There are over 100 beers, so you are unlikely to try them all. Just pace yourself and keep track of how much you are drinking. I have seen seasoned beer festival goers drink too much too fast.  Let's just say - they did not remember much. I don't know about you all, but I want to remember the great beers I try. As they say, "It's a marathon, not a sprint."
2. Drink lots and lots of water. I drink water in between every beer. It keeps you hydrated in addition to slowing down your drinking pace. Sure it will be more trips to the porta john, but you'll thank me in the morning.
3. Do not start the festival on an empty stomach. There will be great food vendors there as well, so refuel with more food midway through the festival.
4. Beers will run out during the festival, so I suggest you hit the ones you really want to try first. I like to map my top 15 or 20 before hand.
5. If there are people behind you in a serving line, be polite and step aside once you get your pour. Try not to congregate or chat at the serving table. It's an etiquette thing....
6. Make sure you have a designated driver or take a cab home. .08 is the legal limit in TN and it does not take much to reach it, especially at a high gravity beer festival. A DUI will go on your permanent record and will cost you $3-$5000 and 48 hours jail time. It also jeopardizes the safety of others on the road. Don't risk it. That ends the PSA.

See you there!


December - New Brews and Other News

Seasons Greetings craft addicts. Lots to report this month. First, 12 South Winter Warmer is this weekend. Unfortunately if you don't have a ticket, it's sold out. There will be over 100 beers to sample, many of which are special release, rare, or out of market beers. I will running around helping out organizer Matt Leff and other volunteers. Come up and say hi!

I am really excited about the announcement that Green Flash Brewing Co. is coming to TN. Hopheads rejoice! The west coast goodness will be arriving in January. Their Belgian stuff ain't bad either! Expect an appearance at 12 South Winter Warmer. Read more below:

Just wanted to let you Middle-TN folks know that we (BountyBev) will be releasing Green Flash to the Middle TN market in January of 2012! The initial launch will be with Hop Head Red, West Coast IPA, Le Freak and their new brett, belgian pale-Rayon Vert! It looks like Q1 of 2012 is gonna be a doozie!

Joshua Scutella
Director & Better Beer Guy

Have any of you tried beers from Calfkiller? If not, the Calfkiller Beer Dinner is a good opportunity not only to try the beers, but to meet the brewmasters as well. It will be held at the Flying Saucer on December 19th at 6pm. Read more below:

“Calfkiller is a spectacular brewery that has become incredibly popular in the Nashville area,” said Brandi Allen, general manager of Flying Saucer. “The Sergio brothers are doing some amazing things at their brewery, and they have been great about showcasing some really fun elements in their beers. We know our guests are going to love whatever surprises they have in store for us!”

Admission is $25 for U.F.O. members and $30 for non-members. The event is sure to reach capacity, so customers are urged to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Flying Saucer or by calling 615-259-3039.
The Belcourt Theatre will be showing the documentary Beer Wars on December 15th. Doors open at 6:30pm and admission includes two free pints of Yazoo and a Q&A discussion panel afterwards. Click here for pricing and ticket information. Sorry that I won't be there, but I have a brewery in Muster, IN to visit. Wink!
Midtown Wine and Spirits reports that they have received Lakefront IPA, Lakefront Holiday Ale, Ommegang Adoration, New Belgium Prickly Passion Saison, and Schlafly Christmas Ale. No word on my perennial favorite Sierra Nevada Celebration.
See ya at the Warmer!