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Beer - DAMNED HIPPIES!

The good folks at Terrapin Beer Company are patiently waiting for their state license to begin brewing in their new facility in Athens. If it seems that they are getting a little bushy in the interim, that’s because the staff has decided to grow their ‘staches until the license arrives as a way of, well, killing time and entertaining themselves , I guess, since they readily admit that it will have no influence on state regulators.  The crew at Terrapin is soliciting support from their extended beer family, so channel your inner Burt Reynolds and show your love.

Meanwhile, the winter entry in Terrapin’s Monster Beer Tour, the Wake-n-Bake Oatmeal Imperial Stout, is in stores now. This is a fully-loaded, eye-opener of a stout, as well it should be since it contains an addition of a special blend of coffee from Jittery Joe’s in Athens. The caffeine content is not provided, but it should help to counter the 7.5% ABV. Six varieties of grain boost the Wake-n-Bake’s original gravity to over 20o Plato, and a generous helping of Columbus and Northern Brewer hops provide 75 IBUs. As the name suggests, this is a great breakfast beer.

MADE IN CHINA (WITHOUT LEAD)

Chateau Jiahu is another historical reconstruction from the off-centered brewers at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. Like their Midas Touch, which was inspired by the ingredients found in an ancient Middle Eastern vessel, Chateau Jiahu is based on a beverage of fermented rice, honey, and fruit from a 9,000-year-old jar found in the Northern Chinese village of Jiahu. See this week’s beer pick for a review. Chateau Jiahu is available in better liquor stores around Atlanta, but on Mon., Dec. 17, the Lindbergh Station Taco Mac will tap a rare keg of the stuff starting at 5 p.m. Go ahead and tell your significant other you’ll be working late that evening.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

If you don’t get your kicks from champagne, you might consider a more beer-centric New Year’s celebration this go ‘round. Twain’s in Decatur is offering a three-course beer dinner, as well as an appetizer menu in lieu of their regular menu. Come back the next day to lick your wounds with a hair-of-the-dog brunch on New Year’s Day while watching the bowl games on HD. Twain’s newest beer offering is an 8% ABV strong ale that should be the perfect libation for toasting and getting toasted.

The Brick Store will have its usual great selection of beers for those with an aversion to dressing up and drinking fancy cocktails. There is a champagne toast at midnight, but I suggest a champagne-like saison, or even one of their rare biere brut Belgian ales to ring in 2008, both of which will leave more of an impression than the usual insipid bubbly. The 750-ml bottle of Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux for $20 should do nicely for a saison. Fantome also offers two different winter saisons (Noel, Hiver) with fruity tones. Malheur Brut ($36 for a 750-ml bottle) is the standards for biere brut. You’d be hard pressed to find it anywhere but the Brick Store. They also have an interesting collection of vintage and special edition beers in large bottles that would be perfect for sharing with good friends.

If you want to go all out, consider a road trip to the lovely faux-Bavarian village of Helen, where the Altstadter Restaurant will play host to a traditional German New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with Teutonic feast and forecasts for the coming year. The restaurant features an excellent selection of German beers and the standard lederhosen frivolity. The Altstadter is also hosting a Best of 2007 Beer Dinner on Thurs., Dec. 27, featuring German, English, and American craft beers.

Talking Head columnist Jeff Holland can be reached at jeff.holland@creativeloafing.com.



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