Omnivore - You're Not Worthy!

It seems like ages ago, but probably just the late 90s, that I wandered in to the liquor side of a package store in Lebanon, Tennessee of all places, and found among the Chimays and Duvels a gargoyle-adorned bottle that dared to call itself Arrogant Bastard. On the back was a lengthy manifesto that declared:

This is an aggressive beer. You probably won't like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We suggest you stick to safer and more familiar territory--maybe something with a multimillion dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it's made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beer will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think that multimillion dollar ad campaigns make a beer taste better. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

This was exactly the kind of challenge that appealed to my then rapidly expanding beer ego, as well as my childish sense of humor. I immediately purchased one of the big, 22-oz. bottles and took it back to my hotel room to drink it out of one of the plastic cups wrapped in plastic on the sink. A swirl of flavors greeted my tongue from caramel stickiness to pungent funkiness. It was like the nectar of the Gods.

I went back the next day and bought two more to take home. Whenever I was in Tennessee, I made it a point to pick some up. When the repeal of the 6 percent cap on beer in Georgia came, the first thing I looked for was Arrogant Bastard, but it was not to be found. Now, after 4 excruciating years, it is finally here.

After much anticipation, Stone Brewing Company of San Diego County, California is finally bringing its attitude-laced portfolio of beers to Georgia. Rumor was that the brewery did not feel that they could meet the demand in Georgia, and that may still be true, as many are chomping at the bit now to have a regular supply of Arrogant Bastard Ale, the quintessential West Coast-style IPA, and the highly-rated Russian Imperial Stout.

The official kick-off party is scheduled for Mon., Sept. 22 at the new Taco Mac Metropolis in Midtown. They will have 12 Stone beers on tap: the aforementioned varieties, plus Pale Ale, Smoked Porter, Ruination DIPA, Levitation Ale, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, 2006 Double Bastard, 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, 2007 Old Guardian Barleywine, and the recently released 08.08.08 Vertical Epic (they have produced one of these each year starting with 02.02.02).

The event kicks off at 5 p.m., but the kegs will be available all day. Scott Sheridan from Stone will be on hand to answer questions. I plan to report further on this when I get my hands on some of these beers. Stone beer dinners are also scheduled for the Brick Store Pub on Tues., Sept. 23 and Trappeze Pub in Athens on Wed., Sept. 24.

Are you worthy?

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