One of the greatest decisions I ever made was to start taking Great Taste Eve off from work. Practically, it makes sense; there are frequently visitors coming to our house this time of year -- this specific weekend, I mean -- so there's cleaning to do. Then there's the fun stuff. The beer stuff. And it doesn't wait for the whistle at the end of the shift, man. Be there or be square.
My Friday will start out a lot like my Thursday did this year: driving to New Glarus Brewing Company at stupid o'clock for the R&D Bramble Berry Bourbon Barrel release. We got there Thursday morning at about 7:30 and we were already in the low 200's in line. On Friday, it's going to be even more crazy. My wife and I are getting up early and I mean EARLY for this one. We're not hoarding, necessarily. We have friends who will be getting bottles. But it'll be a tasty beer, as they all are, so who wouldn't want a couple at their disposal?
What's really interesting (read: insanely challenging to a beer geek's sanity) is that at the same time New Glarus is opening the gates for BBBB sales, Dexter's is opening its patio at 9am for free coffee, free Greenbush doughnuts, and oh yeah, Toppling Goliath Mornin' Delight. TG's even more rare SR-71 will be tapping at 11, too.
There's Mob the House, but I've talked about that already. Maduro's traditional Bell's Brewing tap takeover is happening once again, if you're game for a little secondhand. Founders is running serious game in this town, with reasonably big whale takeovers at both HopCat and Glass Nickel on Atwood. Surly has been at Tipsy Cow in the past, but Broach has the tap takeover from them this year; Misanthrope! I'll definitely be aiming to hit Brasserie V's Perennial event, especially now that the surprise tap of Maman has been announced.
And while I may try to stop in at Next Door for the Oliphant tap takeover (Oliphant and Next Door seem to becoming fast friends), I'm still in a very adjunct stout place and can't miss the big fellas from Central Waters, pouring at Brickhouse BBQ. I mean, a maple syrup bourbon barrel stout? A rye barrel Black Gold? Cassia Sunset, a bourbon barrel stout with coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon? Try and stop me. It's the silly season.