Saturday, March 15, 2008

Get a load (or two) of this, Calhoun County

I was considering a beer-related road trip to metro Atlanta today, but decided to stay home after seeing that that city's downtown was smashed by a tornado last night. Throw in a little tornado action here at home this morning, and it didn't seem like a good idea to travel.

I consoled myself with a stop by my local craft-beer-friendly convenience store to see if they had anything new. Man, am I glad I stayed home! The Grub Mart at the corner of Mountain & Pelham in Jacksonville had a big new display of craft and import brews. I'd seen none of these brands in the Anniston metro area before. On the shelf was: Anchor Brewing's Steam Beer, Porter and Liberty Ale; Atlanta Brewing Co.'s Red Brick Ale, Blonde and Peachtree Pale Ale; Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale and Taddy Porter; plus some Hoegaarden, Bitburger and Tsingtao.

I hope my out-of-town readers will forgive the excitement. It sometimes feels like we're on the edge of Beer Nowhere here in the Anniston metro area. Up to now I had to drive an hour to Birmingham or Douglasville, Ga., to get any of that tasty Oatmeal Stout. Things seem to be changing rapidly, however, with great beer choices at a number of restaurants and a growing selection on store shelves.

Oh, and to assuage any doubt about what had me most excited, the photo at right shows me walking away with what I consider the night's prize ... Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. Mmm ...