Georgia (Beer) On My Mind

I <3 beer.
Which is to say I love beer.
Would marry it if that didn’t violate my current nuptial status.

I’ve even just had a nice jolt of dopamine by hitting the “save draft” button while editing this very entry.

Clearly, I’m in desperate need of Mmmm, Beer [hear Homer say it: mp3].

What got my beer tooth tingling was a particularly tasty cask ale – Saint Arnold Elissa IPA – that I drank at Ginger Man in Austin, TX during SXSWi. The beer got me thinking about cask ales and drinking good beers regularly (apart from the all-too-seldom Monday Night and the stash in the beer fridge) at places local, knowledgeable, inviting and well-stocked.

My normal haunts have rotating selections – places like Taco Mac, Varner’s and Smyrna World of Beverages – but I feel like I’m doing a disservice to beer-drinking by not branching out enough.

So after checking out the cask situation in the local two things happened:

  1. I did the whole 5 Favorite Beers on Facebook
  2. Garrett emailed me about the grand opening of Hop City Craft Beer & Wine at the new 5 Season Westside this Thursday, April 2.

So now I have a conundrum. Go drink some free beer and eat some free food at a beer establishment on Thursday (and hang out with some very cool, like-minded folks) or do I go the Social Media Club Atlanta meeting at Manuel’s and do the same thing in a different venue with different folks?

I know, I know. Rough life, huh?

I think I’m leaning heavily towards the grand opening, only because I saw some of the Social Media Club folks in Austin and I’d like to sample the new wares/digs over Manuel’s (which I already know/love).

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some new sites and tools I’m using in my beer quest:

  • Beer Counter for iPhone
  • Worked like a charm @ SXSWi and I managed my (over)indulgences.

  • 97 Bottles
  • A beer rating social network that ties in nicely to OpenID and my other social accounts. I’ve been looking to jump ship from RateBeer to BeerAdvocate for some time (damn you, locked-in ratings!) but I’m giving this the old college try.

  • BJCP Styles for iPhone
  • No self-respecting beer snob should leave home without a copy of the rules.

Since I’m cobbling together a big beer post, it’d be great if folks wanted to vote in the AJC/Evening Edge’s 2009 Beer Bracket Final Four for the best IPA. It’s down to the Final Four and Atlanta’s own Sweetwater IPA is in the running, having already captured the judges’ votes and looking for a win amongst readers.

And if you’ve got a few seconds more in your day to devote to beer-related clicking, take Monday Night Brewery’s survey [via JohnMcNicholas].

Until Thursday, drink a beer for me.

The Big Day

This morning at 11am I’m presenting an informative but tongue-in-cheek PowerPoint – Blogging and You – to a group of colleagues. It’s actually an off-shoot of a larger presentation/class I’m teaching next month on Web 2.0 at our internal professional development center.

I’ve blogged this topic previously and I gotta say I’m still a little bit nervous.

This post will be at the top of the page/blog during my presentation and I’d love to show off some of the comments as indicative of the lively, active Atlanta blogosphere. Feel free to use your pulpit to curse, congratulate or just goof off.

Seriously. Anything goes.

I’ll also be demo-ing:

  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Creating a Blogger/Blogspot blog
  • Bloglines

Anyhow, wish me luck. I promise not to demo any local blog sites (save maybe the Metroblog) or otherwise embarrass you. You’re on your own in the comments there.


UPDATE: It’s over.


I’ve got to admit that I’m a little bit nervous this week.

This afternoon I was supposed to present a PowerPoint (ugh!) on blogs/bloggers/blogging. The word(s) has lost all meaning.

Fortunately I got a reprieve: I’ll be presenting on Wednesday.
Unfortunately there’s a catch: instead of an audience of roughly half a dozen, it’ll be 30-40 folks.

Now I’m not one to shy away from public speaking. I love the spotlight. Took that TBS-sponsored Improv Comedy class and everything.

Here’s the thing: In a big meeting like this I’m going to get a *ton* of questions and my comedic timing/judgment tend to work best in smaller, more intimate setting.

I’ve got the obligatory Soylent Green joke for the TCM folks in the crowd but I’m still sweaty-palmed over the whole thing.

It basically comes down to justifying my new title in a room full of peers and executives alike. And sure it’s a topic with which I’m intimately familiar but maybe that’s almost too good to be true. I worry I’ll rush (and there’s a ton to cover) and that I’ll let slip something too goofy, too tangential or too technical.

Whatever the reason it’s just nerves and they’ll pass. I’m practicing a bit more tomorrow and Wednesday and listening to the new R.E.M. album Accelerate which is a little middling.

Nerves perhaps?

I hope to have a video or podcast of the presentation some time after the bloodletting. I may even put up a test post on Wednesday and call for comments to show off all your smiling faces and Gravatars to the folks in the meeting.

Get ready for internet fame!