By Tara Gary
Though I was bummed one of my favorite days of the year, the Roswell Beer Festival, had to be postponed, I am now very much looking forward to the days of normalcy returning. I’m eager to see friends, neighbors, loved ones, and strangers out and about again—pulling up a bar stool and toasting to being together again.
I know you have heard and read the pleas of many, urging you to support our local small businesses, all businesses, through this difficult time. Many of our local breweries and bars are struggling to keep their heads above hops. If you don’t already, follow your favorite hangouts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Many are providing drive-up services to their customers.
From the Earth Brewing Company is offering curbside and delivery options. Not only that, FTE has teamed up with Big Oak Tavern, Pure Taqueria, Taqueria Tsunami, Gracious Plenty, and Cristy and Mike Thomas (owners of the recently closed Wild Slice Pizzeria) to execute an idea Mike recently came up with. They are asking customers to purchase gift cards, which supports our local businesses, and donate the value to a school meal distribution program. The restaurant prepares healthy meal options based on the amount of gift cards purchased. Volunteers then pick up the meals and distribute them to the students in need. This keeps children fed who otherwise depend on school lunches as their main source of nutrition. Visit ftebrewing.com to learn more. And for up-to-date information on the School Meal Program, join the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/SchoolMealProgram. Great job guys!
I saw Variant Brewing Company is offering curbside crowlers at the moment. Pinkies Up Beer & Wine is offering call-in orders for curbside pickup as well as Leaping Lizards Liquors, Tap & Six, and so many of our great local, favorite spots. I don’t know how long this will continue, but as long as it’s available, we should all make an effort to support the beer, I mean businesses.
I received two GrowlerWerks uKegs as gifts recently, and I am supporting my local hangouts by making sure they are reloaded as soon as they are consumed. It’s a fun way to get through this time and keep my drinking holes alive. I recently refilled one of my uKegs with Wild Leap’s Too Pure To Be Pink New England Double IPA (8.5% ABV). It is so smooth and comes in as 4.14/5 on the Untappd app (untappd.com). I highly suggest it. I picked it up at Pinkies Up.
If you’re not familiar with GrowlerWerks uKegs, and you or someone you know enjoys beer as much as I do, the uKeg is one of the best gifts I’ve received. Beer goes flat once it’s opened in a typical glass growler, and let’s face it, glass doesn’t travel well either. The uKegs are designed with an automatic regulator cap that holds carbon dioxide (CO2) inside as well as a dispensing tap so the beer can be served without removing the cap and exposing it to air. The taps are even interchangeable so you can display your favorite brewery. You can be confident it won’t spill or leak because the tap locks for easy transport. My 128-ounce stainless uKeg even has a pressure gauge to confirm the perfect pressure for my beer. It’s capable of keeping beer fresh and carbonated for up to two weeks, but I have to admit, I have never tested this—the beer has always been consumed before the two-week time period. Friends and neighbors know where to come when they get thirsty.
I received the larger stainless uKeg as a Christmas gift. Two months later, I unwrapped the uKeg Go 64 (in the color Tungsten) for my birthday! It’s the perfect addition to my on-the-go lifestyle. The 64-ounce vessel is also double-walled stainless steel like the larger version, so it keeps beverages cold all day long. The smaller version is obviously easier to carry, but it’s also finished in a powder coating with rubber feet, making it super durable. They start at $99.00 and go up to approximately $240.00. You can buy them directly from GrowlerWerks.com, or I have also seen that Williams Sonoma, The Grommet, Crate & Barrel, REI, and The Home Depot offer them as well.
My next stop will be to FTE to grab a uKeg of Goin’ Out West IPA (7.5%) and Cosmonaut Imperial Stout (9.5%). While I’m there, I will grab one of those gift cards I mentioned and something from their amazing kitchen to accompany my beer. After that, well, I’ll do what most of us are doing. I will hunker down at home, enjoy the company of my loved ones, and consume great beer. Of course, I’ll wash my hands prior, during, and after.
Make the most and the best of this time. And enjoy the beer! It’s not like you have anywhere to drive.
When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.