Sunday, September 30, 2007

Marietta MacCracken

Johnnie MacCracken's is a Celtic pub. Not Irish, not Scottish, but Celtic. Owner Gary Leech is adamant about that.

His whimsically decorated pub is housed in an 1880s era firehouse, possibly the oldest extant firehouse in Georgia. It has been other things before Gary purchased the building 10 years ago, including a bank. The old safe is now the refrigerated keg and kitchen walk-in.

The pub offers good Irish - er, Celtic food - and a 25+ tap selection: several interesting choices.

I had a pint of Atlanta brewery Sweetwater 420 (as in 'it's 4:20PM' - a reference to, well, if you don't know, you don't know). I noticed a tap handle for Hobgoblin from Wychwood ("what's the matter, Lagerboy? Afraid of a little flavor?"). Wychwood, by the way, is the new brewer of one of my favorite UK beers - Brakspear.

Clipper City's Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale was on tap as well.

Gary is quite the raconteur and local historian. The lovely Patti 'mans' the taps. She seems to have a hug for each loyal customer.

I was there Wednesday to tap a cask of Clipper City's Winter Storm Imperial ESB - Gary's first ever cask at the pub - and I did. A crowd of enthusiastic local craft beer fans and curious 'regular American beer' fans gathered around to watch and taste.

This was my first Winter Storm of this season ... and it tasted wonderful. Caramel malt, chewy bitterness, woodsy/spicy/citrusy aromas. Fairly bright with a deep amber color and frothy head.

Even the mainstream drinkers stepped up and downed a pint (or two). I had several frank discussions about mainstream American beer, and its past and future. More pix here.

The very next night, I took a cask to Highlands Grill in Kennesaw, Georgia. And that firkin of Winter Storm was its first ever cask as well.

4 nights in Georgia; 4 casks. Beer may be my profession, but cask ale is my mission.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here ...