Anniversary/Valentine’s Day/Firkin

February 12, 2013

Has it already been five years? Time flies when you’re having fun… and waiting tables, tending bar, managing the front of house, moving to and back from Mobile within a year, running an entire restaurant, starting a new business, helping out on other new businesses and writing a column every week without fail.

Today is Hopjacks’ five-year anniversary. How far we’ve come. Born under a bad sign on a Friday the 13th, we opened at 6 pm and promptly ran out of pizza dough by 8:30. We doubled our order for Saturday and ran out by 9:30. Lesson learned; we’re much better now.

We had a then-meager 36 tap beers. A testament to our clientele, we now boast 112 draft flavors with no one line sitting for past its prime. Thanks must be extended to everyone who’s kept us a Pensacola fixture. Cheers!

Come see us tonight 7-close for the usual Hopjacks merriment plus a few specials. If you’re not too damaged from the experience, don’t forget that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. If you’ve read any of my work you’ll already know how snarky I am to the notion of everyone setting aside a specific day to be coerced into feeling Cupid’s fluttering wings at the edge of your conscience. I’ve got a better idea. Come spend an evening with me downtown for a beer tasting.

I host one every Thursday at various locations around town and Valentine’s just happens to be at our flagship location. The theme for the night? Love/hate relationships, of course. Expect a few flavors that symbolically embody the rollercoaster ride that is the dance of courtship. If nothing else, you get to listen to me prattle on about the minutia of beer; and it’s free, 5-7pm.

Staying busy through the weekend, we’re hosting a special firkin event with our friends from Abita Brewing. A firkin is a re-fill-able keg that breweries top off with a specialty concoction not usually found from their hands. Friday, Feb 15, 6pm, we’re tapping a very flavorful British Mild.

The beer style is perfect for a firkin. Traditionally, British Mild ale was always a cask beer and, therefore, very lightly carbonated via natural fermentation. In this age of bottle-conditioned, high ABV everything and overdoses of hops, a smooth, light-bodied yet flavorful classic ale is a breath of fresh air. Low hop content allows the malt to take center stage with caramel, biscuit and a touch of toffee. The quintessential session beer, the bubbles and alcohol are kept at a minimum without losing body or flavor. The idea is to enjoy a lot of this without getting goofy. Keep in mind that Abita probably won’t make this again, at least for a long, long time.

Happy anniversary, Hopjacks! Here’s to the next five years!