Toasting Taco Mac

Everyone loves a funny guy, and Will Ferrell’s character from the movie “Anchorman” certainly got some love and discussion at Taco Mac locations across Tennessee and Georgia this spring. Taco Mac locales are upscale beer pubs with menu items aimed at a sophisticated but equally fun-loving crowd.

Beverage director Fred Crudder contacted a local Atlanta brewery, Sweetwater Brewing Co., to make a special beer to mark the chain’s 30th anniversary in 2009. Crudder and Matt Deckard, executive chef for Taco Mac, took a field trip to the brewery to discuss firsthand what they wanted the brew to be.

“Deckard is a real beer lover, and he wanted to make a Scotch ale,” explains Crudder. “At the brewery, we all kicked ideas around, and to make it a little different, they used some rye. If you recall the movie ‘Anchorman,’ in the beginning during the credits, Will Ferrell is speaking to his glass of Scotch. It’s a funny scene, and Deckard says, ‘Let’s call this beer the Ron Burgundy!’”

Hilarity ensued, with posters produced for each Taco Mac location that featured the movie’s main character, only with the head cut out and Deckard’s head super-imposed.

Each location, depending on size, was sent between two and six of the 80 kegs of special beer, and pints were priced at $5.75 each. In 10 days, one venue completely sold out of six kegs.

“It has been a huge hit,” says Crudder. “We started selling the beers on March 20. By advertising this on our blog and a few other Atlanta-based brew blogs, we only have one store remaining with Ron Burgundy beer yet unfinished.”

When that keg runs low, the group plans to throw a farewell party in honor of the beer’s disappearance.

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