Browsing articles tagged with " beer festivals"
Nov 1, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Brewery 85 honors traditional beer

There was a time when these parts had only one significant craft brew festival — Asheville’s big Brewgrass throwdown. Now, the beer festivals

At Brewery 85 in Greenville, beer is made the German way. The brewery sticks with Bavarian tradition and uses water, malt, hops and yeast to make its line of ales and lagers. It’s made them a favorite in the Upstate. Brewery 85’s line of draft-only brews can be purchased in Greenville, Clemson, Anderson, Greenwood and Greer is next. The taproom is at 6 Whitlee Court.

“By next year, we would like to be in Spartanburg and Rock Hill,” said Brewery 85 president Will McCameron, who opened the operation in January with his brewer Taylor Lamm. For now, they are Greenville’s newest brewery. Eventually, they want to sell beer in Western North Carolina, but not until they’re ready, he said.

McCameron and his crew like to have fun. They answer the phone with “Home of the High Fives,” which is indicative of the joyful approach they take to beer.

McCameron and Lamm both studied brewing in Germany. “We use traditional German technique and marry that with Southern craft beer culture,” McCameron said. There’s even a Bavarian-style beer garden in the back.

Their beer line includes a 5 percent alcohol Bavarian Weizen, a 7.5 percent German Style Helles Bock, a 5.5 percent American Pale, a 6.4 percent American Brown Ale, a 7 percent GVL IPA and the high-gravity 9.4 percent Country Quad.

Brewery 85 takes its name from the busy interstate highway that slashes through the Upstate. “It’s a hard-working highway,” McCameron said. And a hard-working brewery too.

come one after another, both in Western North Carolina and in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Asheville’s Burnpile Harvest Festival happens 2-10 p.m. Nov. 1 at Burial Beer Co., 40 Collier Ave. in the South Slope brewing district. The festival will feature 25 breweries — many from outside this area — with a selection of enticing beers and two ciders.

From Durham, Sub Noir Brewing will have its Eccentrica, a 9.7 percent alcohol ginger tripel. Old Mecklenberg will be pouring Mecktoberfest Marzen. Full Steam from Durham will have a 10 percent alcohol persimmon ale. And so it goes. “What’s cool about this event is that there is something here for everyone,” said Jess Resier, Burial’s co-owner.

Burial will tap its Slasher Sweet Potato Porter made with local sweet potatoes from Paper Crane Farm smoked by 12 Bones and Press Apple Tripel made with Hickory Nut Gap Farm Fuji apples and aged on Defiant Whiskey oak spirals.

Burnpile will be different than most brew festivals in that it’s not an all-you-can-drink for one admission price. First you buy a commemorative $4 glass. Then purchase $2 tickets, each good for a single beer sample. The Hermit Kings band will play at 6 p.m. and the Nude Party performs at 8:30 p.m.

Next up on the brew fest scene: The Greenville Craft Beer Festival Nov. 8 at Fluor Field in Greenville (http://rhizomeproductions.com/craft-events/greenville-craft-beer-festival) and the Tryon Beer Fest Nov. 8 on the Tryon Depot Plaza (http://tryonbeerfest.com). More on both of those next week.

Follow Beer Guy Tony Kiss on Facebook at Carolina Beer Guy and on Twitter at BeerGuyTK.

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Oct 31, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Get into the spirit of Halloween with zombie walks and beer festivals

Ale lovers are in for a treat – or should that be a trick or treat – this weekend?

Following its huge success in recent years, The Peterborough Zombie Walk, where locals dress as their favourite zombie and walk the streets of Peterborough is back even bigger this year.

The walk will start from Charters Bar at 4pm on Saturday, November 1, finishing at the Brewery Tap. Organisers are expecting an increase in potential Zombies who will come in all ages, shapes and sizes – punk rockers, policeman and horror brides will descend on the popular riverside bar.

Getting into the spirit of Halloween, Charters Bar will have a selection of themed ales available for zombies and non-zombies alike, as well as a number of Halloween themed cocktails and shots.

“The local community are enthusiastic and really get in the ‘spirit’ of the event, there were some fantastic outfits last year and the special effects make-up used could have come direct from any big screen horror film.” says Natasha Gollings, assistant manager of Charters.

At The Brewery Tap, the living dead will have the chance to dance to some ghoulish music and sample some ‘spectre-acular’ food until 10.30pm.

A live DJ set for zombies in the Elixir Room (aka The Tap Room) will commence at 6pm and the first 50 zombies will receive a complimentary green vodka jelly.

Meanwhile, on Friday night (October 31) Zombies will be out in force in Werrington.

The Dragon in Werrington is hosting a “spook-tecular” beer festival with more than 20 ales this weekend with proceedings kicking off at its sister pub The Ploughman at 6.30pm with a fancy dress gathering before walking to The Dragon at 7.30pm.

There’s free “bats blood” shots for all in fancy dress.

The beer festival lasts all weekend with a barbecue and music from Hooker on Friday (October 31), The 707 and High Rollers on Saturday, and Radius 45 and Children Of The Rev on Sunday.

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Oct 30, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Are the big beer festivals beaten?



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October already and if the incredible speed at which this year seems to be passing, it seems unbelievable that the annual Stoke Beer and Cider Festival is almost upon us yet again. Now in its 34th year there will, as always, be a vast array of real ales to sample as the ‘proper’ pint juggernaut appears to maintain its momentum. The continued interest is apparent with over 19,000 different cask ales now brewed in Britain with around 634 million pints sold annually. In the UK we now have more breweries per head of population than any other country in the world. As punters look for something a little more special each time they head to the local, pubs have to keep up with the real ale revolution and adapt their bar accordingly.  Back in February of this year, Martyn and Ginny Ford took over my local The Hop Inn, revitalising the former tired pub on the site in Albert Street in Newcastle. The couple bought the premises from Punch Taverns determined to turn it into a haven for real ale lovers and they have done just that…and some! With 8 beers on the bar (more are in the pipeline – pun very much intended) and the guarantee of the always excellent Oakham or Mallinson’s breweries represented, the stalwart Bass and a rotating board of 6 other options, a varied and vibrant collection of ales are always available. Said haven they wished to create has therefore become a permanent beer festival in itself. Which begs the question as to whether the days of the big beer festivals are numbered? The sight of halls packed by blokes with beards busily scanning the list of choices on offer before sampling a previously unknown tipple are surely in decline. The Stoke shindig and others will always receive my support as such events draw people to the area, generating income and raising awareness  of our City; however on a local basis I am able to enjoy a similar experience every day if I so choose. The beer board that greets you at The Hop always throws up a surprise, whether it is a hitherto unheard of or as yet untried brewery or a new product from one of the old familiars. Combine that with exceptionally reasonable pricing and a landlord and family that are as enthusiastic about their product as the customer and you have an award winning formula – an award that is surely imminent in this particular pub’s case.

Follow Adam on Twitter @adscomms

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Oct 29, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Dining Review: Florida brews, Creole dishes to choose at Cajun Café

The toughest thing about dining at Cajun Caf on the Bayou is trying to decide what to pick from the menu.

Alligator slathered in spicy Cajun sauce?

Deep-fried Cajun meatloaf?

Made-from-scratch crab cakes?

Jambalaya? Crawfish etoufe? Gumbo?

Tucked away in a ramshackle building that juts out on Cross Bayou in Pinellas Park, this small eatery has attracted a loyal following over the past 11 years.

Diners come for the Cajun cuisine. Beer hounds come for the brews and annual craft beer festivals. Some come for both.

Eating on picnic tables on the screened-in porch over the water while sharing appetizers such as the Boudin balls (pork, onions and rice rolled in cracker meal, dunked in ale and deep-fried) makes you forget that you’re not far from a major highway lined with strip-malls.

Spot an alligator or dolphin swimming by in the brackish water and it’s almost like being in Louisiana.

The Boudin balls and a crawfish-filled cornbread with cheddar cheese, corn, onion and jalapeno are the restaurant’s signature starters. And a whiskey bread pudding is the signature dessert here.

The menu also includes Po’Boys, fried catfish, fried frog legs, fried chicken livers, fried green tomatoes, Cajun popcorn crawfish, mammoth burgers (including one made from gator meat) and more than can be listed here.

There’s an eye-popping array of sausages, too, made from crawfish, gator, duck and chicken, creole, pork Boudin and beer-marinated beef and pork.

Located on Park Boulevard, the caf is adjacent to the Wagon Wheel Flea Market. It was originally a fish camp in the 1940s. In 1996, Joe Thibodaux, of Thibodaux, Louisana, converted the fish camp into a simple eatery.

Thibodaux’s son-in-law and daughter, Paul and Rebecca Unwin, took over in 2003 and kicked up the menu and the beer list. Paul Unwin, a Brit who knows his brews, keeps the place stocked with more than 75 craft ales in bottles and 15 mostly-Florida-made beers on draft. He holds three beer festivals a year with the next one coming up Nov. 1.

On a recent visit, four out of my party of five came away with full and satisfied stomachs but one was disappointed by the shrimp creole.

After sharing four appetizers – pork Boudin balls ($10), fried green tomatoes ($5), the crawfish cornbread ($9) and crab cakes a la Cajan Caf, I tried the “Catfish T-Red Crawfish Lagniappe” ($21), fried catfish fingerlings on a bed of rice smothered in crawfish etoufee. It was delicious and spicy but not too hot on the taste buds.

My wife ordered and enjoyed the Creole roasted pulled pork ($12) that was slow-cooked and marinated in Creole garlic sauce and butter with a hint of spices. Moist and flavorful, the roasted pork and beef here are popular.

Our friend, Alex, ordered one of his favorites, the Creole roast beef Po’boy ($13) while Mark went for the dirty rice bowl ($9) which is roux-based with ground beef.

Friend Nicole liked the appetizers but turned thumbs down on the shrimp creole ($16) because she found the sauce too thick, the peppers and onions under-sauted and the shrimp too small and overcooked. “Hard as a wine cork,” was her comment, adding that she had ordered this on a previous visit and it was good then.

We all shared the sweet whiskey bread pudding ($7) soaked in vanilla cream and whiskey-butter sauce.

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Oct 28, 2014
Freddie Kitson

FREEBIE FRIDAY: Deals including beer festivals to massages and flu shots – WMC

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A beer festival, shoulder rubs, and flu shots. What do they have in common? They are all part of this segment of Freebie Friday! WMC Action News 5′s Kym Clark found a grab bag of goodies to help kick start your weekend.

Chair massages

Gould’s Academy of Massage students are ready to loosen your muscles a bit every Friday through Nov. 14. You can get your free 10 minute massage from 9 in the morning until 12:15 at the Academy’s Ridgeway location. Click here to learn more: http://gouldsacademyofmassage.com/.

Flu shots

Shelby County Health Department is offering free flu shots at Hickory Ridge Mall Food Court from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to anyone over the age of 6 months on Saturday, Oct. 11. No identification is required. Go to the health department’s Facebook page to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/ShelbyTNHealth.

Oktoberfest

Once you’re vaccinated, head to the Tower Courtyard at Overton Square for the inaugural Oktoberfest Squared. There’s a stein hoisting competition, plenty of good music, and a lot of beer and brats. Admission is free for the whole family from noon until 10 o’clock Saturday night. Click here to learn more: http://www.overtonsquare.com/upcoming-events/oktoberfest-squared/.

Newspaper subscription

How would you like to try out the Commercial Appeal newspaper for free? The Memphis paper is offering free two week subscriptions with 7-day home delivery plus online access. Click here for the deal: http://www.commercialappeal.com/freebiefriday#/Enter.

Contact us

Do you know of a local business that would want to participate in the Freebie Friday segment? Send an e-mail to desk@wmctv.com or contact us via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ActionNews5. Make sure to catch Freebie Friday every Friday during WMC Action News 5 at 6 a.m. for new deals.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. 

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Oct 27, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer Guy: Burnpile fest is hot – Asheville Citizen

There was a time when these parts had only one significant craft brew festival — Asheville’s big Brewgrass throwdown. Now, the beer festivals come one after another, both in Western North Carolina and in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Asheville’s Burnpile Harvest Festival happens 2-10 p.m. Nov. 1 at Burial Beer Co., 40 Collier Ave. in the South Slope brewing district. The festival will feature 25 breweries — many from outside this area — with a selection of enticing beers and two ciders.

From Durham, Sub Noir Brewing will have its Eccentrica, a 9.7 percent alcohol ginger tripel. Old Mecklenberg will be pouring Mecktoberfest Marzen. Full Steam from Durham will have a 10 percent alcohol persimmon ale. And so it goes. “What’s cool about this event is that there is something here for everyone,” said Jess Resier, Burial’s co-owner.

Burial will tap its Slasher Sweet Potato Porter made with local sweet potatoes from Paper Crane Farm smoked by 12 Bones and Press Apple Tripel made with Hickory Nut Gap Farm Fuji apples and aged on Defiant Whiskey oak spirals.

Burnpile will be different than most brew festivals in that it’s not an all-you-can-drink for one admission price. First you buy a commemorative $4 glass. Then purchase $2 tickets, each good for a single beer sample. The Hermit Kings band will play at 6 p.m. and the Nude Party performs at 8:30 p.m.

Next up on the brew fest scene: The Greenville Craft Beer Festival Nov. 8 at Fluor Field in Greenville (http://rhizomeproductions.com/craft-events/greenville-craft-beer-festival) and the Tryon Beer Fest Nov. 8 on the Tryon Depot Plaza (http://tryonbeerfest.com). More on both of those next week.

Germany style at Brewery 85

At Brewery 85 in Greenville, beer is made the German way. The brewery sticks with Bavarian tradition and uses water, malt, hops and yeast to make its line of ales and lagers. It’s made them a favorite in the Upstate. Brewery 85’s line of draft-only brews can be purchased in Greenville, Clemson, Anderson, Greenwood and Greer is next. The taproom is at 6 Whitlee Court.

“By next year, we would like to be in Spartanburg and Rock Hill,” said Brewery 85 president Will McCameron, who opened the operation in January with his brewer Taylor Lamm. For now, they are Greenville’s newest brewery. Eventually, they want to sell beer in Western North Carolina, but not until they’re ready, he said.

McCameron and his crew like to have fun. They answer the phone with “Home of the High Fives,” which is indicative of the joyful approach they take to beer.

McCameron and Lamm both studied brewing in Germany. “We use traditional German technique and marry that with Southern craft beer culture,” McCameron said. There’s even a Bavarian-style beer garden in the back.

Their beer line includes a 5 percent alcohol Bavarian Weizen, a 7.5 percent German Style Helles Bock, a 5.5 percent American Pale, a 6.4 percent American Brown Ale, a 7 percent GVL IPA and the high-gravity 9.4 percent Country Quad.

Brewery 85 takes its name from the busy interstate highway that slashes through the Upstate. “It’s a hard-working highway,” McCameron said. And a hard-working brewery too.

Follow Beer Guy Tony Kiss on Facebook at Carolina Beer Guy and on Twitter at BeerGuyTK.

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Oct 24, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Fourth annual Yorktoberfest to feature rare beer, Oktoberfest vibe

Music from Alpenlaenders, a band founded in York, will underscore the festivals Oktoberfest atmosphere with two alphorns, pictured above.

In a time of year for beer festivals and chilly weather, Yorktoberfest has changed with the leaves.

For starters, the fourth annual beer and wine festival will be held this weekend at the York Fairgrounds instead of Santander Stadium.

At the stadium, patrons would have had to stay off the grass if it rained; the move allows the festival to “truly be rain or shine,” said co-organizer Matthew Davis.

“(York City food truck event) Foodstruck showed us that people are willing to go out in the rain,” he said.

The move also allows for a “more interesting layout” and more abundant parking, Davis said.

Selection: About 23 breweries will be represented at the festival, he said. Nine regional wineries, from Naylor Wine Cellars in Stewartstown to Happy Valley in State College, will also be represented at the festival.

Davis picks all the beer himself and said that, out of more than 70 regional and international brews, there are several notable selections.

Yorktoberfest is the debut event for Troegs Blizzard of Hops, which will come out about a week after the festival, Davis said. The event will also feature Wet Hop Ale from Rogue, he said.

“We also have a bunch of rare stuff that is on timed release — that means it’s limited and will only be available starting at that time,” Davis said.

He said that some of the beers had only a limited number of bottles produced — and that he’s sharing a few out of his “personal stash” so people can try them.

Music, food: This year’s entertainment is Alpenlaenders, a band founded in York that plays authentic folk and dance music from the Alps.

The band will perform as a trio, and the program will feature two alphorns, which are long, wooden horns played much like a bugle, said band leader Helmar Mueller.

“The music is all geared towards Oktoberfest now,” Davis said.

The food selection is also improved this year, he said.

Hanover-based Sensenig’s Meats and Catering will serve up hearty bratwurst sandwiches, turkey legs and a German-style “sundae” — mashed potatoes, pulled pork and sauerkraut stuffed into a cup, Davis said.

Other fare includes artisan grilled cheese from New Cumberland-based Mad Dash, as well as crab cakes and crab soup from Sherri’s Fun Foods in Camp Hill, he said.

Bricker’s Famous French Fries, a West Manchester Township business, will serve more traditional fair-style food, such as pizza, fries and funnel cakes, Davis said.

The numbers: About 2,400 ticketholders came to last year’s festival, he said, and “we have planned to keep it about the same size this year so we can concentrate on the move and improvements.”

The festival usually has a few dozen underage attendees, and some people bring their children, Davis said.

Another change this year is that people over age 16 have to pay to enter because last year, some people came in for free and shared their friends’ beer or used fake wristbands, he said.

“We aren’t worried about the money so much as worried that we will run out of beer for people who paid to get in,” Davis said.

The Sons of the American Legion present the annual festivals as part of an effort to raise money for local, regional and national organizations.

This year, group will give at least $5,000, and Davis said he expects that $10,000 or more will be donated to other causes.

Get your drink on:

The fourth annual Yorktoberfest runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the York Fairgrounds, and the event is rain or shine.

Patrons must be 21 to sample beer and wine, and those over 16 will have to pay to get in the gate. There are three beverage options:

•Beer tasting, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday: $40, includes a souvenir pint glass and limitless sampling for one adult

•Wine tasting, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday: $20, includes a souvenir wine glass and limitless sampling for one adult

•Designated driver, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday or Sunday: $20, includes free water, homemade sodas and a limited edition T-shirt

Tickets are available for purchase at www.yorktoberfest.com or at the gate until they sell out.

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Oct 23, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Two New Beer Fests Coming Soon: Crafts and Drafts, and Guild Fest

GuildFest.jpegI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Nashville seems to have an insatiable appetite (or rather thirst) when it comes to craft beer festivals. There are two new ones coming up, and they both look like they could be outstanding.

First, the bad news: Both events are on Nov. 8. Now the good news: The Scene‘s Crafts and Drafts event at the Nashville Farmers’ Market runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., givinh you plenty of time to work around a visit to The Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild’s inaugural Guild Fest, which taps at 2 p.m. and pours until 6. (That would be a good day to patronize Uber or Lyft …)

Now the details. Crafts and Drafts began as a Washington, D.C. event called Crafty Bastards, a curated sale of arts and crafts made by hand by local artisans. The Nashville event is free to attend and will feature a long list of your favorite local crafts vendors, just in time to kick off your holiday shopping. Local food and beer purveyors will also be on hand to sell their wares and keep the commerce flowing.

Guild Fest grew out of the Taste of Tennessee Craft Beer festival last month at the Tennessee State Fair. The brewers came together at that event and decided they should hold their own festival to raise money for the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild, a remarkably effective nonprofit organization created to promote and protect the breweries of the state. The guild was instrumental in changing the state’s laws to lower the oppressive beer tax and raise the cap on what is considered low-gravity beer in Tennessee.

Guild Fest will raise money to support the guild, and attendees will get to sample brews from 20 Tennessee breweries while enjoying live music and Nashville food trucks. As a bonus, all of the participating breweries will be releasing special new beers just for the festival.

Tickets to the event (which will be held at Little Harpeth Brewing Company, at 30 Oldham St. near LP Field) are $45 and include all the beer samples and a souvenir glass. Go buy some here today!

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Oct 22, 2014
Freddie Kitson

Beer Fest Hosts Miss Sunset

More than 20 beauties are set to strut their stuff on the ramp on Friday and Saturday at Sunset Arena in the inaugural Miss Sunset pageant. The pageant will run on the sidelines of the Sunset October Beer Festival and will take place at the Fringe Platform, a section of various fun activities of the beer festival off the Main Stage. On Friday, the opening day of the beer festival, the models will clash in the preliminary round of the pageant and selected finalists will contest in the final that takes place on Saturday.

Sunset October Beer Festival organisers said they had collaborated with Size 4 Modelling Agency to bring the pageant that would add fun to the festival.

Size 4 Modelling Agency director Wilbert Rukato said the pageant would bring variety to the beer festival.

“This will be a beer festival with a difference because it will also incorporate modelling. Models are often used to market beer brands and their presence at the festival will tell the story of their profession,” said Rukato.

“People are not used to seeing pageants at beer festivals but this edition will be unique and would show people the beauty that the country has. It will also be an opportunity for the models to market themselves for potential deals with various companies that will exhibit at the beer festival.”

Rukato said more than 20 models will take part in the preliminaries on Friday and 12 contestants will make it to the final to be held on Saturday, the last day of the beer festival.

Packages for winners have not yet been revealed but organisers of the beer festival said they had a big surprise for Miss Sunset queen.

“The pageant will be the first of many other to come in next editions of beer festivals. It will add colour to the festival that will also have many other activities. We promise a surprise for the inaugural queen,” said the organisers.

The two-day beer festival will present various fun activities in addition to music performances that will be on the main stage.

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Oct 21, 2014
Freddie Kitson

First Impressions: Getting to Know Georgia’s Beer Scene

Being someone who writes a good deal about craft beer, one of the most exciting aspects of recently moving from Illinois to Georgia was the knowledge that it would mean exposure to a vastly different beer scene. In terms of distributorships alone, it means access to a variety of breweries along the East Coast and Southern corridors that I’ve largely never sampled before. And that’s not even including all the local Georgia and Atlanta brews.

In some sense, it’s also a somewhat intimidating prospect to start all over in terms of building one’s knowledge and “cred,” as it were. After all, I’d already spent an unfathomable number of hours during the last seven years getting to know all the breweries (and brewers, and beer bars, and beer stores) of cities such as St. Louis and Chicago. That familiarity has now been wiped away.

So, how does one start fresh? Aside from visiting every brewery in person (which I am currently carrying out by traveling East/West across the entirety of Atlanta), one of the most effective ways to get an initial impression is to attend as many tap takeovers and larger beer festivals as one can. Last weekend’s Decatur Craft Beer Festival and the upcoming Georgia Craft Beer Festival are perfect opportunities to eschew some of the larger national breweries and focus exclusively on brewers from Georgia.

Here are some takeaways from both the Decatur festival and my first month of experiencing Georgia beer:

— The immediate Atlanta/Athens area is filled with great brewers of Belgian beer in particular. Between brews such as Wild Heaven Brewing Co.’s Eschaton Quadrupel and Three Taverns Brewing Co.’s Theophane The Recluse (a Belgian imperial stout), the American-Belgian products are as strong as any I’ve had elsewhere.

— On the other hand, I find myself still searching for hop-forward beers that can measure up to some of the best IPAs I had access to in Chicago in particular, from breweries such as Half Acre, Revolution Brewing Co. and Pipeworks Brewing Co. The one truly stand-out Georgian IPA I’ve had so far has been from the Athens-based Creature Comforts, which will begin canning that beer, Tropicalia, in November. To which I say: Thank you.

Creature-Comforts-Tropicalia (Custom).jpg

Creature Comforts actually deserves its own note—I have sampled a lot of breweries, and you tend to get a feel for which ones have an immediate X-factor. Creature comforts has that quality. At the Decatur Craft Beer Fest, their “Southerly Love” wild ale was a bit like a tart and fruit-forward IPA, one of the most intriguing beers of the fest. Their cucumber-lime gose is refreshingly inventive. Their Berliner weisse is fascinating as well. So far, it seems like these guys haven’t made a bad beer, so keep your eyes peeled for any stray kegs that make it to your local beer bar.

— Other breweries that stood out for one reason or another at the festival: Yes Face Beer Co. for their surprisingly good take on a traditional ESB. Eagle Creek Brewing Co’s lemon-lime hefeweizen. The simple pleasure of Jailhouse Brewing Co.’s Breakout Stout. The odd collection of beers from Reformation Brewery, including a toasted coconut porter, a “session Belgian dubbel” that the brewer called “like a singel and three quarters,” and a malt-heavy IPA. Terrapin Brewing Co.’s surprisingly good fresh-hop beer, So Fresh, So Green, Green.

— Georgian beer law is oppressive to say the least. Brewers in the state aren’t allowed to self-distribute at any size. Nor can they sell the public a pint of beer at their taproom. Rather, every single brewery in Atlanta instead opens for only a few hours a week to sell “tasting glasses,” which just so happen to come with tours and tokens redeemable for beer samples. It’s an absolutely ludicrous system that makes things needlessly complex, and it needs to change if Georgian brewers are going to be afforded even close to the legal rights and protection that breweries enjoy in most other states. Leading this fight is the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, which now has a petition circulating, calling for reform. If you’re a craft beer supporter, you should sign the petition immediately.

At this point, a month or so into my exploration of Southern beer culture, I’ve only scratched the surface. In the coming months, I’ll continue making in-person visits to breweries throughout Atlanta. Once those are complete, I’ll start road-tripping to cities such as Athens and beyond. Call it obsessive—I’ll call it passionate.

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