Friday, September 16, 2016

Check me out in EBONY Magazine!

One of the most prestigious magazines in US history is showing they care about craft beer!

Hey My People!

I have been traveling a lot as many of you know and I love it! What has been tremendously rewarding in my efforts to spread the love of beer throughout the world via this site, social media and other avenues, is seeing myself on page 64 in Ebony Magazine's September issue with Alicia Keys on the cover talking about craft beer; the article is titled "The Art of Craft." To add, it's justly the Fashion Issue because I love clothes.
Since its inception 71 years ago, EBONY has been known for its eye-popping covers and riveting content especially capturing the African-American experience, and now with more than 11 million readers enjoying every issue, it's an honor to flip through it and see me hoisting a glass of Bell's Hopslam discussing the history of beer and the art of homebrewing. 
My mission is simple: Everyone needs to appreciate beer, its complexity, rich history, the artwork, and the people responsible for it. Everyone.
This great article written by veteran writer Kym Backer proves more people worldwide are swaying to the tune of craft ales and lagers being opened and enjoyed. 
Thanks in advance for checking me out! I couldn't have done this without you.

Cheers!
Ale

Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's Birthday Time The Porter, Jekyll and Slice & Pint!

I shot this last year. Folks were outside at 7 in the morning. The doors opened at 11.
Let's Kick It Hard Today!

Since I gotta hurry over to the Porter Beer Bar, one of the best beer bars in the world, to do my annual shoot of the awesome birthday celebration (plus indulge in their crazy beer list), I will keep things simple: Party hard in ATL today! It's the Porter's 8th, Slice & Pint's third, and Jekyll Brewing Company goes tre today as well. Here is the info with the elders going first. Let's party!



They say: The Slice & Pint is turning three years old! We're having a birthday party Saturday, September 10th from noon til close. We hope you can join us. We'll be doing $3 glasses of every beer ALL DAY LONG. And we'll have quite a list as well:

The Druid Belgian(style) Golden
Totoweizen Hefeweizen
Village Idiot Wit
Curling Ale
The Original Ray's Bohemian Pilsner
2 more IPAs
IPA on nitro
Wookie Belgian-y Brown Ale
1.5 year old Dubbel aged in a JD barrel
Scotch Ale aged in a JD barrel
Pale Stout aged in a whiskey barrel
JD barrel aged Big Ass Lager

And.... introducing....
Cloud 9 Barelywine.






Friday, September 9, 2016

Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’: Operation Morganton, NC

My man Todd Steven Boera of Morganton's Fonta Blora Brewing makes some of the best beer in America. Let him prove it.
Along with the Morganton Heritage Festival, this is one North Carolina city worth visiting for some necessary woosah!

Ready to hit the road? Let's roll!

Since this site features awesome cities and “hidden” gems that should definitely deserve your presence, I had the pleasure exploring the charming city of Morganton, North Carolina and had a blast! I love painting a picture with actual photographs of what will be available for you to enjoy if you’re lucky enough to take a breather—an extremely fresh one here—and see what this Burke County attraction has to offer.
From hosting one of the best breweries in the nation—Fonta Flora—to State Park hiking trails, delicious eats, top-shelf whisky, kayaking, and trekking the Appalachians, this town of about 17,000 natives is an awesome escape from big city living. Did I mention beer?
Anyway, enjoy these pics, my commentary, and ultimately consider this escape just a few hours in the car from Atlanta, GA and other major cities in the Southeast! And to really go all the way, hit up their annual Historic Morganton Festival this Friday and Saturday, September 9 and 10, 2016.
Here we go!

Things To Do…
Thermal Valley Hang Gliding
I am not going to lie, there were some serious jitters and hesitation when considering hang gliding was on my itinerary but I manned up. I made an awesome decision going for it. Owned and operated by the charming Pearson family on the Foothills Regional Airport grounds, I was instantly comforted with their years of expertise and gentle persuasion to live life to the fullest.
Pulled by a small, one-man aircraft called a “Dragonfly,” I was encased in what resembled a bulletproof sleeping bag horizontally secured on top of Craig, a life-loving, down-to-earth gent who helped me enjoy every one of the dozen or so minutes I was in the air for. There was no engine once we were detached about two minutes in. Just some wings, wheels, and the wind currents making everything unforgettable over a hilly, majestic landscape. It was an “I’m on top of the world” moment for sure, and I have the HD Go-Pro video to prove it (which they provide). I’d definitely do it again.


Waldensian Trail of Faith in Valdese
I learned a lot about the history of the Waldensians and the eventful, often horrific journey from Italy’s Alpine Valleys to America—especially their 1893 settlement in the small town of Valdese just outside of Morganton. Guests take in their way of life authentically thanks to this site complete with the original headquarters, schools, house of worship and other attractions described by a passionate tour guide and staff. They even prepared bread in a handmade oven the way they did more than a century ago.


Get your nature on!
My brother Lamont  and I cold chillin' in front of High Shoals Falls.
South Mountains State Park
To relieve some stress, appreciate North Carolina’s amazing natural environs, and walk off anything consumed in excess the night before, this is where to go. I was lucky to have a smiling Ranger guide me, but everyone has access to the South Mountains Park  including the picturesque 80-foot-tall High Shoals Falls.


Lake James State Park
I also enjoyed kayaking on the gorgeous waters of the Lake James State Park. It was absolutely gorgeous out there, the weather was perfect, and the waters were steady. Hiking trails and other activities are available and renting the equipment was amazingly cheap.

Eats!
root & vine
You haven’t eaten right until you indulge in a gourmet dinner at root + vine based on the corner of a happening block in downtown Morganton. They take pride in making everything from scratch including my favorite dish, crab cakes, plus seafood, steaks, and other mouthwatering selections. Craft beer, wine and cocktails are available to wash everything down on the spacious patio or the always happening, chic indoors. This was instantly one of my favorite stops on the trip.

JD’s Smokehouse
My first stop was the revered, homey JD’s Smokehouse for some prize-winning barbecue. The people were charming, hospitable and the walls were adorned with car-racing themed d├ęcor. This place is always packed and for good reason: The food was good!

King Street Cafe
It’s like eating at a local’s home and that’s a good thing. Owner and Chef Peter Chan takes pride in using only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients to create French-influenced cuisine, seafood, and housemade desserts served up in living room settings by a classically garbed waitstaff.

Judge’s Barbecue
Besides scrumptious barbecue, there is an eclectic menu to keep everyone happy, including sandwiches, seafood and even a couple of beers to choose from. What I loved most about this place is it is set along the Catawba River to provide optimal scenery while dining. The locals love this spot.

Sip, Sip, Hooray!
Fonta Flora Brewery
When I say Fonta Flora is one of the best breweries in the country, I mean it. Every beer “Double F” makes is gangster, boasting sustainable, locally sourced ingredients with the mission to make the most extraordinary beers available. Using everything from beets to dandelions and carrots from nearby farms, Flora’s selections regularly receive the prestigious seal from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. Look for a feature on Fonta Flora on this site soon including the homey, co-founder and brewer Todd Steven Boera (serving us a brew above). My most recent visit included live music, 90s hip hop (Boera’s a fanatic of the genre), a down-to-earth staff, and a happy crowd of craft sippers toasting glasses throughout the evening. This is a must-visit destination.
By the way, I got a sneak peek of what their future location will be; it’s going to be amazing!

Catawba Brewing Company
One of the biggest and oldest operating breweries in the area that has been around since 1999, Catawba is pouring numerous brews daily including the White Zombie Belgian Wit, Mother Trucker American-style Pale Ale, Farmer Ted Cream Ale, REDiculous west-coast style IPA, and the Astral Bootie Beer session IPA to name a few. Guests are entertained with tours, an indoor/outdoor bar, large HD televisions (plus a huge projection screen), and pumping music often served up live. This is one of the most happening spots in Morganton, with two other tasting rooms located Asheville.

Brown Mountain Bottleworks
Super hip and laid back, Brown Mountain Bottleworks is not only a happening spot to buy the most revered, hard-to-find craft beer in the city, but it’s also the spot to chill out, eat some locally sourced snacks, and hang out with the locals. There is no doubt you will find the perfect brew to treat your palate with eight taps (and soon 12), more than 350 bottles, and almost 100 cans to choose from. You want to step your beer game up? Go here. (A great selection of wine is also available.)
I left with a four-pack of one of my favorites, the Hop, Drop n Roll IPA out of Charlotte. Yaaaasss!

Blue Ridge Distilling Co.
With surroundings naturally decorated by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Distilling Company is renowned for their award-winning Defiant Whisky. Find out why while listening to the founder, Tim Ferris, describe in detail the hard work it takes to be among the best in the whisky game while tasting the product. Sourcing water straight from the Blue Ridge Mountains and “putting the barrel inside the whisky” using White Oak for a special flavoring technique, a bottle of Defiant Single Malt is sure to join you on the way home.


Morganton Events You Can’t Miss…
My gracious host Craig Distl and I getting our sip on at the State Of Origin.
The State of Origin Beer Festival
An awesome fest held in the center of Morganton headlined by the aforementioned Fonta Flora. The common theme celebrates beers made solely in North Carolina using the prized state’s resources for ingredients. If you want to learn about the Carolina beer scene, this is a must.

It’s the 35th annual Historic Morganton Festival
Here is the official invitation to the biggest festival in Morganton every year:
Head to downtown Morganton Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 and 10, 2016 and enjoy the 35th annual Historic Morganton Festival! The festival is open Friday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Hundreds of vendors will fill the streets selling their crafts and other wares; the kid and teen zone will offer entertainment and activities for youngsters; and plenty of festival food will be available for visitors to enjoy, along with the beer garden located near the Coors Light Stage. 
Check out the lineup and latest updates on what’s happening at the Fest at www.morgantonfest.org.

Oh! And for lodging, consider the Hampton Inn due to its central location. I stayed there and it did the job!

I hope you enjoy Morganton and keep Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ with me.

Cheers!
Ale


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Peep Argosy's gangster beer list for National Beer Lovers Day features Ballast Point!

Ballast is indeed one of the best, and for us Beer Lovers, why not confirm it?
Cheers Y'all!

My homey Joe with Ballast Point just sent me a teaser of what is in store for tonight at one of the best beer bars in the city, the Argosy in the always bustling East Atlanta Village. I have a big Fantasy Football Draft for my Beer League I'm the co-commissioner of at the Georgia Chapter Room tonight, but I'm a real G by sharing the love with my peoples. It ain't fun if the homies can't have none. 
Don't worry about me though. My drafts are bottle shares. 
Holla!!!

Ale




Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Treehorn Cider now goes the can route!

 
Treehorn cans its popular Dry Cider!

Whuddup?!

While craft breweries are going heavy with metal, ciders are booming in popularity as well, so why not can them too? The advantages are evidently there; from storing them easier, to less light exposure, ability to bring them on the beach, or simply make it more worry free in the breakage department, Marietta, Georgia’s Treehorn Cider gives themselves a birthday present by canning their Dry Cider this month. I have done beer dinners and featured their crisp, refreshing ciders to mix things up, and Treehorn has been consistently well received with my food pairings. Of course, these ciders also rock the palate on their own.
Here is a breakdown on the can new delivery straight from the source below.

Cheers!
Ale

Treehorn Cider Now Available in Cans in Conjunction With Its One-Year Anniversary this September 2016
Georgia’s First Craft Hard Cider Turns One and Is Now Available in Cans

In September of 2015, Treehorn Cider brought something fresh to Atlanta, Ga.: craft hard cider, and almost one year after its grand debut the local favorite is now available in cans. Launching with its popular Treehorn Dry Cider, the Marietta-based cidery’s new canned option is now available in restaurants, bars and retail stores throughout metro Atlanta and Georgia.
Marking its one-year anniversary, the arrival of Treehorn’s canned cider was a natural progression of the cidery’s almost instant success in the market. Its high-quality, naturally gluten-free ciders are made with locally sourced, carefully selected ingredients and sustainable practices. Additionally, the cidery’s meticulous process ferments the cider in the classic tradition that allows it to mature for at least six weeks and reveals a clean, refreshing and pleasantly dry taste with just the right amount of subtle sweetness. Available in six-packs, Treehorn Dry Cider incorporates five handpicked varieties of apples, including Staymen Winesap and Arkansas Black, chosen for their complex flavors and tannins; giving it a flavor profile of tart apple and citrus aroma with a bright and lively taste and a soft mineral finish with focused acidity.
“We’re thrilled to give cider enthusiasts a more convenient way to enjoy Treehorn at home, at the pool, while camping, at a concert or wherever they want to crack one open. It doesn’t hurt that they’re great looking cans, either,” says Jason Marraccini, Director of Business Operations.
Treehorn Dry Cider in cans is available at Sprayberry Bottle Shop, My Friend's Growler Shop, all 4 Metro Atlanta Total Wine locations, Bullocks Wine & Spirits Warehouse, Toco Giant Package Store Beverage World, Whole Foods Market Avalon, Whole Foods Merchants Walk, Whole Foods Market Buckhead, Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market, Ale Yeah! Roswell, Corks & Caps, Argosy, Beer Girl, Growlers & Bottleshop, Lucky’s Beverage World, Empire Package Store, Five Points Bottle Shop (Athens), Dixie Beverage Outlet, Jackie’s Fine Wine and Spirits, Paces Bottle Shop, JAX Package Store, Liberty Pizza, Cumming Beverage Mart, Urban Foodie Feed Store, Graft Restaurant, Ticonderoga Club, Maltitude, S & N Package Store, Farm Burger Buckhead, Citi Wine + Spirits, The Vortex L5P, Tower Beer, Wine, Spirits, Green’s Beverage Stores, Hop City KSM ,Hop City Craft Beer and Wine, Blue Eyed Daisy @ Serenbe, Partymasters @ Parkaire, Northeast Liquor Store (Buford Hwy), Red’s Package Store (Alpharetta) and more.

For more information, call 678-503-5000. Visit www.treehorncider.com where you can sign up for the bi-weekly mailing list. Stay connected on Twitter and Instagram at @TreehornCider and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TreehornCider.

About Treehorn Cider:

Based out of Marietta, Ga., Treehorn Cider’s mission is deeply rooted in a culture of sustainability, including understanding and minimizing impact on the environment and promoting environmental responsibility amongst employees, consumers and the surrounding community. On the production side, the major waste product associated with cider—the organic material leftover after juicing—is composted or sold to local farmers for animal feed. Its products are packaged primarily in reusable stainless steel kegs and canned using recyclable and post-consumer materials with minimal display packaging. One hundred percent of the company’s fresh-pressed juice is purchased from regional apple growers within 150 miles of the cidery that minimize the use of pesticides and other agro- chemicals, as well as energy and water. Sold throughout Georgia, Treehorn has two ciders available, Treehorn Dry Cider (5.9% ABV) and Treehorn Ginger Reserve (5.9% ABV) with a seasonal hopped cider and a three-chili cider releasing soon. For more information, visit www.treehorncider.com