Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sweetwater Brewing Pours Their Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Today!

The launch party is today and the 750 ml Cork & Cage bottle hits the stores on Monday, October 5th!


SweetWater has been going extra hard this year with all of their expansion to more states up north and the launch of the Cork & Cage series—potent, experimental small-batch brews topped with yes, a cork and cage. 
The first Cork & Cage joint.
The first release of this series was the excellent peach-infused The Pit & The Pendulum Wild Ale; this time around, my constant wishes of them making a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout being realized. This silky smooth sipper at 11.2% ABV is a good one! I had a taste last week during a private media preview. Now we can actually bring a bottle home on Monday, October 6th. To confirm my praises, come through to the brewery today starting at 1 p.m. SweetWater says, “The Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is a supremely rich, full-bodied imperial stout laced with subtle notes of chocolate and bourbon, acquired while aging in bourbon barrels.” I concur.
“The brewery has played with barrel aging for special releases at anniversary parties, tours and craft industry events, but this is the first barrel-aged beer we’ve released for sale,” Nick Burgoyne, part of the brewing team that created the stout, adds. “This stout is ripe for the cooler weather – it has the burly and warming characteristics of bourbon; I imagine drinking it out of a snifter by the fire. Might even have to buy a proper smoking jacket for this one.”
Speaking more on the release party at the brewery, the first 100 early birds get a limited edition Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout snifter, plus there will be a S’mores bar and yes, the Atlanta Falcons game will be on. The admission including a tour and tasting tickets is a measly $10 a person!
For more info, visit

See y’all there!


Monday, September 28, 2015

Come to the Branzini & Beer Patio Party this Saturday!

It’s a seafood and Belgian beer fest from 2 to 4 on October 3rd. Try and win a ticket via Twitter with the hashtag #AleBranziniTrivia!*

Happy Monday! (Mmmmmph.)

Okay, it’s time to get back in the swing of things and begin the week after a rainy, but still action-packed weekend. Taste of Atlanta was a blast where I helped judge the Barcraft completion (congrats Paige Lane of Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall for winning the finals!), along with the Atlanta Beer Festival at Turner Field to name a few festivities.
Well, to keep the ball rolling, here is another event that I am working with this Saturday: It’s the Branzini & Beer Patio Party at Lure on October 3rd from 2 to 4 pm. Lure is already the bomb, extra classy inside and out, plus their seafood is top notch. Well this Saturday, they will flex their culinary muscle while pairing nine Belgian beers including lambics right on their chic patio!
For a mere $49.70 per person (including tax and gratuity), you’ll get:
·         A grilled whole branzino
·         Mini patty melts with charred onions and smoked oyster butter
·         Croquettes aux crevettes (Belgian-style shrimp croquettes)
·         Baby kale salad with smoked Georgia trout, muscadines, scuppernongs, and pecans
·         Moules frites (mussels with Belgian-style double-fried French fries and mayonnaise)
·         Cast-iron braised endive with b├ęchamel, ham, and gruyere
·         A selection of nine Belgian beers and lambics
While tickets are limited and can be purchased here (, I am going to give you a chance to win one with a lil’ trivia I worked out with Fifth Group Restaurants
*The first to get each question right by replying with the right answer and using the hashtag #AleBranziniTrivia will win the ticket! Sound good? I am going to post my first question on Twitter in exactly ten minutes after my initial announcement about the contest with the hashtag #AleBranziniTrivia so look out for it! I will space them out by about ten minutes apart so you will have time to get your Google on! You know your homey Ale wants to hook you up any way I can. 
Good luck! If not, splurge, buy a ticket, and get your grub on with me on Saturday!



*Congratulations to @LGSims300o and @ATLRenner for winning the trivia! Here are the answers to the questions:

Question One: How many restaurants does Atlanta’s Fifth Group Restaurants operate? 
Answer: 7! South City Kitchen Midtown, South City Kitchen Vinings, La Tavola Trattoria, Ecco, The Original El Taco, Alma Cocina, Lure

Question Two: What do they popularly call Branzino in Portugal?
Answer: Robalo

Friday, September 18, 2015

Beer Fest time! This one is at Turner Field next Saturday!

The weather should be perfect for this joint.


Quick and to the point, I haven't been to a beer fest in a while. Here is the next one in ATL. See ya there! Here is the necessary info below. They had me at 200-plus beers!:

Great Atlanta Beer Fest at Turner Field
Saturday, September 26, 2015 3pm-8pm
200+ beers and ciders, 30+ wine options; Live Music, College football on big TVs
Tickets: $45 advance, $55 day of event



Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Am Moderating the ‘Hopportunity Knocks’ Beer Panel Tonight!

Come check out panelists reppin’ Three Taverns, Orpheus and Hop City talking about ATL’s beer culture while FREE beer's poured for attendees at Ponce City Market’s General Assembly!

Yep, it’s me up to something again!

This time, I am more than happy to host General Assembly’s panel on the best beverage known to man—and woman—beer (!) during their annual Made In Atlanta Week. Based in the all new Ponce City Market, general Assembly specializes in assisting future leaders in the advancement technology, food, fashion, and pretty much anything hip; tonight, they invited locals Three Taverns, Orpheus, and awesome one-stop beverage paradise Hop City to discuss Atlanta’s beer culture, history and future tonight! 
I, along with Hop City Owner Kraig Torres and the panelists will be providing our expertise while the participating breweries make sure no one’s thirsty including SweetWater during this free event. It starts with a beer tasting at 6 pm followed by the panel I am leading at 7. Of course, I am working on some other surprises as well. Sign up ASAP here to attend if you haven’t already. 

Here’s the skinny straight from General Assembly:
At Hopportunity Knocks, panelists from your favorite breweries in Atlanta will gather to share insights into the professional world of beer. You'll hear from the brewmasters themselves about their early days and how their vision transformed into the local companies we know and love. Drink and learn about everything from what beer making looks like as a hobby to where experts see the future of local breweries in Atlanta.
Beer tasting 6 pm
Panel discussion 7 pm
Made in Atlanta Week: A week to celebrate great things being made in our city. We are bringing together people from all backgrounds and industries to foster collaboration through education. We have partnered with several Atlanta companies and organizations to bring you a whole week's worth of knowledge through a series of panels, discussions, presentations, and fireside chats. Some of the most exciting companies and organizations in the Atlanta Food, Design, Big Business, Fashion and Beer scenes will be joining us every day.

See y’all there!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

It's a Monday Night Tap Takeover at Brick Store Today!

Try their new 12% wheat wine called Laissez-Faire starting at 5 pm, ya heard?


My homies at Monday Night Brewing continues to step their game up going more and more out the box of their already consistent portfolio of liquid goodness for the past four years. This time around, it’s the introduction of their new 12 percent ABV wheat wine called Laissez-Faire—their most limited of the Black Tie Series so far. Of course, pouring this first timer at one of the best beer bars in the world, Brick Store, along with some other goodies doesn’t hurt either! everything starts pouring at 5 pm.
Here is the official description of Laissez-Faire and the rest of the taps flowing straight from Joel Iverson, Monday Night’s “Operations Guy”:

Monday Night’s Joel Iverson says: 

Laissez-Faire, a 12% wheat wine that has been aging in fresh single-use Jordan Winery Cabernet barrels for almost one year. This will be our most limited Black Tie Series release to date, and it’s pretty special. One of our brewers was a former winemaker and was able to source these great barrels and the notes from the Cabernet and French oak created some fantastic notes over time. The name is a throwback to some of our early barley wines we’d make in the garage and the realization that letting the invisible hand do its work on the beer and not touching it for a long time can be a beautiful thing (and yes, I am a bit of an economics dork so this beer has a special place in my heart).

Tie 4 On, an 11% Quad Aged on Oak was our 4 year anniversary beer. To celebrate 4 years we used 4 malts and 4 hops to create this Belgian Quad. It clocks

Spirit Animal, a 5.5% sour ale aged on French oak and rose hips. This beer was a fun one to make. After a 3 day kettle souring we loaded it up with rose hips in the whirlpool, then aged it on French oak following fermentation.  It rounds out nicely and is a delicious beer for both the sour aficionados but also people more new to the style.

Bed Head Coffee IPA, 8.4 % Imperial IPA with Batdorf Bronson Coffee. This was a beer we released last year as part of our black tie series and we went back and did a small batch to celebrate our 4 years. Beer and Coffee are probably the beverages that make up 90% of my liquid consumption, and this beer brings together the best of these. We worked with our friends at Batdorf Bronson to do a custom roast of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee that pairs nicely with the hops in the IPA and we use a cold extraction to bring out a lot of the floral notes from this coffee.

Blood Orange Blind Pirate, a 6.5% IPA with Italian blood orange juice. This is the newest beer in our clip-on series. It’s loaded with Simcoe, Citra, and Comet hops but as you sip it you get the complementary flavors of the blood orange juice.

Serrano Eye Patch, a 6.2% IPA with serrano peppers. We released this as a tasting room experiment last year and people went crazy over it. Pepper beers can go many different ways (coming from a guy who got duped into trying some crazy ass ones out in New Mexico a few years back that almost made me every want to try one again).  Peppers are also super subjective but we tried to bring out the notes of the Serrano peppers without burning off your tongue, unless you have a super sensitive tongue.

Nitro Drafty Kilt, a 7.2% Scotch Ale. One of my greatest moments was having Charlie Papazian, the writer of the book that got me into homebrewing, rave about our Drafty Kilt after it won a medal at the world beer cup last year. If you haven’t tried the Nitro version we release limited numbers of these and I would highly recommend.

Cask of Gun Show, an 8% Belgian Strong Ale with fresh pears. We added hibiscus, orange peel, and galaxy hops and was lightly soured for some tart notes.

It kicks off at 5 pm please come and join us!

Sound good? I say hell yeah!