Thursday, June 14, 2018

It’s Ale Sharpton’s Annual Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Guide—2018 Edition

It’s time to hook Dad up!

Photo by Peggy Sirota/Parents Magazine
It's that time again!
Let’s get down to business for our annual Last-Minute Gift Guide!
Since I am doing so much more than just covering the best libation in the world—­beer­—here are a few events and items worth purchasing for that special dad out there who deserves it. So whether it’s on a fork, in a cup, at a location, or something he can enjoy daily, these will certainly beat a tacky tie he will only wear if you beg him to. I am also Tweeting dining specials and other ideas throughout Atlanta and beyond here so look for that as well.

June 14, 2018 5pm-9pm
At Second Self Brewing (1317 Logan Circle NW Atlanta, GA 30318)
I say: Father’s Day starts early at Second Self with this Gentleman’s Day tonight! And you don’t have to be a dad to go. There will be beers, cigars, meat, and custom shirts to name a few of men’s favorite things in life. I’m there to get my weekend poppin’. See ya there?
They say: We have the perfect Father's Day gift for you. Treat yourself or someone you love to Father's Night Out at Second Self. Your ticket will include: - SHIRT from Blank Label (w/ fitting at the store) - 3 PINTS from Second Self - CHARCUTERIE BOARD from Pine Street Market - CIGAR from Trilogy -or- 6-PACK TO-GO from Second Self - Selection of Barrel Aged Beers will be on The FIRST 30 PEOPLE to BUY TICKETS will get a free shirt fitting that night at the brewery!!! Ticket Prices: 1 for $50 2 for $80 Note - you don't need to be a father to attend!
2 for $80

Saturday, June 16, 2018, 4pm-8pm
I say: My hood’s Historic Old Fourth Ward Park is the perfect setting for any type of festival, and the Atlanta Beer Festivals folks are throwing down this weekend to especially treat dad to. I mean come on, you had me 200-plus brews! Get tickets here.
They say: Join us again for one of the best beer festivals of the summer, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest. After 6 great years at the Masquerade Music Park, we are now on our 2nd year at Historic 4th Ward Park. We will have over 200 beers, featuring the local Atlanta breweries, and great breweries from all over the country. We will have some fun attractions this year, including live music on the main stage.  Be sure to Like our page on Facebook to get all of the updates. Tickets are $40 advance, $45 after June 8, and $55 day of event.  Tickets are now on sale. Your ticket price includes a souvenir cup, entertainment, and all of your beer, wine and cider samples.


I say: I’m a hop head and the IPA is my favorite style as the result. This book will help those who feel the same whether it’s brewing, knowing what to look for, or simply learning more about what the most prominent three-letter term in the beer business is all about. Books last forever so why not show the brilliant brewer and author Dick Cantwell love? Go here to book one.
They say: We are in the “heyday of IPA,” according to renowned brewer Dick Cantwell. Experimental flavors and new hop varieties are appearing as risk takers aim to make beer that stands out from the crowd. In his new book, Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale (Brewers Publications; June 4, 2018), Cantwell shares the latest trends, exciting techniques, and true story behind the most popular style of craft beer: the IPA. Among the most well-respected and experienced craft brewers in the world, Cantwell provides tips and insights for beer lovers, first-time brewers, and industry veterans alike. 

I say: I went by the Uno de 50 store in Lenox Mall and couldn’t leave without rocking one of their bracelets for men on my wrist. Hook Pops up with one if he wants to step his wrist game up! They also have silver-plated chain necklaces, wide rings, watches and key rings, ya heard?
They say: If you’re unfamiliar with UNOde50, get ready to swoon. The distinctive jewelry brand born in Madrid features stunning and timeless pieces for both women and men that are made using traditional methods as if they were one-of-a-kind. Go here for more information and help Dad stand out.

Monday, June 4, 2018

It’s almost time for the Montreal Jazz Fest!

Kamasi Washington will be in the house! Photo:

Consistent with this being one of the best music festivals in the world, the 39th edition has a stellar lineup in 2018!

I love the Montreal Jazz Fest!
If you have been following me over the years, you will know that I make it a point to attend the Montreal Jazz Fest every year. It’s simply that amazing. Besides jazz, I love how they explored other art forms including rock, soul, funk, folk, and one of my favorites—hip-hop—in the past. Throughout the years, I have seen unforgettable shows performed by everyone from Wu Tang, to Public Enemy, Del The Funky Homosapien, and last year’s dope grand finale, Anderson .Paak! (We later met Anderson in the hotel I was staying at which I highly recommend, the newly remodeled Hyatt Regency Montreal, based in the center of the Fest.) Here is my photo during his show...
Well this year they still provide stellar lineups but are bringing a stronger focus to the jazz side, which is just as much of a draw since that is how they originally began in year one. In 2018 from June 28 to July 7, you can’t go wrong with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Bobby McFerrin, and burgeoning geniuses Kamasi Washington on the sax, Hamilton on Broadway’s Leslie Odom Jr., and bassist Thundercat to name a few. The War On Drugs will be closing on the last day.
The official description says:

39th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Jazz, jazz… and nothing but jazz!

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by the TD Bank Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto, unveils a new series of concerts for its 39th edition, June 28 to July 7, 2018. On the program: an array of artists featuring legends and rising stars, dear Festival friends and newcomers, promising evenings of magical jazz in all its forms.

Go here for all the information and to book your tickets. Keep in mind that besides all acts, free outdoor shows, and other highlights, the entire city of Montreal is one of the world’s most revered playgrounds for food, famous parks, historical landmarks, diversity, art, culture, and of course, beer. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite cities and hopefully you will see why. Trust me, you will see something extraordinary every day. Did you see what greeted me while having coffee at a cafe nearby the Hyatt Regency last year on my Instagram here? This crew called the Les Gens De Couleurs was mind blowing. Check out my other posts on this #cruisinforabrewsinmontreal hashtag.
So whether it’s a Father’s Day present, a vacation with a loved one, or simply to feed your desire to indulge in music, this is the place to be for the summer!
Look for more coverage soon including where to eat and get your sip on when in Montreal.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Tucker Brewing Company is ready for their Grand Opening on June 2!

Here is a little taste of what they are doing. I took this yesterday.
They are aiming for the 10,000-barrel range within a year.

Yep! Another brewery inside Atlanta’s perimeter. This one is in Tucker, GA and it’s dope!

When I first moved here with my family in 1990, we set up shop on the border of Stone Mountain and Tucker, GA. In fact, both of my brothers went to Tucker High School. And with that, I was so pressed to have a brewery or at least a brew spot near our house, but there was absolutely nothing besides a Taco Mac up the street that eventually changed ownership. Hence, the opening of the first microbrewery in the city—Tucker Brewing Company—on June 2 decades later is getting the eyes to water up! And I won’t even say how awesome the layout is during my sneak peek tour yesterday. The beers are German-inspired ales and lagers, there will be live music, it’s in a huge space, and… Aw hell, I will leave it to you to see for yourself. Support these cats and keep showing love to independent brewing! I will be there on June 2nd to support another brewery making ATL the shizzzznit!
Below is the official invitation. Make sure you RSVP here:

Please join us for our grand opening on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 1 pm to 9 pm. We will be celebrating with live music, food trucks and, of course, great beer!

RSVP for the grand opening event on Facebook.

Entry to the brewery on Saturday costs $10 and includes a souvenir 16-ounce Tucker Brewing Company Willi Becher glass, plus two full beer pours. We will also have water, soda and juice for non-beer-drinkers. Pets on leashes and children are also welcome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Check out how I compare the Avengers to Atlanta breweries!


Atlanta Eats’ writer Jorge Hernandez put this dope interview of me comparing the breweries I featured in my six Atlanta Drinks episodes to one of the best Marvel movies yet, Avengers: Infinity War. He even added the ill graphics for extra measure. This was a fun time for sure. Let me know what you think about it along with the six episodes here! Thanks again to all the Atlanta Eats homies having me on board.

Happy sippin'!


Monday, May 7, 2018

Hyundai is set to impress in 2018!

Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV can fit seven and comes with a boatload of features.

Both its Santa Fe and Accent lines aim to please for singles, students and families.

Cheers Everyone!
Being a lifestyle writer, I happen to review cars for a few magazines as well. Well there are a few standouts that may answer the inquiries of my many friends, family and overall readers of this site. They ask me what cars really impress me, are the most luxurious, the best on gas, and overall have the best value for what they’re intending to spend.
I enjoy those conversations and during many of them, will do my best to recommend whatever will ease their search. Well over the past few months, Hyundai's automobiles have been very consistent in terms of quality, solid design, and overall offering the most bang for the buck. Thinking about school about to let out, kids heading  to college, and anyone looking for a new car they can afford, the all-new 2018 Accent Limited sedan and the 2018 Santa Fe Limited SUV successfully deliver. Of course, Hyundai can go upscale as well and you will see what I mean with my review of the mind-blowing 2018 Genesis G90 Ultimate luxury sedan in my upcoming June edition of Driver’s Notebook for Lifestyle Publications. But for now, let’s focus on the aforementioned Hyundai duo that presents the most value in a practical world.
Photos courtesy of Hyundai.

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited
The all-new Hyundai Accent is one of the best bangs for the buck I have yet to review. The plethora of amenities graciously packed in this subcompact sedan really wowed me. I was very surprised to see the three trims—the SE listed at $14,995 MSRP; SEL ($17,295); and my review model, the top-of-the-line Limited ($18,895)—having so many standard features. The latter comes with everything including the 17-inch alloy wheels; a 7-inch touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay; leather-wrapped steering wheel; power sunroof; fog lights; heated front seats; and the feature everyone should demand—the proximity key with push-button start—to name a few. 
Regarding power, all three have the same 130-hp, 1.6L 4-cylinder engine. The combined city and highway gas mileage for the SEL and Limited is a very reasonable 32 miles per gallon, while the SE is (oddly) one combined mile lower. With all of these perks, along with Hyundai providing arguably the best warranty programs in the automotive industry, the Accent in any trim becomes a serious consideration.
(Note there used to be a hatchback version, but this upgraded sedan’s roomy trunk works just fine.)
Fuel Economy: 28 city/ 38 highway/ 32 combined

Base Price: $19,905 fully equipped as reviewed.

2018 Santa Fe Limited Ultimate
If you have a large family or plan on toting folks around regularly, Hyundai comes correct with the 2018 Santa Fe in three trims capable of accommodating up to seven passengers with a third-row option. They remain consistent with their reputation of providing a healthy dose of features seen here that come standard in the SE (starting at $30,850; SE Ultimate ($38,850); and my review model which is the most lavish of the bunch, the Santa Fe Limited Ultimate ($39,550). Prices differentiate in each trim with the addition of the all-wheel-drive option, and I strongly recommend the $2,100 Tech Package to build driving confidence in the safety department. It includes Smart Cruise Control with stop/start; Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Warning; Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Holder; and various lighting settings. 
I also appreciate the balance of a smooth ride, yet a powerful 290-hp 3.3L GDI DOHC 24-valve V6 engine complemented with impressively nimble handling to spike the excitement of the driving experience. There is also a smaller, five-passenger Sport version in three trims as well. Go here for more info.
All in all, after considering the high safety accolades, handsome design, strong engine, its seemingly endless list of amenities that come standard, and reasonable tag, I recommended this Santa Fe Limited Ultimate to my cousin who just added a baby boy to his family. The verdict? He says if he is going to be a family man, he might as well have fun doing it. Hey, works for me!
Visit for all the information on both models and the rest of their fleet.

Happy driving! Do it responsibly.