Monday, January 16, 2017

Check out PorchDrinking.com's National Beer Writers Survey!

Here's what dope beer experts had to say about the past, present and future of craft beer. They had your homey Ale in there too!

Whaddup!
As I celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest leaders of our time—cheers to Martin Luther King Jr.—I am also enjoying this National Beer Writers Survey composed by PorchDrinking.com
I happily mentioned some a lot of awesome breweries including Lagunitas, Alchemist, Creature Comforts, Service, Badger State, Three Taverns, SweetWater, Scofflaw, Southern Brewing Co., Max Lager’s, and the soon-to-be-launching Locomotion, Mazurt, From The Earth, and hopefully Little Cottage.
Okay, see for yourself what the beer game brought us last year, what is presently poppin’ off, and what the future brings according to experts who bust their asses every day covering the world’s greatest beverage.

Cheers to Tristan and the rest of the PorchDrinking.com Posse for doing this!

Ale

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Peep the gangster beer lineup for the 13th Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting!

Last year's joint was crazy for sure!
On Saturday, January 21st from 2:30 to 6 pm, it’s on and poppin’!
Yo, yo!
One of the most awesome beer events in Georgia is about to do its thing for the 13th time and you need to hit it up! A two-venue event with 5 Seasons Brewing Sandy Springs
and Taco Mac Prado in Sandy Springs (just south of I-285 on Roswell Road), this list below is proof founder Owen Ogletree & Co. know how to keep it gangster. I will be judging this joint, too. Can’t wait! 
To get tickets, go here before they are sold out! Oh! And peep my pics from last year here. Bananas! Okay, now on to the list of soon-to-be-tapped goodness:
·       5 Seasons Prado Cherry Bomb Scotch Ale aged in a Heaven Hill barrel
·       Abbey of the Holy Goats saison with elderflowers & spices
·       Arches Brewing Southern Bel' Belgian Ale
·       Black Diamond Mo-Rakinox IPA with experimental hops
·       BlueTarp All I Want for My Birthday is a Big Booty Baltic Porter
·       Burnt Hickory King Zeke
·       Cedar Creek Dankosaurus IPA dry-hopped with Motueka
·       Cherry Street Fidel Casktro bourbon barrel imperial stout with whiskey-soaked nibs & vanilla
·       Coastal Empire Wild Kingdom Pomegranate Brett Sour
·       Copper Creek Oatmeal Stout
·       Creature Comforts Double Koko Buni
·       Dry County Old 41 Oatmeal Stout with vanilla
·       Eagle Creek bourbon barrel-aged River Street Praline Brown
·       Founders Red’s Rye with Mosaic hops.
·       Fyne Ales Highlander Scottish 80/- hopped with Slovenian hops
·       Fyne Ales Maverick classic British bitter hopped with Bramling Cross
·       Fyne Ales Ragnarok imperial Jarl IPA
·       Gate City Chocolate Raspberry Terminus Porter with cacao nibs & strawberries
·       Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineers Reserve with ghost naga chilies
·       Jekyll Southern Juice IPA dry-hopped with Citra & Simcoe
·       JW Lees 2015 Harvest Ale aged in calvados barrels
·       JW Lees 2015 Harvest Ale aged in sherry barrels
·       Left Nut Squirrel Nut Zappers brown ale with pecans & coffee beans
·       Lincoln Fill Station / Cherry Street Triple Chocolate Chunk with toasted coconut
·       Max Lager's Choco-Mungo St. Mungo Scotch ale aged in a Four Roses barrel
·       MAZURT / Burnt Hickory The Dingo Drank My Stout with coffee, vanilla, cocoa nibs & a rare Australian honey
·       Monday Night Something Pretentious Scotch ale with coconut, vanilla beans, cocoa nibs & burnt orange peel
·       Moon River Cliffs of Insanity with chipotles & rum
·       Old Golden Hen - A classic, hoppy UK golden cask ale
·       Paradox Beer Company Skully #46 Osa Frambuesa sour brown with raspberries
·       Red Brick Passion of the Bretts IPA with passion fruit
·       Red Hare Funky Whabbit from chardonnay barrels with peaches, Brett & Lacto
·       Reformation Brewery dry-hopped Jude Reserve Tripel with fresh pears & grapefruit
·       Rivertown Brewing Roebling Imperial Porter
·       Scofflaw Double Dry-Hopped Double Jeopardy
·       Second Self A Hopwork Orange with Valencia orange juice & orange peel
·       Service Brewing Ground Pounder Pale Ale with black pepper & lime zest
·       Slice & Pint Cloud 9 Barleywine - the old Dogwood barleywine recipe
·       Southbound Mystery Ship with Brett, dry-hops & 1800 Reposado soaked oak chips
·       Southern Brewing Red N'Black Berliner with raspberries & blackberries
·       Steady Hand Beer Company Anthem of the Sun blonde stout with coconut
·       SweetWater Big Deep Black Stout with Meeker raspberries
·       Terrapin Tart Cherry Wake-n-Bake
·       Thomas Creek Class Five IPA dry-hopped with Galaxy
·       Three Taverns Funk Yard oak-aged sour ale
·       Twain's Salted Caramel English Strong Ale aged on American oak
·       Urban Tree Ginger Zestanero spiced cider aged in a Nicaraguan rum barrel
·       Variant Brewing / Dry County collaboration Imperial Breakfast Stout
·       Wicked Weed Cuban Coffee Stout aged in bourbon barrels with coffee, peppers, chocolate & spices
·       Wild Heaven American wild ale with tart cherries
·       Wrecking Bar Coffee Coconut Barrel-aged Siberius Maximus Imperial Stout 

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Holla!!!!
Ale

It’s the 4th Annual Terrapin Wake-n-Bake Off this Saturday!


 
Eat and sip to benefit one of my favorite charities, The Giving Kitchen!

Whaddup!
This Sunday, Jan 15, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., East Atlanta’s dope ass beer bar, the Argosy, will be hosting the 4th Annual Wake and Bake Off where some of Atlanta’s best eateries pair sweet and savory bites with one of the best stouts in the world, the Terrapin Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Stout! This is worth it for a mere $20 so get your tickets here. I will be there having the tough job of tasting and judging all submissions from these super talented culinary masterminds:
The Sweet Competitors:
Ormsby's - Nick Anderson
Elmyriachi - Lesli Shelly
Argosy - Michael Person
Noni's - Jenn von Schlichten
The Mercury - Brian Carson
Leons FullService - Rachel Wright

The Savory Competitors:
Sun in my Belly - Alison Lueker-Ritter
Steinbeck's - Andy Gonzalez (2016 Winner)
Cooks & Soldierss - Ashley Auer
D.B.A. Barbecue - Matt Coggin
Hampton & Hudson - Jason Hall
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall - Cooper Miller

There will also be a raffle every hour with prizes that are actually dope, and yes, the NFL playoff game featuring Green Bay at Dallas will be on. Most importantly, all proceeds benefit The Giving Kitchen.

But the party doesn’t stop there! Check it...
There is the 2017 Wake-n-Bake Off Presented by Terrapin Beer Co & MyAthens next Sunday in Athens!
Yep, on Sunday, Jan 22, from 4:30 pm to 8pm, it goes down in Athens, GA too! Here is the official announcement of the Wake-n-Bake Off in Athens:
When the weather gets cold, the cool get cookin’! And we’ve got dozens of home cooks and pro chefs firing up their ovens in preparation for one of Terrapin Beer Co. & MyAthens’ most beloved annual events, the Wake-n-Bake Off!
The Wake-n-Bake Off is a celebration of one of Terrapin’s iconic beers — Wake –N- Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout made with Jittery Joe’s coffee — and loads of things we love about Athens, like the awesome coffee scene, our amazing chef community and a city full of foodies who can whip up dishes just like the pros!
This year, the event — held at the brewery on Sunday, January 22, from 4:30-8:00 p.m. — will feature dozens of sweet and savory dishes, all prepared by some of the best pro and amateur chefs in town with Terrapin beer as the secret ingredient!
A pre-sale tour voucher entitles guests to 36oz of beer, a souvenir glass and a taste from each vendor — a challenge for those who come even with enormous appetites, since this is consistently one of the most well-stocked food events we have year-round! General admission entry begins at 5:30 p.m.
Upgrade your ticket for early entry to the event (4:30 p.m. start time), access to our limited release, high-gravity pours of Rise-n-Shine & Free Spirit and an Athens artist creation (details forthcoming) to your order, and we’ll have it waiting for you when your belly is full and ready to head home.
Ticket sales are limited, and this puppy is always packed to the gills, so grab yours now and ensure your spot at one of the heartiest events of the season!

See y’all there!          

Cheers!

Ale

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One of the bright sides of 2016: Movies!

The Magnificent Seven helped make 2016 palatable.
Now that they are more accessible, here are some dope flicks to help you say last year was not all bad.

Happy 2017!
With Old Man Winter having a serious attitude nationwide, this is the perfect time to avoid the unforgiving inclement weather and watch a movie either online, on demand, DVD, in the theater, or whatever source you can utilize.
Yes, besides beer, cars, and hotels, and gift guides, I cover movies too, but I also have a few skilled writers who fill in for me when I am on the go which is pretty much 80 percent of the time. Therefore, lifestyle writer Andrea Janise (@ATLFoodwriter) and film buff Lamont Byron aka L.B. Reel (and my brother) are letting you know what is worth your valuable time to relax, wrap up in a blanket, kick back and see what the cinema world blessed us with in 2016. Of course, I will add my two cents here or there if I saw the movie as well, but for 2017, it’s all about showing love to other dedicated scribes when I can.
Enjoy and have a gangster brew alongside the popcorn!

10 Cloverfield Lane
(PG-13)
Running Time: 103 minutes
This sci-fi thriller was right on point. After fleeing from a tense situation, Michelle (played by Elizabeth Winstead), finds herself in a modern underground bunker after being lead to believe she’d been rescued from a car accident and in the process saved from an alien invasion. The bunker and Michell’s rescue effort belongs to Howard Stambler, played flawlessly by John Goodman. Howard is jovial, likable, and seems believable, but looks can sometimes be deceiving. You are kept guessing throughout the film on Howard’s true intentions and in desperate need of being brought to light. From start to conclusion, Cloverfield delivers suspense, humor, and on-point acting performances that will keep you glued to your seat and pleasantly entertained.
-          L.B.
I say: This is a fun thriller fused with some horror and a believable theme. A lil’ sci-fi and a great performance by especially John Goodman complete this solid film. I dig it.


Fences
(PG-13)
Running Time: 136 minutes

Fences, adapted from the 1983 play by August Wilson, highlights a significant part of American culture that is rarely portrayed in cinema. Showcasing the life-long tale of a family living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1950’s, Fences weaves a thread throughout the storyline that tells of the resilience that was endured during this time period by silenced women and children. The movie surrounds patriarch Troy Maxon, an ex-negro league baseball player (Denzel Washington), who depicts the hard work ethic and personal missteps of an under-educated black man living in post WWII America. His wife, Rose, embodied by Viola Davis, provided a stable, openhearted relationship that eventually got tarnished with bumps and bruises along the way. Jovan Adepo stands out on screen as son Cory, who helped shed light on the uniquely shared tensions between many African American boys and their fathers during this time in history. The 2016 version is directed by Denzel Washington and is sure to receive several Oscar nominations. 
-          A.J.


Sing Street
(PG-13)
Running Time: 105 minutes

This drama might be what you’re looking for. Sing Street takes place in 1980’s Dublin, Ireland. Title character Conor (Ferdia-Walsh Peelo) is an artsy high-schooler, going through tough times. His family life is rocky, and amidst financial and marital issues which continue to revolve around his parents. In a cost-cutting move, Conor’s father has pulled him from his privileged private school education and pushed him into public school. Now he’s suddenly the outcast. Bullying becomes the norm as his pop-band eighties looks and creative individuality are preyed upon by classmates and the school’s headmaster. As Conor tries to navigate through life’s rough waters, he suddenly comes up with an idea to form a band. At this point, the film gets its wings. The eighties hits begin to roll as the humorous formation of the band and addition of Conor’s new love interest and band model Raphina come into play. From start to finish, Sing Street aims to please and hits a bullseye.
-          L.B.


Passengers
(PG-13)
Running Time: 116 minutes
Get a glimpse into the future with Colombia Pictures’ release of Passengers, a romantic comedy and sci-fi collaboration that envisions a love story that could happen in our not so distant future. The entire movie takes place on an American made spaceship that becomes the setting for great chemistry between Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) and Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) as they find themselves awake too soon during a 120-year voyage to inhabit a new planet. Viewers are taken through exciting twists of story lines to an unexpected ending that is sure to give you all the feels. This is one you won’t want to miss!
-          A.J.
I say: Usually waiting for Tom Cruise flicks when I want to see what the future holds, Passengers provides a wonderful option by showing us how technologically advanced, idealistic, and downright scary it could possibly be regarding planet-to-planet travel. Oh, besides the solid roleplays by Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, the bartender was a joy to watch.


Sully
(PG-13)

Running Time: 96 minutes
Clint Eastwood directed this well put-together docu-drama based on actual events of US Airways flight 1549 in 2009. Sully—named after the hero pilot Chesley Sullenberger—portrays the unbelievable story of the icy water landing of flight 1549 into the icy waters of New York’s Hudson river. This against all odds courageous and ingenious landing was made when the Airbus A320, lost engine power after striking a flock of birds. After managing to miraculously save the lives of all souls on board, the crew garnered worthy praise. Ironically, Sully (played phenomenally by Tom Hanks) would receive an unfair dose of criticism for possible alternative landing decisions that might have made more sense in those critical moments. This is one to watch for the drama angle, cinematography, and the opportunity to be informed on parts of this amazing story that might have flown under the radar.
-          L.B.


The Magnificent Seven
(R)

Running Time: 133 minutes
The remake Magnificent Seven brings an all-star cast to light. The group of seven are lead and formed by Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington) are on the path for revenge for local who desperately summoned their talents to avenge the loss of loved ones at the hands of a viscous group of bandits. The outlaws could care less about human life, common decency, and the townspeople’s prior comfortable way of life. After some coaxing, the Seven finally accept the role to protect and fight the helpless. The bullets begin to fly and the action soon heats up to a feverish pace, leading to a western loaded with action, humorous dialogue, and a well-appointed cast.
-          L.B.


Manchester By the Sea
(R)
Running Time: 137 minutes
Manchester By the Sea is the story in the life of Lee Chandler (played by Casey Affleck). Resulting from a series of misfortunes, Lee has become a bit detached from society and prefers to live life inside of his own shell away from his hometown. His body language suggests defeat, the speaking tone is low, he is consistently unenthusiastic, and ultimately absent of any indication of happiness. The outside world is true to its very meaning for Lee, who struggles to hold on to a job by a withered thread. Suddenly, his life is further turned upside down when he receives word that his brother has passed away. Now Lee is faced with another hardship being thrust into the role of handling his brother’s affairs which include the possibility of sole guardianship of his late brother’s son, Patrick. Now forced to revisit the town he once abandoned, Lee must unearth strength, stability, and the ability to handle life way outside of his comfort zone by being a dedicated uncle. The question remains, will he step up and conquer his demons, or will he continue to shield himself from the possibility of a better life?
-          L.B.


Don’t Breathe
(R)
Running Time: 88 minutes
The thriller Don’t Breathe proved to live up to its title. Throughout this flick, you will be trying to catch your breath as suspense, thrills, and chills reign supreme. On a fateful evening in Detroit, three hooligans decide to rob the house of a blind man titled Norman Nordstram played by the well-casted Steven Lang. Norman is targeted after being known to possibly be in the possession of $300,000 because of a settlement—evidently a poor kept secret. After a few attempts, the break-in seems successful for the three as they finally find a way inside Norman’s home, but they horribly underestimated his handicap; Norman is instead more than capable of defending his home. The twists and turns ensue throughout at a torrid pace. The events inside Norman’s house will keep you on the edge of your seat with no ways to predict the outcome. There never seems to be a dull moment in this one and that’s why it made this year’s list.
-          L.B.
I say: This was a wonderful movie cocktail of past horror flicks including Saw, Blairwitch Project and Cujo. Take a sip!

Cheers!

Ale

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It's Ale Sharpton’s 2016 Last-Minute Gift Guide


That new Google Pixel XL looks like a winner!
Been too busy to shop? I got ya covered as I do every year!
Cheers Everyone!

I honestly haven’t got my shopping on due to so much going on, but I am going to take another buzzer beater shot and score with the gifts I have below. Through some testing, rave reviews and what I consider great ideas, I compiled these babies so that you can make someone (or yourself) very happy. Heck, I even included a couple I researched for other mags I write for.
From getting your cheffin’ on, to a dope phone, putting music lovers in heaven, toasting off 2017 with the hottest beer glass style of the year, or even buying the latest Rolls-Royce for the true ballers out there, I have something for everyone!
Happy Holidays!
Ale


TeKu Glassware
You HAVE to drink the world’s greatest libation—beer—the right way, and the TeKu style of glassware has been on fire this year! Pour an IPA in these bad boys especially when company drops by and see how their eyes light up. Even a light beer would look good in this. Okay, maybe not. Regardless, the German glassmaker Rastal went out of their way to accentuate every tasting note, scent and carbonating bubble to put palates in bliss for a mere $24.95 a pair.

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware
Since I love to get down in the kitchen and my family includes generations of chefs, I know the importance of good cookware. I got myself a couple early Christmas gifts this year—the Covered Fry Pan and Covered Dutch Oven by Calphalon. Selling for cheap along with a 20 percent discount here, I use them both and truly appreciate the quality; practicality thanks to the Dutch’s straining cover and pour spout for especially pasta; and the ease of avoiding sticky situations since all of their products are, well, nonstick!


Gold Star Vodka
Want to sip something for a cause? Here you go! Mark Seymour served in the Army for 11 years and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, before injuries brought him back home to Atlanta, GA. Maintaining his dedication to the service, Mark launched Gold Star Vodka with $2 of each bottle sold going to “Gold Star Families” those who have lost loved ones in war. And get this, it’s American-made and damn good!  


Google Pixel XL
Wait, whaaaaaat? Google has its own phone? Yep! The Google Pixel XL is going to be my best friend for 2017, complete with a 5.5-inch WQHD AMOLED display for crispy vision; a long-lasting 3450 mAh battery; unlimited online storage for pics and vids; Google Assistant; and the option of 32GB and 128GB to name a few attractions. The three colors they come in are pretty slick too, including Quite Black, Very Silver, and Really Blue.
I loved the HTC I featured in this year's Father's Day Gift Guide especially for the latest pics I took on Instagram. Now it’s Google’s turn to wow me and I am confident they will with their highly acclaimed camera. (Peep their DUO video phoning feature and Earth Live Case for the Pixel XL too.)


JBL Flip 3 Bluetooth Splashproof Speaker
Rain or shine, bring the beats to any occasion, thanks to the splashproof JBL Flip 3 speaker complete with one-button access to speakerphone calls and the ability to wirelessly connect to three separate smart devices. Now the whole family—or party you are rocking—can get their boogie on!


Powerbeats3 Wireless Earphones
If you don’t want to entertain the masses but still bump Gangstarr, Pusha T, Tribe Called Quest, Radiohead or whatever sounds hot to you, these Powerbeats3 headphones deliver with phenomenal ear quality. The wireless action is also a plus with up to a 12-hour battery life. There is even an Apple W1 chip for easy pairing with Apple devices and Siri integration. Boom!



SAXX Boxers for Men
Crafted to prevent rough times below the belt with awesome comfort while keeping things snug, SAXX provides a plethora of materials and artistic patterns to step your boxer game up. Socks have been the thing boasting audacious and trippy designs; now it’s men’s underwear turn! If you are in ATL, you can find these forgiving undies at Rigby & Peller in Phipps Plaza (3500 Peachtree Rd NE Atlanta, GA 30326). If not, hit them up online! 
saxxunderwear.com


FRYE Company Bags
Yep, I love me some FRYE. Well besides their world-renowned boots I rock, Frye Company has some dope bags as well including the suede Chris Messenger ($428), antiqued Logan Billfold ($138), and travel-chic Logan Overnight in dark brown ($598). These will undoubtedly make anyone in the airport super jealous. Bag ‘em.
For my ATLiens, hit them up in Ponce City Market (675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308). If not, you know the drill…



2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn
Are you balling and deserve some pampering for getting you to that point? If money is truly no object, consider the 2017 Rolls-Royce Dawn. I drove this prestigious British carmaker’s new edition on the scenic roadways of Rhode Island and didn’t want to give it up! This legitimate four-seat convertible is the epitome of luxury, power, finesse, and elegance. Flexing serious muscle with a 6.6 liter, twin-turbo V-12 engine and waaaay too many amenities to name, it starts at a measly $335,000. Pocket change, right?

Happy Holidays Y’all!

Ale