Friday, December 30, 2011

The Samuel Adams Infinium: The true ‘Champagne of Beers’


Moët who? School Champagne sippers with this one!

What do you get when the largest American craft brewer in the U.S. collaborates with the oldest brewery in the world? Champagne! Well, not quite. It is technically a fantastic beer called Infinium, but the average imbiber would easily confuse the two.
I couldn't wait!
The story goes like this: The great minds of the Boston-based Samuel Adams and Germany’s Weihenstephan Brewery—founded in 1040—accepted the challenge of creating a beer that emulated the tasting characteristics of champagne. The only catch was they had to follow the strict guidelines of Reinheitsgebot—the German beer purity law established in 1516 that states beer can only be brewed with water, hops, malt and yeast. After two years of experimentation with numerous varieties of the essential quartet, Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan released Infinium just in time for the Holidays of 2010 to rave reviews. Now, the second installment has hit the shelves and it’s flying off them. Presented in a sexy 750ml bottle complete with the corked top, the Infinium pours the same inventive concoction: a golden hued, fruity, effervescent potion with a slight tartness and dry finish set at a potent 10.3 percent alcohol by volume.
So if you didn’t get the chance to deck the halls with this bad boy, for just under $20, Infinium will be perfect to pop off the New Year...if there are any left! 

Happy New Year, Folks!

Ale Sharpton

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dogfish Head Brews Gluten-Free Beer Called Tweason’ale



Delaware-based brewery delivers a New Year’s surprise for gluten-free dieters

Hey Fellow Sippers!
I just got word about a new brew from Dogfish Head Craft Ales Brewery, you know, the guys out of Delaware who had that beer show and continues to be one of the microbreweries that have been kicking a lot of ass especially in 2011? Sam Calagione, the breweries founder and president, was happy to announce a new 4-pack of gluten-free cold ones called Tweason’ale packing an abundance of flavors like strawberry, molasses and a touch of buckwheat honey. Calagione said, “It seems as if lots of folks who have gluten-tolerance issues are pining for an interesting beer. While there are a few well-made examples that mirror traditional beer styles, there aren’t any off-centered offerings.”
To add, the Tweason’ale has a little more alcohol punch at 6 percent ABV. Nice!
Believe me, there is a demand out there. I have a few friends who asked me about the availability of gluten-free beers they could drink due to their restricted diets of no wheat, rye and barley—basically the essential grains to traditionally prepared ales and lagers. (Dogfish substituted those grains with a mild sorghum base.) I did taste a couple existing versions that were found in select specialty brew shops, but I honestly was never blown away by the taste. This new one from Dogfish, who is world renowned for making some pretty tasty, complex and inventive suds  throughout the years, might be the answer. I will let you know if I ever get a chance to sip one when they come out in late January of 2012.
Hoppy Holidays!
Ale

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tim Tebow now has beer honoring him called 'Tebrew'!

The one perfect marriage that will always withstand the test of time is beer and sports, but who knows how long the mania created by Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will last? Well Bonfire Brewing out of Eagle, Colorado ingeniously decided to show admiration for the proudly pious field general the best way they know how: by brewing a barleywine called Tebrew: The Sunday Sipper
Yep, the Bonfire crew, a quintet of Coloradans (Andy Jessen, Matt Wirtz, Amanda Hensley, Ken Hoeve, and Phil Jessen) are set to unleash a potent beast that is already making headlines nationwide without pouring their first 10 oz. serving!  (I mean, hey, they made it on this site didn't they?) Well it makes sense. Tebow is simply the man not only in Denver for his now legendary number of 4th quarter comebacks, but for thousands of others globally who are inspired by his lifelong dedication to Christ thanks to his parents --missionaries who birthed him in the Philippines prior to raising him in Florida. 
Adding to their fleet of about 19 brews including a few variations of wheat ales, IPAs, porters (I want to try the Tent Pole Porter S.E.) and others, Bonfire adds The Sunday Sipper as a barleywine. Barleywines are one of the most strongest beer styles ranging from about 8 to 12 percent alcohol by volume which are typically full-bodied, hoppy, earthy, and chewy, hopefully balanced with some sweet notes of tasty things like toffee. Oh, and it favors some properties of wine to some degree. More accessible versions of barleywine include the Victory Old Horizontal, Bell's Third Coast Ale and Denver's own Great Divide Old Ruffian
Ultimately, have a few glasses of a barleywine and you couldn't sack a bag of groceries, let alone a scrambling quarterback. 
Anyway, to complete their Tebow admiration, Bonfire's logo emulates the pigskin slinger's signature kneel (popularly called "Tebowing") with a silhouette doing the pose, complete with a mug of brew in hand. Funny!
There is no doubt taps will be, well, tapped out in no time when this brew hits the local bars. Unfortunately for cats like me who live a few thousand miles away, we will just have to hear how good it is. Bonfire says they are only brewing 150 gallons with about five of those gallons being served at the nearby Vali Big Beers Festival, which sounds pretty damn awesome, sipping beer out there in the Rockies and all. 
So what if the God-fearing Tebow disapproves of his name being associated with alcohol? Well according to Bonfire, "He may not [approve], as we've heard he isn't a beer drinker, but we're all hoping to toast a victory this weekend! Hope it helps send good vibes their way."
The only thing different about Bonfire's Tebrew is that it can be dangerous for all four quarters of a game, so prepare your defense accordingly!
Cheers!
Ale

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Video: "I Am the Most 'Drunk' Man in the World"

Take note during Holiday parties!

I have seen people toss their cookies, fight, stumble out of clubs or simply pass out from sipping too much of that "devil's nectar" some call it, but this dude right here? He wins, hands down. I have something super cool coming up on this site, but for now, it's time to take a ten-minute break and check this cat out. Opening front doors are a bitch I guess. Sheeesh! I won't have what he's having. 
Be careful out there, brew heads.
Happy and safe Holidays!
Ale



Friday, December 9, 2011

Leaving Las Vegas

The Rí Rá Irish Pub in Vegas kicked major arse!
Man, oh man, what a damn whirlwind the first week of December has been! 
The 500-lb. St. Patrick with
a Guinness in hand!
I hit up Las Vegas for the first four days of the month (which helped temporarily get my mind off of things with the recent passing of my mom); since I have been back, Atlanta is just as nuts as expected. Although I enjoyed the festive Holiday party with my fellow automotive journalists, saw a media screening of The Sitter and was blown away by basically a Cirque De Soleil production on horseback, the Cavalia Odysseo (which was absolutely incredible and an awesome date idea to guarantee a pleasurable evening after), I kept reflecting on my cool time in Sin City. 
Besides my stay at the posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel thanks to Lexus drinking Squatter's Hop Rising which I discussed here, I had one helluva time at the Rí Rá Irish Pub. Its gorgeous, Victorian-themed hardwood decor made this authentic pub even more prominent in the swanky Shoppes at Mandalay Place. Everything from the furnishings to the beer, music, recipes, floors, 500-lb. St. Patrick statue and even their personable staff have pretty much been shipped from Ireland to this 8,000 square-foot Vegas hot spot. (The 11 other  Rá locations throughout the U.S. also boast similar authentic fixtures.)
 The Kilcooly rocked!
I certainly enjoyed wolfing down the Whiskey Garlic Mussels, Salmon with Mashed Potatoes and, man oh man, The Kilcooly: deli turkey, smoked bacon, melted cheddar cheese, fresh sliced apples, cranberry mayo and grilled sourdough. This thing was so damn good and I was so excited to find out the Atlanta location serves this killer sandwich as well! 
I washed these delectable vittles down with a nice variety of cold...excuse me, cool ones including the smooth Porterhouse Oyster Stout out of Dublin (4.8 percent) that Manager Mark McElkerney insisted I try (and for good reason!), along with a golden ale from Sin City Brewery, and the Joseph James Red Fox Imperial Stout at 9.3 percent. For the latter,  I wished for a bit more body, texture and head coming from this one but it was my first beer to try from that Nevada-based brewery so I was happy and I am looking forward to trying others. 
Last up was the creamy Foynes Original Irish Coffee that originated in the West Ireland small town it's named after. That was the perfect happy ending, let me tell ya.
Bottom line, you have to come here when in Vegas for an awesome beer sipping, virtually chilling-in-Ireland experience. I have to give a special shout out to the super cool Rí Rá owner David Kelly, along with his partners Ciaran Sheehan and Jay Luther. They are greatly responsible for preserving the rich tradition of consuming beer (especially Ireland's!).
The Guinness Store was full of swag.
(www.mandalaybay.com)
Oh yeah, when I reluctantly left Rí Rá, the only Guinness store in North America was right next door. As you well know, Guinness makes some bitchin' swag and I decided to snatch up some branded beach sandals and a dog tag chain complete with a bottle opener that was sold in their 1,500 square-foot location. They also carried everything from towels to candles, ties, boxers, artwork and cool fur-lined winter hats, but I had to chill and save some loot for the Stone IPA a bar was selling across the hall. I ordered it to go so that I could sip it on the free Mandalay tram that took me back to the Strip. You gotta love that! Take notes American malls!
I'll miss ya, Vegas!
Ale

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cruisin' For A Brewsin': Operation Vegas!

My first brew in Vegas:
Utah's Squatters Hop Rising Double India Pale Ale
Man, this past week has been the hardest in my whole life, dealing with my mother's passing and all. But it would have been a whole lot more trying if it wasn't for the overwhelming amount of support I have received from family, friends, colleagues and you, my fellow sippers in the beer world. Thank you again for all the shout outs, texts, emails and calls to comfort me. It will be a tough road from now on, but I will keep on Cruisin'. Love you guys. 
Speaking of "cruisin'", as you can tell in the title of this post, I am in Sin City. I was strongly considering not taking this business trip after saying my formal goodbye to Ma Dukes last night during her awesome service, but she would've kicked my ass if I didn't get my ass on that plane so here I am. After checking into the Mandarin Hotel on "the Strip" (which is really, really nice), I started to get my walk on. As soon as I stepped out, traffic was blocked off by cops to make way for NASCAR hot rods doing donuts in the middle of a main intersection in front of hundreds of onlookers. It was pretty cool (and loud as hell) with all of the city lights in the background, but I kept my eyes on the prize: finding a quality brew to sip on back at my hotel room. 
The selection at a few mainstream gift shops that sold the suds were pretty basic with the macros running the shelves, but then I spotted a bomber of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for $3.99. I almost grabbed that always consistent "go-to" brew until my eyes caught a single of the Squatters Hop Rising Double IPA out of one of my favorite regions of the U.S., Salt Lake City, Utah four driving hours or so away. (Actually, as many of you know, I have a love affair with Park City especially, but Salt Lake is cool too.) Brewed at a well-balanced potency of 9 percent ABV and 75 IBUs, I have been an enthusiast of this IPA and its wonderful brewery as a whole (I featured Squatters and Wasatch here), so I was happy to see this favorite for 2.49 a bottle. I grabbed two. 
Oh yeah, and after my buy, I noticed some crazy ass mints. Check 'em out. Excuse the language on these things but hey, only in Vegas, right? 
On Saturday, I am looking forward to hitting up  - Mandalay Bay who I shouted out in a past post here
Overall, this should be a fun, yet necessary trip to get my mind off of things going on back home. 
Thanks again for your support with everything. It will not be forgotten.
Cheers!
Ale

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Toast To Mom

Brenda Loraine Byron
June 25, 1949 - November 23, 2011
(This Wednesday's service info is below)

Peace to you.
It has been a challenging few days for me, my family and everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing my mother who passed on the eve of Thanksgiving. I have been wanting to update this site and tell you about all of the cool spots I hit up in Detroit last weekend along with some awesome brews I came across during the month of November. However, understandably, I have been pretty damn occupied. While I deal with this, I want to thank everyone who has sent me Tweets, texts, shout outs on Facebook and other offers of condolences from all over the world. Trust me, it is greatly appreciated. 
Mom at her last school,
Taylor Road Middle School
So as I cope with everything to the best of my ability, just know that my mother was an amazing woman and heaven is having one helluva party right now. I am fittingly toasting this Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, one of my favorites, to Ma Dukes. She was raised there, always proudly claimed New York, and has touched thousands of lives ever since as an award-winning teacher, being featured on Oprah, and quite simply being cool as hell. 
It's hard to write this, but I have to keep it moving and push on. I appreciate you reading my posts here on Cruisin' For A Brewsin', and it will be updated as soon as possible. In the meantime, tell your loved ones you are blessed they are in your life and sip the best beers money can buy. You only live once.
Oh, and cancer, plus anyone involved in keeping the cure under the wraps for profit? Go f*ck yourself.
Happy Holidays,
Ale
Brenda's service will be at:
Mountain West Church Of God
4818 Hugh Howell Road, Stone Mountain, GA 30087-1001
Wednesday, November 30th at 
The service will commence at 3:30 p.m. 
The repass will follow from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Get your directions here.
Thanks in advance for coming through. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Peace out L.A. Hello Detroit!

The Escondite head honcho Brian Houck
holding up some gangsta sippage.
Whaddup Brew Sippas!
So I just got back from Los Angeles this morning and I had a freakin' ball! I hit up two amazing beer spots called The Escondite (awesome brew and the best chicken sandwich I ever had called the Slim Pickins) and the Far Bar in Little Tokyo (ridiculous brew selection including the delicious Nelson IPA by Alpine Beer Co.) a few blocks away. 
Kicking it with Kyle, the Far Bar homey.
As for other partying destinations, I bounced off the walls at The Colony nightclub; chowed down at Mr. Chow's and the House of Blues where D.C. rapper Wale was performing; and then sipped a bomber of Stone's Arrogant Bastard while crying from laughter at the Comedy Corner thanks especially to comedian Essau McGraw. Dude was nuts! 
Oh, and the grand finale was the L.A. Auto Show. I saw some of the illest cars during the first media day (the public can see them this weekend) and I can't wait to write about them. The concept cars were jaw-dropping by the way, and there were certainly some praying hands of other journalists who hoped a few of these dream cars would actually hit the streets and revolutionize anything on four wheels. In fact, here is a sneak peek of a Cadillac that needs to be terrorizing the roads now! Ladies and gents, the Cadillac Converj designed by man, General Motors' Ed Welburn & Co:
The Cadillac Converj was sick and might really get produced!
CRaZy, right? And it's a plug-in hybrid! 
Anyway, I am packing in a frenzy so that I can get at least two hours sleep before I head to Detroit for the weekend. I loved it so much about half a year ago (remember this article?) that I had to make a return trip and explore more of this resurging metropolis. Look for coverage on its beer scene, grub and the plush Cadillac Book Hotel under the Westin umbrella in a few. I am about to pass out. 
Wish a bro a safe flight. 
I will holla atcha.
Ale

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Next Stop: Los Angeles!


Whaddup!
I juuuust got back from Tybee which was a really relaxing time, and then I had to repack, throw some boxers in the washing machine and then jump on the next plane to the City of Angels: Los Angeles. While here, I am staying at the Omni in Downtown which is not far from a spot I was getting my sip on last year, the Yard House in the L.A. Live Center. Besides the Staples Center where my boys Kobe and Blake Griffin entertain millions (or used to for that matter), I had a helluva good time drinking Green Flash IPA from this elongated, 3-foot glass called a "Half Yard."
Anyway, I am back and I had to find a brew I have never had, so I went to this chic bar on the 3rd floor of my hotel and sure enough, I scored with the Coronado Golden out of Coronado, CA made with (5.4%) Czech Saaz Hops (top). It was actually really tasty, well balanced and not whimpy in flavor; it was one of the better pilsners I have had in a while. I bought a bottle and rushed up to my room because I was due to eat at an upscale Chinese spot called Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills. I definitely give the Coronado folks a thumb's up and I am looking forward to trying more of their product during my two-day stay.
Mr. Chow was pretty damn good and of course, since it was "The Hills," a few celebs were in the house including Mickey Rourke. Paparazzi was waiting outdoors for me and Mick (okay, just Mick) as they do with all the hip spots, of course. Anyway, the shrimp (pictured) was my favorite.
Okay, I gotta bounce. My boy Kevin is about to take me to some cool beer bars he claims rival my spots in Atlanta. We will see. Stay tuned!
Ale

Friday, November 11, 2011

On the way to Tybee, baby!


Tybee Island on the fly
I had a ball at the Brick Store and sipped some amazing brews thanks to my home Mr. Avery repping his fantastic brewery, Avery Brewing. I am also giving a shout out to the Brick Store fam including Dave, Mike and Lee, plus my homies who were there stuffing their faces with me: Alan, Reid, Jen, Will, Bill and Andrea to name a few. It was a blast! Look for pictures soon!
Now I'm on the way to Tybee Island, meet some media friends (whaddup Mike, Toren, Stayce, and Jill!) and hope to hit up a few brew spots on the way (Savannah's Moon River anyone?), eat at some of their fantastic restaurants and rest my head at one of Oceanfront's awesome palaces. 
Speaking of "resting my head," another wondrous business that I am going to try out soon is Southern Belle, a company that offers gorgeous lofts and homes for temporary stays on both Savannah and Tybee (as you can see in the picture below). 

You can learn more about them at SouthernBelleVacationRentals.com
Stay tuned for my brew and leisure reports soon!
Cheers!
Ale

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adam Avery and the Brick Store host a killer beer dinner tonight!


Get the last golden ticket before it's ghost!

I don’t know what you have going on tonight, but there is one event you better strongly consider which promises to be historical for beer lovers in the ATL! The Brick Store, one of the most revered beer bars in the world, is hosting their Belgian Beer Bar and Cellar Anniversary Party with the brewmaster and owner of Avery Brewing, Adam Avery
Dave reppin' freaks and the Brick Store!
Coming over from Boulder Co., Avery is simply gangster in the brewing game, providing the nation with some the best crafted ales and lagers in the business. I’m definitely a fan of his flawless suds (the Maharaja Imperial IPA is nuts!) and numerous series like the Holy Trinity and Dictators. Well, he is teaming with my dudes Mike, Lee and Dave for an already legendary beer dinner—five courses aired with nine (9!) Avery beers­­—and, unbelievably, there might be a ticket or two left! The party starts at 5 p.m. in the Belgian bar and the dinner that follows will be $65.00 per person plus tax and gratuity. Here’s the breakdown from Mike, the co-owner of The Brick Store and Leon’s:  

Cool Mike G. lighting up a cigar
at the 2011 Decatur Beer Fest.
“Five courses paired with nine Avery Beers? You heard me right; a reception beer and then TWO beers per course. Adam has made some very limited and cellared beers available to us for this dinner including some of his coveted Belgian Sours. We are honored to be hosting such an event and our Chef Tittle is breaking out all the stops with the pairings. It will be an evening for the record books. I have very few seats left - please email me back to join us.”

To add, their site says: “Join us as we celebrate the roll out of 200 new vintage bottles on our cellar menu. Featured beers include the Avery IPA, Eighteen Dry Hopped Rye Saison, Salvation, Reverend, 2008 Collaboration not Litigation, Depuceleuse Barrel Aged Wild Ale (100% Brett fermentation with a shit load of our cherries. Yes that's the scientific term); Sui Generis Barrel Aged Sour Ale - 147 cases produced; and the Mephistopheles' Stout (Belgian Stout - 2006 vintage); and The Beast Grand Cru (Belgian Strong Ale - 2008 vintage).

Need I say...err...write more? Email Mike before that last golden ticket is ghost! Mike’s email is: michael@brickstorepub.com.
See you there! I’ll be the dude singing “Ebony and Avery” holding an 11-oz. glass of the Mephistopheles' Stout.

Holla!
Ale

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's Dance! Sunday Sales pass!


Now beer runs on Sunday are a reality!


We did it! Freedom is ours for the taking...at least when it comes to us voting on the right to buy wine, spirits and in my case, good ass beer on Sundays in Georgia! No more rushing to one of my favorite beer spots to get a quality six-pack of sipping goodness. I can now relive my days at Cornell University when a game's halftime gave me literally 15 minutes to head to the store and back to replenish the suds my unexpected homies came by to consume. (Trust me, they pitched in for it. I was a college student, not the Fresh Prince!)
SB 10 passed in pretty much every county except for one or two, which is fine with me; just so my spots are open. Although my homegirl Vee at Green's realized she might have to work on Sundays and threatened my existence due to my role in getting the law passed, she said she still has love for me in the long run. Whew! She looked serious at first.
Anyway, it turns out my district (pretty much Downtown ATL and the rest of Fulton) won't let us buy until New Year's Day which leave the end of the playoffs and Super Bowl for me, but districts like Dunwoody and Sandy Springs could be pulling the trigger a lot faster; like almost two weeks from now faster! Here is a pretty good article by Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Johnny Edwards and television news clip breaking down when the law will actually kick in:



I loved this quote from Snellvile Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer about his son, who said:

“My son said Jack Daniels is the most popular politician in Snellville.”

And I hated this one by Forest Park Mayor Corine Deyton: 

"That's the Lord's day, in my opinion," said Deyton, a Sunday school teacher whose son is a Baptist music minister. "If you can't do without alcohol one day a week, there's something bad wrong with you."

First of all, there's nothing wrong with me. You don't want it, don't buy it! Second, everyday is the Lord's day for Brother Ale. Plus, some people have Saturday as their "Lord's day" so nyyyah!

Anyway, pat yourselves on the back, Georgia, and let's continue to get our opinions heard and get rid of that old school b.s. that continues to hate on our rights! There is surely of list of laws left that will make us want to stick it to the man even more! 

Now celebrate! Enter Kool and the Gang video here:


Cheers!
Ale

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vote Today For Sunday Sales!

Fight The Power!
Okay, so there is this cool thing out called "voting" where you can express yourself by filling out a ballot for what you believe in. Heard of it? Well exercise the hell out of this right, get down to your local booth (go here to find out where to go) and put your vote in for supporting Sunday Sales of alcohol in Georgia. 
Beer lovers, wine sippers, imbibers of spirits and people who simply want the right to choose what they can buy retail on Sunday have finally got the opportunity to vote for this after years...better yet decades of opposition from lobbyists, certain religious groups, hard-headed lawmakers and probably folks who don't want to work on Sunday to name a few. 
Remember that Cruisin' For A Brewsin' video I did a while back that got a lot of love in support of the Georgians for Sunday Sales Coalition rally held on February 23 at the Georgia Capitol Building's steps? Well here is a refreshment just in case:


Also, here are two blog posts I did a while back in support of the cause, including the breakdown of the bills we want to pass, and the actual listing of those House reps who voted for and against SB 10 which gives us the right to vote on Sunday Sales:


See you at the voting booth and then eventually Green's, Hop City, TowerAle Yeah! or wherever with a six, four-pack or 750ml of quality brew in hand! 
Peace!
Ale

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Heading to the Inman Park Beer Chase!

You gotta love the logo!
Man, I hit the ground running yesterday since getting back from my literal Cruisin' For A Brewsin' thanks to that awesome Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Ship. I had a ball and will be posting some hot photos of that trip, but when I touched down in ATL, I went straight to the Sandy Springs Prado and started kicking it at The Fred. There was a line wrapped around the corner and everyone was waiting to get a possible glass of the Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. It sold out in like ten minutes and it was delicious! That was a good time and everyone there was super cool, a beer nut, festive and mutually loving the intimacy of The Fred.
Anyway, it's Sunday and after getting my NFL Fantasy Teams together (Pimp Slap and Ale Sharpton's Supreme Clientele), I am going to head over to the Inman Park Beer Chase that rewards the hood and the runners of this morning's 5K race with more than 80 different craft suds in support of the Inman Park Security Patrol. Strapped with my camera, shades and sip cup, it should be another brewtiful day in the neighborhood. Shout out to the Hops Diva for the ticket! That was a gooooood look!


Look out for a gang of pictures coming soon!
Peace!
Ale

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ale's literally Cruisin' For A Brewsin'!

Ladies and Gents: The Celebrity Silhouette
Hey Brew Heads!
I can't be long due to those dinner bells ringing, but I will be sure to update my stay on this awesome cruise ship called the Celebrity Silhouette launching from New Jersey's shore. Just hitting the seas this year, I was able to get on board this newbie from their stellar fleet and check out not only its first class amenities, but especially my highlight: Michael's Club. A chilled out bar on floor 5 of 15 (!) boasting more than 60 different beers from breweries across the world for our sipping pleasure, Michael's validates that craft brews are finally getting their due props on land and sea!
I will give you an official write-up and, of course, some hot photography to show you what I am dealing wit. I mean, hell, I have to represent my name tag that surely reads: Ale Sharpton-Beer Writer. Gotta love it! 
I miss y'all already!
Bon voyage!
Ale

Friday, October 28, 2011

Here’s what’s poppin’ on Halloween Weekend!

Yep, that's me! Crazy right? Check out www.imabeastcollection.com
for more scary shizzznit!

Boos and Brews at SweetWater, Mike’s party @ The Porter, P'Cheen, Big Boi’s bash…

With so many things going on tonight and throughout the weekend thanks to Halloween, you know there has to be something beer-related, right? Well, the constant party throwers, Atlanta Beer Festivals, are collaborating with my homies over at SweetWater to host the annual Boos and Brews bash at their brewery tonight from 9pm-1am! 
For 35 bucks, you get a souvenir pint glass to fill with awesome SweetWater brews, plus a costume contest and live music with Nelson Brownstone. The costume contest will be at 11:30pm on the patio stage (make sure to sign up in front of the stage at 11:15pm). Awards will be given for Best Male, Best Female, Best Couple/Duo, Best Group, and Sexiest.

For more info, hot up their Facebook event link: www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=272243192805896
Tickets: http: www.xorbia.com/e/boosandbrews/

I will try and make Boos, but I have to kick it and celebrate the last days of my birthmonth with fellow Octobreran and ridiculously awesome photographer, Studio 8’s Mike Moore, at The Porter tonight with the fellas. 
The homey Mike Moore!
Last year, we collaborated on the incredible I’m A Beast art exhibition, where I wrote up all of these crazy descriptions for artists, influencers, promoters, musicians and others who were morphed into beasts via Mike’s photography and my main man Eric Nine’s incredible digital artistry. That is me up top—a mummy masterpiece we called “Wrap City”—which came out incredible. If you missed the show at The Sound Table the Saturday before last Halloween, you have to see all 13 Beasts at www.Imabeastcollection.com. There’s no telling what we will get into after that!
Oh, and on Saturday, there are two other parties I will be stopping by. First, there’s P’Cheen’s bash. I love eating and getting my sip on at this Inman Park hangout, and they plan on hosting their annual Halloween party, filling bellies with a complimentary buffet, specialty cocktails a decent beer selection, duh, a costume party. P’Cheen is also hosting a special Halloween- themed BBQ night with BBQ master Mike LaSage on the grill on October 31st.
Also, half of Atlanta’s Outkast—Big Boi—is having his annual Halloween Charity Costume Party at the legendary Stankonia Studios tomorrow night as well. I might have to hit that up because last year’s joint was off the meter. This exclusive event benefits his Big Kidz Foundation.
So hopefully I will see you somewhere in this crazy city sooner than later. Until then, have a safe Halloween and make sure you sip one of those awesome fall brews that are on the shelves and on tap!
Happy Halloween!
Ale

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I’m hosting the MillerCoors 2nd Annual T.A.P. Awards!


With beer as the theme, this should be super cool!

For the second year, MillerCoors is hosting their 2nd Annual T.A.P. Awards and they have your homey Ale Sharpton co-hosting it with V-103 Radio Personality Ramona Debreaux tonight! T.A.P. is a clever acronym for "Taste+ Appreciation+ Prestige" created by the slick public relations firm, Garner PR. For the second year, MillerCoors is honoring the top tier account holders for MillerCoors products, Atlanta’s major tastemakers, chefs, sports bars, crafty mixologists, bartenders, and other influencers for making this great city off the charts regarding anything involving entertainment and, of course, drinking beer!
MillerCoors are also giving kudos to the Atlanta Urban League Young Professionals for their year-round efforts to improve the community and support move makers in Georgia’s capital. It’s an invitation-only affair that kicks off tonight from 8:00pm -10:30pm.

I will be probably sipping on a nice glass of Blue Moon when announcing award recipients, but there will be others on deck including the Italian lager, Peroni; Coors Light, which I truly do believe tastes the coldest compared to any beer I have ever had for some reason; the triple-hop boasting Miller Lite; and Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss, which I compare to Fruity Pebbles and recommend to anyone who swears beer is only bitter. Here are some of the cool things they have planned in their “Every Day of the Week” format that was sent to me:

S/M - Experience the Miller Light "Fan Up" Lounge. Try your hand at the Miller Lite home drafts, watch the 2011 Falcon's Highlights, and compete to win prizes if you consider yourself the ultimate Falcons Fan

T- Continue your week by stopping in Blue Moon "Date Night" Suite. Get in the "mix' with your partner or your friends and concoct the ultimate Blue Moon signature beer cocktails with our chief mixologist guiding you along the way

W- As the week reaches its halfway point, guys grab your buddies and head over to our Coors Light "Super Cold" Ice Lounge. After a long day’s work, loosen up your tie and experience a nice cold one. Let Coposhi's men's boutique and menswear architect Brian Short show you how to go from Cold to Super Cold with your style while you "chill" out ...grown man style

TH - With the weekend on the horizon, let Chef Jason Ellis and the Social Cravings team show you how to host the ultimate Dinner Party in the Peroni Interactive Kitchen. Uniquely incorporating MillerCoors products into your favorite recipes, leave this event knowing how to make your entertaining experience the talk of all of your friends.

F - Cheers to the Weekend, ladies grab your girls and head over to the Berry Weiss Beauty Suite. Experience the sweeter side of beer, partake in beauty services provided by GlamBar Salon, and indulge in girl talk (no boys allowed).

S - End you week at the MillerCoors center stage. Toast the 2011 T.A.P. Award Recipients, applaud this year's beneficiary—the Atlanta Urban League of Young Professionals, capture the moment in time by stepping into the OMG booth for your custom photo and more.

Oh, and just for you, my loyal readers, here are the winners who will be getting some hardware tonight:

1. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Platinum Seller of the Year- AG Entertainment
2. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Sports Bar of the Year - Dugan's
3. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Restaurant/Lounge of the Year - Do Restaurant
4. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Co-Promoter of the Year - Botchey & Certified Ent
5. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Co-Promoter of the Year - Traxx Girls
6. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - For Raising the Bar - The Four Corner Circle, LLC
7. MillerCoors T.A.P Award - Premium Infuencer of the Year - Terri J. Vaughn (actress)
8. MillerCoors T.A.P. Award - Sound of the City - Verse Simmonds (Konvict/ Universal)
9. MillerCoors T.A.P. Award - Business Visionary of the Year - Chef Jason Ellis

Overall, it is truly an honor to do this. No matter how many folks will be there, I have to be cool and stay on my mission to spread beer love from city to city, state to state, country to country, continent to continent, and soon—thanks to Virgin Airlines—planet to planet!
See you at the top, baby!
Ale

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beer Week was nuts, I win at Max Lager's, now what?


The 'Excuse My English' IPA I christened 
for Max Lager's. Lovin' it!
On the real, I needed a full week to recuperate from these last two weeks. It has been totally bananas! Crazy! Straightjackets! Starting with Atlanta Beer Week which started on my b-day, I have been going hard and loving every minute of it. We’re talking…



  • this video I did leading previewing Atlanta Beer Week that included The Porter, TAP and Deckard’s
  • a visit to the Wrecking Bar to taste the phenomenal cask version of the Victor IPA plus a private tour by brewmaster Chris Terenzi
  • celebrating my birthday in grand fashion at Great Atlanta Beer Week, saluting the crowd with Beer Street Journal Founder Reid Ramsey aka @ATLBeerMaster and all of my homies who came into town from all over the nation
  • being surprised with a gang of friends and a killer cake embellished with my logo on it (see below) during my birthday party at Deckard's thanks to Tastemaker Magazine Lifestyle Editor Andrea Janise aka @ATLFoodWriter (love you, Andrea!)
  • some awesome brew at The Fred after watching my fantasy team called Pimp Slap get another win at Taco Mac’s Prado location in Sandy Springs
  • hitting up the off-the-chain Decatur Beer Fest, then taking a break and feasting off Brick Store's cornish hen while sipping a New Holland Mole Ocho which was incredible.
  • I finished a killer article for JEZEBEL Magazine that will certainly show some love for the A-Town regarding brew!
  • Chilled out with my grandmother and aunt who flew down to see my mother. Truthfully, Ma Dukes has been better since their visit and granny hasn’t changed a bit: sippin’ vodka and orange juice while talking that Jamaican patois. Love it! 
  • And then to top it off, I won Max Lager’s naming contest of their English IPA my main man, co-owner and brewmaster John “J.R.” Roberts brewed for our imbibing pleasure! He chose “Excuse My English” which he said fit his brew perfectly. I won a gift card, t-shirt and some other schwag. Here is his breakdown on this delish 85 IBU, 6.8% ABV English IPA I am the proud namer of that you better hurry up and sip here before it’s gone!:
“This is how it all began! Long before American craft brewers twisted this classic English ale into the wonderfully hoppy IPAs of today, British brewers invented the style. Excuse My English IPA was brewed with all British malts, hops and yeast. I even adjusted the soft Atlanta water to imitate the mineral hard water of Burton-on-Trent. The result is a distinctly different tasting IPA than the usual American version. Earthy Kent Golding and Fuggles hops are perfectly balanced by a nutty malt backbone with notes of caramel and toffee. The mineral heavy water smooths the finish with wonderful complexity. Enjoy!”   - John “J.R.” Roberts



Me and J.R. from Max Lager's sippin'
the 'Excuse My English' IPA
I also hung out some of the most important figures in the beer world, and have received an overwhelming amount of support and props for this website. That meant a lot and I will continue to make sure that www.AleSharpton.com delivers good shizzznit for your reading pleasure. I plan on doing a slideshow for the entire month of October as well—which has been a monster—so stay tuned for that.  
Well, to sum things up, I just finished my Thai Spiced Salmon Salad and Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest wet hop ale (6.7 % ABV) at Deckard’s before getting ready for this weekend. Taste of Atlanta is the biggie so far and I am definitely hitting that up.
See you soon, beer fam! We will find out what's poppin' together! Let me know on Twitter/alesharpton.
Oh, and here is that cake...or what was left of it. Dope, ain't it?
They didn't want to cut up my pretty face. Ha!
Anyway, see y'all where the brew is!
Peace!
Ale

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What’s left for Atlanta Beer Week?


This sold the hell out in record time!
Atlanta Beer Week, which started on the 8th, has been a blast and the ingenious idea of designating a different district of Atlanta a day per week to show off their brew love has made this a memorable 8-day span. Concluding tomorrow, there are still a number of awesome events and spots to hoist quality, experimental and even kooky suds from all over the world. With that being said, here’s what left to flock to.
Cheers!
Ale