Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ale's Beer Nuts presents... Megan Martin: The Reigning Guinness Perfect Pour Champ!

Megan shows off one of her gangster pours at Deckard's.



Megan defends her title this Monday, February 28th at 9 p.m.

So I’m chillin’ at Deckard’s American Tavern and started talking to a few brew heads and the spot’s cool bartender named Megan Martin, who happens to be the reigning champ of last year’s annual Guinness Perfect Pour contest. Trust me, that’s a big deal because there are competitions held worldwide to find the chosen one who can deliver the best-looking glass full of the original stout birthed way back in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland. Trust me, straight from the tap, there is a formal procedure something serious on how a Guinness stout should be presented and the pourer who has perfected the technique will be awarded a few grand this Monday night at 9 p.m. at Taco Mac’s Lindbergh location (573 Main Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30324; 404.574.5813).
Anyway, so intrigued on what it was like to win the contest and be the reigning champ, I interviewed Megan prior to this year’s competition. Sure, there will be an extensive roster of bar minders who are ready to dethrone this talented Atlanta-born 25-year old who is a self-proclaimed hop head and hates closed-minded people. Ladies and gents, the reigning champ of Guinness pouring, the homey, Megan!

Ale Sharpton: Whaddup, Megan! Talk about the Guinness Perfect Pour contest.
Megan Martin: Bartenders from restaurants all over Atlanta come out to compete and have some fun, while trying to achieve the perfect Guinness pour. The competition is set up in a bracket style format, and one person is chosen in each round to continue forward until the winner is chosen in the final round.

What was it like last year?
Last year was so much fun! I had so many great friends come out to support me and we all had a blast! My nerves immediately set in when I saw how many people were there. Lindbergh Taco Mac is enormous and even the standing room was packed! Not to mention the stage had a camera focused on it, and your image was plastered all over the TV's while you were pouring. Everyone was just having a blast and drinking a TON of Guinness!
The Cheshire grin
As soon as I advanced from the first round, I relaxed a little and just started to have a good time. I became a little more confident as each round went by, and when the final round was finally there, I was so pumped that I didn't really care anymore if I won or not. When my name was called, I just looked at my friends and they were going nuts! I had a huge, Cheshire the Cat grin on my face because I was so shocked! I couldn't believe it. If this year is even half as fun as last year was, I won't be disappointed!!

What do the judges look for in a perfect Guinness pour?
There are certain things that the judges look for in a Guinness pour. Everyone has their own style and personal touches, but the basic guidelines are as follows:

1) The Guinness pour is a two-part pour. Using a 20oz tulip glass, you hold the glass at a 45 degree angle and pull the handle forward. It is important that you pull the tap all the way forward to fully release the flow of the Guinness and not create air bubbles.
2) Fill the glass up about three-quarters of the way, and set the Guinness aside while you let it settle.
3) Once the beer has completely settled and reached that ruby color, it's time to finish the pour. Push the handle back to top off the beer. You want a creamy, smooth head, with a visible dome over the top of the glass.
Make sure you do not touch the beer nozzle to the beer or the glass, or you will be disqualified. Also, avoid allowing the beer to spill over the side of the glass. That is also an automatic disqualification.
4) Place your glass towards the judge, always with the label facing towards them. (Anytime serving a Guinness, the label should face the consumer.)
5) I do not think that drawing a four-leaf clover or design of some kind will get you disqualified, but it also isn't worth any extra consideration in the competition.
Those are the basic steps of the competition pour. Of course, I have a couple tricks up my sleeve, but in the name of competition, I'm going to keep those to myself ;)

I know the physical look isn’t the only thing important about the “perfect pour.” The overall tasting qualities are affected a bit, too, I heard.
Personally, I think a proper pour makes all the difference in the flavor of a Guinness. A Guinness that is poured like a normal beer will taste flat and not have the full flavor. In a correctly poured Guinness, you should taste a slightly bitter, smoky coffee and caramel malty flavor that envelops your entire palate from start to finish. For being known as the "meal in a glass" beer, Guinness is surprisingly light and easy to drink, and also low in calories and carbs (about 125 calories per 12-oz. serving).
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Who taught you how to pour a Guinness?
Essentially, I was taught by three amazing fellow bartenders at the Johns Creek Taco Mac. Their names are Jeremy Jones, Jay Holloway, and Jason Thompson. I owe them for all my secrets and tricks, and a ton of my beer knowledge!

Okay, on the personal tip, tell us some stuff about yourself.
Well, I would love to work at a brewery, vineyard, distributor... basically anywhere that I can expand my beer, wine, and liquor knowledge, and work with other beer enthusiasts!
My Loves: Family and friends; good beer; red wine; whisky; hippie jams; reading a good book; live music and festivals, beer blogs, hoppy citrus IPA's, pets, ice cream and making lists.
My Dislikes: Mustard, radio music, sour beers (maybe one day?!), bitter after-tastes, know-it-alls, Miley Cyrus, spiders, liars and close-minded people

Any shout outs?
Oh! A special thanks to Chef Matt Deckard for choosing me to support Deckard's American Tavern in the 2011 Guinness Pour!!

Thanks Megan for the love! (Envision the Ale Sharpton hand dap here.) See you Monday, fam!!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ale touches down in Montreal!

La Chouffe on the ave in downtown Montreal.
They don't give bags because "it's my liberty to carry a bottle" uncovered!

Hey Sippers!
I am working on blessing this site with another entry regrading my coverage of Montreal for the off-the-chain Nuit Blanche happening on Saturday. I just touched down and made it a priority to go to one of my favorite spots, NYK'S Bistro and Pub, to grab a Unibroue Maudite on tap and wolf down some escargot (yes the awesome snail dish), which they serve with a heap of melted cheese on top.
Don't sleep on the snails!
On the way back to my hotel, I grabbed $6 bottle of La Chouffe Blonde out of Belgium (8 percent abv), hit the room and got online to do this brief update. After checking my email, another cool website, this time Rolka Nation's Brewery, gave me super cool shout out here. I truly appreciate the love as this further proves that the beer world is all about hoisting a pint with your fellow man (or woman) and never hatin'! Thanks a lot, Rolka! That's what 's up!
Okay, time to catch one of the greatest rivalries in hockey, the Montreal Canadiens taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs, one block away. I wish I had tickets but one of these crazy ass sports bars will have to do.
Stay tuned for more Quebec craziness.
Holla!
Ale

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brew Your Cask Off is almost here!


Hey homies!
I just got the press release with all of the specifics of the 2nd annual Brew Your Cask Off Festival held by SweetWater Brewery in the ATL. I posted the initial announcement here and I cannot wait to judge this again. Most brews will be killer while others will suck all in the name of creativity, crazy ingredients and wacky concepts. That's the name of the game but it's so fun to see who really is the best "one day" brewer in Atlanta. You better be there because it is going to be a blast! 
- Ale
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GET TO KNOW THE CAST OF SWEETWATER BREWERY’S “BREW YOUR CASK OFF” FESTIVAL

ATLANTA – From restaurants to media, first-time brewers to home brewing clubs, SweetWater Brewing Company has gathered an extensive and exciting list of participants for their second annual “Brew Your Cask Off” Cask Ale Festival.  Join us March 5, 2011 from 6-10pm as attendees are invited to try the recently crafted casks from more than 80 guest brewers.

15th Street Pizza & Pub                                                                   Meehan’s Public House
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution                                                 Mellow Mushroom (2 participating locations)
All About Beer Magazine                                                               Neighbor’s Pub
Allgood Lounge                                                                                  Open Hand
Atkins Park Tavern                                                                          Ormsby’s
Atlanta Humane Society                                                                Padriac’s
Bhojanic                                                                                                Park Tavern
Brewmasters of Alpharetta                                                          Parker’s on Ponce
Brick Store Pub                                                                                  Ri Ra Irish Pub
Cheeky                                                                                                  Rocky Mountain Pizza Company
Covert Hops Society                                                                         Rosebud
Cypress Street Pint & Plate                                                            Sherlock’s
Dantanna’s                                                                                          Six Feet Under
Dark Horse Tavern                                                                           Southern Brewing News
Deckard’s American Tavern                                                         Steinbeck’s
Diesel Filling Station                                                                          Summits Wayside Tavern
Draft Magazine                                                                                  Taco Mac (2 participating locations)
Fado Irish Pub                                                                                     Tap
Final Gravity                                                                                        Team United Distributors
Five Points Bottle Shop                                                                     The Beer Connoisseur Magazine
Fontaine’s Oyster House                                                                 The Dunwoody Restaurant Group
Gas South                                                                                              The Five Spot
Georgia Ale & Lager Sirens                                                            The Fred
Georgia Organics                                                                               The Marlay House
Gibney’s Pub                                                                                        The Midway Pub
Green’s                                                                                                  The Porter Beer Bar
Hand in Hand                                                                                        The Tavern at Phipps
Hob Nob                                                                                                  The Vortex Bar and Grill
Hop City                                                                                                  Thirsty Monk
Hudson Grille                                                                                        Tin Lizzy’s Cantina
INHBC                                                                                                      Total Wine & More
JDRF                                                                                                         Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits
Jones Is Hungry                                                                                   Trappeze Pub
Mac McGee’s Irish Pub                                                                    Twist
Mac’s Beer & Wine                                                                           Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
Manuel’s Tavern                                                                                Varner’s Tavern
Marietta Pizza Company                                                                 Wild Wing Café
Marlow’s Tavern                                                                                Williamson Bros. BBQ
McCray’s West Village Tavern

As far as the competition portion of BYCO goes, all entries will be judged by a handpicked group from the Atlanta scene led by John Pinkerton, Brewmaster at Moon River Brewing Company in Savannah.  The winning casks will be announced at 9pm, the evening of the festival. Entries will also be available for festival goers to sample and vote for the People’s Champ Award. The judges’ top four casks and the People’s Champ will have their casks recreated and served at the SweetWater 420 Fest April 15-17 in Candler Park. 

The festival area, now in front of SweetWater Brewery, will be tented making this a rain or shine event.  In addition to all the specially-created cask ales, attendees can also savor SweetWater’s award-winning array of year round brews, get their fill with Williamson Brothers BBQ, Ormsby’s, and other food vendors, enjoy live music, visit with participating non-profits and even take a guided tour of the infamous brewery.

Pets are not allowed at “Brew Your Cask Off,” but feel free to bring anyone else that is 21 and up with a valid form of ID (of course).  2011 sponsors include: O-I, Great Western Malting, Grandstand Sportswear & Glassware, Draft Magazine, and All About Beer Magazine.  Tickets are on sale now and available online at www.brewyourcaskoff.com for $35 in advance, or $40 at the door.

About SweetWater Brewing Company: SweetWater Brewing Company is an Atlanta-based craft brewery specializing in aggressive West Coast style beers. SweetWater’s brews are unpasteurized and designed to be consumed fresh so distribution is limited to the Southeast. The award-winning lineup of year-round brews includes SweetWater 420, IPA, Blue, Sch’Wheat and Georgia Brown. SweetWater also features a Catch and Release series of beers available on a limited basis throughout the year, and an experimental, one-time-only Dank Tank series. The SweetWater Brewery, open for tours every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m., is located at 195 Ottley Dr NE, Atlanta GA 30324. For more information about SweetWater Brewing Company, please visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Leon's Full Service Full Service 2-Year Anniversary party


And they said the "terrible twos" suck. Not anymore!

One of the top Atlanta hipster spots for sipping hard to-find ales and lagers, Leon's Full Service 2-year Anniversary party is finally here and I have to do my duty to stop by! My homey Tim at the bar, plus co-owners Dave and Michael are making sure this will be a night to remember from 5 o'clock on!
Don't believe me? Check out this tap list!

Mikkeller Rauch Beer Geek: Beer Geek Bacon, that's right, bacon beer!

Lagunitas Lil Sumpin' Wild: One of my favorite breweries, this is another one of their winners.

The Bruery Autumn Maple: Should be awesome! The name alone has me thirsty!

Founders Old Curmudgeon '09: This Michigan beast is a 9.8% old ale aged to perfection.

Allagash Interlude: This Portland brewery's first experimental release of 9.5% abv, Belgian-style goodness!


Stone Lukcy Basartd: The "Basartd" is spelled that way on purpose! It's that subconscious game! Check this label out. They are wildin'!:

Bell's Hopslam: Come on! Go here if you need to.

Red Brick Vanilla Gorilla: I just went to the celebration of the 16th Anniversary. Beers like this is why they are still around.

Terrapin/De Proef Monstre Rouge: an experimental collabo with Athens, Georgia's own Terrapin and Lochristi, Belgium's De Proef Brouwerij, births this Imperial Flanders Red Ale. Whoa!

Cask: Sweetwater Old Faithful: An IPA double dry-hopped with Centennial Hops. End of story.

Cask: Twain's Belgian Chocolate Wheat: This local has my eyebrows raised. Yours too?

I also hear there are three other special sippers you will never have access to again and other goodies. Bottom line, I am in the house!

Happy B-Day, Leon!

Fight the Power! Beer Rally at Georgia's Capitol Building this Wednesday

Still no Sunday Sales of alcohol in Georgia? Not so fast!
It's Sunday and the big game is about to come on that new HD television you traded your car in for, but damn! The unexpected company from the night before pillaged your fridge and all the brew is gone. Well, thanks to an existing Georgia law that disallows alcohol sales in retail stores on Sundays, it looks like that last 12-oz. imperial stout you had saved since Christmas of 2008 will be popped open and poured in a shot glass to last the day.
It's instances like this, along with simply not having the option to conveniently buy alcohol in stores on Sunday that has the grassroots organization, Georgians for Sunday Sales, and hundreds of state citizens convening at the Georgia Capitol at noon on Wednesday, February 23, to show how they are all tired of following the stubborn existing laws. The goal? To give individual communities the right to vote on whether they want Sunday sales or not.
One of the chief rally supporters, Jennifer O'Connell, says, "This rally was organized by Georgians for Sunday Sales and Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield to show the GA Legislature our support for Local Option Sunday Sales and House Bill 69 which is currently in committee. Plus, to express our disapproval of how the Senate stopped SB 10 in a closed door meeting which prevented it from going up for vote."
Besides the official press release below, here are some great letters that break down what's going on and why passing SB 10 and HB 69 need to happen!
Join the rally to get Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 69 to pass through. I'll be there!
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Georgians for Sunday Sales Coalition to Sponsor Press Conference and Rally
Atlanta, GA – Georgians for Sunday Sales, a grassroots, bipartisan organization, will hold a press conference and rally on Wednesday, February 23 at 12 pm on the Capitol Steps (Washington Street side) to urge passage of a bill to allow local communities to decide whether local retailers should sell alcohol on Sunday.

Georgia is one of only three states in the country that does not provide some option for the off-premise sale of beer, wine, or liquor on Sunday. Because Georgia is the only state in the Southeast with a total ban on Sunday sales, we are at a distinct economic disadvantage. For many Georgians, the current law defies common sense. “The state allows us to drive to a restaurant on Sunday to buy alcohol, but the state won’t let us go to the corner store to buy beer to drink in the safety of our own home,” says Zak Koffler, one of the organizers of the rally.

Moreover, shopping patterns have changed in Georgia. Sunday is now the highest volume shopping day in many areas throughout Georgia. Yet customers who enter a retail store on Sunday are prohibited from purchasing alcohol. “As a busy mom, Sundays are the best days for me to do my family’s grocery shopping since our Saturdays are filled with soccer games, birthday parties, and other family activities. Yet, I have to make a separate trip to buy a bottle of wine,” says Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, a state representative from Decatur and mother of two.

Two bills to allow local communities to vote on Sunday sales are currently pending in the Georgia Legislature, Senate Bill 10 and House Bill 69. Both measures are being held in committee.

The event is open to the public. Persons interested in attending can contact Zak Koffler at (770) 851-5654.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ale’s 10 Tips for Fully Enjoying Beer Festivals!


One of my favorite things about beer festivals is just meeting fellow enthusiasts of the world’s greatest beverage, plus actually trying new ales and lagers breweries around the world want us to experience. The next one is today, the 2nd Annual Winter Beer Carnival, here in Atlanta and I have been hella excited about going. (Go here for a recap.) For the second time this week, I was asked about tips on how to really take advantage of attending beer festivals—and how to not play yourself in the process. Short and sweet, here are Ten Tips I could think of on the fly ‘cause I gotta get outta here. There will be more additions to this list as we continue to explore the world of beer, one festival at a time:

1) Don’t go too hard the night before
Usually, beer festivals are during the weekend so it’s difficult to do this, but get a good night’s sleep the night before; don’t club or drink too much. Beer fests are all about getting your sip on so if you go there already half drunk and recuperating from the countless tequila shots only a few hours earlier, you will not get your money’s worth and already be behind the eight ball.

2) Check the weather
If it is going to be hot as hell, dress appropriately. You are already going to sweat out alcohol, so wearing hot gear will increase the chance of dehydration. Don’t be that cat who passes out or has an I.V. running in ya in front of everyone. Unfortunately, there is always one.

3) Eat something
I’m not suggesting a country buffet “with all the fixins” because that would leave little room for the brews and make you mad sluggish. Just a half of a sandwich, some toast—something to energize you, line your stomach a bit and help make sure you won’t get drunk too quick. Also, there is usually a food vendor who provides everything from pretzels to hot dogs. Look out for that too.


4) Put your mind in a happy place
Don’t be fixed on one style of beer, like “I only like wheat beers.” Stop it! Now is your chance to open your mind and add to your “favorites” list. For instance, I am still working on the sour beers. Not there yet but working on it. Speaking of which…

5) VIP, anyone?
I go to the VIP section because they get crazy in there…in a good way. There has to be some justification for the higher ticket price, but there can be one-time brews you will never try again, experimental concoctions, high gravity beers for the pro imbibers and, oh yeah, you usually get in an hour earlier!

6) Pace yourself
The beautiful thing about beer festivals is the chance to try so many! The serious ones boast over 100 types to try (the Mondial De La Biere in Montreal said they will have 500 on deck this June!), so there is a reason (beside legalities), they give you 8-ounce cups. I honestly sip only 4 ounces so that I can try as many as possible. Oh, and even then, you don’t have to drink the whole cup. This is the one-time opportunity to (Lord, help me) pour beer out.


7) Take mental notes
Piggybacking #5, use this time as not a drinking binge, but a chance to learn about the different beers you drink, the breweries who make them and the styles that they are. Breweries don’t come out to show off the beer for a one-day fix. They want you to keep them in mind during your next visit to a package store or pub. Better yet, take a picture or bring a pen to write them down.


8) Drink lots of agua
Ummmm…go to #2 again to feel me! Drink before, during and after so you can hang out later on as well.

9) Bring dinero
It’s always nice to have cash to buy beer schwag that might not be available in your city, get magazine subscriptions to brew publications like (ah-hem!) Beer Connoisseur Magazine, and vittles. Also, it is great for emergencies like cabbing it or public transportation in case your ride bails on you or just can’t roll. Cuss your friend out later; just get your ass to the house safely first.

10) Make friends
It’s official: people attend beer festivals to have a good time. They are happy, smiling, miraculously never fight, and are just happy to get their drinking on with other folks who love beer just like them. It’s a beautiful thing. Meet folks! Enter: “We are the world” song here.


I know there are more tips, but I am about to get ready! Again, this is an ongoing list so feel free to add more in the comment section below!

Cheers!

Your main man, Ale

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Scout Mob shows your homey Ale some love!


Ale Sharpton's a 'Local Mug'

Scout Mob, an awesome website that delivers killer discount deals for places to hang out and dine around major cities including Atlanta along with other hip features, interviewed me in their profile section called “Local Mug” and it turned out awesome! Check it out here: Scout Mob’s Local Mug

Much love, Scout Mob! First round’s on me!

Ale

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Winter Beer Carnival is around the corner!

The best way to say “Peace out!” to winter is with brew!


What better way is there to say “Peace out!” to Old Man Winter and all of that ice storm b.s. than downing some of the world’s finest beers with fellow imbibers who know how to kick it? In Atlanta’s last winter-themed brew event of the 2011, let’s go out with a bang inside and outdoors this upcoming weekend at the 2nd Annual Winter Beer Carnival on Saturday, February 19th in Midtown at the corner of Spring Street and 8th Street.

As you well know, if beer is involved, I am probably there and that was just the case this time last year during the inaugural Winter Beer Carnival. My man Kevin Redmon, the general manager of Premier Events, along with his crew, know how to throw a party and last year’s sold-out kickoff was paaaaaacked with cool cats getting their sip on! I had a ball kicking it in both the VIP section (starting at 2 p.m.) and general admission (starting at 3 p.m.) sipping on some of the finest lagers and ales, playing all kinds of games and enjoying the carnival atmosphere. Plus, the weather was perfecto!

This year, they are getting even crazier with DJs, huge tents, more games and, oh yeah, 100-plus different beers to choose from. Amazingly, there are reportedly a couple of tickets left so you better score them prior to the event. Trust me, it sucks to be turned away, and see everybody and their momma kicking it on the other side of the fence.Trust me, it hurts! Don’t feel that pain this year.

Here’s the link with the particulars: http://www.winterbeercarnival.com/

I will be hanging and doing my thing during the Winter Beer Carnival so make sure you come by and say whaddup!

Deuces!

Ale



Here’s where you can get tickets:

Online: http://www.winterbeercarnival.com/

Phone: 1-877-725-8849

Outlets CD Warehouse – Mall of Georgia / 3260 Buford Drive

CD Warehouse – 2180 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth

CD Warehouse – 860 Duluth Hwy; Lawrenceville

CD Warehouse – 10800 Alpharetta Hwy, Roswell

CD Warehouse – 50 Barrett Parkway, Kennesaw

Criminal Records – 1154 Euclid Ave, Little Five Points

Decatur CD – 356 West Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur

Fantasyland Records – 2839 Peachtree Road, Buckhead

*service fees may apply

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Früli Strawberry Beer: Perfect for the ladies...and haters!!

Hey Brew Crew!

Okay, so that dude with the curly fro, wings, and bow and arrow is coming for us on Monday, and a friend of mine asked a pretty interesting question regarding beer to prepare for Valentine’s Day: My girl said that part of my Valentine’s present would be to finally give beer another try and drink one. What should I pick?

The perfect beer for a happy home!
Now before I begin, I want to give a little disclaimer: Not all women like the sweet stuff. I have kicked it with female imbibers who have ordered the same intense, high gravity, robust brews I do and can drink me under the table if they wanted to. But from experience, fruity beers tend to ease women and non-beer drinkers into our world of ales and lagers. Plus, it's the whole macho thing sometimes with the fellas. Cool? Okay.
Now as for my boy with the question, I thought that was a pretty cool gift on her part to try once more to sip what her man is fond of—beer. I would say don’t scare her off with a hoppy, high-gravity barley wine or imperial IPA, or else there would be a good chance that she would continue haytin’ on the suds. To ensure a nice Valentine’s Day, blow her mind with an ale that’s sweet, full of fruity flavor and in my opinion, the perfect gateway to a more open mind to trying others. Get her this awesome beer called Früli (“Frew-lee” is my best guess), a Belgian brew that is a blend of white beer and real strawberry juice. At 4.1 percent alcohol by volume, it is similar to those citrusy, unfiltered wheat beers that are great for spring and summer drinking sessions, but with an explosion of strawberry goodness. Now I am more of a hop head and love the imperials, but Früli is the go-to brew for naysayers who simply don't like anything remotely bitter, strong or hearty. Want proof?

I was chilling with my cousin in Toronto and she said she “hated beer.” Now I despise that line because it’s like saying “I hate music” when there are so many different styles to listen to; there’s so many types of beer, so you can’t hate all of them, you feel me? Anyway, I saw a bottle of Früli with a big strawberry on it in a brew store. I never saw this 250 ml bottle with a top crowned with white foil. The words “Strawberry Beer” and “Belgium” sold me, so I rolled the dice and bought her one. Sure enough, the dark red appearance maintained a nice head that breathed the smell of fresh strawberries, which collectively cracked a smile through her face fixed with premeditated disappointment. After her first sip, my cuz looked like her boyfriend proposed to her or something. She was blown away by the fruit intensity and has since tried Lambics, wheat beers and now, amazingly, even stouts! So hey, save money on a ring and get your lady, or any beer hater for that matter, a Früli and see what happens.

The only problem is finding one. In Atlanta, I made an amazing discovery at Hop City (1000 Marietta Street, Atlanta Georgia, 404.350.9998) where you can get it in a four-pack or a single. They are a tad pricey at about $12.99 for the four, but well worth it, trust me! I also called Green's on Ponce De Leon (737 Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, 404.872.1109) and they said they have it, plus my man Eric at Tower Beer, Wine and Spirits on Piedmont (2161 Piedmont Road, 404.881.0301) is slinging the Früli, so you should be well on your way to a happy home. In the ATL, at least!

Cheers!

Ale

Monday, February 7, 2011

The White House shows love to craft breweries!


The White House Honey Ale
Photo by Pete Souza/White House
 When it comes to the U.S. presidency, I don't think beer has been mentioned more than since President Barack Obama has been in office. I was ecstatic to do a piece on the "Beer Summit" back on July 30, 2009 for J'Adore Magazine, which discussed how the president I voted for used the world's greatest beverage to properly squash a beef between his fellow citizens. Understandably, every craft brewery and their mama sent in requests to use their beer for the globally hyped event prior to its commencement. Unfortunately for the "little guys," the country's top-selling beer, Bud Light, was President Obama's choice, while the other attendees sipped on Blue Moon, a Samuel Adams Light and a bottle of non-alcoholic Buckler in the hand of Vice-President Joe Biden.
I, plus a million other fond brew lovers, thought it would have been the perfect opportunity to show some love (and pub) to a burgeoning microbrewery or two who could benefit from the coverage. I shrugged it off and settled on the appreciation that beer was indeed the choice drink, with or without alcohol.

Although they sell a gang of brews,
Yuengling is still of considered a craft brewery of sorts

This time around, the White House quenched the thirst of its A-list of 100 or so guests that included J-Lo and husband Marc Anthony, and (a star to me) sports journalist extraordinaire Michael Wilbon, more consciously. Hinterland Brewery out of Green Bay, Wisconsin saw their Amber Ale, Luna Stout (5.6%) and cash cow, Pale Ale, get poured, while the oldest brewery America, Yuengling, repped Pennsylvania (Pottsville) with their Lager (4.4%) and Light (3.4%) brewskies. But to really keep it real, a White House chef and avid home brewer, provided an in-house White House Honey Ale! Want more? The Obamas reportedly paid for the brewing supplies out of their own pocket to shake off any haters who would contest their tax dollars were spent. You've got to love it!
We need to continue to support those striving breweries who respect the craft, flex their creative muscle through various styles, and overall do it for the love instead of solely for the dollar. No disrespect to the "macros" like MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, but we have to spread the love for ales and lagers around for all brewers, including inside the Blue Room of the White House!
Here is the link to Brother Wilbon's recount of his awesome Super Bowl Sunday with The Obamas.
Cheers!
Ale

Friday, February 4, 2011

RIO movie ad set to make history during Super Bowl


RIO is about a bird, but this is the only image I could...uh, find.
My friend from 20th Century Fox sent me this press release below on how a television ad for the upcoming animated flick RIO will air a 30-second spot during the 4th quarter of this weekend’s Super Bowl with an embedded code (reportedly the first to do it) that could eventually get you to Brazil. Yeah, yeah, so what does this have to do with beer, right? Well, a ton of my beer buddies are “gamers,” sports fans and into tech stuff. Plus, I love commercials, hate on ones that suck and studied advertising at Cornell, so sue me! You want a beer connection? How about if you win the trip—or just luck out and happen to go to Brazil for that matter—get a 22-ounce bottle of Nova Schin lager (4.7 percent abv) and keep it cold in-between sips with this awesome insulator they have there (left). I had to bring one home!

Ciao!

Ale

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RIO movie ad set to make history during Super Bowl
Watch and uncover hidden code in super bowl spot for RIO – 20th Century Fox’s animated motion picture event

Oh wait, here's another RIO movie shot!

This Sunday, Twentieth Century Fox’s upcoming animated motion picture event RIO will make Super Bowl commercial history, when the 30-second RIO spot becomes the first-ever to air with an embedded code.

Super Bowl fans in the United States watching RIO’s new commercial spot are invited to find the frame with the embedded code that will in turn direct them to a special level on ANGRY BIRDS, Rovio’s blockbuster game, which recently entered into a first-of-its kind partnership with RIO. That level will take you to a RIO sweepstakes.

The sweepstakes winner will attend RIO’s world premiere in Rio de Janeiro on March 22. That same day, Fox and Rovio launch the highly anticipated “Angry Birds Rio” app.

The spot will be available across the web, including youtube.com/officialriomovie, after the Super Bowl. For Official Rules visit http://www.rio-themovie.com/officialrules.



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Brewery invades Atlanta!


Join Heavy Seas Brewery, the GALS and Gregg from Tower Wine & Spirits at The Mac

It’s been one helluva 2011 for brew, hasn’t it? Well to show love for this year, I am going be hooking up a hot slideshow for y’all soon, so be ready! In the meantime, I heard about this cool Heavy Seas Brewery tasting my man Gregg “The Beer Guy” over at Tower Beer Wine & Spirits is doing with the GALS (Georgia Ale & Lager Sirens) at Taco Mac Lindbergh (573 Main Street Atlanta, 30324) right off of Piedmont Road in the ATL, on February 9, at 6:30. (Go here for reservations.)
For $25, you can indulge in some of the great craft beers straight out of Baltimore, MD (thanks to head honcho Hugh Sisson) and enjoy the company of some gals who know their beer. I have always had a love for Heavy Seas because as an artist, I appreciate their awesome artwork, catchy names (“Holy Sheet,” anyone?) and various “Fleets” of brews to embrace the whole pirate theme they proudly represent. For instance, they have…

The Pyrate Fleet: Bottle-conditioned booty hunters that are both year-round and seasonals. Ranging from 7 to 8 percent alcohol by volume, keep an eye out (get it?) for the always available, award-winning Loose Cannon IPA aka Hop³ (hopped three ways!), Black Cannon Black IPA available now and the Dubbel Cannon Belgian IPA (all 7.25 percent) coming in March.

The Mutiny Fleet: I love me some potency and this bottle-conditioned, limited edition, aged crew of 22-ounce raiders specialize in it! From the Below Decks Barleywine to the extremely hard-to-get Great-er Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale aged in bourbon barrels, get hooked (okay, I’ll chill with the puns) on whatever is available before they’re gone!

The Clipper Fleet: Great for summers or just chillin’ to quench the thirst, these babies may have the skull and crossbones on the labels, but they are actually nice guys, never hitting the 6 percent mark. Drinkability is the name of the game, so happily sip the Classic Lager (5 percent), Summer Ale (4.5 percent) and others in peace.

Who knows how many they will be unleashing next Tuesday, so get a seat before they’re sold out!

Holla!

Mr. Sharpton