Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm kicking it in Quebec!

Twelve brews 'Around the Clock' at Les Brasseurs du Temps



Hey Beer Sippers!
I can't talk long because I am on the go and everything has been a blur since I arrived here here in Gatineau, Quebec regarding beer, good times and awesome people. I am about to take part in the very first Gatineau Beerfest from May 27-29, featuring some of the best breweries in Quebec right on the Ottawa River. I got a sneak peek last night and I can't wait to kick it there today! Here is the website: www.festibieredegatineau.ca/home/
My man "Dom" the Brewmaster 
Anyway, I spent all of last night at one of the most incredible microbrewery/gastropubs I have ever been to called Les Brasseurs du Temps that sits on a waterway called, yes, Brewery Creek. It  boasts a two-level spiraling hallway exhibit documenting brewing history since the days of Egypt through the region's rich brewing past up to the present; twelve fantastic beers brewed on site (plus one outside brewery's) that are served collectively on a tray which they call "Around the Clock"; and some serious gourmet grub!  You must go! Check it out: www.brasseursdutemps.com
Okay, I gotta jump in the shower and gear up for a day of serious brew sippin'! Quebec is the shiiiiizzzzznit! (That's a good thing, folks!)
Much love!
Ale

Monday, May 23, 2011

Check this Wild Heaven party photo out!

How kick ass is this photo?!!!


Hey, I know the off-the-chain Wild Heaven Craft Brews launch party for their bottles was two Mondays ago here in the ATL, but when the ridiculously talented photographer named Chris Rank recently sent me this gem, I told him that I had to show love and post it! These are my boys: Keven Digital (yes, two "e's"), a no-joke video producer who did my "Ale's Does Shots" episode on the fly here; and Mike Jordan, the Grand Puba of Atlanta's chapter of Thrillist.com here. Obviously, Rank is one bad dude! Go here for more of his photo mastery.
Thanks again, Chris!
Ale

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Your man Ale is on a panel today!


Good Sunday, my peoples!
I am hurrying the hell up to get to the Loews Hotel on time to join three other awesome writing and give a seminar on blogging for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. It will start at 11:45 and will include Tami Hardeman with www.runningwithtweezers.com; Tom Fischer's www.bourbonblog.com; www.ingredientsinc.net by Allison Lewis. It is an honor to be with such good company and I owe a lot of it to you, my loyal readers, who keep me going every day.
I will be posting how it went along with a complete recap of my return to Atlanta since Thursday including how we partied away during the American Craft Beer Week. Oh yeah, no end of the world after all! Whew!
Much love and cheers!
Ale

Friday, May 20, 2011

East Atlanta Beer Fest goes hi-tech!


Get your APP'in on at the East Atlanta Beer Fest!

With the East Atlanta Beer Festival coming up tomorrow, the new iPhone App called “Re:Brew” designed specifically for this day of revelry further proves how the world of beer is blowing up! This ingenious Re:Brew, created by the independent global marketing and technology agency LBi, gives the EABF attendees the chance to get info on all of the 200-plus ales and lagers; share their opinions on what rocks and what doesn’t with friends; and even rate them just for this festival that result in a Top 10 list! Now that’s what’s Appening! Here is where you can download it: Re:Brew App
I had a blast last year! 
The official release below.
Hopefully I see you there because it is truly one of my favorite ATL beer festivals and it will be paaaaacked!!
Cheers!
Ale
 ---------------------------------------

‘There’s An App for That’

 Re:Brew enhances the East Atlanta Beer Festival experience

Big news in the beer world!

LBi, the independent global marketing and technology agency, has partnered with the East Atlanta Beer Festival to create an iPhone application to enhance the festival experience. Designed for the iPhone, Re:Brew lets festival-goers see what’s pouring, rate their favorites and share notes with friends—enhancing the festival experience one beer at a time.

The East Atlanta Beer Festival (www.eastatlantabeerfest.com) is an annual non-profit event raising funds for the community and features over 200 craft beers, good food, live music and fun for ages 21 and up. The event takes place this Saturday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in East Atlanta Village’s Brownwood Park, and festival-goers can download Re:Brew for free, to make navigating the festival easier and more fun.

The Re:Brew app offers a complete list of festival beers and vendors. Just released in the iTunes app store, it also features:

Beer descriptions and locations of the beers at the festival
Top 10 list that shows crowd favorites
Beer tracker that saves the names of beers you like
Photo taking and sharing capabilities (Facebook and Twitter)

“We’re thrilled with the work LBi has done and believe Re:Brew will be a huge asset to our festival,” says Jelena Crawford, East Atlanta Beer Festival, Inc. President. “The innovative application allows us to leverage social media and mobile technology to drive awareness and enhance the festival experience in exciting ways.”

For more information or to download Re:Brew, visit the iTunes app store at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/re-brew-for-east-atlanta-beer/id435735488?mt=8

About the East Atlanta Beer Festival:
The East Atlanta Beer Festival is an annual non-profit event featuring over 200 craft beers, good food, live music and fun for ages 21 and up. This year, it’s taking place Saturday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in East Atlanta Village’s Brownwood Park.

www.eastatlantabeerfest.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The new SweetWater Waterkeeper Ale



The largest brewery in the Southeast, SweetWater Brewery, based in the heart of Atlanta, Ga., continues to be at the top when it comes to charity and nature preservation. SweetWater is always about tree-hugging--or better yet, water treadin'-- by raising funds using their brew sales to particularly keep flowing waters clean via initiatives like the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper so that we can all get our swimming, fishing and drinking on worry-free! Now passing the $250,000 mark, SweetWater continues their momentum of responsibility by introducing a new member of their bottle family, the Waterkeeper. Its a Hefeweizen Ale, an unfiltered wheat brew at 5.7 percent ABV capped off in a 22 oz. ceramic bottle that will be available throughout June through right on time for the summer. I am in Detroit (and I had a blast!) but I am jumping on the plane to head back to The A and hopefully score a sample so that I can let you know how good it is. In fact, on May 19, SweetWater plans to provide a sneak peek on May 19 at Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s annual River Revival which kicks off Atlanta’s “Save the Hooch” campaign. Knowing how SweetWater gets down, I am sure they have done  great job with this one as well!
For more info, hit up http://www.waterkeeperbrew.org/.
Cheers!
Ale

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cypress Street's 7 Days of Craft Beer & Food!

Yeah, I am in Detroit right covering the food and beer scene, but as promised in my last post here, I'm still announcing a few standout happenings going on in the ATL for American Craft Beer Week, ya heard? Here ya go: Cypress Street Pint & Plate's 7 Days of Craft Beer & Food!
Cypress has some great grub so don't sleep on their great selection of brews and eats. I mean, judging from their lineup above, they aren't playing this year! Oh, and ask for Wes, Cypress Street's beer manager, and tell him I said whaddup!
Later!
Ale

Saturday, May 14, 2011

American Craft Beer Week is coming!


Daaaaaamn! I have been trying to update this site for the past few days but as the world has found out, Google has been having some issues with websites. I appreciate you coming back. And just for that, I am compiling some awesome events going on for the upcoming American Craft Beer Week from May 16-22. But first, how in the hell did this week of awesomeness get started? Check it:
American Craft Beer Week started when the Brewers Association American Beer Month originally slated in July was concentrated into a more killer week nationwide, which packed in a lot more participation, activities and other creative attractions to celebrate the craft of brewing in May. In fact, "Craft" was added to give it a little more funk and specificity. The 3/4 shave down on a month's days turned out to be ingenious, as the majority of some 1,700 + breweries joined in on a guaranteed week's worth of fun which includes pub crawls, food pairings, festivals, introductions of new styles and a number of other forms of revelry all in the name of beer! (Not to mention that the cooler May weather has to mean a significant drop in dehydration cases outdoors!) Now American Craft Beer Week, celebrating its 6th year, is the largest week-long craft  beer celebration in the nation with, for the first time, all 50 states participating by hosting official events under the ACBW banner. You gotta love it! The only thing is, I know there are a gang of things beer-related in my Georgia stomping grounds starting today including the Dunwoody Beer Festival and Doc Holliday Beer Festival in Griffin, but I am heading for Detroit tomorrow and have no idea what's in store for the week. Atlanta is nuts for beer, but how is the Motor City? If you know what's going on, shoot me an email at alesharpton@gmail.com. Until then, I will still happily post some other cool events going on in the A and research where the hell to go in the D! At least I will be back for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival where I will (A-hem!) be a part of a panel discussing blogging in the culinary arts next weekend. Hells-yeah!
Last, a fist bump goes to all craft brewers, including homebrewers who really deserve a lot of love (In fact, stay tuned for my next edition of Ale's Homies as I interview an awesome woman in the beer world named Julie Baggett who knows a sh*tload about everything regarding the suds!) Thanks for making the world a better place with all of your brewing mastery. We need that liquid peacemaker!!!
For more info, check out the official American Craft Beer Week site for events in your area.  


Side note: The Declaration of Beer Independence
By the way, do you want to see how serious we beer drinkers are about supporting the craft beer movement? Check out this Declaration of Beer Independence that was created for tens of thousands of beer supporters to sign back in 2009 here. Cool, ain't it?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Doc Holliday Beer & Wine Festival

Showing love to the rest of Georgia
Sure, Atlanta has beer festivals almost every other week, but what about beyond the borders of this great city? This Doc Holliday Beer & Wine Festival sounds like a winner in Griffin, Ga. Check it out!:
Look for a gang of more festival news later this week. Until then, I am off to the Jailhouse Brewery in Hampton, Ga. to see what else is cooking on the outskirts! They have something to secret popping off and I am going to see what the hell it is. Stay tuned!
Deuces

Monday, May 9, 2011

A sneak peek of Wild Heaven Craft Beers' new bottles!

Reppin’ Decatur, Ga., Wild Heaven goes glass today!


Brewing company Wild Heaven Craft Beers and I go way back! Well, at least since Founder Nick Purdy and Brewmaster Eric Johnson officially launched the draft versions of their new venture in September of 2010.  They were one of the first postings on AleSharpton.com here, and since then, their dynamic duo—the Belgian Golden Ale, Invocation (8.5 percent ABV; 48 IBUs), and the Imperial Brown Ale called Ode To Mercy (8.2%; 40 IBUs)—have been kicking ass ever since!
The Invocation wowed first-time sippers at the launch party of the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival on the rooftop of White Provisions last year, and since then, the demand for both lines (followed by the Ode To Mercy Special Winter Ale) in restaurants, bars and pubs have been beyond expectations throughout Georgia and parts of Alabama including Birmingham. Now it’s May 9, 2011, and it’s time to go bottle-style; Thomas Creek Brewery out in Greenville, S.C. remains the source for both contract brewing and packaging Wild Heaven’s product until next year. Decatur, Ga. will be the future home sometime in 2012. In the meantime, Nick is continuing to demonstrate his allegiance for particularly “The Dec” by introducing the four-packs of both brews at renowned brew store Ale Yeah! (906 W College Ave, Decatur GA 30030; 404-371-4331) today at 5 p.m.
Ode To Mercy

As for the bottle designs, both labels are painted by Adam Houston from Bridge Creative out of Roswell, Ga. The Ode justly shows a seated gent playing the guitar since the name of the brew was inspired by Nick’s favorite song “Ode To Mercy,” written by the remarkably multi-talented Wild Heaven brewmaster, Eric. The Invocation makes sense as well, a painting of a monk, honoring the great robed brewers in Belgium who birthed the ale’s style. Check ‘em ouuuuuuut!
Invocation
In an exclusive interview with Nick, he said, “We waited to do bottles because people who have been doing this longer than me have said you don’t want to put your beers in packages until people are asking for it. Now, fortunately, that is the case. The first order for beer has already been presold by our distributor so it looks like there is a good bit of demand.” He continued, “I’m really excited because by getting our beer in bottles, it makes it more tangible for people; it makes it a lot easier to share us, talk about us and associate our logo with us. The brewery will hopefully be a lot more known rather quickly.”

Look for Wild Heaven's logo: a glass with angel wings. It's about to be all over Georgia and beyond, thanks to bottles.

Congrats, Nick and Eric!

Ale

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's Cinco De Mayo! Negra Modelo for me! You?

I'm rollin' with the "black sheep" of Mexican beers.

* What a damn week this has been! Things have been hectic to say the least, but since I am all about positive energy and keeping vibes cool, let's keep it moving. With that being said, sorry for the delay. I have been cussed out a bit about the hiatus in updating the site, but things were, like I said, nuts, but you have to be there for loved ones, you feel me? Anyway, let’s kick it! Here we go!

I hope you had a chance to check out the new episode of Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’, featuring one of the best beer bars in the world, The Porter, in Atlanta’s Little Five Points. Molly, the co-owner of The Porter, did a fantastic job and we gelled perfectly! If, for some crazy reason, you didn’t see it, welcome back from your trip to Mars! Here it is again: Ale Does The Porter. Enjoy!
My boy Mr. T and I are about to kick it for Cinco De Mayo!
Now let’s get to what’s poppin’ off today: Cinco De Mayo! Yep, this May 5th celebration gives a nationwide shout out to the Mexican army who finally whipped the French’s ass at the Battle of Puebla on, you guessed it, May 5, 1862. The U.S. and parts of Mexico eventually made this date an official excuse to patronage Mexican restaurants, toast glasses filled with Margaritas and partake in a ton of festivities strongly influenced by the States’ southern neighbor. The music, the grub, the noise…you can’t hate on that!
But what about the brews?
Well, true, from a mainstream perspective to keep things simple, Corona certainly gets a tremendous amount of coverage all over television, complete with limes and tanned bodies of people who swear that they are the coolest, dancing on beaches, but that is not the only Mexican beer, people! And yeah, supposedly the “Most Interesting Man in the World” drinks Dos Equis occasionally, but nah. Not me. 
Honestly, when I hit up a Mexican spot, I order Negra Modelo (5.4 percent ABV), which is kinda the black sheep of Mexican beers. Due to its availability in almost every restaurant themed around anything south of the border, its malty backbone, refreshing taste with just a tad of bitterness that balances out the sweet,and slick bottle complete with the foil top, it’s a winner in my book. To add, it stands out from the typical, light lagers because of its ruby brown appearance, bolder taste, strength (compared to the ABV’s in the 4 percent range), and overall characteristics of a Munich Dunkel. Nice!
What the...?
And no, even though many may think it similar to a dark ale like a stout or lager simply because of its appearance, this is no one of those brews served in the 50s Fahrenheit. Sip this one ice cold, homey! Oh, and no limes or lemons for this one. Those wedges of sourness are used primarily to bring a citrus taste and counter the skunkiness many of those lagers unfortunately breathe due to poor storage and clear bottles. But hey, although this action is shunned upon in many other brew circles, do you! Just don’t add any damn grenadine to something like a Corona, which I have seen in a few clubs. This is totally uncool if you are serious about beer. Seriously.
Anyway, moderate the tequila shots, pop a Prilosec, and have a ball on Cinco De Mayo!
¡Salud!
Ale