Saturday, January 28, 2012

The FoodBlog South Conference is kickin' major tail!

"Sweet Home Alabama!" 

Yep! That song by Lynyrd Skynyrd popped in my head on cue when I crossed the state lines heading in from the ATL! Yeah, I left a roster of awesome beer events back home including the wild Atlanta Winter Beer Fest (Whaddup, Mike G. and High Gravity Hip Hop!); and the incredible showcase of one-and-dones, the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting run by man Owen Ogletree, but hey, being able to travel and experiences things I have never done? It all balances out. Plus, what awaits me in the charming city in Birmingham, my own beer seminar discussing this site, my Cruisin' For A Brewsin' videos, articles I have written, and everything else I do concerning beer at the FoodSouth Blog Conference, I think it’s a good trade off.
Amber-Ale. Get it?
After scoring some Chick-Fil-A and driving about two hours during Friday’s picturesque afternoon, I checked into the Springhill Suites downtown B'Ham and immediately went to a spot my fellow beer nerds back home recommended I check out: an awesome beer bar called J. Clyde. Just blocks from my hotel, revered Atlanta food writer Andrea Janise (@atlfoodwriter) joined me for a brew at this secluded spot on a quiet brick-lined street nestled just a block from the bustling downtown. The menu boasted hundreds of bottled beers and the taps were pouring some pretty serious craft brews. J. Clyde’s cozy interior reminded me of some of my favorite beer bars back home like The Porter and the Brick Store's Belgian Room in terms of that rustic, cellar feel embellished with exposed brick.
Always down to discover beer I never had, I tasted a few local goodies and Amber, J. Clyde’s manager on duty, made sure I sampled her current favorite, Good People Brewing's Wee Heavy.  Everything was delish, but I settled for Avondale Brewering Company’s Spring Street Saison (pictured up top) which was fantastic. I had a ball but my chilling time was short because the FoodBlog pre-party at a spot called Jim N’ Nick’s Bar-B-Q was quickly approaching. Mingling with fellow bloggers, aspiring ones, chefs, journalists and media reps from all over the world, this was a great event. As for brews, they had a pretty limited tap selection but the Good People Coffee Oatmeal Stout and a wonderful Pale Ale called Naked Pig in a bottle was one of the better ones that I have ever tried, period.
The day was eventful and Atlanta, I will miss ya, but Birmingham and its people welcoming us with open arms is pretty freakin' cool.
I am looking forward to hosting a fun event, have a tasting with more than a hundred attendees thanks to my beer sponsor, Good People, and hitting up their brewery for the FoodBlog South after-party later tonight. Haaaaaaayyyy!
Happy sippin'!


  1. I worked the Jim and Nick's party last night-loved having you all! You're description of the house brew as "wack" last night has had all of us bartenders (who refer to it as "urine of someone who drank good beer") laughing ever since. Come back and see us when you're in town!

    1. I hope I wasn't dissing anyone, but hey, it is what it is!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed Naked Pig. I'm Brad with Back Forty Beer Co. in Gadsden,AL. We make Naked Pig Pale Ale and would love to have you stop by the brewery to see how it's done. We are on your way to Atlanta so bring it.

    1. Dude, hell yeah! Just hit me up and let me know when we can kick it!