Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hey Utah, Here I Come!




People joke around and say I have a second residence in Utah because I have been there so many times, but in reality, I simply love to escape, take in the natural environs, and enjoy some of the best beer the States have to offer. That's right, I said it. Quite simply, don't sleep on the Beehive State when it comes to ales and lagers. Besides it's overall beauty boasted by majestic mountains, world-renowned skiing, and ridiculously nice people, their microbreweries are simply awesome. From the Squatters/Wasatch collaboration to up-and-comer Shades of Pale, they know their suds! Sure, they have to be 4 percent or under when poured by the tap, but they mastered that too, with tasty, full-bodied brews that made you swear otherwise! But for bottled potency, 750 ml specials like Uinta's Crooked Line kick some major tail!
Oh, and as you see below, they know their whiskey too! Just ask High West!
Anyway, I am heading there now (running late actually), but it's on! Last time, it was tranquil Park City. This time, it's Salt Lake City. Look out Epic, UintaBeerhive, the last regular season Jazz game, Pago, City Creek Center... aww man, too many to list, but I am going nuts over there and I want you to come, so let's kick it! 
See you on the West Coast in a few! 
Your homey,
Ale

Monday, April 23, 2012

Okay, one last Thailand flick...

My Thailand homey Daniel

This was one more shot I had to get up on the site because it's real as hell. This is Daniel. He noticed my Ale Sharpton logo on my camera bag when I passed him on one of those crazy streets of Bangkok in the Flower Market district. His blowout hair, D.A.R.E. t-shirt, and kickass coffee drinks he was making at his mobile food cart, said he was the perfect cat to rock the Ale Sharpton sticker. He immediately put it next to Che (I showed his cart in the last posting here), and I was hella honored. That meant a lot. 
So as promised, D, here's to you and that brew from another mother you are blessing the people of Bangkok with. If I didn't have that can of ice cold LEO beer in my hand (5 percent ABV), it would've been your coffee instead!
Cheers!
Your dude,
Ale


And oh yea, I'm probably lying because there are so many more killer photos! Stay tuned!
Ale once again

Friday, April 20, 2012

Terrapin's Hopzilla in Thailand!


Okay, I obviously can't get enough of my trip to Thailand. Going through the thousands of flicks, I came across this and shed a tear. I came out with the big guns on my last day on the beautiful island sands of Koh Samui with Terrapin's 12th edition of their prized double IPA, Hopzilla. Everyone's eyes, including the Four Seasons staff, bulged when I whipped out arguably the most potent beer monster the entire country of Thailand has ever seen. At 10.8 percent ABV, this 110 IBU, hop breathin' terror was absolutely delicious paired with this slightly sweet and delicious seafood soup boasting coconut, fresh prawns, clams and a hint of lime (pictured on the right). With the weather, environs, awesomely nice people, and this monstrous beer that's well balanced with toasty, toffee-ish Maris Otter malt, I was in heaven. The resort's staff commented on the thickness of the beer, how floral and citrusy the fragrance was, and the artwork. I loved their intrigue on such a powerful and imposing beer that effin' rocks! Great job Spike and crew!
Anyway, I have a ton more flicks to share, but I am back in the ATL about to stop by the grand opening of Yard House and then judge the Samuel Adams Longshot competition.
Here is a peace out from native Thailander, Pop, and yours truly. 



Deuces!!!
Ale

Monday, April 16, 2012

Operation Thailand: Part 3

Need I say more?


This is Koh Samui and there is a load to discuss and awesome pics to share, but I had to post this right quick. This is my homey Mike McCarthy, the Editor-in-Chief of Washington Flyer, who is cool as hell! We are having a ball! He is a beer dude, too, so that helps! Don't you love the Singha brew splashing all over the place? Don't worry, those were the only suds that were wasted. Speaking of which, I need a buzz before I jump on this flight back to Bangkok, so I'm out! 
Cheers to all of you!
La Gon!
Ale

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thailand: Loving it!

Kickin' it with monks, a street vendor shows Ale some love, and sippin' American craft beer in Bangkok! 

What the...??? Is that someone doing the patented Ale Sharpton hold up of
 Wild Heaven's Ode To Mercy in Bangkok? Hell to the yeah!
As expected, I am loving Thailand!!! Since I am going off of four hours of sleep in two days, I am going to make this a picture-heavy post, and then I am off to celebrate the New Year in the traditional Thai calendar in Chiang Mai. It should be nuts! 
As a recap, here are a few things I did in Bangkok before jumping on the plane with a few other super-cool journalists from the States. We kicked it at...


The Flower Market

Beautiful flowers were being sold everywhere as well as street carts. This afroed-out hipster named Daniel showed Ale some love! He loved my sticker so much that he put it on his drink cart next to his Che Guevara sticker! I am now officially on the map in Thailand! He was rocking a D.A.R.E. shirt, too. Love it! You da man, D-Nice!


29th annual Four Seasons Bangkok Monk Ceremony

It was an honor to be the 29th annual Four Seasons Bangkok Monk Ceremony by the pool. People came, prayed with the monks and gave some offerings to them. It was something.


The Jim Thompson Museum

Truly a wondrous place this former U.S. intelligence agent during WWII, alleged spy, businessman and later silk king of Thailand had in Bangkok. When in town, you need to hear some of these interesting, enlightening, and even haunting stories Mr. Thompson life generated. By the way, this pineapple stuffed with seasoned rice, raisins, pineapple chunks and prawns served in the property's restaurant was SLAMMIN'! (That's a good thing folks.) I was warned that it may be sweet, but compared to many American Thai spots dishes, it was nowhere close to that. It was well-balanced and delicious. No insulin needed.


Sippin' Wild Heaven's Ode To Mercy in Bangkok!


After a soothing massage at the Oasis Spa (I could get one every hour of the day, no lie!), we went back to get our things at the awesome 5-Star Four Seasons BKK (Bangkok) Hotel. Since the service was so perfect, I broke out a little surprise. Knowing that the beer scene is severely limited in Thailand with virtually no ales, I whipped out something this country has never seen before: my favorite imperial brown ale made by Decatur, Ga.'s own Wild Heaven Craft Beers called Ode To Mercy. I scored some plastic cups, the lovely head of PR from the U.K. (above) got a pour (she said it tasted like something ideal to accompany breakfast) along with my fellow journalists, and a few Thai locals I befriended in the hotel. At 8.2 percent of deliciousness, Bangkok ain't seen 'nuthin like that! You know you can't can't keep Ale away from ale, right? Plus, I always represent my peoples back home, no matter where I am! Craft beers forever!


Okay, there is tons more to share, but right now, I am off to Chiang Mai to celebrate the New Year! Stay tuned! 


La gon!
Ale

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Operation: Thailand!

Jet Lager
Asahi with lunch...and dinner...and snacks...and...

Yep! Your homey Ale is in Thailand! Crazy, right? Anyway, I just got to my hotel in Bangkok (the Four Seasons for shout out purposes) and wanted to update my blog before getting two hours of sleep. According to Atlanta time, I am exactly 11 hours behind them, so in other words, I am posting this at 6:45 a.m. in the morning when I would actually be sipping a brew at a beer bar during happy hour back home. 
Anyway, I went old school writing this blog  as you can see in this flick to the left.  Since the battery in my laptop sucks, technology tends to ironically bring you back to the basics sometimes. I wrote this during one of the 22 hours flying from the ATL to Tokyo and then, ultimately, Bangkok. 




The other 21 hours were well spent also, thanks to:


The sights.

This is over Juneau, Alaska. Need I say more?


Asahi Super Dry.
  • It's all you can drink on both flights but, of course, the beer selection was severely limited. Regardless, I did score with the Japanese rice lager, Asahi, which I sipped constantly to keep with the trip's theme. It was on the sweet side, light-bodied, biscuity, and slightly bitter in it's famed dry finish; it did the job at 5 percent ABV.  Plus, something about that can made me envision a Japanese knight in shining armor jousting those other bullshit beers off of the menu. I really will be missing my ales, though, since they are pretty non-existent over here in Thailand. I do have some surprises in store though. You can't stop Ale from having an ale!

Radiohead.

  • Radiohead's latest album, The King of Limbs, won me over when I saw them perform every track on this awesome television special: The King Of Limbs From  The Basement (Palladia Broadcast). Once noticing it as one of the album selections on Delta's entertainment system, I said "Hell yeah!" and rocked it about eight times in its entirety. It's great chill music. 

Fanny Wang Headphones


  • These headphones are straight bangers. I didn't even have to turn up the two higher bass-booster options. They rock no matter the setting and the genuine leather noise cancellation ear covers did wonders; there was a damn screaming two year-old who cried constantly on both my flights! 
  • Sitcoms. I saw a couple of movies including Immortals but the sitcoms Delta had were pretty decent. Of course, Family Guy was a no-brainer, but Parks and Recreation actually had me laugh a few times too. Then again, anything even remotely similar to The Office has a good chance of being watchable. 
  • Sleep. No Internet. No cell phone. No problem. I actually closed my eyelids uninterrupted... unless it was a smiling flight attendant bringing me another Asahi or some grub!
In the end, all 22 hours were actually peaceful, relaxing, and hey, I got a chance to use a pen and notebook again. It was just like old times. 
    La gon! 


    Ale

    Friday, April 6, 2012

    Cool photos thanks to beer! Part One

    Baconfest and Oytserfest hoppin' last weekend... 
    Last weekend's Baconfest in Atlanta's Inman Park was pretty crazy. This was a smooch booth and they happily gave me a demonstration. I love the Saran Wrap. Can't be too careful. Ha! This was one of my favorite photos.
    So I'm clearing my camera's memory card preparing for an upcoming trip to Thailand (I can't friggin' wait!) and it is official: I love Atlanta. While cruisin' for a brewsin' for the past few weeks, I became even more fond of the metropolis. Simply put, the ATL is a cool, hip, diverse and always happening city, and living here is the shiznit! When I travel and explore this wonderful world of ours to report on the most awesome spots to sip the best beverage known to man (and woman), I still feel blessed to return to one of the greatest cities in the world. 
    There are of course more pictures to come, including some other hot ones from Charleston, Salt Lake City and of course, Japan and Thailand, but I wanted to give Georgia's capital their own post this time around! (Sorry I had to stamp 'em, but hey. It is what it is.) If you are ever in town, hollar at me via email or Twitter and I will let you know what's poppin' in The A. Enjoy the flicks!

    So I'm walking into the Baconfest and a cool cat walked up to me, grabbed my arm and said, "Yo, ale, try the bacon beer!" It turned out that it was created by a homebrewing crew called Final Gravity who made their rendition of a Bacon Beer. It was actually pretty damn good! The cured bacon strip was tasty but more of a garnish; the actual brew was like a brown ale with a notes of maple syrup. Nice! It actually reminded me of one of my favorites: Dare I say Wild Heaven's  Ode To Mercy
    This was the man who poured it for me reppin' Final Gravity, "Respectable Dan." Whaddup! Hit him up. His Twitter handle is @urbangrowler. 


    The host of the Baconfest: Bacon!  Can you believe even actor Kevin Bacon was there? Pretty pimp.
    A bacon groupie!

    And for my last stop at Baconfest, I had to bounce to the Oysterfest at the Park Tavern, but not after eating a Guinness Pretzel Popcicle from Pop Kings and it was hella good. This was the before shot (above)...

    And after (well, one bite before...) and it was awesome!

    After Baconfest, I headed over to get some steamed up, spicy crayfish at the 8th Annual Oysterfest at Park Tavern. It was PACKED! I couldn't even get in line because I was heading to another event, but on the way out, I happened to see them cooking up another batch. It was perfect timing. I even scored a sample and those little suckers were delicious! I did get a chance to drink an IPA brewed on site, though! It was big in the Centennial hops department,  around 6.5 percent ABV, and pretty damn refreshing.
    Last but not least,  I stepped out onto a purple-powdered sidewalk courtesy of the annual Color Run that embellished Monroe and good part of Midtown. It was pretty trippy seeing all of that hue of royalty lacing the streets. I was glad it didn't mess up my new kicks, though. Whew! 

    Anyway, look for more photos soon and in the meantime, keep on sippin' wherever you are! 
    Oh, and I was nominated for Drink Blog of the Year by the hot Saveur Magazine. Go here and please vote for a bro! It's an honor to be nominated! I couldn't have done it with ya!
    CHEERS!
    Ale