Monday, December 23, 2013

Loews Atlanta Hotel is throwing down on New Year's Eve!

Ring in the New Year with king crab legs, DJ Mafioso and top-shelf libations, ya heard?!

With New Year’s celebrations coming up, I had to give you the inside scoop on what’s happening in one of the world’s greatest cities, Atlanta, Georgia. The grandiose Loews Atlanta Hotel is Midtown ATL is a destination my creative agency AllWays Open loves hosting numerous art events at including Hebru Brantley’s Penny Candy exhibition (see the video here) and the Latin ConTEMPOrary (see video here), so when I found out they were throwing down in major fashion to ring in 2014, I had to spread the word asap!
Beer might actually take a backseat for once!
 From all you can drink, to Dutch Harbor king crab legs and dance-infectious music being spun by the nationally renowned DJ Mafioso, I immediately knew where I will be on December 31st! Oh yeah, there is a fantastic brunch available for overnight stays as well. Here are the details below including various packages to choose from, what food is being served and other information worth bragging about.
Happy New Year!
Ale


Celebrate New Year’s Eve in complete bliss at Loews Atlanta Hotel

When it comes to New Year's celebrations throughout the city of Atlanta, Midtown’s luxurious Loews Atlanta Hotel is hosting one of the most all-inclusive in the city. 
To quench your thirst throughout the evening, there will be four packages offered for those wishing to imbibe at chic Bar Eleven based in Loews’ posh first level—two are regular open bar packages, and two with guaranteed table service. Please see below for details regarding the different packages. The evening will be hosted by nationally renowned DJ Mafioso who will be spinning his dance-inducing sounds from around the world including house, reggae, disco and other genres throughout the evening to ring in the New Year.

Adjacent to Bar Eleven is Loews' revered restaurant eleven which will showcase a festive menu overseen by Master Chef Olivier Gaupin. A selection of items will be offered including, but not limited to, Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs, oysters, Florida stone crab claws, Beef Wellington, salt-encrusted baked halibut, sous vide smoked salmon, and a chocolate extravaganza for a happy ending to 2013. The dinner will be from 7 pm to 11 pm and will be $85 a person. If you purchase a bar package ticket with your dinner, you will be able to begin your open bar at 9 pm instead of 9:30 pm. 

Of course, a hotel package could not be complete without offering overnight accommodations, so there is a “Take the Elevator Home” package available. For $450, guests will receive a superior king room, two premium bar package tickets and breakfast for two at eleven restaurant on New Year’s Day. Hotel package bookings can be made on http://loewshotels.com/loews-atlanta. What could be a better way to kick off 2014?

·         $125  *Premium Bar Package
Includes admission for one (1) with a premium open bar for four (4) hours. Tax and gratuity is included.

·         $175  *VIP Bar Package
Includes admission for one (1) with a top shelf open bar for four (4) hours. Tax and gratuity is included.

·         $600  Gold VIP Bar Package
Includes VIP admission for 4 people, reserved table, premium open bar, one (1) bottle of Moet & Chandon Impérial Champagne. Tax and gratuity is included.

·         $800  Platinum VIP Bar Package
Includes VIP admission for four (4) people, a reserved table, top-shelf open bar, one (1) bottle of Moet & Chandon Impérial Champagne. Tax and gratuity is included.

*For every 10 tickets bought at one time you will receive 1 ticket of equal value complimentary

Tickets can be purchased at http://loewsatlanta.xorbia.com/2014


Cheers and Happy New Year from your friends at Loews Atlanta Hotel!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Annual Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ Last Minute Gift Guide

Get your Santa Claus on, brew style!
Time is ticking away in countdown for exchanging gifts that actually don't suck, so I am coming to the rescue with these slick libation-oriented goodies that will even make the Grinch click heels with a brew in hand!
Hoppy Holidays!
Ale


MiiR Growler
This space-age beer vessel makes me wanna growlla!
I am already digging the looks of this stainless steel growler made by MiiR who boasts it’s the “world’s first insulated, threadless growler” that keeps 64 ounces of beer cold for 24 hours and liquids hot for 12, but when it was disclosed proceeds their Growler For Good initiative to provide clean drinking water to those in need globally, it was a no-brainer to include it in this Gift Guide!

Raising the Bar on Bar Food 
Book It!
World renowned journalist and All About Beer Magazine Editor John Holl’s new book The American Craft Beer Cookbook documents how he hits the road and publishes 155 beer-centric food recipes from chefs, brew pubs, gastropubs and even with a mission to prove how gangster fare, ales and lagers are in perfect harmony for the world to enjoy! We’re talking Harpoon Brewery’s Winter Warmer Pumpkin Pie, Southern Tier Brewery’s Free Range Super Pancakes and Uncommon Brewer’s Lemongrass Chicken to name a few. Bon appétit!

The Kegerator Pro 60
Gaming, music and beer in one machine? I’m sold!
The California-based company Dream Arcades has created the ultimate man cave monster. The Kegerator Pro 60 is an arcade machine with a 60-inch HD screen showing off more than 140 pre-loaded classic arcade games including Galaga (my favorite), Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, and Street Fighter, plus three taps to pour your —a-hem—favorite carbonated beverage! As if that’s not enough, there’s also built-in MP3 software to transform it into a jukebox, two built-in cup holders, more game options (Street Fight anyone?), and most importantly, no constant runs to the laundry mat since no quarters are needed. Game on! ($4,999)

Tokyoflash Japan Kisai Intoxicated Silicone
Know when to blow when!
The minds—and fans—of Tokyoflash Japan continue to develop some of the weirdest, coolest, futuristic and, in this case, practical watches coming out the Land of the Rising Sun. This newly released Kisai Intoxicated Silicone flaunts a built-in breathalyzer. Once you blow in the side of the watch, a color-coded scale ranked from 1 to 10 tells whether to make your drink the last one or call a cab. It comes in black or white with a silicone strap. Oh yeah, it tells time too. ($149)
tokyoflash.com

Dr. Homebrew
Book it!
After coming across this extraordinary novella written by Snow Hudson based on the independence of brewing craft brewing from a fictional, comical and strikingly illustrated perspective (Chiara Rogazzo is gangster with the art), I had to show love! The description is so on point, I am posting it word for word below straight from Snow so that you get to feel its vibe as well. Great stuff!
“An unassuming Psychiatrist by day, Dr. Max Mason and his assistant, Amber, work after-hours in their underground laboratory making the world’s best beers. Unfortunately for Max and Amber, the global corporation, Lake’s Ltd., has forced all independent beer brewers out of business. Pursued by Mr. Wig (the CEO of Lake’s Ltd.) and the clueless Chief Inspector Hastings, Max and Amber dodge one close call after another in pursuit of having their home-brewed beers distributed amongst the general population.
“Will Max and Amber ever be able to sell their delicious drinks in the real world? Will Mr. Wig or the Chief Inspector ever find out who Dr. Homebrew really is? Who is blackmailing Dr. Max Mason? And will Max and Amber ever acknowledge their feelings for one another?”
There’s also Dr. Homebrew’s How-To Beer Book which educates us on how to make our own batches of cold ones in the comfort of our castles step by step! Awesomeness!

Trianon Tequila

Three the agave way!

There are typically three popular variations of tequila determined by its aging—Blanco, Reposado and Anejo—but award-winning distiller Trianon from Jalisco, Mexico takes things to another level to separate them from the rest. Besides using the meticulous process passed on for three generations of using solely the nectar direct from the heart of hand selected Blue Weber Agave plants, the “Tri” in Trianon is legitimized with three stacked, hand-blown bottles storing each style of tequila. Not only does their “Triple Bottle” packaging look extra chic on your bar, but the contents inside are damn good as well!

KRUPS 2-Bottle Wine Aerator and Dispenser
Pour vino in style.
For the serious wine drinker, put your two choice bottles of vino in this hi-tech dispenser and no one will question your sophistication ever again. An aereator regulates vino’s worst enemy—oxidation—through vacuum-pressurizing (5–7 days for white wine, 7–10 days for red wine), plus you can set your individual chilling temperatures between 7 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Crate and Barrel stores sell these babies so grab one and take your grape-sipping experience to a whole new level thanks to Krupp. ($499.99)


By the way, along with some of the stuff above, I also featured other cool gift ideas for Urban Lux Magazine’s website here!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Three ATL Beer Dinners this week starting tonight!

This was a fun one at TAP with Red Brick. Check out the ones below!
Beer dinners are the shiiizzznit!

Any time I hear about a beer dinner—you know, those culinary events hosted by restaurants that strategically pair their fare with some of the most delicious beers on the planet—I need to show love. Between the Steinbeck’s Ale House Annual Hanukkah v. Christmas Beer Dinner going on tonight in Decatur, to Wednesday’s Big Tex joint with Sierra Nevada (Downtown Decatur) and Wing Cafe & Tap House’s on Friday in Marietta, you have three ways to reward yourself for surviving another crazy year!
Here are the three beer dinners below direct from the source, including the menu, time, location, and ticket price.
Merrily Indulge!
Ale



Steinbeck’s Ale House Annual Hanukkah vs. Christmas Beer Dinner
Time: 7:30 p.m., tonight! (Monday, 12/16)
Cost: $60
Info: Visit the website here: Steinbeck's Website 659 E Lake Dr, Decatur, GA 30030; 404.373.1116
The Scoop: Guest Chef Doug Turbush from Seed Kitchen & Bar and Stem Wine Bar is flexing his culinary muscle with a very impressive roster of sippers. They said to “…please come into or call the pub to reserve your slot.”

The Menu:
Cold Water Oysters, Sake Mignonette
Hitachino Classic

Chicken Fried Veal Sweetbreads, “Zaxby’s sauce”
Thornbridge Scotch Ale

Lobster with basil & chili, Uni-buttered Udon noodles
Southern Tier Krampus

Tamales with Pork Adobada, pickled chilies, crema
The Bruery 6 Geese a Laying

Lamb Belly, Parisian Gnocchi, Roasted Garlic, Shaved Brussels, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Beer Sheep’s Milk Cheese Sauce
Green Flash Double Columbus

Sufganiyot: Israeli Jelly Doughnuts – apricot jam, beer toffee sauce for dipping
Gouden Carolus Noel 2012

 
My dude Dave Kemper from Sierra Nevada reps some of the best beer in the world.
Big Tex Decatur and Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner December 18
Time: 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, 12/18
Cost: $50 (Tickets)
Info: 308 W Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, Ga. 30030; Call Robin Vaughan at 404.293.2035
The Scoop: Sierra Nevada and I go way back because, simply, they brew their ass off! The last dinner they did at Big Tex (who is equally gangster on with the pots and pans) was phenomenal. (Check out my coverage here.) I doubt this will be any less. Here is the official description: On Wednesday, December 18 at 7 p.m., Big Tex Decatur will host a beer dinner with one of the country’s top craft breweries, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Head Chef Rick Watson of Big Tex Decatur has prepared four courses alongside a selection of award winning Sierra Nevada brews.  Patrons of the dinner will indulge in a seasonally inspired menu that includes Smoke Braised Short Ribs and a Fried Banana Split. For $50 (excluding tax and gratuity), guests will enjoy four courses including full bottles and pints of beer.

Greeting
Amuse Bouche
Celebration Ale

First Course
Duck Duck Goose
Duck Sausage, Duck Rillete, Goose "Ham"
Weizenbock

Second Course
Jumbo Sea Scallop
Citrus Beurre Blanc, Tarragon Pesto
Ovila Saison

Third Course
Smoke Braised Short Ribs
Gnocchi, Local Mushrooms
Barrel Aged Narwhal Imperial Stout

Dessert
Fried Banana Split
Pale Ale Ice Cream, Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Dried Cherries
Pale Ale

Stay in touch with the conversation on Twitter: #SierraNevadaatTex, @BigTexDecatur, @SierraNevada

The Wing Cafe ‘Infamous’ Home For The Holiday's Cask Dinner
Time: 8:00 p.m., Friday, 12/20
Cost: $40 ($35 advance)
Info: 2145 Roswell Rd, Marietta, GA 30062, 770.509.9464. Go here: Tickets
The Scoop: My dude Ryan Bing who runs the happily independent Wing Café knows how to throw down, so see for yourself. There are two casks of both the Festive and Wake n’ Bake being poured from Georgia’s top two breweries, Terrapin and SweetWater, so you know the beer will be on point. To add, there will be a guest appearance by "Bad Santa" so why not? If you pre-pay via Eventbrite, you get $5 off too.

First Course
Bread and Butter Course. Local Assortment of Artisan Breads with 3 Different Butters.....Onion Butter, Anchovie Butter and Herb Butter
Sweetwater Festive and Terrapin Wake N' Bake

Second Course
Mushroom-Custard Soup
Sweetwater Festive and Terrapin Wake N' Bake Stout

Third Course
Coffee Cured Beef Brisket with Jalapeno Cream Corn
Sweetwater Festive and Terrapin Wake N' Bake Stout

Fourth Course
"Festive" Pound Cake and a "Wake N' Bake" Coffee Cake served with a Butterscotch Fondue

Sweetwater Festive and Terrapin Wake N' Bake Stout

Friday, December 13, 2013

Want a gangster Imperial IPA? Get Palate Wrecker now!

Green Flash's 'most complicated' IPA is bizzack!

I will keep this post simple. 
If you want to toast off your weekend with a gangster imperial IPA, grab a four-pack of Green Flash's Palate Wrecker IPA now
I just ran across this quartet of funk at Green's on Ponce the day I arrived back from the Bahamas to reawaken my taste buds from the absence of IPAs on the islands (besides the Great Divide Hercules Double IPA I happened to find in my suitcase here) and saw the Wrecker. It was a no-brainer. Grab some if you are a true hop head or aspiring to be one. 
Already known for how generous they are with the hops, the San Diego-based brewery admits, "It’s the most complicated West Coast–style IPA we have ever brewed—mashing and sparging with hopped wort, in addition to our hop layering regimen for IPA." At 9.5 percent ABV and way over 100 IBUs (International Bitterness Units)—more like an astounding 149 at last count—it's still not overwhelming and oddly very drinkable. Still, after being blown away by its citrusy, piney nose, sip with caution and an open mind... or it will open it for you.

Cheers!
Ale

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Celebrate Cherry Street Brewing Co-Op’s Anniversary!


Exactly a year ago, I made a troop out to this Cumming, Georgia-based brewery named Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative and was welcomed with open arms. It was a pleasure trying their delicious brews and hearing the motivating stories on how they got started. Trust me, it was a quite a process, but with their dedication, politicking, determination and devoted friends in their corner, everything paid off. A really big shout out goes out to Boss Man Jonny Bradley, plus inventive brewers Johnny Bradley and Dan Reingold for being instrumental is adding another great beer establishment to Georgia’s portfolio.
Below is information direct from Nick regarding the “little” anniversary party Cherry Street is throwing at their brewery tonight featuring some classic brews, new releases, and seasonals for those in attendance to sip. Oh yeah, and limited edition t-shirts are available for sale as well. Give 'em a call for any questions at (770) 205-5512. They usually close at 10 pm but tonight may be different.
Cheers!

Anniversary Ales: Try All Three for $12
12.12.12 – 12 percent ABV
12 Malts 12 Hops 12% Aged for 12 Months      
Since we were officially approved for legal brewing on December 12, 2012, we decided to make a beer to commemorate this joyous occasion. This barleywine has 12 different malts, included 21% Rye malt, 12 different hops, and weighs in at 12%. This will be a yearly beer release. Yes you guessed, on December 12th every year.

Balzac the Invincible – 9.5% ABV                                      
Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Coffee & Chocolate
The brewers may consider this the Holy Grail of beers brewed so far in 1 year. A rich and complex stout aged for 6 months in a George Dickel Whisky Barrel with copious amounts of chocolate and Sumatran Coffee. A better Breakfast Stout.

Oak Aged Dylan’s Dubbel – 7.5%                            
Our friends up at Troy & Sons Moonshine in Asheville, NC gave us a barrel to have fun with. We decided to age our Pub Favorite in it. After 3 months, what we got is a wonderfully enhanced Dylan’s with excellent oak and vanilla character and a nice warming finish.

Seasonal Brews
Naughty or Spice Saison – 6.2%                                 
Fundraiser: Special Olympics Forsyth County
Special Olympics Forsyth County has been here locally for over 20 years. They conduct many events throughout the year; including the Battle of the Bats in September and a 5k Run in November. This beer is our favorite beer throughout the year. We took our Dirty Frenchman Belgian Saison and added Colorado Spruce Tips to create a wonderfully aromatic and spicy Winter Belgian Ale.

D.E.C.O.S – 8.2% Double Espresso Chocolate Oatmeal Stout 
This beer is brewed with plenty of locally roasted coffee, ample amounts of imported dark chocolate, and oats to create a deliciously, decadent beer that you won’t forget.

Belgian Dark Strong – 8.8%                                 
This full bodied Belgian Dark Strong has great malt complexity and an elevated ABV with intense notes of dates, figs, and currants, which come from using a yeast from the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. A great Winter Warmer Belgian Ale.

Harvest Series
Chief Sawnee’s Stash Coconut Porter – 6%                    
Back by Popular Demand! We take our Sawnee Mtn. Porter and add toasted coconut flakes, caramelized dates, and fresh vanilla bean to the fermentation. A Must Have!

710 Experimental Series
Hoppy Balboa vs. Apollo Green Double IPA – 8.8%      
This heavy weight contender weighs in at 8.8% and packs a punch. Smack full of Apollo, Summit, Falconer’s, and Citra hops. Great tropical notes all the way through.

Plus…
Irish Red I Jedeye
Ta Ta Cream Ale
Dylan's Dubbel
West LA Hopaway IPA
Monkey Hammer Hefeweizen

Support your local brewers!

-         Ale

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Travel: Check out Miami’s eye-popping Wynwood Walls!


Besides Art Basel, Wynwood Walls 
also make Miami’s art scene hot!

I love to travel and besides featuring great locations to indulge in craft beer and get your grub on, I also make sure to share other attractive gems the world has to offer. With the internationally celebrated Art Basel going on the weekend of December 5th through the 8th in Miami Beach, I was reminded how cool a certain section of the city was that I visited recently. It’s called Wynwood Walls, an ingenious and simply jaw-dropping reinvention of a deserted warehouse district.  
My cool tour guide.
Spearheaded by the late Tony Goldman, a famous and imaginative real estate developer, in 2009, he saw how the unsightly exteriors with very few windows of abandoned buildings could be incredible canvases for world renowned artists to brilliantly showcase their gifts. Before he passed last year, his vision was thankfully realized.
Here are just a few of the Wynwood Walls I took some photos of. They are always changing so make sure you check this district out and make it your own year-round Art Basel. Below are some of the ridiculously sick walls I saw below. 



The colors and the baby Hulk made this one by Ron English one of my faves!

This was chiseled in the wall!
I had to leave my stamp of approval, of course!

Be sure to support you local artists and cherish the art wherever you are throughout the world. Oh, and good luck to my art homies showing off their work this weekend in Miami Beach including Hebru Brantley, Dubelyoo, C. Flux Sing, Miya Bailey, and others. 

Cheers!
Ale

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's the 80th Anniversary of Repeal Day!

Thanks to the 21st Amendment, craft beer is legal!
I can't lie, I love watching all of those captivating, violent and witty gangster movies and television shows based on the crimes of selling liquor and beer during the Prohibition mandated under the Eighteenth Amendment  via the Volstead Act between 1920 and 1933. Of course, those pubs and breweries of yesteryear were not as inventive, utterly delicious ales and lagers we are lucky to indulge in today (we're talking mostly lagers in the 5 percent ABV range served in glass mugs like the one above), but the spirit of sipping the world's greatest beverage remains in tact for the past 80-plus years. 
In case you don't know about Boardwalk Empire, get HBO On Demand and step your game up! This official 'Cheat Sheet' should help.
And with that, I say hoist a glass to the ongoing movement of brewing finely crafted ales and lagers; phenomenal film productions like Boardwalk Empire and The Untouchables; and the overall freedom to do whatever the hell we please in the U.S. ...to an extent.
I am hitting up a few spots in Atlanta including the Wrecking Bar for the new batch of Hop Noggin, West Coast-style Double IPA birthed by my homey Neal. What are you up to? Whatever you choose, just make sure it's a brew that's, well, gangster.

Cheers!
Ale