Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Don't miss this fashion event Loews ATL Hotel this Thursday!

Here is another event my creative agency AllWays Open is doing with Loews Atlanta Hotel on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 7 p.m. to Midnight (live runway starts promptly at 9 p.m.). It's going to be pretty damn slick. After this, we are going back to the art-heavy, beer-sippin' route with some serious surprises on deck! So until then, come out, where some hip gear, and enjoy! It's free so there's no excuse, ya dig? Here is the write-up for ya:

The Loews Atlanta Hotel Lifestyle Series Presents:
Haute Contemporary
A fashion event like never before.
February 27th, 2014
7 p.m. until Midnight
1065 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
No cover.

Flashing lights. Striking apparel. Art. A runway. Live models. Mannequins. Music. All the components of fashion will be showcased in the grandiose lobby of Loews Atlanta Hotel for one fabulous evening.

In another stellar collaboration with AllWays Open Creative, Loews Atlanta’s spectacular lobby will feature the new men’s and women’s fashion lines of ROC/Republic of Couture, Fowl Material, and others. Models will strut the runway at exactly 9 p.m.

Additional eye candy includes fashion-inspired art by some of Atlanta’s finest including Kat Goduco, Anna K Oh, and Maggie Callahan.
Signature cocktails featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka will be poured, along with delectable bites by Loews Atlanta Hotel’s eleven, the stunning all-new Corvette will be on display, and the highly sought DJ Silk Wolf (MJQ Concourse, Trashed, Chill Pill) keeping the atmosphere electrified throughout the evening.

Haute Contemporary. Do not miss this Loews Atlanta Lifestyle fashion experience.

For more information, call Loews Atlanta Hotel at (404) 745-5000.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cool photos from SweetWater's 17th BDay!

Sunday was nuts at SweetWater's bash!
Before: The homey Freddy Bensch aka "Big Kahuna" saying a 20-second speech at 4:20 p.m. before throwing handfuls of cake at everyone! You see where I was!
After: Freddy caked up! He came all the way upstairs to wipe some of that on us smart, clean folks who watched the whole thing from above! Thanks, Kahuna!
Hey Fellow Craft Beer Sippers!

This past weekend was crazy, including a Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ to Birmingham, Alabama to cover their burgeoning beer scene—they showed me hella love at Aloft Birmingham, J. Clyde, Good People Brewing, Cahaba Brewing, Trim Tab Brewing —and then driving straight to SweetWater’s 17th Anniversary on Sunday which was CRAZY!
Photo by Andrea Janise/AllWays Open
Highlights included special casks, “Big Kahuna” Freddy Bensch throwing handfuls of the custom sheet cakes at the hundreds of folks who surrounded him in the lobby, and their new 17th Anniversary Farmhouse Saison which was very impressive! It was so dope to meet up with all my homies in the beer biz, friends, the SweetWater staff, Xorbia's folks, and meeting cats who have only connected with me via Twitter (@alesharptonand Instagram (@realalesharpton) prior to the bash. 

Here are some super cool and hilarious pictures I took from Sunday (unless I am in 'em). Happy freakin’ birthday SweetWater! 

 Here are the pics:

All cleaned up!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Here’s SweetWater’s map, festivities and beer list for their 17th BDay!

 A new Saison, casks, and where to go on Sunday...

So now it’s another incredible year Atlanta’s beloved SweetWater has been kickin’ major ass in the brewing industry! Every one of this brewing company's annual throwdowns have been unforgettable, and each year they turn the gangster level up a notch. Well if you were wise enough to get a ticket before they sold out for the 17th Annual Birthday Bash on February 23 starting at 1:45 p.m. (taps turn on at 2 p.m.), instructions, suggestions and the overall lowdown is below. I am hitting up Birmingham to visit a few folks including the J. Clyde Alehouse, Hop City-Birmingham, and Good People Brewing to name a few, but on Sunday I am heading straight to SweetWater to get my sip on!
Besides all the crazy casks, Freddy aka The Big Kahuna’s speech at 4:20 p.m., and the cluster of other festivities listed below, I can’t wait to try their new 17th Anniversary SweetWater Farmhouse Saison they will have on draft. The scoop is my homey and Head Brewer Nick Nock plus the rest of the squad “…used 2-Row, rye, wheat, Munich, 13/17 and Melanoidin malts; Galena, Saaz, Centennial and Amarillo hops; fermented it with French Saison yeast; and then ran a secondary fermentation with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis.” It will be a potent 9 percent ABV with some tartness to balance out this liquid haymaker.
Direct from the brewery’s P.R. squad, Nick says about the new Saison, “The malt bill gives this brew an earthy, spicy flavor with a light and fluffy mouth-feel, while the hops deliver a moderate bitterness blended with a bit of lemon-lime citrus from the finishing hops.” He adds, “Together, the 2+ month fermentation and cellar time, malt bill, hop bill, and yeast strains all work harmoniously to produce a natural tasting, lighter-bodied (for high-gravity) brew, perfect for some outdoors sippin’ in the spring.” Sounds hella good!

I hope to see y’all there! Okay, now for the deets…

The Party Lowdown...
Pimpin’ a ride there:
Parking is limited, so we set up some alternative options for y’all to stay green and safe:
·         FurBus Shuttle from the Lindberg MARTA Station: The FurBus will be runnin’ a continuous shuttles every 15(ish) minutes to and from the SIP Coffee Shop at the Lindbergh MARTA stop to our front doors. 
·         UBER: Our buddies at UBER have set up some sweet codes to save you a few bucks on your ride:
o    New UBER user code: SWB17th (up to $20 off)
o    Existing UBER user code: RideSBC (up to $10 off)
·         Carpool: If you have to drive, pick a DD and get your carpool on.   

Getting past the big-ass bouncer rocking the baldy and tats:
·         Don't forget your ID for entry. This is a 21+ event - without proof you won't get in. 
·         Keep your Xorbia tickets handy – the quicker we can scan your ticket, the quicker you get to wet your whistles.
·         You must have a ticket - printed or pulled up on your phone. If you lost your printed copies or have any issues, call Xorbia at 800-793-9040.
·         There will be no free “Designated Driver” tickets at this hoedown since it's a capacity shindig.

When walking inside with a George Jefferson strut:
·         Check out our handy site map (below) for the many places around the brewery to roam for beer, food, music and more.
·         Your souvenir pint glass will give you 10 tasting tickets that can be swapped for samples at any of our beer stations. Certain specialty brews may cost ya’ two tickets. 
·         If you have a hankerin' for tasty treats, bring some cash. Mellow Mushroom's Bake Bus, On Tapa the World and Poor Huey's Hot Dogs will all be dishing.
·         Like a Locomotive will be gettin' down on our main patio stage. 
·         Join us at 4:20 p.m. in lobby where our Big Kahuna will raise a toast and cut the cake. 
·         Last call is at 5:45 p.m. and then we'll have to ask y'all to skedaddle at 6 p.m.
·         Please leave the pups at home for this event.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Here is Dogfish’s new artwork for their 2014 seasonals!

Check out the dope labels designed by renowned artist Jermaine Rogers!


If you know your boy Ale, it's evident I love art so I had to feature some dope artwork by one of the best beer companies on the planet! The Delaware-based brewing king Dogfish Head just sent me the new labels for their 2014 Aprihop—a delicious and refreshing American IPA brewed with apricots at 7 percent ABV—along with their other three seasonals, and all of them are banging! Dogfish has always been heavy in the art game (the Miles Davis-inspired Bitches Brew is my fave!), and they continue to keep things visually stunning thanks to renowned artist Jermaine Rogers.
Brother J chillin'. (From his Facebook page.)
Originally from Houston, Texas, the now Brooklyn-residing Mr. Rogers has already garnered much love and respect for his ability to create instant classic posters for numerous icons including David Bowie, Nirvana, and Radiohead, so it was a no-brainer for music lover—Dogfish Founder and President Sam Calagione—to sign him on board to bless their four upcoming seasonals—Aprihop in the spring, this summer’s Festina Peche, Punkin Ale in the fall, and the Piercing Pils to help us chill out in winter. Animal-inspired with a feel of anime, pop art and, of course, some weird edginess, I am digging all four joints. There will be T-shirts and posters available for sale as well once Aprihop hits the shelves in early March. (Keep posted on all the release dates on Dogfish’s website here.)
In an interview with my homey Justin Williams and Dogfish, Jermaine says about the Aprihop bunny posted at the top, "The bunnies are one of the more recognized characters I've done. My wife and I originally intended to have no children, so we got some bunnies on a whim ... so I would sit around sometimes and just draw them. I always liked the juxtaposition of drawing these cute little animals that are a little bit weird." 
Here are Jermaine's thoughts about the other three labels below:
 "I've used the raccoons to interact with the bunnies. ... You hold up a squirrel and kids will think that's cute. You hold up a rat, and they're like 'That's gross!' And the only difference is the tail. I like to draw and mix things that get a reaction." 
Jermaine Rogers
"The first time I used these bears on a poster was for KMFDM back in 1995, and ever since then I've built a whole universe around them. I call them 'dero.' It's the idea that things are happening in our society and our world and our history, and they're happening for a reason. There are unseen hands pulling the strings." - J.R.

"The cat is something I pulled out new for this. I needed to perfect a cat, so hopefully people like it."  - J.R.

Again, much love to Dogfish, Brother Jermaine, and anyone else giving the craft beer world some funky sh*t. I plan to keep on doing the same.


Check out more of Jermaine Rogers’ gangster work on his website and Facebook page here. Also, read the dope article Justin Williams wrote on Jermaine on the Dogfish Head website here


Saturday, February 8, 2014

AllWays Open and Loews Atlanta Hotel are doing Valentine’s Day!

Three DJs, gourmet food, and drinks on deck in 
Midtown ATL!

So what’s your plans for Valentine’s Day? 
Whether you are rolling with your main squeeze or flying solo, my creative agency AllWays Open Creative has something sweet going down in Atlanta on Friday, February 14th. In another collaboration with Loews Atlanta Hotel, we are presenting Suite Life, featuring live music, an incredible dinner, desserts, drinks, and fly wheels. 
The last three productions we did at Loews were off the hook (Penny Candy featuring Hebru Brantley, Latin ConTEMPOrary, and New Year’s), and the next one is a chilled out lounge vibe this Friday featuring three talented (and sexy) ladies spinning (DJ Ree De La Vega, DJ Jennifer Von SchlichtenDJ Taradactyl), plus the Valentine’s Day menu below crafted by the world class, award-winning Master Chef Olivier Gaupin.  
It’s at Loews Atlanta Hotel, dinner starts at 6 p.m., and the grooves will move the body from 9 p.m. until, in Loews’ posh lobby. And oh yeah, the DJ set is FREE and there are overnight room packages!
See the details in the dope flyer we did above (Whaddup Eric Nine!), note that Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Cadillac have some surprises on deck, plus I am making sure a chocolate beer is there to complement brilliant Chef John Bell’s decadent desserts to keep the palates happy! (There’s even an Abita beer ice cream!) If you have dinner plans, come through afterwards and make it an unforgettable night. We hope to see you there! Oh, and we have a dope fashion and art show coming up later this month too!
Much love,

Loews Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu
2.14.14 – 2.15.14
$70 per Person

Petite cheese fondue
Smoked salmon garlic stick, roasted marble potato & duck prosciutto brochette

New Orleans style BBQ shrimp short cake
Comfit garlic biscuit, Abita beer cream, lemon preserve

Pear Cheese Cake Salad
Baby spinach Leaves, cream cheese vinaigrette, shaved Vidalia onions, almond & graham cracker crumbs, black pepper & agave reduction

Lamb & Feta Croquette
Raspberry & mint Chimichurri

White Asparagus Cream Soup
Pomegranate Tuile, Hawaiian pink salt

Oscar filet & Crawfish
4 oz. filet, asparagus, butter poached crawfish & truffle Carpicco hollandaise

Fresh Rolled Pasta
Herbed Pappardelle, seared lobster & scallops, garlic caviar cream sauce

Cast Iron Duck Breast
Citrus & sweet onion preserve, Thyme parmesan Yukon Potato gratin

Ahi Tuna
Warm ginger soy vinaigrette, garlic & scallion rice cake, Asian slaw

Sweet You
Chef John Bell’s sweet little secrets for the two of you


Thursday, February 6, 2014

A quick shout out to Founders

Plain and simple: Thanks.

Whaddup Craft Beer Lovers!

I just left Atlanta because I'm shooting the newest in automobiles at the Chicago Auto Show 2014 (February 8-17), and between traveling, working, and fighting off the cold, I felt the spirit to honor one of the main reasons craft breweries are kicking so much ass, Founders Brewing Company. Here is one of my photos capturing a display of this Grand Rapids, Michigan-based brewery's mastery set up in the world-renowned Brick Store Pub's aging room on the second floor. A beautiful site, ain't it? (I will be posting more eye candy of their incredible selection soon.) 
Stay tuned for what I come across on four wheels and in a bottle while kicking it in the Windy...err... Snowy City aka Chi-Town! 
And again, you are the shiiizzzznit Founders. Keep pouring us the gangster.


Steer Me!

The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye has the loudest roar in the world! American Muscle! This duo of American-born automobiles flexes seri...

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