|At the Publik Draft House with my homies Eddie (middle) and Kwanza (right). (Photo by Elisa Graciaa)|
Thanks to Georgia General Assembly House Bill 99, City Council Representative Kwanza Hall and Eddie Johnson of Publik Draft House who made the upcoming homebrew contest— the Southern Craft Beer Competition—happen!
Cheers to you all!
Homebrewing is blowing up in Georgia, and both the Burnt Hickory Brewing 2nd Anniversary celebration and the recently passed ordinance allowing the Southern Craft Beer Competition to happen, proves it!
I recently attended Burnt Hickory Brewing’s second anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 26, in Kennesaw, Georgia. I not only had a blast sipping the liquid craftiness Owner and Brewmaster Scott Hedeen and his team have quenched the South with for two years, but also enjoyed a section they had featuring homebrewers pouring some of their prized liquid concoctions for attendees to sample. Participants included my good friends Jon and Jeremiah Shari of Little Cottage Brewing; Bob Southland and Bobzilla Brewing; Beer & Fire Home Brewery; and Hamp Covington with Mazurt Beer. This was a wonderful addition to BHB’s throwdown and further signified the importance of supporting the rights of homebrewers to gather in public to pour, share, and now legally compete thanks to the passing of the local ordinance in accordance of Georgia General Assembly House Bill 99. Two good friends of mine— Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall and Eddie Johnson of Publik Draft House—were instrumental in making the upcoming Great Southern Craft Beer Competition (www.greatsouthernbeercompetition.com) a reality. And the prize is no ribbon and handshake; the Best in Show winner takes home $1,000 and distribution at Publik Draft House for one year! (More details are on their website and below.)
Once I heard about the Bill’s passing, and the SCB competition—plus the fact that there were two African Americans involved who further prove how Atlanta’s beer scene has diversified—I had to have lunch with Councilman Hall and Johnson at the Publik House to talk about what influenced this stellar tandem to make the competition happen.
While dressing his salad, Hall said about Atlanta’s City Council, “We have done some very innovating things across the plain of food and beverage within the last few years. Specifically with beverages, there is the Old Fourth Ward Distillery, which was another piece of legislation that we also helped introduce. We haven’t had one in 50 years.” Hall continued, “Now we are going into the homebrew arena and this is another positive because now I might even brew my own beer! Plus, we have a lot of creative and passionate folks in our city, and legislation like this needs to help it unlock. Also, the homebrewing could lead to more jobs, people starting their own businesses, and even a new industry in our city all because we changed a little law and made it possible legally. That’s what I am excited about. Things that are new and innovative which may change how things were viewed in the past are what I am excited about.”
|Photo by Elisa Graciaa.|
And that’s why I have supported and befriended Hall since his tenure. When it comes to keeping the city fresh, he gets it.
After giving a confident nod once his Publik’s succulent wings were placed on the table, Johnson chimed in, “On the restaurant end, people would come in and say they brew beer at home. I think we need to have a connection with them. When I mentioned this to our public relations group [Trevelino/Keller], they came up with the idea of having a competition and that is something that involves the people who come into the Publik House.”
The location of the judging by some major players in the Atlanta beer scene including Monday Night brewing and myself will be announced soon. With this being the inaugural Great Southern Craft Beer Competition, the gangster prizes for the winner, and the overall legalization of this competition, this is a must for anyone serious about their homebrewing to enter.
I hope this is just the first of many events highlighting the mastery of homebrewers statewide and beyond!
Information on the Great Southern Craft Beer Competition
The Great Southern Craft Beer Competition entry period begins April 1 and runs through June 1, 2014. Contestants must pay a $10 fee per beer entry and may submit up to three entries. Each entry includes six bottles of the specialty home brew and must be delivered to Publik Draft House at 654 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30308 by June 1. Entries are only eligible when accompanied by the entry form and competition labels found on the website www.greatsouthernbeercompetition.com.
For more information, visit the website or connect at www.twitter.com/BeerDownSouth.