Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Attention homebrewers: Here comes the Great Southern Craft Beer Competition!

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 26in 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 ( 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.)
Click Here!
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
For more information, visit the website or connect at


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Three Taverns is set to unleash the Quasimodo Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale!

Get ready to get your sip on this Friday, 6 p.m., at 
the Three Taverns brewery!

What's up!

As you know, I am a big fan of the Decatur, Georgia-based Three Taverns Brewing and have worked with them a few times doing extra cool projects including a beer cocktail here featuring their Single Intent at the Argosy. Well this award-winning brewery is set to launch their new member to the beer family, the potent and monstrous Quasimodo—a Belgian-Style quadqrupel at 10 percent ABV—in grand fashion! On Friday, April 25, at 6 p.m., the brewery’s bell tower will ring and the doors will open for y'all to taste this highly anticipated brew which I suspect will perfectly balance the notes of toffee, dark fruit and an overall subtle sweetness prized quads are known for. Here is the official press release below. Shout out to the Brewmaster and Owner Brian Purcell and his talented team for pouring another liquid masterpiece! (That's my shot of him below on the left.)

Three Taverns Announces the First Annual Quasimodo Day to Celebrate Exclusive Brewery Release of ‘Quasimodo’, a Ten Percent Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale

Three Taverns Brewing will launch its newest seasonal brew, Quasimodo, on Friday April 25. A Belgian-style quadrupel ale, is the brewery’s deep bow to the proud tradition of monastic brewing in Europe’s Low Countries.

The ringing of the bell on Friday, April 25, at 6 p.m. will usher in the inaugural Quasimodo Day and the exclusive brewery release of Quasimodo at Three Taverns’ tasting room, The Parlour. Following the ceremonial occasion, Quasimodo will be available on tap at discriminating restaurants, bars, and public houses. Beginning May 1, the spring brew will be available for purchase in 750 mL bottles at numerous retail locations across Atlanta and select locations across Georgia.

A beer recipe that has been refined for more than six years, Quasimodo is a classic, full-bodied quadrupel ale in the monastic tradition, accented by the imported dark Belgian candy sugar used to brew it. Owing to its long process of refinement, the beer is dark, savory and fruity, but with a dry, bittersweet finish.

“Inspired by the best of Belgium, specifically the brothers of the cloth who have truly devoted their lives to the brewing arts, it was our ambition to make a beer that would take its place in the hallowed company of what they’ve created and perfected,” says Brian Purcell, Three Taverns founder and brewmaster. “I think we’ve succeeded. Quasimodo is both full-flavored and dangerously drinkable. It’s a labor of love we’re incredibly proud to bring to the market.”

In its bottled form, Quasimodo is packaged with a secondary dosage of sugar and yeast, a process known as “bottle conditioning,” meaning that the beer is designed for aging. Connoisseurs may savor it today, or store it away for years to come.

According to Purcell, a former homebrewer who began imitating his Belgian brewing heroes some six years ago, the development of Quasimodo was fraught with failed experiments, lessons learned, and meticulous refinement. Countless substandard batches, fobbed off on forgiving friends or simply sacrificed to the drain, bore witness to the inherent difficulty of the task. Purcell has continued to tweak the recipe and ingredients right up to the production of his first commercial batch.

“Brewing this beer has truly been a journey of understanding what makes these world-class beers what they are,” Purcell adds. “For example, I learned that despite the sweet malt flavors most people recall when they think of these beers, the finishes are actually very dry.”

Quasimodo is brewed with a blend of specialty barley malts, similar to the holiday offering, Feest Noël, fermented with the aid of the same Belgian yeast strain used in most of Three Taverns’ line of beers, and stabilized with a blend of Magnum hops, for bittering, and Palisade hops, for aroma.

Quasimodo joins Theophan The Recluse, a Belgian-style Russian imperial stout, and Feest Noël, a Belgian-style strong dark ale with Christmas spices, to make up Three Taverns’ current line of seasonal offerings. The brewery’s core lineup includes Single Intent, a Belgian-style single ale, A Night In Brussels IPA, a Belgian-style American IPA, and White Hops, a Belgian-style white IPA. All of the brewery’s core offerings are now available in Georgia year-round.

Bringing an open-minded American interpretation to traditional Belgian-style beers, the mission of Three Taverns is to unlock and inspire the pursuit of a more transcendent experience of life. With grace, reverence and moderation, it invites its friends and neighbors to take their places at the table of discovery, raising glasses in gratitude and merry celebration. From inception, the slogan for Three Taverns has been transcendo mediocris, or “surpass the ordinary.”


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Check out the photos and video of my bottle share in Athens!

Here is the footage of our historic event at Catch 22! 

What's up Everyone!

I can't believe it has already been exactly a month since the awesome bottle share I hosted with Southern Brewing Company's Brian Roth, and Richard Miley at his Catch 22 gastropub on March 23rd here.
It was a damn blast and as a thank you for those who came or were there in spirit, I have some photos I wanted to share along with the first full video by my BrewTube crew; Keven Digital did the fantastic filming and editing, Big Mike helped with the sound, and I did the hosting. We usually film quick, beer-oriented vids and photos on Instagram, but this time we took it to the next level so here it is.
Attendees included some of Georgia’s most dedicated enthusiasts, distributors, entrepreneurs and journalists of craft beer with incredible, hard-to-find bottles from their collections in hand. Happy sippers included Athens-based beer guru Owen Ogletree, HOToberfest's Alan Raines, the Beer Wench, AWall from Trappeze, Brian "Spike" Buckowski from Terrapin Beer Company, and a two extremely talented rappersWillie The Kid and Joe Scudda—to name a few. To add, there were some awesome vittles to soak up all the alcohol cheffed up by Miley, Dan Cora, and Teri Manley-Taylor. Oh yeah, and the beer I brought was the Bo & Luke Imperial Stout by Against The Grain Brewery. Gangster!
So hey, let's kick it and see how dope this bottle share was in Athens. There will be a lot more to come from me, Brewtube, and my creative agency AllWays Open soon. You know how we do! Check out the photos below, my peoples.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sweetwater unleashes new Dank Tank DIPA called Johnny Hash!

I dig Double IPAs and this one's made with Citra hop hash!

SweetWater has their ongoing one-and-done potent Dank Tank series poppin' regularly and they get quite experimental with them. Well my homey, Head Brewer Nick Nock, and the rest of the 'Water posse showed off with this one! At 8.5 percent and ingeniously using Citra hop hash, "...a pure, concentrated form of hop resin scraped straight from the belly of Yakima Valley hop pelletizers," I was not mad at it all! 
To fully flex their creative muscle, SweetWater's artwork did a play on music legend Johnny Cash's name and gangster photo of him flippin' the bird during a concert in 1969 at San Quentin prison in Cali by photographer Jim Marshall. It was a picture for the warden. Word! This is it:
As for the beer which is just as rebellious, Slick Nick says, “Johnny Hash is a unique IPA for hop lovers. Using hop hash was uncharted territory for us and we didn’t know exactly what we were going to get from it. We kept the grain bill pretty basic and used a limited amount of traditional hops, then beefed up the hop hash to a pound per barrel to really pack a punch and best allow its flavor to come through.”

Photo by SweetWater
I was really pleased by this joint and would love to see what you have to say about it. It's in stores now. Remember two things:
  • IPAs are supposed to be consumed as fresh as possible in order to deliver the best aroma and tasting agents brewers intend for us to experience.
  • This will never be brewed again so grab one before they are ghost!
Oh yeah, and SweetWater has the 10th Annual SweetWater 420 Fest is popping this weekend featuring Steel Pulse on Friday and crazy events throughout the weekend. Here is the schedule.
Keep sippin'!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Check out the winners from the 2014 World Beer Cup!

I was there in spirit!

So even though I couldn't attend the 2014 World Beer Cup and Craft Brewers Conference in Denver due to one of my best friends getting married (congrats Wade and Niki!), I still wanted to be on point with posting the winners of the invaluable awards that were handed out. So without further ado, my homies—Brewers Association (BA)—sent me the results of “one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards.” The always descriptive press releases they dish out provide the pertinent information we beer enthusiasts need to supplement our sipping sessions at craft beer bars around the world. Here it is below.
And congrats go not only to the winners, but also to the participants—all 4,754 entries from 58 countries—who make beer the shizznit. Here is the complete list of World Beer Cup winners.
Keep brewin’ and sippin’!
Your homey,
Shout out to the picturesque Pelican Brewery for winning the Small Brewing Company category.
Diverse Winners Emerge From Largest-Ever World Beer Cup
2014 competition saw 4,754 entries from 58 countries
Boulder, CO • April 11, 2014—The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America's small and independent craft brewers—announced the results of one of the largest commercial beer competitions to date, the 2014 World Beer Cup Awards. The awards were presented at the conclusion of Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Denver, Colo.

Drawing the highest number of entries to date, this edition of the World Beer Cup saw 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries—a 21 percent increase in the number of entries from the 2012 World Beer Cup, which had 3,921 entries.

Brewers from five continents earned awards from an elite international panel of judges at this tenth biennial competition, with brewers from 22 countries—ranging from Australia and Brazil to Taiwan and the United Kingdom—honored. Judges awarded 281 out of 282 total possible awards, reflecting the chance for one gold, one silver and one bronze award in each of 94 beer style categories.

Coronado got the "medium Size" brewery joint.
This year’s event was particularly competitive; the proportion of winning breweries winning one or more awards was 18 percent, compared to 27 percent in 2012. There was a 75.6 percent increase in breweries competing this year versus 2012, which had 799 breweries that entered beers in the competition. A total of 253 breweries took home awards in 2014, a 16.6 percent increase over 2012.

A detailed analysis of the entries and awards can be found in the 2014 World Beer Cup Fact Sheet.

“Brewers from around the globe participate in the World Beer Cup to win recognition for their creativity and brewing skills,” said Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association. “For a brewer, a World Beer Cup gold award allows them to say that their winning beer represents the best of that beer style in the world.”

A panel of 219 judges from 31 countries participated in this year’s competition, working in teams to conduct blind tasting evaluations of the beers and determine the awards. Drawn from the ranks of professional brewers and brewing industry experts, 76 percent of the judges came from outside the United States.

Category Trends
·         The average number of beers entered per category was 50, up from 41 in 2012.
·         The category with the most entries was American-Style India Pale Ale, with 223 entries.
·         The second most-entered category was American-Style Pale Ale, with 121 entries.
·         The third most-entered category was Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, with 111 entries.

Award Highlights
The 281 awards were won by 253 breweries, with very few breweries earning more than one award.
·         226 breweries won one award.
·         26 breweries won two awards.
·         One brewery won three awards.

Competition Manager Chris Swersey commented, “This is the most diverse set of winning breweries in any World Beer Cup.”

The non-U.S. entry rate and winning rate tracked very closely in the 2014 competition, with 28 percent of beers entered coming from outside the U.S., and 27 percent of awards going to beers entered from outside the U.S.

Champion Brewery/Champion Brewmaster Awards
The competition also bestows Champion Brewery and Champion Brewmaster awards in each of five brewery categories based on the awards won by each brewery. Coronado Brewing Company and Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant are first-time champion breweries in their categories.

The five Champion Brewery/Brewmaster award winners are:

Small Brewing Company Category
Pelican Brewery
Darron Welch and Steve Panos

Mid-Size Brewing Company Category
Coronado Brewing Company
Coronado Brewing Company team

Large Brewing Company Category
Coors Brewing Company
Dr. David Ryder

Small Brewpub Category
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant - Media
Iron Hill Brewery team

Large Brewpub Category
Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant
John Dean

The complete list of award winners is available for download.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Showing Athens, Georgia love: Part 1

Pictured: Richard Miley of Catch-22; the "$22 Burger" at Catch-22; Creature Comforts owners Adam Beauchamp and David Stein
Check out my article Georgia's other A-Town!

Basically, I have developed a love for the city of Athens, Georgia especially within the past two years, and I am proving it. Due to its burgeoning beer scene, close proximity to my hometown of Atlanta, and the overall extra cool folks who have laid out the red carpet for me during my visit, it is only right. Well here is the first installment in a series of posts demonstrating my appreciation! 
And to all my cherished readers, if you haven't been there or choose to revisit this city, let me know what you think about who I featured and new gems I should discover via Twitter or in the comment section below! 
In the meantime, I have my photos of the gangster bottle share I did with Catch 22 Gastropub's Richard Miley (who I featured here), and Southern Brewing Company's Brian Roth, plus this one linking you to what I did with, a division of the kickass Complex Magazine based in New York. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Brewers Association Lists Top 50 Breweries of 2013!

One of my bottles share featuring some of the best craft breweries in U.S. listed below. Duvel Tripel Hop got some love too.
Congrats to all of these U.S. breweries! Keep it flowin!

Cheers Fellow Craft Beer Sippers!
One of my favorite news sources, the Brewers Association, just sent me their annual list of the top 50 craft brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. There was also a list of the top 50 overall brewing companies. I loved seeing that 38 of them were small and independent craft brewing companies.Oh! And BA hooked me up with their official definition of a “craft brewer.” 

Here is the Brewers Association’s definition of a Craft Brewer:
An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional.
  • Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.
  • Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer.
  • Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.
 - Brewers Association

And now, the list of the top 50 craft brewing companies and top 50 overall brewing companies. Again, cheers all of them! Keep bringing us that liquid mastery!


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