Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Check out this Woodchuck Cider Dinner coming up!

Only five seats are left!


There are going to be a lot of great dinners coming up because as we all know, the holidays make us want to eat, drink and be merry!

Well here is an original dining event on Monday, November 24th at 6:30 p.m., because it features the great sips coming from Woodchuck Cider in Middlebury, Vermont. I visited their digs and filmed a Cruisin' For A Brewsin' episode with T. MAC there a few months back and I can tell ya, they are legit with the apples! Anyway, try and score one of the five seats left if you can by calling 770.965.8100. I heard that the Antebellum Restaurant in Flowery Branch is all of that and a bag of chips! Here is the menu:

Course 1 - Wild blue crab with granny smith apple "water," curry, mint and pomegranate paired with Woodchuck Granny Smith.

Course 2 - Wild greens with roasted squash, country ham, cranberries, oats and goat cheese with a maple vinaigrette paired with Woodchuck Fall Harvest.

Course 3 - Pan seared wild scallop, parsnip puree, vanilla bean, winter fruit and coriander paired with Woodchuck Winter Chill.

Course 4 - Pan seared duck breast with sweet potato ravioli, wild mushrooms, honey poached cranberries and madeira jus paired with Woodchuck Private Reserve Barrel Select.

Course 5 - Butternut squash ice cream with cranberry, gingersnap and toasted pumpkin seeds paired with Woodchuck Cellar Series Ginger.

I will see you there. 



Saturday, November 15, 2014

There's a Beer Fest and gangster Art Show today!

Today is going to be nuts!
I am suiting up for a day of beer sippin’ and art gawking as Atlanta hosts the 2nd Annual Ponce de Leon Beer Fest at the Yaraab Shriner’s Temple starting at noon for VIP, and then it’s on to the Splendid Playground Art Exhibit and debut of the extraordinary and downright funky Hanging Horse Studio my creative agency AllWays Open is putting on with the artists from 6 to 11 p.m.! (It's next to Mattress Lofts and across the street from Augustine's and Oakland Cemetery.) There will be refreshments courtesy of SVEDKA and New Belgium, bites hooked up by the award-winning Chef Simone, DJ Chris Devoe spinning, and some other surprises. It is free (including parking) but donations for this community event are always welcome so support Atlanta art!
Here is the official press release. The list of talent is absolutely bananas! Check it:

The Splendid Playground Art Exhibit
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Hanging Horse Studio (next to the former Eye Drum)
290 Martin Luther King Jr Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

AllWays Open Creative unveils Hanging Horse Studios featuring the work of Todd Alexander, Joseph Guay, Esteban Patino, Michi Meko, Miya Bailey, Mike Black, Aaron Whitehouse, and David Huff.

With the plethora of art museums and galleries abundant throughout Atlanta, Georgia, creative agency and event specialists AllWays Open discovered an eccentric, historic, and graciously bizarre location unlike any other. Serving as a substantial part of the Mattress Factory Lofts in the Grant Park district, lies an industrial complex housing the work of some of the city’s most talented and revered artists—Esteban Patino, Todd Alexander, and Joseph Guay. Besides the artists’ work, perhaps the most prominent fixture inside the studio is the bust of a full-sized horse suspended from the ceiling claiming its namesake, Hanging Horse Studios. On November 15, 2014 starting at 6 p.m., the Splendid Playground Art Exhibit will feature an unprecedented collection of painters, photographers, and sculptors. Along with the aforementioned trio of Patino, Alexander, and Guay, guests will be treated to the visual brilliance of Michi Meko, Miya Bailey, Mike Black, Aaron Whitehouse, and David Huff.
With more than 10,000 square feet of floor space, ceilings reaching 40 feet high, and a rustic interior any art enthusiast, photographer, collector or open mind would appreciate, the result is the first official art exhibition of Hanging Horse Studios produced by AllWays Open Creative.
Splendid Playground is the perfect juxtaposition for what this event will represent—an amalgam of artistic sophistication and unadulterated brilliance. Artwork includes:
·         Todd Alexander’s mixed-media pieces
·         Joseph Guay’s photography
·         Mike Black’s installations
·         Esteban Patino’s three-dimensional work and multilayered paintings
·         Miya Bailey’s paintings
·         Aaron Whitehouse’s resin-based pieces
·         Art icon Michi Meko’s “multidisciplinary” southern-spirited art
Hanging Horse Studio’s heterogeneous d├ęcor reflects an artistic freedom unmatched by any other gallery in Atlanta.

Don’t miss one of the city’s best DJs on the ones and twos, Chris Devoe (Mother, Sound Table, Loews Atlanta Hotel), an adventurous list of libations courtesy of SVEDKA Vodka and New Belgium craft beers to quench the thirst of the diverse audience of thrill seekers, and bites by award-winning Chef Simone. This is one not to be missed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

San Diego Craft Breweries Green Flash and Alpine Unite!

Left to right, it's Chuck Silva (Green Flash Brewmaster), Pat McIlhenney (President, Brewmaster - Alpine Beer Company), and Mike Hinkley (Green Flash Co-Founder and CEO) toasting off their venture.
Green Flash and Alpine Beer Company join forces for the good of the craft brew world. Yes!

Hey y’all!
As many of you know, I am a big fan of San Diego, California-based breweries and when I heard that two great ones in the region—Green Flash and Alpine Beer Company—formed an alliance, I had to show love. Usually when we dedicated craft beer lovers hear about breweries being "acquired," there is a deep breath and the assumption that, shall we say, a macro brewery bought them out. This is a bit refreshing, yes? 
Please see the official press release below. They all look like happy campers to me. Brewers unite!
San Diego-Based Craft Breweries Celebrate Strength in Unity
Green Flash Brewing Co. acquires Alpine Beer Co.
Sharing Resources and Wisdom, A San Diego Craft Beer Alliance Is Formed

At Alpine Beer Company this morning, Green Flash founders, Mike and Lisa Hinkley and Alpine Beer Company founders, Pat and Val McIlhenney announced that their breweries will join forces, teaming up to share resources, knowledge and experience.  Both the McIlhenneys and the Hinkleys view the affiliation as mutually beneficial, and are committed to supporting each other for the success of both breweries.  Each company will remain independently operated and maintain its distinct brand and culture.  Pat will remain Alpine’s President and Brewmaster to oversee all operations of Alpine Beer Company while also ensuring Alpine beers continue to meet his unwavering standard of quality, whether brewed at the Alpine or Green Flash facilities.  The most notable change will transpire over the next several years, as Alpine beer will become available to their legions of fans from across the country who have only experienced the greatness of Alpine beers while visiting California. 
In a “handshake agreement,” Green Flash began brewing Alpine beer in November 2013 at their San Diego facility with the goal of helping longtime friends at Alpine raise capital to expand their production capacity.  Green Flash has been producing three of Alpine’s brews (Nelson, Hoppy Birthday and Duet), increasing Alpine annual production from 1500 to 3000 BBLs. 

The experience of brewing together has been a successful learning experience for both breweries.  Green Flash Brewmaster, Chuck Silva divulged, “It was both intriguing and challenging to meld our philosophies while we worked together to scale up Pat’s recipes to be brewed in larger quantities.  We worked together to stay true to the original beer and were very happy with the ultimate results. Working with a close friend is a real treat, but for me, brewing with Pat and making Alpine beers, is yet another highlight of my brewing career in San Diego.”
The successful arrangement they have shared over the past year was the impetus that prompted the breweries to take their relationship to the next level. Each views the partnership as an organic evolution that will benefit both of their operations in many ways. “Our team was thrilled to be able to brew the awesome beer from Alpine when we began teaming up,” says Mike Hinkley of Green Flash.  “The excitement of our brewers is what prompted me to think about additional ways we could work together and help each other.  We perceive this solid new partnership as an incredible opportunity to continue to explore our craft while benefiting from the passion and experience of Pat McIlhenney.” 
“After working with Green Flash for the past year, I have come to truly trust and deeply respect the entire Green Flash operation – Chuck and all of their brewers are meticulous, yet easygoing, and I am comfortable working with the team,” says Pat McIlhenney of Alpine Beer Co. “There are many benefits in teaming up with Green Flash as a partner. Not only are they committed to producing high-quality beer, the company culture and mom and pop roots of Green Flash are very similar to our own.”
Alpine employees 20 people, is distributed exclusively in California with the ability to produce a maximum of 1500 BBLs from their San Diego County brew-house, with most of their beer sold directly from their on-site pub.  Brewing capacity limitations have made it impossible for Pat and his team to support the overwhelming demand for their exceptional products.  As partners, Alpine will be able to tap into the growing Green Flash team of talented brewers, their production capacity, access to capital, and human resources in operations and administration.  Mike added that “I am hopeful that the culmination of the next few years will be that, together, we build a new production facility in Alpine.  Maybe we will even brew some Green Flash ale in Alpine.” 
 “I know there is strength in unity, which will allow both of our breweries to secure even higher quality ingredients – we will be a great force as a team,” exclaims Pat. “However, the most important advantage is how this partnership will help improve the quality of life for my employees. For the first time, Alpine will be able to offer our team an excellent company benefits package including affordable health care, 401K plans and other perks made possible by this exciting partnership.”
In 2015, Green Flash will begin bottling select Alpine brews in 22oz bottles adding to the three current draft offerings.  Collaborative brews are already in Chuck and Pat’s top-secret conversations, so consumers can expect these to appear in their tasting rooms and at the best craft beer bars in Southern California.  The two Brewmasters are already talking about how they can work together at Green Flash’s Cellar 3, a special barrel-aged beer packaging facility that is currently under construction in Poway, and will include a cork-finish bottling line. 
Chuck said, “I consulted Pat and borrowed some of his ideas when I made our tenth anniversary Flanders-style ale, which was a great success and will be recreated at Cellar 3.  I am always on the look-out for ideas. With Pat and me on the same team, you can count on us to push the envelope even further.” 
Mike summarizes, “This partnership is win-win-win.  Green Flash wins because we are teaming up with a truly iconic brewery.  Alpine wins because they get to see their beers enjoyed by so many more of their adoring fans.  But most of all, beer geeks everywhere win, because Chuck and Pat will be working together to create beers that will blow their minds.” 

About Alpine Beer Company
Alpine Beer Company was founded in 1999 by contracting with AleSmith Brewing Company for their award winning McIlhenney’s Irish Red. Located in the eastern part of San Diego County, this family owned and operated brewery opened in 2002 in their little home town of Alpine. Since that time we have offered over thirty different brews, some barrel aged beers, multiple IPA’s and unique lagers to name a few. A tiny pub was opened in 2010 and offers a delicious barbeque themed menu.

About Green Flash Brewing Co.
Green Flash Brewing Co., is located in San Diego, California, and was founded in 2002 by Mike and Lisa Hinkley.  Brewmaster, Chuck Silva, leads brewing operations. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer of fine, hand-crafted ales, and specializes in brewing assertive and distinctive beers, such as the nationally acclaimed West Coast I.P.A.: an award-winning beer whose wide acceptance has helped define a category.  Green Flash brews a wide variety of beer styles that are available on draft and in bottles as well as a growing lineup of seasonal and special offerings, including several barrel-aged beers, throughout the year.  Please visit the Green Flash for more information.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The 2nd Annual Ponce de Leon Beer Fest is coming!

Let's kick it at the Yaraab Shrine on Nov. 15th and then my art show after

It’s another beer festival in Atlanta and I welcome it with open arms…and an empty glass that need’s fillin’! I had a blast at the first Ponce de Leon Beer Fest (as you can see from my photos here), so it should be even better the second time around. Here are all the deets listed in the official press release below and a link to the full schedule. By the way, it’s all for a good cause at the Yaraab Shriner’s Temple, there will be six live bands, food trucks, and the festival debut of some new brew slingers—Pontoon, Second Self, and Prairie! See y’all there!
Oh yeah, my creative agency AllWays Open has an awesome art show on deck called Splendid Playground going on after, so once you are nice and toasty from the Fest, come show love here:

Here is the official press release from the Ponce Fest posse: 
The 2nd Annual Ponce de Leon Beer Festival at the Yaraab Shrine

While the crisp, cool weather is in full effect you can warm your spirits with more than 30 of the Southeast’s best breweries Nov. 15 at the second annual Ponce de Leon Beer Festival from noon to 6 p.m. at the Yaraab Shriner’s Temple, located at 400 Ponce De Leon Ave NE in Atlanta.
A portion of the festival’s proceeds support the Shriners Children’s hospital, which provides orthopedic, burn, spinal cord injury and cleft lip and palate care to children under 18.
Newcomers Second Self, Pontoon, and Prairie breweries will be introducing their beers to the metro Atlanta market and the festival will feature six bands including Sailing to Denver, Sweet Auburn String Band, and Villain Family.
In addition to the beer, the festival will also have several food trucks including The Blaxican, Good Food Truck, and Cole's BBQ.
Tickets are $35 per person and $45 for VIPs, which will be privy to special seasonal, limited edition, and one-off cask ales to be brewed specifically for the festival. Tickets are being limited to only 2000, so purchasing tickets ASAP through the website is encouraged.
Doors open for VIPs at noon and general admission starts at 1 p.m. All attendees must be over 21 years of age.  No kids, no pets.
For those worried about transportation—it is a beer festival after all—SafeRide’s professional drivers will be available to drive you and your car home for less than the cost of a taxi. The festival will be providing free SafeRides to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Those interested in a guaranteed SafeRide at a specific time can pre-book their ride at  On the festival's website is an interactive Google map with nearby MARTA rail and bus lines with links to real-time departure and arrival times courtesy of OneBusAway.
To learn more about the Shriners and the Shriners Hospital for Children visit

For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets, as well as a full schedule of events and a complete list of breweries, please visit

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