Friday, January 31, 2014

Cypress Street Pint & Plate's 6th Anniversary is next Tuesday!


Their gangster beer list is leaked below!

Whaddup!
Okay, next Tuesday, February 4, is going to be an awesome evening for craft beer lovers in Atlanta. Besides the Jailhouse Brewing Beer Dinner at TAP at 7:30 p.m. I posted here, one of my favorite gastropubs, Cypress Street Pint & Plate (Cypressbar.com), is celebrating their 6th anniversary in monster fashion. Besides their awesome cheesesteak, wings, turkey burger, famous Sublime Doughnut Burger, and the rest of their lip-smackin’ grub, I am happy to leak some of their ridiculous brews they will be having on tap to celebrate their impressive longevity in Midtown. Thanks to one of my trusty informants, check this out liquid menu out!
Stone 16th Anniversary
Mikkeller Texas Ranger Barrel-Aged Chipotle Porter
Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti
Stillwater As Follows
Founders Old Curmudgeon (2011)
Allagash Victor Ale (2011)
Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada (2012)
Birra del Borgo Nora Sour Edition
Oskar Blues Smitty Nitro
Plus more!
How sick is this lineup? I will be there after my beer dinner so I hope to see you there. And please, save your homey a sip! I will be there fa sho!

Cheers!

Ale

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Jailhouse Brewing’s Beer Dinner at TAP is next Tuesday!

Call to make your reservations before it’s too late!

Hey Homies!

Old Man Winter threw one helluva haymaker in round one causing the closings of numerous Atlanta brew spots and especially the cancellation of Jailhouse Brewing Company’s beer dinner at TAP Gastropub (1180 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309; 404.347.2220) in Midtown this past Tuesday due to weather ridiculousness. Well after some thawing out, Round 2 will be ours next Tuesday, February 4th at 7:30 p.m., with a new beer dinner date and knockout punch!  

I just got the menu featuring the culinary mastery of Chef Nick McCormick and his crew. It’s going to be sold out so call and make sure you make your reservation as soon as possible. Again, the number is (404) 347-2220.

Here is the menu below including six inventive courses paired with six different beers from Hampton, Georgia’s own Jailhouse! (Here is a video I did with my boy Reid and Beer Street Journal at Jailhouse by the way.) See you there!

Jailhouse Brewing Dinner at TAP
02/4/14
Chef Nick McCormick throws down at TAP! 
Slammer Wheat
Passed Appetizers
Whipped buratta on black pepper blinis, crawfish salad on Belgian endive

Misdemeanor
Spent Grain Hush Puppies
Spent grain vinegar, ale dijonaise

Mugshot  IPA
Bavarian Cheese & Black Trumpets
Shaved radish, garlic, fine de herbs, sourdough toast

Special Cask
Potted Pork Terrine
Blood orange frisee, charred carrot salad

Breakout Stout
Roasted Venison Leg
Roasted sweet potatoes, peppered apples, brussels sprout leaves, mole negro

Repreve
Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Bourbon cherries, banana ice cream

By the way, Cypress Steet Pint and Plate is celebrating their anniversary throughout Tuesday evening starting at 8 p.m. as well so try and hit that up too! Those are my homies. Look for a surprise regarding that event also on Tuesday so be ready!
Cheers!
Ale

Friday, January 24, 2014

Operation Athens, Georgia Part 2: A sneak peek of Creature Comforts Brewing Company

An interview and walkthrough with Co-Owner and Co-Brewmaster David Stein
“On the left is Adam Beauchamp and on the right is me, David Stein. We’re the co-founders and co-brewmasters of Creature Comforts Brewing Co. I wish I wasn't smiling. It woulda been way more gangsta!” - David Stein
Whaddup Y’all!
After hanging out with my homey, Catch 22 Executive Chef and Partner Richard Miley, at his awesome gastropub (see here), we paid a few beer places a visit which I will highlight in Part 3 of my Operation: Athens, Georgia series. But to embrace the boom of new breweries opening in the state, I had to hit up one of the most anticipated, Creature Comforts, which is still under construction downtown.
I knew one of the two owners—David Stein—from his day working at the world famous Brick Store pub in Decatur Square and later becoming the head brewer for Twain’s Billiards and Tap around the corner; I promised him I’d have his back when he told me he would be opening a brewery in Athens. Well here we are! Alongside co-brewmaster and co-founder Adam Beauchamp—who was formerly with SweetWater Brewing Company for seven years—their promise to open Creature Comforts by the end of February has all of Georgia antsy for their diverse roster of sipping pleasures including an IPA, Pilsner, Rye Amber, and Berliner Weisse.
Accompanied by my trusted sidekick, my camera, I wanted to give you an update on what A-Plus and D-Nice have in store for both Bulldog Country, the ATL, and the rest of the South. After heading to what was once one of the great landmarks of Athens affectionately called the “Old Snow Tire” building at the corner of Hancock Avenue and Pulaski Street, I got a tour by both Adam and Dave. 
After weaving through construction workers and electricians laboriously trying to complete the 13,250-square-foot project within three weeks or so, I interviewed Dave and showed him my shots; he provided great commentary on all of them for you to enjoy. It doesn’t get more real than that! By the way, this brewery is going to be pretty damn impressive set to flaunt a rustic-meets-chic vibe with gangster beers to match.

Bussit:

Ale: What made you decide to set up shop here? I love the building.
David Stein: The Snow Tire building is an iconic spot in downtown Athens. We were very fortunate to get the opportunity to build a brewery there. Adam and I both went to UGA (University of Georgia) for undergrad and we couldn't be happier to move back. Everything in Athens slows down a bit and is pretty relaxed; it's the perfect place to get comfortable. We're excited to be Athens' second craft brewery and really feel this town has the potential to become a significant craft beer destination.

I see the promise, bro. So when do you plan on opening this bad boy up?
We hope to brew our first batch by the end of February. If we do, our beer will hit the market in March.

Whoa! That soon, eh? Nice. And what brews are on deck to represent CC?
Our initial line up will be a Pilsner; an IPA brewed with Citra, Galaxy and Centinnial hops; a Rye Amber aged with a bit of French oak; and a Berliner Weisse. We feel these styles will satisfy a wide range of beer drinkers. We also plan on releasing four seasonal beers and a variety of specialties, so everyone from Bud drinker to beer geek should be able to find something they like. Our recipes were also developed to be bold yet easy drinking.

Well this brewery is going to be big enough to please every damn body! What else do you have planned for it?
Ha! We will have brewery tours and a variety of special events. Our co-founder, Derek Imes, is even planning a bike ride from Creature Comforts to Oskar Blues in Brevard, NC. I'm sure we'll have a ton of cool stuff going on throughout the year. My personal focus at the moment is almost entirely on perfecting our beers and getting everything ready for production.

That makes sense. How did you come up with Creature Comforts? I dig the name.
Thanks man. Creature Comforts is what I named my beer when I was working at the Brick Store Pub and became more serious about brewing. I wanted to give my beer its own personality. I let numerous people sample Creature Comforts over the years and the rest is history.
I chose the name because I was inspired by a good friend's artwork—these awesome woodblock carving prints of these creatures that I always dreamed of using on my labels if I ever started my own brewery. And we can't forget that beer itself is one of the finest creature comforts known to man.

So let’s give Adam a shout out.
Definitely. Adam is a veteran brewer who used to be with SweetWater for seven years and is the co-brewmaster with Creature Comforts. He is our key to brewing quality beer consistently and ensuring our brewery is always a safe working environment. Every brewery needs an Adam!

That’s super cool. I can’t wait for the grand opening! How can we stay up to date?
Ah! Please check us out and follow our progress on both our website creaturecomfortsbeer.com and Facebook page Facebook.com/creaturecomfortsbeer. Thanks Ale!

No doubt!

Now look below. David has some fun facts and commentary regarding a few of my shots.
“This is a view from the front of the building tasting area looking back toward the brewing equipment. There used to be a drop ceiling covering up this beautiful ceiling, but we exposed it during demo.”
“This is our 30-barrel bright tank in front of our 60-barrel brights and fermenters. Our cellar has a total of 270 barrels of fermentation space—basically over 8,000 gallons.”
“This is our Cool-Fit glycol piping. We began plumbing everything this week.”
“With a little bit of love and lots of beautiful oak, this will soon be our barrel room. We are repurposing Snow Tire's old lights to be chandeliers in the tasting area.”

“This is a section of the ceiling in the restrooms. They are made out of Snow Tire's old tire racks.”

“Zack Brendel, owner of Oneta Woodworks, let us tag his truck with our Creature stencil. If anyone wants one just holler. Oneta Woodworks is reclaiming a ton of old wood from the building and reusing it to build the bars, walls, ceilings, furniture, etc.”

Stay tuned for the official date of Creature Comforts’ first throwdown and Part 3 of chillin’ in Athens, Georgia. I dig this city!
Cheers!
Ale


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Operation Athens, Georgia: Meet Catch 22's Richard Miley

From craft brews to delectable fare, Richard and his Catch 22 gastropub are no joke! 

As many of you know, I love to get my travel on both domestically and abroad as much as possible to do (a-hem!) beer research and inform you on the hot spots to hit up. Oddly enough, I never really got a chance to explore Athens, Georgia, as much as I wanted to and it’s like an hour away from my digs in Atlanta! Well the time has come and man did I have a ball! All of the beer-centric spots that I could visit in Athens showed me much love and I honestly can’t wait to go back.
Before I headed to the home of the Georgia Bulldogs, I asked my homey Dustin with Terrapin Beer Co. (which is based in Athens) for his suggestions during their special media night at The Fred, and the first spot he said I couldn't miss was the Catch 22 gastropub just a few minutes outside of the city. My man Dust said the food was phenomenal and their beer selection was on point. “Say no more,” I responded, packed my camera, and headed there the next day right before they opened.
Catch 22 was tucked away at the end of a shopping center just off Parkway Boulevard. Richard Miley, the owner and head chef, was a tall dude probably in his late 20s decked out in a black Dickies shirt and matching shorts, baseball hat, tattooed arm sleeves, and a full beard. I knew right away we would get along when he greeted me at the door. After exchanging a pound (handshake), he showed off the chic bar, polished wooden high tables; his collection of shelved hard-to-find beer bottles; large photos of brew-related scenes adorning the walls; his kitchen which he boasts possesses no microwave and a freezer solely for ice cream; and taps for both wine and craft beer. After introducing me to his smiling staff including Chef Dan Cora, he hoped I was hungry because they were about to stuff my face to the point of crying for mercy. I happily obliged.
Once we sat down, Richard—who delivers a soft spoken, yet serious demeanor fused with a vibe of cool—gave Dan a nod to bring out some of Catch’s signature dishes, we poured a bottle of Terrapin and Cigar City’s Southern Slice lager collaboration, and we got to talking about his history in the culinary industry, the Athens beer scene, upcoming events, and his plans for the future. I am only going to show pictures of the absolutely phenomenal food served during each question because describing it would not do it justice. Read on.

Ale: Where are you from and what brought you into the beer scene particularly in Athens, Georgia?
Richard Miley: Originally, California. I lived all over the place including Hawaii, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Afghanistan. I’m a former Marine and visited Georgia before I moved out here. Loved it! Chops &Hops brought me to Athens and the beer scene kinda found me. Hanging with the crews from Five Points Bottle Shop, Trappeze, Aromas, Terrapin, and Owen Ogletree with Brewtopia when we first opened Chops. They taught me a lot about beer, the scene in Athens, and beyond. I really wanted to help me step up my food and beer side so this was perfect.  

Nice! Those are all my homies too. Talk to more about opening Chops and now Catch 22, the differences with each spot.
Filthy Fries with beer cheese, 
confit garlic, and bacon.
Chops has been open for four years now and it’s a craft beer-centric steakhouse in Watkinsville, Georgia. Then I wanted to help the craft beer scene around the Athens area which is what happened with Catch 22. This allows me to be myself and express what I want in a restaurant. Plus, it’s for people who don't want to drive to Watkinsville for my food; Catch 22 is closer to Athens so everybody can visit. There’s nothing close to the same menu at either spot, but the quality is always the same with me. People understand what I create food-wise and get excited about coming to this new spot.

And the brews? I am already digging your selection.
Yep! I try to put out the beers that are a little more craft. If there is a limited supply, I want some of it. We have 24 on draft and they are all rotating. No domestics [cheap-ass adjunct macrobrews]. That’s a different clientele.

Word! So in your own words, define what a gastropub is and what makes Catch 22 so different.
Awesome Street Tacos. Today was lamb with the works.
To me a gastropub is where you can go get quality food, beer and wine; it’s the better bar food with an emphasis on quality. I like people who know about good food, beer and wine; the ones who know about quality and what it costs to have it, which I don't charge for. That frozen patty shit is not right. This is fresh and you can tell the difference for the same price. We don't have a freezer or microwave in Catch 22, nor am I going to get one. My pastry chef wants a small one for ice cream, but I’m pretty sure that is not going to happen.
My business partners came up with the name Catch 22 and I created the concept based on what I thought the area needed. It’s like sitting in a downtown Atlanta joint but without the downtown prices.

I hear ya. Well there is one thing, your awesome $22 Burger, but I know why. It’s that gangster! Talk about that.
The $22 Burger. Crazy!
Ha! Thanks Ale. The $22 burger in my opinion is the best burger in Athens and top 5 in Georgia. I’m that confident in it. It has Dijon, arugula, special grind ground beef, Marissa cheese which is specifically a cave-aged sheep’s milk cheese, bacon mayo, and foie gras on our housemade popcorn bun. It is a thing of beauty. I don't get excited about my food a lot but this one is one of them that does it. Every time somebody orders one, it’s awesome.

It’s absolutely bananas. I think your rank is right on. Let’s talk more about the Athens beer scene.
Flights are served on slate art palates. Dopeness.
Absolutely. I love the Athens beer scene. Every year it just gets better. This year, two breweries are opening up in Athens—CreatureComforts and my boys at Southern Brewing Company. Both are gonna be good for Athens. Maybe we’re trying to be as good as Ashville one day in the future with the growing vibe of this town. Five Points Bottle Shop, Trappeze Pub, Aromas, Volstead—an upcoming Georgia Brewery-only restaurant—Royal Peasant, Five Bar, and Last Resort [Grill] to name a few are some of my favorite places to go eat. 

We are going to have to check those out! So what are your upcoming events?
The Mac & Cheese with a
Cheese Nips coating. Whoa.
Let’s see, on February 13 we have a special Terrapin Mosiac Cask; on March 1st is the Ramen Noodle Cookoff in town at CINÉ with a few other restaurants; a secret date for a bottle share at Catch 22 that you and I are working on [Word!]; the Classic City Brewfest on April 13th; and on April 16 is our Terrapin/New Belgium Beer Dinner featuring more than a dozen beers and five courses at Catch 22. There are a couple more events in planning for this year, plus maybe another restaurant in the next few years. I might take this one to Nashville, Greenville or Charlotte.  

All of those cities are blowing up in the beer world so I feel you on that. As for our bottle share, it’s going to be crazy! Okay, let’s close with what you think are the best beers you’ve had in the last few months.
So far this year, the Terrapin Cinnamon Roll'd Wake N' Bake and Cigar City’s Life is Like... 

Good calls! Okay, let’s do the shameless plug and get back to sippin’ and grubbin’.
Cool. Okay Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’, follow us on Facebook at Catch22 Gastropub and Twitter at @catch22gp. Things are always getting changed on the menu so I try to keep social media updated with what is going on.

No doubt! Now let’s get our sip on!
Bet!

Honestly, Catch 22 has the most inventive and delectable fare I have ever had at a gastropub. From the creamy Mac & Cheese topped with a coating of Cheese Nips to decadent desserts direct from a pastry chef, you simply have to come here throw down. Of course, the beer is top notch as well often served on art palate-shaped slates for folks write what they want in chalk (see above). Dope! Plain and simple, go here. (1021 Parkway Boulevard, Athens, GA)

Stay tuned as Rich and I do some more Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ in Athens hitting up Five Points Bottle Shop and Aromas. Plus, I get a sneak peek of Creature Comforts’ brand new brewery, sip one with Owen Ogletree and the Beer Wench at Copper Creek, and kick it with the Terrapin Beer Co. to judge their new employee brewing challenge!

Cheers!
Ale

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Belgium Brewing’s Clips Beer & Film Tour Seeks Submissions for 2014 Season

Photo courtesy of New Belgium.
Be one of 20 films featured during N.B.’s coast-to-coast tour!

Whaddup Craft Beer Lovers!
Check out this info on the 2014 New Belgium’s 2014 Clips Beer & Film Tour! New Belgium continues to be a major craft beer leader regarding doing innovative sh*t particularly in the arts, plus they are 100 percent employee-owned and brew some killer beers! I plan on checking out their new brewery in Asheville, NC, and do some shooting soon so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, they are accepting film submissions through April 1st for their awesome 21-city tour, so get on it!  Oh yeah, and yes, Atlanta is one of the cities on the tour too! 
Peace!
Ale


The official scoop straight from the brewery: New Belgium Brewing is now accepting film submissions for its 2014 Clips Beer & Film Tour. Selected films will be viewed in 21 cities across the U.S., starting in May. Clips Beer & Film Tour is a unique film festival where guests sit under the stars, enjoy New Belgium beers, and watch a composition of original films, while simultaneously raising money for local nonprofits.

The selected filmmakers will receive a trophy-worthy beer in a custom screen-printed bottle made exclusively for the winning submissions. In addition, they will receive a limited edition, hand-forged Clips belt buckle.

New Belgium photo
“The Clips tour is a philanthropic celebration of the creativity of craft brewing and film,” said Christie Catania, Clips National Special Events Manager. “The selected filmmakers have the opportunity to share their passion with thousands of people across the country, win unique prizes, and of course bragging rights.”


Film submissions can range from 10 seconds to five minutes on any or all of these topics:
1.       Craft Beer
2.      Advocacy/Activism
3.      Humor
4.      Culture
5.      Adventure
6.      Art
7.      Fun.

Over the years, selected films have run the gamut on genres and topics, including the technique of dice rolling, the quest for the ultimate full moon shot, a duel to be the hippest hipster, homebrewing in a small New York City apartment, a documentary about controversial water rights, a tale of lizard wrangling in Wisconsin, and a piece of art entirely created with old school theater trickery, puppeteering and black light.

New Belgium is accepting submissions through April 1st at http://www.newbelgium.com/Events/clips-beer-and-film/submit-your-film.aspx and selects approximately 20 films each season. Filmmakers must be at least 21 years old and must secure rights for all elements included in the film. The 2014 schedule will be announced soon.

During each Clips show, 100 percent of proceeds from beer sales directly benefit a local nonprofit working to improve the community. Last year, Clips Beer & Film Tour raised nearly $158,243 for local organizations and approximately 22,000 people sampled beer, viewed films, and diverted 85 percent of event waste from landfills. Since its inception in 2010, Clips has raised $366,893 for nonprofits nationwide.

For the latest information on Clips, go to http://www.newbelgium.com/Events/clips-beer-and-film.aspx. For more information on New Belgium Brewing, visit www.newbelgium.com.

About New Belgium Brewing Company 
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at www.newbelgium.com.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The next gangster beer event: Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting!

Photo from ClassicCityBrew.com
Man, I had a blast in Athens, Georgia over the weekend (they showed me hella love!) followed by a gangster beer tasting at my condo with a few of the Brew Tang Clan homies on Sunday. (Look for my feature on this burgeoning beer city and peep some of the beers we poured at my spot on my Instagram (@realalesharpton). But for the immediate time being, the next GANGSTER beer sippin' event pouring 45 of the craziest one-and-done beers is the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting tapping off on Saturday, January 25 from 3-6 p.m., at both Taco Mac-Prado and 5 Seasons Prado
Besides it being for a good cause, it's one helluva time for particularly the beer enthusiast who loves that good liquid shizzle that will never be poured again! Here is my coverage of last year's event, the wondrous craft beer supporters who are participating below, and the link to the tickets here.
See you there!
Holla!
Ale
The Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting participants: