Monday, March 31, 2014

Whoa! At midnight, Argosy is tapping Founders' 2014 KBS Imperial Breakfast Stout!

Photo by Ale Sharpton
When the clock strikes twelve, be in beer heaven!
Yo!
Plain and simple, go to the Argosy in East Atlanta tonight and get a taste one of the best beers in the world, the Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout), brewed with coffee and chocolate. It's simply gangster at 11.2 percent ABV of liquid bliss. See you there! Here is the info below:

See you there!
Your homey,
Ale

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cocktails With Ale Part 2: Cathead Vodka and Three Taverns unite at Argosy!

Let’s take a sip of Armando’s Honeylion cocktail using Cathead's Honeysuckle vodka and Three Tavern's Single Intent Belgian-style ale!

In the first installment of Cocktails With Ale, I featured an in-depth interview with the co-founder of Cathead Vodka, Richard Patrick, here. We had a ball discussing the history of Cathead’s burgeoning vodkas, the trickery of the spirits industry, and his venture’s altruistic support of particularly Mississippi’s historic blues scene.
Now, using the Cathead Honeysuckle as the chief ingredient, I challenged the co-owner of one of Atlanta’s hottest craft beer bars—the Argosy’s Armando Celetano—to invent a cocktail with Richard’s cherished product and an award-winning local brew I picked out to embrace the oncoming spring. With ThreeTavern’s Single Intent Belgian-style ale and Cathead’s Honeysuckle in front of him, Armando created the “Honeylion”; he fused the Honey in Honeysuckle and a dandelion which represents the coming of spring. His biz partner Donald Durant (below) looked on as “A-Plus” showed off his mixing skills.
After tasting it on a sunny afternoon in East Atlanta Village, I was honestly impressed with the Honeylion’s refreshing balance of sour and sweet from the Limoncello Luxardo and Honeysuckle; Single Intent’s subtle spiciness; plus the spritzy mouthfeel the ale and soda water provide. Overall, if I could describe it, think of an organic version of Sprite with a splash of honey, an herbal nose, and potent 70-proof kick of premium vodka.
Here are the play-by-play highlights of my homey Armando making his signature Honeylion cocktail which will be available at the Argosy to help you sip in the new season.

First, pour 1.5 ounces of Cathead Honeysuckle in a mixing cup.

Add one ounce of Limoncello Luxardo.

Squeeze a quarter of a lemon.

Add a dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters.

Add ice.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture. (Actually, a lot more vigorously.)

Pour, add about two ounces of soda water, and float some of our locally brewed Three Taverns Single Intent. Watch the colors blend. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel. Enjoy!

Photo by Argosy's Emily L. Beck
Cheers to ya from 
Donald, Ale, Armando, Cathead and Three Taverns!

Look for another installment of Cocktails With Ale soon! Who knows what spirit and cocktail will make history next?!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

SweetWater 420 Pale Ale gets high with Delta!

This gangster picture is courtesy of SweetWater. Head Brewer Nick Nock is on the right.
Finally! Some real craft beer on Delta flights!

Man!
I always succumbed to a certain beer (I won't say the name) when I flew Delta because there was really nothing else I could sip on. I am frequent flyer and always raised a stink about their beer selection. Finally, the decision makers felt my pain. I just got the news direct from my hometown brewery, SweetWater, that their flagship beer, 420 Pale Ale, is now on flights! Here is the news below. 

"SweetWater Brewery (based out of Atlanta) is partnering with hometown neighbor Delta Airlines to bring its brews on-board flights between LaGuardia International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson beginning April 1. Some argue beer selection alone is compelling enough to choose who you fly with, and SweetWater is happy to help wet those whistles 30,000-feet up.

"SweetWater is among the first craft beer brands to begin making an appearance on Delta’s inflight menu. Delta will be offering SweetWater’s flagship 420 Extra Pale Ale in cans beginning with all flights between Atlanta and LaGuardia. The beer will also be offered on flights from Atlanta to Denver April 7-9 to quench the thirst of folks heading out to the Craft Brewer's Conference. Just this month SweetWater began canning their beers, removing restrictions that glass bottles once presented and opening up a new world of opportunities to offer their fresh, hoppy and aggressive ales in places like airlines, beaches, stadiums and more."

- SweetWater Brewing Company

I'm smilin' ear to ear. Now let's get some imperial stouts and IPAs on those flights! I can name a few really good canned ones!

Cheers!
Ale

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sweetwater 420 Festival releases 2014 day-by-day schedule!


April 18-20 is going to be nuts in ATL!

It’s the 10th anniversary of SweetWater’s 420 Festival so you know the lineup of events and performances is going to be extra sick from April 18-20 at their new location, Centennial Olympic Park! I mean, come on, Steel Pulse?!! Here is the info direct from the brewery. For even more detailed information on especially the music acts, go here.
See you there homies!
Ale

 The Details...
When: Friday, April 18 | Saturday, April 19| Sunday, April 20
Where: Centennial Olympic Park | Atlanta, GA
Admission: $10 Single-Day Pass; $18 3-Day Weekend Pass; $60 Single-Day VIP Pass; $135 3-Day VIP Pass
  
Friday – April 18
SweetWater Stage: Steel Pulse; Galactic
Planet 420 Stage: Conspirator; Honey Island Swamp Band
Not So Silent Disco: Two Fresh; An-Ten-Nae; Eddie Gold; Nextakin & Daddy Dough; Sugar Kayne
Relapse Comedy Tent: Atlanta Improv; Hole in the Wall; The Brink; The Real McCoy – Sarah McCoy’s Standup Room; Richard Knickers; Shark Party;
The SweetWater Experience Tent: Mix It Up – Beer Cocktails; Welcome to SweetWater Experience

Saturday – April 19
SweetWater Stage: Sublime with Rome; Eoto; Wesley Cook; Radio 105.7 Locals Band Winner
Planet 420 Stage: Anders Osbourne; Nicki Bluhm; Music Matters Rock U Kids Band – In Trouble
Not So Silent Disco: George Acosta; Pretty Lights Music Label Block – Paul Basic & Supervision; Nit Grit; Up Until Now; Ployd; MK Ultra;
Sorted; DJ Applejuice
Relapse Comedy Tent: Laughing Skull Lounge; Joel Byars Comedy Hour; The Happy Happy  Stand Up Jamboree; Beer and Comedy Night; The Hangar; WonderComedy; Lady Parts; Village Theatre; Whole World Improv Theatre; Kids Improv – Improvious Prime; Kids Improv – Words in Motion Acting Classes
The SweetWater Experience Tent: Let it Age – Cheese & Beer Pairings; What’s in Your Beer?; Better Together – How Food & Beer Complement One Another
Chipotle KidZone: Paint-a-T, Plant-a-Seed, sampling and chalk art stations, and more

Sunday - April 20
SweetWater Stage: Chris Robinson Brotherhood; G. Love and Special Sauce; Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Planet 420 Stage: Dirty Heads; Kung Fu; Music Matters Rock U Kids Band – Involution
Not So Silent Disco: Archnemesis; Phutureprimitive; Ill Esha; RL Shine; Jiriki; ATLiens; Ralph & Louie LIVE
Relapse Comedy Tent: 1Up Comedy; Geekapalooza Standup - Comedy from Georgia Tech; Drafts and Laughs; Giddy Up Boys; Automatic Improv; Kids Improv – Banshee Improv
The SweetWater Experience Tent: The Origin and History of SweetWater & What’s To Come; Homebrewing – Do it Yourself
Chipotle KidZone: Easter egg hunt, Paint-a-T, Plant-a-Seed, sampling stations, sampling and chalk art stations, and more

Tickets are available for pre-purchase at www.sweetwater420fest.com and include 3-Day Weekend Passes at $18 and 3-Day VIP Passes at $135. Folks making the trip from out of town can take advantage of specially discounted rates from Embassy Suites, located just steps from Centennial Olympic Park, through April 14 or until rooms sell out.

For more information about SweetWater Brewing Company, please visit www.sweetwaterbrew.com. Hang out with your social thang out and follow SweetWater Brewing Company on Twitter/Instagram @sweetwaterbrew, or become a fan on Facebook at facebook.com/sweetwaterbrew.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Check out Great Divide's Gangster Spring Lineup!

Their New 20th Anniversary Beer, Rumble Oak IPA, and Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti are coming in April! 

Whaddup Craft Beer Sippers!
One of the best things I love about spring is how the new brews that hit the shelves. One of my favorite breweries, Great Divide straight out of Denver, has just sent me word about their gangster lineup coming this April. I can’t wait to try the first batch of their 20th Anniversary Ale—a Belgian-style Ale fermented with Viognier grape juice—celebrating two decades of excellence, the mouthwatering Rumble Oak Aged IPA, and one that will always have a place in my heart, the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout which went gold in 2013 at the Great American Beer Festival. Did I get your attention? Well here are the breakdowns of each brew direct from Denver’s headquarters. Look for these at another one of my crazy bottle shares soon!

The Great Divide 20th Anniversary Ale
“To celebrate the brewery’s 20th anniversary milestone, Great Divide approached its annual anniversary ale from an entirely new perspective. A Belgian-style Ale fermented with Viognier grape juice (a French white wine variety of grape known for its fruity, floral aromatics and crisp finish), 20thAnniversary is a golden example of the brewery’s traditional bold character, but with a little something special to commemorate the occasion. Big without being brutish, cunning without being cloying, this is a grown-up beer for a big-time celebration.”

Rumble Oak Aged IPA
“Rumble Oak Aged IPA makes a big shift this year and will land on shelves in a brand new season. Available April through June, instead of its previous third quarter release, Rumble is set to match up perfectly with the cooler spring weather. An American IPA brewed with heavy handed additions of Pacific Northwest hops, Rumble is gently aged on French and American oak, resulting in a wonderful balance of bitterness, caramel sweetness, vanilla, and undertones of pine & citrus. At 7.1% ABV, Rumble is available in 6-packs and draft. This inspiring beer boasts an impressive RateBeer.com score of 96.”

Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti
“This April also marks the most triumphant seasonal return of Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti in the beer’s rich history. Fresh off its 2013 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal in the highly competitive chocolate beer category, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti is one of the most revered incarnations of Great Divide’s legendary Yeti Imperial Stout. A slightly toned-down hop addition allow cocoa nibs to contribute some pleasing bitterness, while vanilla notes from the oak combine with the cocoa to create an aroma and flavor akin to a gourmet chocolate bar. A dash of cayenne keeps things lively, adding just a bit of heat to the finish. At 9.5% ABV, it will be available in 22oz. bombers and 5-gallon kegs. Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti has earned a perfect RateBeer.com score of 100."

I plan on hitting up Denver in the very near future, but until then, I will be popping the caps off their world class beers available at every respectable bottle shop around town. And like Great Divide's slogan says, "Great minds drink alike," so join me. 

Now let's get our sip on!


Ale

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Three Beer Sippin' Events in Georgia This Weekend!

 HAWKtoberfest, Georgia Craft Beer Fest and Bottle Share!

Whaddup!

This weekend, Atlanta and Athens, Georgia are both going to be rockin’ by pouring some of the best beers the state has brewed, plus my bottle share on Sunday with my homies Brian Roth reppin' Southern Brewing Company and Richard Miley at his awesome beer bar, Catch 22 (where I featured here) to taste some of the best beers mankind has to offer from around the world! Brian also used his graphic design expertise and pimped out our extra slick flyer above with me riding a bomber Major Kong style like this! Here are the three events (HAWKtoberfest, Georgia Craft Beer Festival, and my Bottle Share posted above) for you to check out and get info. I will be at all three! (Duh.) Long live craft beer especially in Georgia!

Cheers!

Ale
 HAWKtoberfest

 Georgia Craft Beer Fest

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cocktails With Ale: Meet Cathead Vodka Co-Founder Richard Patrick

Welcome to my new series fusing beer with distilleries throughout the world!

Welcome to Ale's house!

Besides craft beer continuing to grow at a record-setting pace throughout the U.S., so are the craft distilleries making delicious spirits such as the vodka from Mississippi’s first legal still, Cathead Distillery. Besides their award-winning products including the Original vodka and the more adventurous Honeysuckle, Pecan, and Pumpkin Spice, they are revered for their support of their home state’s live music, culinary scene, folk art, and especially blues legends who made the South so historic. 
To spread the love past Mississippi’s borders, Cathead also sponsors art events in Atlanta such as Eric Nine and Shawn Knight’s Unadulterated exhibit in East Atlanta here, so their combined efforts score big with me; so much so, that I want to make them the first spirit maker in my new series, Cocktails With Ale.
To set things off, this will be a two-part series where I interview the co-founder of Cathead, Richard Patrick, and follow up by creating a craft beer cocktail using Cathead’s Honeysuckle with a partner of one of my favorite beer bars in Atlanta, Argosy.
This should be fun!
Here is Richard discussing how he started Cathead with his friend and biz partner Austin Evans in 2010, their love for music, what separates their vodka from others, what is b.s. in the industry, and the fad of making beer cocktails. Read on!

Thanks for kicking it with me, Richard. Let’s get right to it. How did Cathead get started in Mississippi and please break down the name?
Austin Evans and Richard chillin'.
Richard Patrick: Austin and I are good friends and have always enjoyed live music, drinking and blues festivals. The more you study music, you’ll realize the impact blues music has had on the world and it very humble roots along the Mississippi Delta. Austin is originally from Mississippi and I followed the music, culture and fascination of a great southern state that didn't have a distillery.
Blues music started in Mississippi and one particular festival in Clarksdale—the Sunflower Festival—is pretty pure and real. A while back now—one late night in the Mississippi Delta after a few juke joints we were posted up on the outskirts of Clarksdale—we were a few whiskeys deep but it was there where we decided to start a distillery with brands that would make an impact on the preservation and heritage of the blues culture. From a folk artist's point of view, ‘Cat’ means a reference of respect when associating their appreciation towards one another. It was a simple term Delta artists used which many musicians in all different genres of music use now, such as ‘That’s a cool cat,’ or ‘That cat can play.’ Son Thomas was the first musician that we know of who made the term art and painted and sculpted literally cat heads out of clay.

I am digging that! So what made you choose vodka and what separates Cathead from the others?
Vodka has never been the end goal for us, but has certainly been an excellent platform to build and grow our distillery. We respect vodka. We certainly acknowledge that it’s not the ‘cool’ category of spirits in your neighborhood craft cocktail bar because most craft cocktail bars are very gin, whiskey, liqueur and bitters focused. We chose vodka because there are no aging requirements and that helps a small distillery like ourselves because we don’t have deep pockets.
Cathead, I suppose, is separated from the pack due to our regional locality, great ingredients, our sales team who builds relationships, and certainly our distiller Phillip Ladner. Phillip has a skill set unmatched by our competitors both large and small, and is constantly improving our products. Our vodka is truly made in small batches unlike some brands that boast ‘small batch’ but deplete over a million cases. Our process inevitably will have to grow and expand, but I don’t believe we’ll ever lose sight of who we are. I may be thinking alone here, but you’d have to be crazy to name your product Cathead and expect to sell over a million cases a year.

Now that’s keepin’ it real!
Yes! One day, I would like Cathead to be more understood, but that takes time, or at least the approach we are taking. A close industry friend put it best when he said that he certainly respects our own humility, beliefs and place while interpreting a region.

What is the difference between premium vodka, being triple-distilled, etc., or are these all just gimmicks to sell product?
Marketing. Gimmicks. You can have a great product being triple distilled, twice distilled, twenty times distilled; ours is six times distilled. I don’t feel that a statement of how many times a product is distilled reflects the quality of the product. I feel these terms are more for people who don’t know or don’t care to learn what it means. It’s more like a false quality statement. There’s more to vodka than just how many times it’s distilled.

Is there anything else that irks you in the industry?
What I dislike more in this spirits category are ratings. Generally, these are false quality statements that are marketed hard. As far as big agency, brand owners and managers are concerned with you pay to play, you know, like pay for good ratings and reviews. It all boils down to marketing spending, not whether a product is truly worthy of a 90-point review or higher. In the last five years or so, there have been so many new rating companies too, all trying to make a buck. You can’t blame them or can you? I suppose pay to play for ratings is not new or just limited to just vodka or spirits, but to all consumer markets. Marketing.

I am learning a sh*tload here, Rich. Discuss your flavors and what you have coming out next.
We are not trying to bastardize the market with flavors. We use real natural ingredients. Our Honeysuckle has been a crowd pleaser and is true to Cathead. Pecan has been my favorite to work on; this, like all our products, takes time. Pecan has been a learning curve to the everyday home bartender, but for those who are more cocktail savvy, we've seen some pretty wild creations. I simply like my Pecan on the rocks.

What about coming out with other flavors?
Our objective at Cathead is to be unique. If we choose to put a flavor out, it's never to just put something out. Timing is pretty key when bringing products to market. We’ve certainly lost out on market share in the past, but we always want to make sure we are putting out our best work.   
You see, a lot of large agency brands bang out artificial flavors that are over-perfumed and undrinkable like flavors of the day. The problem with these large flavor portfolio brands is that they muscle this stuff out into the market with no intention of a reorder or the product ever making it to the consumer. You see a lot of retailers get stuck with shelves of bad products they cannot sell because it’s part of a sales deal or incentive. Flavor extensions are simply approached to beef up their balance sheets with no care of the negative impact that will have to their brand’s reputation over time.
We hope that we are building Cathead the right way by not trying to make a quick buck.  I’m happy with the way things are going and we have great people who work for us and fantastic distribution partners. For example, Savannah Distributing is a family owned distributorship in Georgia who are proven brand builders. They have taken the time to build and align their portfolio with quality brands. The folks at Savannah truly believe in the products they sell, our philosophies are alike, and at the end of the day, these are the kind of fellas you also enjoy and look forward to having a drink with.

That’s a nice Savannah shout out. Okay, let’s talk brew. Have you considered beer-infused cocktails?
Most beers are magical concoctions in their own right. I feel beer cocktails have their place. I proceed with caution in this category of beer cocktails because I don’t like fads and trends; for the sake of argument, they will probably become forgotten again.

I hear you and trust me, I am a beer purist, but every once in a while, I will come across a cocktail that will make me admit they mixologist knows how to pimp out a beer’s flavors.
True. In fact, I think shandies are fun. Most people who have never had a beer cocktail before are surprised when I tell them there’s beer in their drink. In my opinion, a good beer cocktail recipe to is our Lazy Cat recipe on the website. It’s a batch cocktail for spring and summer parties. It’s just a good all-around beer cocktail to knock back.  

Well I might have to add to that Cathead cocktail list when I get my homey Armando Celetano from the Argosy to mess around and create one with local brewery Three Taverns in Part 2 of ‘Cocktails with Ale.’ What do you think of that?
Bring it!

Argosy's Armando Celetano is about to hook it up!
To find out more about Cathead and all of the cool things they do, check out their website at catheadvodka.com. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we make an actual beer-infused cocktail with Cathead's Honeysuckle Vodka!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Brewers Association Announces 2013 Craft Brewer Growth!



Craft brewers make an 18 percent jump in volume and set records!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

My homies representing the Brewers Association based in Boulder, CO, just sent me their latest news regarding how gangster the craft beer industry has become complete with statistics, quotes from their staff economist Bart Watson, and the slick graphics above and below. Craft brewing continues to be on the rise and I am just happy to be a part of it! You should too!
Here’s the info and full press release below. Keep sippin’ that good stuff! I can’t wait to see the stats for 2014. It has already been an incredible year for craft beer.

Cheers!
Ale


Boulder, CO • March 17, 2014— The Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent American craft brewers, today released 2013 data on U.S. craft brewing1 growth. As a primary driver of growth in the beer industry, craft brewers saw an 18 percent rise in volume2, representing a total of 15.6 million barrels, and a 20 percent increase in retail dollar value.

In 2013, craft brewers reached 7.8 percent volume of the total U.S. beer market, up from 6.5 percent the previous year. Additionally, craft dollar share of the total U.S. beer market reached 14.3 percent in 2013, as retail dollar value from craft brewers was estimated at $14.3 billion, up from $11.9 billion in 2012.

“With this stellar year, craft has now averaged 10.9 percent growth over the last decade,” said Bart Watson, staff economist, Brewers Association. “Beer drinkers are excited about what small and independent brewers are offering and that is evidenced by the rising production and sales of the craft segment.”

Craft Brewing Facts
·         Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 108,440 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
·         Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2012 was 15% by volume and 17% by dollars compared to growth in 2011 of 13% by volume and 15% by dollars.
·         Craft brewers sold an estimated 13,235,917 barrels* of beer in 2012, up from 11,467,337 in 2011.
·         The craft brewing sales share in 2012 was 6.5% by volume and 10.2% by dollars.
·         Craft brewer retail dollar value in 2012 was an estimated $11.9 billion.
·         As of March 18, 2013, the Brewers Association is aware of 409 brewery openings in 2012 (310 microbreweries and 99 brewpubs) and 43 brewery closings (18 microbreweries and 25 brewpubs).
·         2,347 craft breweries operated for some or all of 2012, comprised of 1,132 brewpubs, 1,118 microbreweries and 97 regional craft breweries.

Other U.S. Brewing Industry Facts
·         Overall U.S. beer sales were up an estimated 0.9% by volume in 2012.
·         Imported beer sales were up 1% in 2012 and up 1% in 2011.
·         Overall U.S. beer sales were approximately 200,028,520 barrels and imported beer sales were 27,712,665 barrels in 2012.
·         2,403 total breweries operated for some or all of 2012, the highest total since the 1880s.

Additionally, the number of operating breweries in the U.S. in 2013 totaled 2,822, with 2,768 of those considered craft, demonstrating that craft breweries make up 98 percent of all U.S. operating breweries. This count includes 413 new brewery openings and 44 closings. Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided 110,273 jobs, an increase of almost 2,000 from the previous year.

“Openings of brewing facilities continue to far outpace closings, demonstrating that the demand for high-quality, local, fuller-flavored beers is only increasing,” added Watson. “The geographic diversity of openings and production growth shows the national nature of this movement. In towns all across the country, craft brewers are creating jobs, delivering innovative products, advancing the beverage of beer and strengthening their local economies.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on March 31. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, Colorado from April 8-11. The full 2013 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2014 issue of The New Brewer, highlighting regional trends and sales by individual breweries.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Green Flash gets a makeover!

New designs hit the shelves in April, ya heard?

Whaddup Craft Brew Sippers?!

So just two days after my article on craft breweries stepping their branding game up got posted on Complex Magazine’s gangster website, FirstWeFeast, San Diego-based brewing giant Green Flash Brewing Company sends me a news flash (couldn’t resist) about how they are also pimpin’ out their design on the carriers, along with the 12-ounce and 22-ounce bottles. 
Due to hit shelves in April, I kinda dig ‘em with their slanting font and superhero vibe that suggests they are on the move to serve us their awesome ales faster than lightning. Hooked up by a local branding agency, Mth Degree, the Flash Posse continues to stay on top of things in more ways than one. In fact, in another article, I gave them props on having the best IPA portfolio that’s widely distributed nationwide here.
Keep it coming Green Flash! Below is the official press release.
Cheers!
Ale


Green Flash Reveals New Look For Brand
All-new packaging to reach consumers starting in April

Today, Mike and Lisa Hinkley, co-founders of Green Flash Brewing Co. reveal a fresh new look for the brand, including redesigned packaging for the entire Green Flash product rotation. The packaging changes reflect the brand’s position in the marketplace by clearly communicating valuable new information to the consumer, drawing increased attention to the beer name and beer style. Bold, oversized white typography on an upwards slant is designed to draw the consumer’s eye to take note of the beer name and its style. New labels and 4-pack carriers are now an opportunity to truly inform and engage in the off-premise. Each product in the Green Flash lineup will now readily connect with the consumer by sharing “back of bottle” stats including a list of key ingredients, anecdotal stories about the inspiration behind each beer and facts about its unique brewing process. The new packaging will begin to hit store shelves in late April.
“Continuously evolving has always been part of who we are as a brand,” says Green Flash CEO and Co-Founder Mike Hinkley. “In an increasingly competitive market, the face of Green Flash must evolve to sustain our competitive edge on crowded store shelves.”
 As more people are drinking better beer, Green Flash aims to present straightforward information focused on education. “The new packaging remains distinctly Green Flash, yet equips us with the right tools to better communicate with the consumer as we enter a new era for craft beer.”
As Green Flash places each product’s beer style front and center, they are now clearly identifying most beers as Doubles, Triples, or Imperials. While other breweries are moving increasingly toward "session" ales, Green Flash is holding fast to their original brand promise: to deliver big, flavorful and assertive ales that lead the ranks within the specialty craft category. Drawing inspiration from the recent success of the brewery’s 11th Anniversary IPA, two of the brand’s three front-line beers - West Coast IPA and Hop Head Red - are now being produced with an increase to their dry hopping rate as well as an increased ABV (both beers will now have an ABV of 8.1%).
Developing the new look for Green Flash was a collaborative effort that involved internal brewery execs and San Diego-based branding agency, Mth Degree. The agency worked with Green Flash on packaging changes which were implemented in 2009, as well as on the brand campaign “Flash of Genius” which debuted in 2012. 
Green Flash is currently available in 48 US states with (Utah and Hawaii will carry the beer this year) as well as internationally. Consumers can expect to see the fresh packaging on store shelves beginning in late April with the entire lineup expected to roll out with the new look through the end of May.

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 ten styles of beer regularly, 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 website www.greenflashbrew.com for more information.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Fadó plans big things for St. Patty's Day in ATL!


What's up craft beer lovers?!

I had a great weekend entertaining visiting family and bouncing around a lot of gangster brew spots including The PorterGraveyard, Midway, Argosy, Cypress Street, Wrecking Bar, Timone's, Family Dog, and Hand In Hand. I even went to a birthday party for my homey Donna at Frank Ski's (we need to work on their beer list though). Well, even though it's Monday, it's great to be alive! I hope you feel the same. That's my sermon for today.
Now, on to St. Patrick's Day, which is coming up very damn soon. Fadó Irish Pub in Buckhead always brings it, and throughout this week leading up to the day of the leprechaun on March 17, it's on again. They wanted to make sure you, my precious readers, knew what was in store. Well here ya go! This is straight from their headquarters. From piggin' out on Irish-themed cuisine to sippin' from SweetWater casks (March 11th), getting heads shaved for a cause on March 15th, partying with Clydesdales (March 16th), and jamming with arguably the best U2 cover band on March 17thFadó is going all out! Check it:


Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead hosts 18th Annual St Patrick’s Day Outdoor Block Party March 15 - March 17
Tickets are still on sale now to the biggest St Patrick’s Day party in Atlanta

No matter how much of an ancestral stretch it actually may be, Americans feel a real connection to their Irish roots each year on St Patrick’s Day. And starting March 1, the social order in Atlanta shifts towards a singular purpose: connecting to those Irish traditions. This means wearing green, eating traditional Irish food, connecting with community through charity, and, of course, drinking Guinness and fantastic Irish whiskey. After 17 years of throwing the biggest Paddy’s Day outdoor event in Atlanta, Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead continues its tradition of delivering revelers Atlanta’s definitive 2014 Paddy’s Day celebration.

Planning for the outdoor block party at Fado starts months in advance and every aspect of the days leading up to March 17 is focused on offering an over-the top- yet authentic- Irish experience with something for everyone. This year the outdoor event begins on March 15 and continues until March 17 featuring a full line up of European sports, including 6 Nations Rugby, English Premier League, Irish Dancers, traditional bag pipers, an appearance by The Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch team, full live music schedule, food and drink stations, including the a Tullamore Dew signature cocktail, called The Paddy’s Punch, as well as a signature serve “Flexible Flask”!  The flask will be prefilled with the cocktail and set up at stations or hand sold by wait staff throughout the day. “Party like a Paddy” never sounded more right!

Since 1996, Atlantans have chosen Fadó as the best St Patrick’s Day party in the city. Fadó Irish Pub in Buckhead has become a St Patrick’s Day Institution. Buy your tickets in advance now. Commit Yourself.

Here’s what to expect during Atlanta’s most anticipated St. Paddy’s celebration at Fadó in Buckhead:

·         Traditional Irish Session, Monday, March 10 at 8 p.m. -local musicians gather to perform acoustic versions of classic Irish tunes. New Musicians always welcome.

·         “Craft Fare” Tuesday, March 11 - a gourmet slider and craft beer sampling event from 7.30-9.30 p.m. $25 per person includes sampling from 7.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m.; gourmet mini-burgers and sliders and multiple craft beers, including SweetWater Brewing cask ales and bomber bottles. Between 8.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m., guests will enjoy special pricing on all featured product.  Tickets available on-line and on the door. Limited seating.
               Craft Fare Pre-sale Tickets:   

·         Super Paddy’s Day Pub Quiz with $500 cash prize, Wednesday,  March 12 at 8 p.m. - $500 1st place cash prize, 2nd place-$200 Fado Bucks, 3rd place-$100 Fado Bucks. Three week tournament starts on Feb 26th. Featuring Heineken pitcher specials for the tournament.

·         Live Music with the Mike Magno Band, Thursday, March 13 at 9 p.m. No cover. And, for Guinness lovers, its lucky pint night. Prizes given at random all night long!

·         St Baldrick’s Charity Event, Friday, March 14 at 2:15 p.m. from 6:18 p.m.- An annual head-shaving event where the community raises money and awareness to help fight children’s cancer. Drink specials include Heineken and Heineken Light Bottles and 20 cents from each bottle sold will benefit the St Baldrick’s Foundation. Party goes late with “Just Press Play” kicking off at 10 p.m. playing cracking pub tunes, new and old.  Fun Fact: “craic” is an Irish term meaning good times”. So we like to always say that this event is “great craic for a great cause”.  We have a $125,000 fundraising goal and over 35 shavees signed up so far. Go here and find out how you can participate. Or, just go here to donate.  

·         Parade Day in Atlanta; Outdoor Block Party at Fado, Saturday, March 15 - Doors open at 7.30 a.m. for European sports, English Premier League and 6 Nations Rugby. Full pub menu available all day.
Outdoor festival starts at 12 p.m. and is co-hosted by Atlanta’s own, A Social Mess who will be featuring the main stage contests, games and other amazing nonsense to infuse some wild into the festival this year.  Live music from 1 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. and includes Andy Birdsall cover band, Mike Magno Band, Desire (U2 cover band), and Geek Band (80’s cover). DJ Just Press Play inside starts at 9 p.m. Food tents and multiple beer and cocktail stations, including the Tullamore Dew signature cocktail; “The Paddys Punch”. Cover starts at noon.  21+ after 2 p.m. $20 on the door.

·         Trad Sunday, March 16 - Doors open early with European sports, featuring Liverpool v Manchester United 9.30 am. Brunch menu available until 3 p.m. and full menu, including Traditional Irish food, available all day. Guest bartender charity event from noon to 3 p.m. hosted by Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training. Irish dancers to perform throughout the day. Traditional Irish Music from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m and Andy Birdsall Acoustic. to perform from 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. No cover.

SPECIAL: From noon - 2 p.m., the Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Team will be at Fado! All ages welcome. No charge.  

·         St Patrick’s Day, Monday, March 17 - Doors open at 7 a.m. Full menu available. Outside event starts at 12pm with traditional Bag Pipers and Irish Dancers performing throughout.  Live music from 2 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. with Geek Band, Andy Birdsall Band, Desire, the greatest U2 cover band in the world! Cover starts at noon. DJ Just Press Play inside from 4 p.m. playing “cracking” pub tunes until 9 p.m.! 21+ only afternoon. $20 cover on the door.

Advance tickets are on sale now for March 15 and March 17, 2014.
Purchase before March 1st and save. $15 for 1 day, $25 for 2 day passes
After Midnight on March 1st, tickets are $20 for 1 day, $30 for 2 day pass.
$20 at the door.

About Fadó Irish Pub
Fadó (pronounced fuh-doe) Irish Pub was the first Irish pub to be designed and constructed in Ireland and shipped and installed in Atlanta. Fadó is distinguished by its genuine Irish hospitality, quality of its pints and craic (pronounced ‘crack’, a uniquely Irish form of fun). Fadó has been voted 'Best Of' by a number of local and national publications. Get more information by visiting the pub’s website, Facebook page or by following Fadó on Twitter and following the #stpatricksday2014  


Saturday, March 8, 2014

More info on tonight's Superhero Pub Crawl!


Whaddup!

How beautiful is today? For those who are not kicking it with a lot of my craft beer-sippin' homies at Cigar City’s5th Annual Hunahpu’s Day (like myself), there is always something else crackin’. For instance, besides Goose Island’s Migration Week, there was to the fourth annual Superhero & Supervillain Pub Crawl in ATL I featured here. In fact, I asked the founder, Meredith A., to give us some more insight. Here is what she said along with some tips in order to kick it to the fullest in East Atlanta Village:

“To give you a little background on me and the evolution of the crawl, it started with a few friends gathering for a birthday celebration. I have a big heart for giving back to the community and due to the popularity of the crawl, it has turned into a fundraising event for local non-profits. I want the community to feel like this crawl is as much theirs as it is mine and I try to get input from them whenever possible. SHARE House was nominated by someone in our SHSV community and they will benefit from this year’s crawl. SHARE House assists victims of domestic violence (sharehousedouglas.org).”

To get the most out of this year’s crawl.

After your wristband is securely fastened...

1. Keep your phone handy!
Reference shsvcrawl.com throughout the night for the bar schedules and drink/food specials 
The East Atlanta Beer Bear will be onsite for photo ops and will be selling tickets to the EAV Beer Fest 
Take lots of pictures! Email them to shsvcrawl@gmail.com and we may feature them on shsvcrawl.com

2. Make sure you are registered for the COSTUME CONTEST hosted by the Glenwood! 
Registration will take place at Graveyard Tavern from 7-8 pm. The top winner from each of the three categories (best superhero, best villain, most creative costume) will walk away with $50 Glenwood cash! (This cannot be used night of the crawl.) We highly encourage original superheros, and supervillains. Just make sure you have a super power and back story ready to go! 

3. Show some respect!
We pride ourselves in being peaceful in such a diverse group. Whether you are a hero or a villain we all get along for this one night. (And we always make sure we tip well for the great service we receive in EAV!) 

4. Get home safely
Enough said.

Cheers!

Ale

Friday, March 7, 2014

Goose Island Migration Week(end) and Superhero Pub Crawl in ATL!

Ball 'til you Crawl! 

Hey y'all! 
I am going to make this short and sweet because I am dealing with a loss in the family (R.I.P. Denison). Hopefully, I will be able to get a few of my visiting cousins out to toast off the passing the weekend. Regardless, I had to at least inform my loyal ATL-based readers on a couple of extraordinary things going on. Here we go:

Goose Island's Migration Week is in full swing. From slinging their Strawberry Sophie-infused ice cream with Frozen Pints' creamy goodness this past Tuesday and Thursday seen here...
to the "Wild Goose Chase" scavenger hunt from 1 to 4 p.m. this weekend at starting at Family Dog, these Chicago-based folks know how to throw down! I covered it last year here and every night was a blast! Click on the remaining schedule below:



Second, as you can see from the cool graphics below, I came across this pretty far out Superhero & Supervillain Pub Crawl in East Atlanta Village also this Saturday! It starts at 7:00 p.m. Just dress up like a hero or villain (or dominatrix), get a wristband for 10 bucks and you are officially in! Plus, loot goes to a charity so that rocks too! 

Have fun and live life to the fullest the way my late uncle did.
Cheers!
Ale