Saturday, June 30, 2018

Your brother Ale is on A&E’s Wahlburgers Show!

Since I have been traveling crazy, I just saw it On Demand on A&E. It’s Episode 3 of Season 9. It comes on again Sunday, July 1st at 4pm. Check local listings for sure! Peep it! (Photo by Andrea Janise)

After getting the call from the public relations team representing one of the  popular Wahlburgers locations inside The Battery Atlanta complex (455 Legends Place #874, Atlanta, GA 30339) on April 6th to be a guest on its self-titled popular A&E show. It's based on the entrepreneurial ventures of the celebrity Wahlberg Brothers Donnie, Mark and Paul, and it was a no-brainer to say hell yeah! But it was even more of a go after I heard what we were talking about: Impossible Burgers. Since I don't eat beef like that, I'm constantly been on a hunt to find tasty substitutes. The episode’s theme is to find a healthier route for their customers of the very successful food franchise, so I met up with the chef of the Wahlberg bros—Paul—and tried his interpretation of how to flip the burgeoning plant-based patty into a lip-smackin’ double stack. Of course, the show's camera crew was there to capture the experience for a future episode "sometime in June" of 2018 I was told. To remain true to my passion and expertise, I got to order a brew I think would complement the burger, sip it while Paul made his creation from scratch, and soon our taste buds were in bliss. He did a damn good job with the additions of Sriracha Sauce and smoked cheddar, two flavors I had yet to try with the Impossible Burger. Here is more information about what an Impossible Burger actually is invented by Impossible Foods out of Northern California. They are blowing up for sure. (Along with Wahlburgers’ version, my favorites in the Atlanta area are at the Argosy in East Atlanta and Grant Park’s Grindhouse on Memorial Drive, so definitely see which one is your most gangster.)
Anyway, I Instagrammed it the next day and didn't know it aired until my boy who owns Atlanta Beer Bus sent me a direct message saying I did a great job on it last night. I was like, What???! I immediately searched for it on On Demand and boom! It was up.
All in all, I had a ball with Paul who was truly down to earth, funny, and accurately portrayed on the show as a passionate chef who finds having “me time” very difficult due to his demand for perfection in anything he touches. This episode has some special guests besides myself (Ha!) including Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski kicking it with Mark and a talented teen street performer who has his dreams answered thanks to Donnie. Please check it out On Demand. The episode is called “Paul the Pitch Man.” Oh! And I have been asked what beer was in the cup while chilling at the bar and pairing it with Paul's burger. We were sipping the Wahlburgers house brew called the “Wahlbrewski” fittingly brewed by Boston's legendary Harpoon Brewery! This unfiltered Pale Ale stood up to the smoke of the cheddar, yet didn't dominate the palate so that the numerous toppings Paul's burger had could shine. It worked!
This show is on some real shit regarding how they work together as a tight family and it was an honor and blessing to be on it. And most importantly, thanks to you for reading this on my blog. It means a lot.
In the end, getting this call and opportunity proves that nothing is impossible if you have faith. Real talk.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

It’s Ale Sharpton’s Annual Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Guide—2018 Edition

It’s time to hook Dad up!

Photo by Peggy Sirota/Parents Magazine
It's that time again!
Let’s get down to business for our annual Last-Minute Gift Guide!
Since I am doing so much more than just covering the best libation in the world—­beer­—here are a few events and items worth purchasing for that special dad out there who deserves it. So whether it’s on a fork, in a cup, at a location, or something he can enjoy daily, these will certainly beat a tacky tie he will only wear if you beg him to. I am also Tweeting dining specials and other ideas throughout Atlanta and beyond here so look for that as well.

June 14, 2018 5pm-9pm
At Second Self Brewing (1317 Logan Circle NW Atlanta, GA 30318)
I say: Father’s Day starts early at Second Self with this Gentleman’s Day tonight! And you don’t have to be a dad to go. There will be beers, cigars, meat, and custom shirts to name a few of men’s favorite things in life. I’m there to get my weekend poppin’. See ya there?
They say: We have the perfect Father's Day gift for you. Treat yourself or someone you love to Father's Night Out at Second Self. Your ticket will include: - SHIRT from Blank Label (w/ fitting at the store) - 3 PINTS from Second Self - CHARCUTERIE BOARD from Pine Street Market - CIGAR from Trilogy -or- 6-PACK TO-GO from Second Self - Selection of Barrel Aged Beers will be on The FIRST 30 PEOPLE to BUY TICKETS will get a free shirt fitting that night at the brewery!!! Ticket Prices: 1 for $50 2 for $80 Note - you don't need to be a father to attend!
2 for $80

Saturday, June 16, 2018, 4pm-8pm
I say: My hood’s Historic Old Fourth Ward Park is the perfect setting for any type of festival, and the Atlanta Beer Festivals folks are throwing down this weekend to especially treat dad to. I mean come on, you had me 200-plus brews! Get tickets here.
They say: Join us again for one of the best beer festivals of the summer, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest. After 6 great years at the Masquerade Music Park, we are now on our 2nd year at Historic 4th Ward Park. We will have over 200 beers, featuring the local Atlanta breweries, and great breweries from all over the country. We will have some fun attractions this year, including live music on the main stage.  Be sure to Like our page on Facebook to get all of the updates. Tickets are $40 advance, $45 after June 8, and $55 day of event.  Tickets are now on sale. Your ticket price includes a souvenir cup, entertainment, and all of your beer, wine and cider samples.


I say: I’m a hop head and the IPA is my favorite style as the result. This book will help those who feel the same whether it’s brewing, knowing what to look for, or simply learning more about what the most prominent three-letter term in the beer business is all about. Books last forever so why not show the brilliant brewer and author Dick Cantwell love? Go here to book one.
They say: We are in the “heyday of IPA,” according to renowned brewer Dick Cantwell. Experimental flavors and new hop varieties are appearing as risk takers aim to make beer that stands out from the crowd. In his new book, Brewing Eclectic IPA: Pushing the Boundaries of India Pale Ale (Brewers Publications; June 4, 2018), Cantwell shares the latest trends, exciting techniques, and true story behind the most popular style of craft beer: the IPA. Among the most well-respected and experienced craft brewers in the world, Cantwell provides tips and insights for beer lovers, first-time brewers, and industry veterans alike. 

I say: I went by the Uno de 50 store in Lenox Mall and couldn’t leave without rocking one of their bracelets for men on my wrist. Hook Pops up with one if he wants to step his wrist game up! They also have silver-plated chain necklaces, wide rings, watches and key rings, ya heard?
They say: If you’re unfamiliar with UNOde50, get ready to swoon. The distinctive jewelry brand born in Madrid features stunning and timeless pieces for both women and men that are made using traditional methods as if they were one-of-a-kind. Go here for more information and help Dad stand out.

Monday, June 4, 2018

It’s almost time for the Montreal Jazz Fest!

Kamasi Washington will be in the house! Photo:

Consistent with this being one of the best music festivals in the world, the 39th edition has a stellar lineup in 2018!

I love the Montreal Jazz Fest!
If you have been following me over the years, you will know that I make it a point to attend the Montreal Jazz Fest every year. It’s simply that amazing. Besides jazz, I love how they explored other art forms including rock, soul, funk, folk, and one of my favorites—hip-hop—in the past. Throughout the years, I have seen unforgettable shows performed by everyone from Wu Tang, to Public Enemy, Del The Funky Homosapien, and last year’s dope grand finale, Anderson .Paak! (We later met Anderson in the hotel I was staying at which I highly recommend, the newly remodeled Hyatt Regency Montreal, based in the center of the Fest.) Here is my photo during his show...
Well this year they still provide stellar lineups but are bringing a stronger focus to the jazz side, which is just as much of a draw since that is how they originally began in year one. In 2018 from June 28 to July 7, you can’t go wrong with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Bobby McFerrin, and burgeoning geniuses Kamasi Washington on the sax, Hamilton on Broadway’s Leslie Odom Jr., and bassist Thundercat to name a few. The War On Drugs will be closing on the last day.
The official description says:

39th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
Jazz, jazz… and nothing but jazz!

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by the TD Bank Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto, unveils a new series of concerts for its 39th edition, June 28 to July 7, 2018. On the program: an array of artists featuring legends and rising stars, dear Festival friends and newcomers, promising evenings of magical jazz in all its forms.

Go here for all the information and to book your tickets. Keep in mind that besides all acts, free outdoor shows, and other highlights, the entire city of Montreal is one of the world’s most revered playgrounds for food, famous parks, historical landmarks, diversity, art, culture, and of course, beer. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite cities and hopefully you will see why. Trust me, you will see something extraordinary every day. Did you see what greeted me while having coffee at a cafe nearby the Hyatt Regency last year on my Instagram here? This crew called the Les Gens De Couleurs was mind blowing. Check out my other posts on this #cruisinforabrewsinmontreal hashtag.
So whether it’s a Father’s Day present, a vacation with a loved one, or simply to feed your desire to indulge in music, this is the place to be for the summer!
Look for more coverage soon including where to eat and get your sip on when in Montreal.


Friday, June 1, 2018

Tucker Brewing Company is ready for their Grand Opening on June 2!

Here is a little taste of what they are doing. I took this yesterday.
They are aiming for the 10,000-barrel range within a year.

Yep! Another brewery inside Atlanta’s perimeter. This one is in Tucker, GA and it’s dope!

When I first moved here with my family in 1990, we set up shop on the border of Stone Mountain and Tucker, GA. In fact, both of my brothers went to Tucker High School. And with that, I was so pressed to have a brewery or at least a brew spot near our house, but there was absolutely nothing besides a Taco Mac up the street that eventually changed ownership. Hence, the opening of the first microbrewery in the city—Tucker Brewing Company—on June 2 decades later is getting the eyes to water up! And I won’t even say how awesome the layout is during my sneak peek tour yesterday. The beers are German-inspired ales and lagers, there will be live music, it’s in a huge space, and… Aw hell, I will leave it to you to see for yourself. Support these cats and keep showing love to independent brewing! I will be there on June 2nd to support another brewery making ATL the shizzzznit!
Below is the official invitation. Make sure you RSVP here:

Please join us for our grand opening on Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 1 pm to 9 pm. We will be celebrating with live music, food trucks and, of course, great beer!

RSVP for the grand opening event on Facebook.

Entry to the brewery on Saturday costs $10 and includes a souvenir 16-ounce Tucker Brewing Company Willi Becher glass, plus two full beer pours. We will also have water, soda and juice for non-beer-drinkers. Pets on leashes and children are also welcome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Check out how I compare the Avengers to Atlanta breweries!


Atlanta Eats’ writer Jorge Hernandez put this dope interview of me comparing the breweries I featured in my six Atlanta Drinks episodes to one of the best Marvel movies yet, Avengers: Infinity War. He even added the ill graphics for extra measure. This was a fun time for sure. Let me know what you think about it along with the six episodes here! Thanks again to all the Atlanta Eats homies having me on board.

Happy sippin'!


Monday, May 7, 2018

Hyundai is set to impress in 2018!

Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV can fit seven and comes with a boatload of features.

Both its Santa Fe and Accent lines aim to please for singles, students and families.

Cheers Everyone!
Being a lifestyle writer, I happen to review cars for a few magazines as well. Well there are a few standouts that may answer the inquiries of my many friends, family and overall readers of this site. They ask me what cars really impress me, are the most luxurious, the best on gas, and overall have the best value for what they’re intending to spend.
I enjoy those conversations and during many of them, will do my best to recommend whatever will ease their search. Well over the past few months, Hyundai's automobiles have been very consistent in terms of quality, solid design, and overall offering the most bang for the buck. Thinking about school about to let out, kids heading  to college, and anyone looking for a new car they can afford, the all-new 2018 Accent Limited sedan and the 2018 Santa Fe Limited SUV successfully deliver. Of course, Hyundai can go upscale as well and you will see what I mean with my review of the mind-blowing 2018 Genesis G90 Ultimate luxury sedan in my upcoming June edition of Driver’s Notebook for Lifestyle Publications. But for now, let’s focus on the aforementioned Hyundai duo that presents the most value in a practical world.
Photos courtesy of Hyundai.

The all-new 2018 Hyundai Accent Limited
The all-new Hyundai Accent is one of the best bangs for the buck I have yet to review. The plethora of amenities graciously packed in this subcompact sedan really wowed me. I was very surprised to see the three trims—the SE listed at $14,995 MSRP; SEL ($17,295); and my review model, the top-of-the-line Limited ($18,895)—having so many standard features. The latter comes with everything including the 17-inch alloy wheels; a 7-inch touchscreen equipped with Apple CarPlay; leather-wrapped steering wheel; power sunroof; fog lights; heated front seats; and the feature everyone should demand—the proximity key with push-button start—to name a few. 
Regarding power, all three have the same 130-hp, 1.6L 4-cylinder engine. The combined city and highway gas mileage for the SEL and Limited is a very reasonable 32 miles per gallon, while the SE is (oddly) one combined mile lower. With all of these perks, along with Hyundai providing arguably the best warranty programs in the automotive industry, the Accent in any trim becomes a serious consideration.
(Note there used to be a hatchback version, but this upgraded sedan’s roomy trunk works just fine.)
Fuel Economy: 28 city/ 38 highway/ 32 combined

Base Price: $19,905 fully equipped as reviewed.

2018 Santa Fe Limited Ultimate
If you have a large family or plan on toting folks around regularly, Hyundai comes correct with the 2018 Santa Fe in three trims capable of accommodating up to seven passengers with a third-row option. They remain consistent with their reputation of providing a healthy dose of features seen here that come standard in the SE (starting at $30,850; SE Ultimate ($38,850); and my review model which is the most lavish of the bunch, the Santa Fe Limited Ultimate ($39,550). Prices differentiate in each trim with the addition of the all-wheel-drive option, and I strongly recommend the $2,100 Tech Package to build driving confidence in the safety department. It includes Smart Cruise Control with stop/start; Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Warning; Electronic Parking Brake with Automatic Vehicle Holder; and various lighting settings. 
I also appreciate the balance of a smooth ride, yet a powerful 290-hp 3.3L GDI DOHC 24-valve V6 engine complemented with impressively nimble handling to spike the excitement of the driving experience. There is also a smaller, five-passenger Sport version in three trims as well. Go here for more info.
All in all, after considering the high safety accolades, handsome design, strong engine, its seemingly endless list of amenities that come standard, and reasonable tag, I recommended this Santa Fe Limited Ultimate to my cousin who just added a baby boy to his family. The verdict? He says if he is going to be a family man, he might as well have fun doing it. Hey, works for me!
Visit for all the information on both models and the rest of their fleet.

Happy driving! Do it responsibly.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Check out your homie Ale in the all-new 'Atlanta Drinks' episodes!

Somebody crazily dedicated to promoting the craft beer scene in especially Georgia is going to be making a few appearances during the dope Atlanta Eats shows through October. Guess who that is?! Yep, aptly called Atlanta Drinks: Tower Brewery Tours, I will be visiting Orpheus Brewing the first episode which will air during Cinco De Mayo (how appropriate!), so check me out at 7 pm on CBS affiliate Peachtree TV! If you can’t wait to see it live or are already stuffing your face with tacos, brews and margaritas, here is a sneak peek!
Matter of fact, since you are showing love by reading this, here are all six breweries I am visiting along with the episodes! They are all short and sweet nestled inside the full Atlanta Eats episodes:
Sweetwater Brewing Company
Second Self Beer Company
Red Brick Brewing Company
Orpheus Brewing
New Realm Brewing Company
Monday Night Brewing
Let me know what you think and thanks again for your support during my ongoing journey to unveil the countless wonders of craft beer.

Your homie,

For more info, hit up the Atlanta Eats website. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

It's Craft Brewers Conference time!

Photo by the Brewers Association

Whaddup Y’all!

Brewgaloo and the entire city of Raleigh, NC were off the meter! Look for my coverage soon including my recommendations on where to stay, eat and of course, SIP! You definitely need to hit up this beer fest, the biggest in North Carolina, next year! Trust!

Now it’s time for the Craft Brewers Conference that goes on this entire week in Nashville. Let’s go!


Friday, April 13, 2018

Trying to roll to Brewgaloo, the biggest beer festival in North Carolina?!

100 NC Breweries, 50-plus Food Trucks, local vendors and live bands for two days? Yes please!

You know I love traveling and this Brewgaloo Beer Fest had me at “Brew”! Ha! Truthfully, I hear that word all the time, but when it’s the biggest beer fest in North Carolina, a state that makes some gangster ales and lagers, I was all in! It’s April 27-28, 2018 and guaranteed to be nuts! Below is the official description and HERE is the link to the tickets. Boom!
Ale says…
Brewgaloo features craft breweries from North Carolina and partners with local food trucks, local vendors and local bands. Friday night will be a sampler event from 6-10pm. Tickets are $45 per person (before April 1) with a limited number of tickets being sold. Sample size pours will be available for you to try the best of NC. Must be 21 and up to attend the Friday night event. Designated Driver’s need not purchase tickets, thank you for being responsible!

Saturday is 2-10pm. Beer is sold by the pint or the taste. Samples are 2 tickets and full pints are 5 tickets. No admission fee to enter the festival. Saturday’s event is open to the public and free to attend.  Saturday will feature over 100 NC Breweries, over 50 Food Trucks, dozens of local vendors and bands. Drink tickets will be sold in advance and available for purchase at the festival. Food trucks and vendors accept cash and credit options. Purchase now to avoid lines!

The largest NC Craft beer festival celebrating all things local
You’ve tasted the world, now taste local

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Creature Comforts Beer Dinner Benefiting the Farmer Fund

Once again it's on!

It's beer dinner time!

One of my favorite events combining beer and fare is the Farmer Fund Dinner held annually by Athens’ GA’s own Creature Comforts and Saltyard Owner and Executive Chef Nick Leahy at the gorgeous location in Midtown ATL (1820 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309) on April 19th. Not only will the experience be one helluva festive one, taste buds will be tantalized, and of course world-class brew will be poured in your complimentary collector’s glass, but it’s also for a great cause—supporting the Famer FundIn their words, “The Farmer Fund exists to support farmers in the face of natural disaster and help keep farmers farming.”
As you can see, I have covered it a few times if you scroll down here. I truly dig it!
There is also a silent auction and the items aren’t a couple of coozies and t-shirts; some of the hardest beers to get in the South exclusively brewed and donated by the Comforts posse will be available to bid on. They also have a fun Farmer Fund calendar available where various farmers and restaurateurs strip down to aprons and other revealing outfits. Here is a look at this year’s addition with the intention of also raising funds for the cause.
The official description is below. Just know it sells out pretty damn quick, so book your seats asap! Oh, and they have your main man Ale (ummmm, that’s me!) as a special guest to make sure everything goes as dope as possible. It’s truly an honor to be there. 
This one is for the farmers, Atlanta. Don’t miss it. Make your reservations by calling 404.382.8088.

Thursday, April 19 - Creature Comforts Beer Dinner Benefiting the Farmer Fund
Join Saltyard for a special beer dinner with Creature Comforts on Thursday, April 19 at 6:30pm. With popular offerings such as Tropicalia IPA and Athena Paradiso, the dinner will feature special guest Ale Sharpton. A silent auction will take place on-site to benefit The Farmer Fund, and tickets are $75/each. Guests should call the restaurant directly at 404-382-8088 for reservations.

Oh! Nick Leahy and the Saltyard also have this popping on Thursday, the 26th...

It’s the James Beard Foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner

Find Saltyard Executive Chef Nick Leahy at April 26's James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner, hosted by 1KEPT in Charleston (68 Wentworth St). Nick will join other prominent chefs including Atlanta's Jarrett Stieber of Eat Me Speak Me and Philippe Haddad of Cape Dutch, at the "Road to Charleston" dinner – a multi-course meal highlighting the bounty and culinary heritage of Georgia and South Carolina. Tickets can be purchased online here for $200/each.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Creature Comforts celebrates four years during April 21-22 weekend!

The lineup is crazy as usual! 

There is no mystery that I think Creature Comforts is one of the best breweries pound for pound on the planet, and the fact that it's just an hour-and-change away in Athens driving from ATL makes it even more lovely! I will definitely be there to celebrate their four years keeping me refreshed with gangster beers. Care to join me?
Peep the flyer and click here for more details. See ya there I hope!


Monday, March 26, 2018

Whoa! Uptown Magazine shows me crazy love!

Joeff Davis on the photo.


In this article called “Brew Expert Ale Sharpton Raises the Bar,” Uptown Associate Editor Kym Allison Backer interviews me about beer, what my favorites are, where to go to enjoy it, the industry surrounding it and loads of other fun content.
It’s an honor to be in such a great magazine. Check out the entire article here. I just got back from Nashville covering the Schlafly Oysterfest (which was a blast) and now have to deal with my grandmother’s recent passing, so this couldn’t have come at a better time to keep things balanced out.
Many blessings y’all. I appreciate you for real. Oh, and a very special shout out to Kym and Uptown for embracing such an amazing beverage and letting the world know that beer is for everyone


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ale Sharpton is on ABC's 'Grown-ish'!

Yep! Thanks to Robbie aka @rjmedwed alerting me with this screenshot below on this Tweet, I had to check this out...
Whaddup Y'all!
This is totally random, but while I was reveling in my March Madness bracket thus far at a perfect 100%, I got this Tweet saying my name made an appearance was on the ABC show Grown-ish, the college spin-off from the hit sitcom Black-ish. I was like, huh? And then behold, "Ale Sharpton" was one of these "peacemaker" concoctions that spurred a cyber quiz on Freeform here...

While I got a chuckle at the others in my name's company, the "Ale" title undoubtedly reigns supreme. I'm about to do more research on it and see what comes of this.
Pretty crazy, huh? I hope there was a world-class IPA in my cup, at least. 


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Love Oysters and Brew? Well hit up the free Schlafly Stout & Oyster Festival on March 23 & 24th!

St. Louis, here I come!

Whaddup Y’all?!
March promises to be an awesome month for especially brew and eats, so I will do my best to post as many dope events as possible to keep you posted on what’s happening nationwide. In this segment, we are going to St. Louis where their renowned brewery Schlafly will be hosting their annual Stout & Oyster Festival on March 23 & 24th! They do this event every year and I have been trying to go, but conflicts in the past hated on me booking a trip. Well this year, it’s on! And guess what? It's FREE!
I was already sold on the 80,000 oysters being flown in the night before the Fest for optimal freshness along with the 15 different stouts poured specifically for the occasion—yes, they pair well in case you didn’t know—but after seeing this video from last year, I am counting down the hours until I touch ground in the Lou! Although the event is free.99, there are also Pearl Pass VIP tickets on Friday night (see tickets here) available. Of course, you can also explore the city's festive beer scene as well.
And even if you are not a stout person, Schlafly has a plethora of other great beers to choose from including my fave, IPAs, so every palate is covered. Here is all the info straight from the source below. See you there!   

Come celebrate Schlafly’s largest party of the year, Stout & Oyster Festival, held on March 23 & 24, 2018 at the Schlafly Tap Room!
Every year, Schlafly flies in almost 80,000 oysters (overnight to be the freshest possible) from both coasts and brings in 20 shuckers for their Schlafly’s Stout & Oyster Festival. The festival takes place at the brewery’s historic Schlafly Tap Room on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24. They also brew 15 stouts for the festival – some exclusive for the event. See the craziness here.
It’s pretty much my second Christmas, and 2018 plans to be the largest in the brewery’s history and one of the largest oyster festival in the Midwest.
All weekend long festival goers will get to experience live music, multiple raw oyster bars, stout tasting bars with the exclusive small brew stouts, and of course all of the other Schlafly beer the heart desires. I also included more below about their special Stout Bout which they brew to promote the festival.  

Schlafly Beer’s Stout Bout

The Stout Bout name is a play on the boxing term for a match, and the “winning” selections featured in the sampler are determined by the crowd favorites at Schlafly’s annual Stout and Oyster Festival, which takes place at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St.) on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24. Schlafly offered over 15 specialty stouts at last year’s festival with unique flavors from Smoky Pepper Chocolate to Cinnamon Vanilla. Blueberry Coffee and Salted Caramel were two of the outstanding stouts amongst consumers.
Ambassador Brewer Stephen Hale explains, “The sampler packs are about an ongoing conversation. Our festivals give us true feedback from our consumers, and we listen to that for the following year. Stout & Oyster Festival also allows our brewers to showcase their craft with brewing stouts. Our festival-goers see what our brewers can do, and we get a good litmus test before distribution about what consumers will enjoy.”
The sampler always features one of Schlafly’s classic stouts (Oatmeal, this year) and one variety had to make a return appearance: Mexican Chocolate Stout. Hale explains, “It was received with a huge fanfare online last year so we brought it back for this year’s pack.”
Want a say in next year’s Stout Bout pack? Visit Schlafly’s Stout & Oyster Festival at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust St.) on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24. The largest, locally owned brewery in St. Louis flies in 70,000 oysters and 25 shuckers from both coasts for one of the largest oyster festivals in the country. The brewing team will again offer new, unique specialty stouts for sampling and consideration for next year’s Stout Bout.
The Stout Bout pack can be purchased at the Schlafly brewpubs or across the brewery’s distribution region ($13.99 suggested retail). For more on Schlafly Beer’s distribution,

For more about each stout, see here:

Blueberry Coffee Stout (5.7% ABV, 30 IBUs): Just the right balance of sweetness and bite. Locally roasted coffee coupled with the flavor of seasonal blueberries.

Mexican Chocolate Stout (6.2% ABV, 25 IBUs): A classic American stout inspired by all the characteristics of real, Mexican-style hot chocolate. Creamy, roasty, sweet elements provide a perfect base for the addition of the cocoa nibs, which we add directly to the fermenter to age until their finest flavors blend with the stout. The addition of cinnamon adds a kick that balances well with all the flavors in this beer.

Salted Caramel Stout (6.5% ABV, 30 IBUs): It’s unapologetically rich and creamy. Using sea salt and caramel for a smooth, sweet and bold declaration of decadence.

Oatmeal Stout (5.7% ABV, 40 IBUs): This classic, British-style stout is dark, smooth and slightly sweet, with just enough bitterness and hops to balance out the richness of the roasted malt’s nutty character and the creaminess of the oatmeal flakes. Freshly roasted coffee beans, cocoa and touches of raisin and dried fruit dominate the aroma of this super dark ale.

About Schlafly Beer:
Schlafly Beer, St. Louis’ largest locally-owned, independent craft brewery, proudly offers over 60 unique styles of beer. Each is handmade at the Tap Room in Midtown St. Louis or Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Utilizing 120 hop varietals, 95 malts and grains, 30 different spices and fruits and 10 separate yeast 18 strains from around the globe, Schlafly also works with local suppliers for everything from farm-fresh food to packaging and labeling. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Schlafly donates spent grain to local farmers to feed their livestock and utilizes 100% renewable energy throughout its operations. The largest Missouri-owned-and-operated beer maker offers free tours of the Tap Room (2100 Locust Street) every Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the hour and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. every half hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The brand continues to define craft across 12 states and throughout countless fine establishments, backyards and basement bars. Join us at either of our locations and on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. For a full listing of seasonal and year-round beers and for information on distribution, visit

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I can’t wait for Nina & Rafi pizza to open in ATL’s Old 4th Ward!

Here comes pizza, sandwiches and more Italian-inspired eats from two gangster restaurateurs along the BeltLine!
O4W owner Anthony Spina’s famous 16-inch Grandma Pie prepared in a cast iron skillet.

Whaddup Y’all!
I just got an official press release announcing one of my favorite restauranteurs Billy Streck—co-owner along with his wife Jenn of gastropub Hampton + Hudson—is teaming with Anthony Spina of O4W Pizza to bring a new pizzeria called Nina & Rafi along the burgeoning Atlanta BeltLine. Named after Streck's and Spina's grandmothers respectively, Nina & Rafi will be located in the new phase of Studioplex at 659 Auburn Avenue NE; it promises to be a huge hit this summer for walkers, commuters, bikers and runners who want to get their eat and sip on. The full story direct from the source is below. 
Be sure to get a feel for how both Streck and Spina get down and visit their current locations.
Peep the full release below for more intel.
Here is the layout.

Located on Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail, Restaurant Will Be Inside New Phase of Studioplex. It’s Named in Honor of Co-​Owners' Grandmothers

Restaurateur and bar aficionado Billy Streck of Hampton + Hudson and Cypress Street Pint + Plate and Anthony Spina of O4W Pizza are bringing the Grandma Pie home to Old Fourth Ward. The two co-owners have teamed up to open Nina & Rafi, named for their grandmothers (Billy's and Anthony's respectively)​, in the new phase of Studioplex at 659 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA, 30312, expected to open summer 2018.
The new joint will serve top-selling pies from O4W Pizza and other Italian snacks, sandwiches, salads, and pasta, including vegan and gluten-free options, alongside a tight beverage program with a full bar.  
Growing up in Red Bank, Anthony Spina learned to make Jersey-style pizza side-by-side with his uncle. He cooked in his home state for two decades before moving to Atlanta and opening O4W Pizza on Atlanta’s Irwin Street in January 2015. He moved the concept to downtown Duluth in September 2016. 
In a short time, O4W Pizza has become recognized as one of the best pizzerias in the country. Zagat named O4W Pizza among the “15 Must-Try Pizza Joints Across the U.S.” It’s on Eater’s list of “Essential Atlanta Restaurants,” The Daily Meal’s “Best Pizzas in America for 2017”, FirstWeFeast’s “Best Pizza From Each of the 50 States," and featured in the March 2018 issue of bon appetit.​ Anthony is best known for his traditional Grandma Pie; it’s 16 inches square and cooked in a cast iron pan. 
A New York native and self-described Southerner at heart, Billy Streck grew up hanging out in his grandfather’s and dad’s pizzeria. He remembers eating grandma-style pizza throughout his childhood and has long looked for the right partner to open a pizza joint with. He’s been a friend of Anthony Spina’s for years. 
Streck has over 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry and 10 years under his belt as a bar and restaurant owner. He and his wife Jenn own the community bar and restaurant Hampton + Hudson in Inman Park, and he is co-owner of the Atlanta classic Cypress Street Pint & Plate.
​Nina & Rafi’s design is a collaboration among Billy and Jenn Streck, Anthony Spina, and local Atlanta firm Smith Hanes Studio. It will face the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside trail and feature a bar, banquette seating, and an open kitchen.