Saturday, December 12, 2020

You know how I get down. As a lifestyle writer, auto journalist and beverage expert, it took all year for me to round up these dope gifts and save you the time. And truly, anyone will enjoy these gifts. I just love writing about what I would dig and wanted to theme it. Enjoy!

Wear It Out!

Michoud & Irish Timepieces

Michoud & Irish has addressed a necessary niche: creating high-quality, classy and stunning wristwatches that are still affordable for everyone ranging from those starting their collection to the most dedicated timepiece enthusiast. Their latest addition to the family, LE COMMANDANT, welcomes stylish gents to take a dive into luxury with this gorgeous, sport-ready, fully functional gift to the wrist.

 BM Franklin & Co. Custom Hats 

Like their many celebrity clients, consider yourself royalty and wear a customized crown handcrafted at BM Franklin & Co. Originally based in New York City, this renowned trendsetter of haberdashery has a new location in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead District. Set up a custom fitting appointment and standout from the rest in style. Trust, these hats are dope!

 Kalarô Wrist Straps

Renowned for her stellar work in various industries, Filipino-American photographer Kat Goduco was inspired in 2020 to create Kalarô out of need and practicality fused with styling reflective of the artistry she has been emersed in during her globetrotting assignments. Both professional and novice photographers will appreciate these funky, multi-purpose camera wrist straps which can also be used for a clutch, flashlights, drone controllers and gimbals to name a few. The Sentinel is Kalarô’s flagship product that comes in eight color varieties.

Bring It Home!

SawyerTwain Luxury Gaming Furniture

If you want to step up and make your game room simply incredible, Sawyer Twain has the perfect solution with their upscale furnishings focused around fun. Everything from luxurious handmade pool tables to table tennis, shuffleboard, card tables and luxurious furniture for everyday use, SawyerTwain’s got your back.

BDI Furniture Milo Aluminum Laptop Stand

Make your working from home situation more functional with this stylish and durable laptop table. Lightweight and crafted by the award-winning designer Louis A. Lara, it can be moved around the room to accommodate your different needs whether you are working from home on your laptop, reading a book or just need a place to set your cup of coffee. It’s the right size with a modern design that will certainly upgrade any space with modern style.

 Methane Studios 21st Century Schizoid Brand Book

Owners of the award-winning Methane Studios specializing in illustration and design—Mark McDevitt and Robert Lee—deliver their first book, 21st Century Schizoid Brand. This 508-page hardback flaunts 1000 limited-edition posters and print designs they created for numerous music acts during their 22-year experience including Dave Matthews Band, Jack White and the Black Keys to name a few. Anecdotes, sketches and other details behind the process are also featured. It’s perfect page turning for art and music lovers! Signed copies are also available.

Hot Wheels!

Dodge Charger Scat Pack Plus

Ball out and treat yourself or make a loved one, well, truly feel loved with this monster on wheels packing a 6.4-liter V8 HEMI engine powered by 485 mean horses. Terrorizing streets and turning heads especially in Dodge’s signature “Go Mango” paint, the very reasonable price tag starting under $40K will have you entering 2021 without looking back.

 Lexus ES 350 F-Sport

Enter the upcoming year with power, luxury, quality ride and a gorgeous design all in one thanks to Lexus revered ES 350 sedan complete with the F-Sport upgrade. The 2021 version comes with a few upgrades as well including blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive variable suspension, and Lexus’ signature Enform Safety Connect Suite with Wi-Fi to serve the demand for high-tech amenities. Look out for the “Black Line” package as well for an even more stealthy impression.

Hip Sips!

Motu Viget Brut

Produced by the prestigious Saint Julian Winery in West Michigan, the Motu Viget Brut (Mo-To Vi-Jay) has made a big impression among sparkling wine lovers. Boasting notes of fresh pear and apple with a slightly sweet finish of honey encased in a gorgeous foil-crowned bottle, this libation is perfect for classy functions, cellars, crafting cocktails or simply pleasing palates craving for a delectable adult beverage at 13 percent ABV. Order online without breaking the bank at a very reasonable $15.99 retail. Perfect for New Year’s Eve!

 Red Hazel Whiskey

Enterprising siblings Ty and TK Burtin have adventurously addressed the crowded whiskey market with this cinnamon-flavored variety aimed to please everyone from the novice drinkers to the most particular sippers. This libation delivers a subtle edge of spiciness to make every session a sophisticated, yet extraordinary sipping experience whether it’s presented as a traditional Old Fashioned, on the rocks or even neat. Of course, you can make up your own concoction to wow the palate as well.

Uncle Nearest Whiskey

The Uncle Nearest brand dutifully—in a posthumous effort—pays homage to the first African-American master distiller Nearest Green with a revered line of premium whiskey crafted in Tennessee. Choose from three varieties—1820 Single Barrel Edition, 100-proof 1856 and 1884 Small Batch—paired with perhaps a Cohiba stick featured below. For the whiskey enthusiast and libation historian, consider making a trip to the Nearest Green Distillery built on a 270-acre property with attractions continuously opening throughout the next few years.

 Drinks by the Dram’s Bourbon & American Whiskey Advent Calendar

Add some fun to your typical advent calendar with Drinks by the Dram’s version that pairs a variety of 12 mini styles of bourbons and whiskies to sample each day. Each mini bottle is wax sealed and delivered in a cool, yet sturdy cardboard box that converts into an advent calendar to help you count down the days of libation enjoyment.

El Guapo Craft Cocktail Gift Set

Hone your craft cocktail knowledge and mixology skills with a set of five popular mixers— Mojito, Salted Paloma, Hurricane, Lemon Drop and Bloody Mary. The perfect gift for the cocktail connoisseur in your life. Simply pour the contents of one bottle over ice, add a shot of desired spirit (or not if you prefer a zero proof), and fill to the brim with club soda (or tomato juice for the Bloody Mary). Recipes for each flavor are printed on the box. This site even has fun ways to create cards and personal message options to make this set even more special.

ORCA Walker Tote

Win cool points by being the coolest person walking up to any event with the coolest cooler filled with cooled drinks everyone can enjoy. The ORCA Walker Tote makers pound their chest providing imbibers with this slick container able to hold up to 18 cans or multiple wine bottles while keeping ice solid for up to three days. Magnetic carry handles, padded shoulder straps, a leak-proof interior, and a waterproof pocket for all the items that usually stuff your pockets seals the deal.


Man Up!

Ovation for Men

Ovation for Men owner Shawn Crenshaw proudly boasts his fragrance’s ability to balance a variety of notes including cardamom, leather, tobacco, vanilla, vetiver and amber into every application. Although this Eau De Parfum aims to crown particularly Black men with an olfactory aura of power and excellence, everyone is invited to experience an Ovation.

 Savoir Faire Soul Cafe Eau de Parfum

How many fragrances on the market are blended, bottled and boxed by hand? Musician, influencer and entrepreneur Chris Classic makes it a prerogative to take time out from his stacked itinerary to perform all of those duties in order to provide the personal touch to his Savoir Faire Soul Cafe Eau de Parfum. Nose-pleasing scent blends of blood orange, black pepper, tobacco, lavender, firewood and Arabic coffee set the stage for a lifestyle of authority-meets-finesse. Visit the site for other scents, cigar clutches, earrings and eyewear as well.

 Cohiba Cigars

Purposely placed as the closing gift, how about a cigar from the world-renowned Cohiba brand to light up and say goodbye to 2020 in style? Here’s an opportunity to bless an aficionado, occasional smoker or introduce a newcomer to a quality cigar experience. Add on one of Cohiba’s branded lighters, cigar cutters and ashtrays and you are sure to have the perfect holiday gift. The Royale—consisting of a three-country blend—is one of the newest additions to the family.

Happy Holidays!


Saturday, November 14, 2020

Piano Keys is Coming...


Photo by AllWays Open Creative

My Piano Keys Chocolate Vanilla Imperial Stout collaboration with New Belgium is coming in cans. 

Be Ready.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Creature Comforts is going to Cali!

Notice the palm trees, anyone? (Photo by Creature Comforts)

While Georgia remains the home base, they will also be throwing up the "W" in 2021 with a new brewery and taproom in L.A.!

Whether you have followed my articles and Instagram posts in the past when covering craft beer, there is no mystery that I continue to find Creature Comforts as one of the best in the industry. I’ve known them since trying the homebrewed concoctions co-founder David Stein poured me using the “Creature” name here in Atlanta years before launching the brewery in Athens, GA, was even a serious thought. Well things done changed in a big way with the announcement to opening up a new brewing location and taproom in an entirely different state. The masses would assume it would be a neighboring one like Alabama, Tennessee or Florida, but naw, they chose California. I was wowed by the news but honestly not in disbelief. It only made sense. 

Since Creature’s flagship IPA, the fruity, west coast-inspired Tropicália, hit the shelves back in 2014,  the brewing company has progressed in almost fairy tale fashion. I won’t go into detail how they blew up since I busted my ass to tell the story here (page 24), but one thing of great magnitude did change; they always proudly stated having no plans of leaving Georgia and follow a similar blueprint of Wisconsin’s beloved brewery New Glarus. Glarus still remains in solely their birth state, whereas Creature? My mom always said, “You want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” 

Believe me, I will continue to have Creature’s product, especially their numerous IPA variations, stocking my fridge and covering their ongoing success story. The breaking news could’ve gone totally left by saying they were either swallowed up by a bigger entity and no longer officially “craft” orin today’s current economic climateshutting down one of their two brewing facilities in Georgia, greatly downsizing their staff, or something of similar devastation. Conversely, we needed good news for craft beer entrepreneurs and we finally got some. 

With “Cali” already embedded in the name of their most popular brew that helped pave the way, palm trees on its packaging (see the pic at the top) and going Hollywood with Thor holding a can of Trop' in the Avengers: Endgame, it almost seems like it was their destiny. As a matter of fact, Joe, one half of the Russo brothers who directed Endgame among other blockbusters, has been a huge fan for years and partnering with the brewing company to assist in the upcoming opening. Now that's gangster. Just keep Georgia on your mind, Creature. 

It was difficult to honor the embargo for announcing the news, but now I can officially say one thing: Congrats. 

The official press release is below with a lot more updates. Cheers!
Dave , Chris and Adam.


AUGUST 11, 2020

Slated for Summer 2021, Its First-Ever West Coast Operation Will Brew the Peach State’s Wildly Popular Craft Beers in the City of Angels

ATHENS, Ga., August 11, 2020—Creature Comforts Brewing Co., one of the fastest growing, respected and recognized new breweries in the U.S., today announces its expansion to Los Angeles with the planned opening of a new brewery and taproom. Slated for Summer 2021, it will be located in City Market South at 1124 San Julian St. in the Fashion District. This represents the first time that Creature Comforts, founded by the entrepreneurial trio of David Stein, Adam Beauchamp and Chris Herron, is expanding beyond its beloved home state of Georgia. 
The brewery will offer Californians the brand’s award-winning, finely balanced beers for the very first time. The innovative brand will be introduced to one of the U.S.’ most trendsetting states with its own robust craft beer culture.
Since launching in 2014 in Athens, Ga., an eclectic college town east of Atlanta, Creature Comforts has electrified the craft beer community with its year-round and limited release beers, with beer sales skyrocketing 2,675 percent since debuting.
Creature Comforts is known for its wide range of highly rated beers, including year-round and seasonal offerings such as Tropicália® (American IPA), Classic City® Lager (Lager), Athena (Berliner Weisse), Cosmik Debris® (Double IPA), Bibo® (Pilsner) and others. Limited releases range from Hazy Double IPAs and Fruited Berliner Weisses to rustic barrel-aged farmhouse-style ales using locally-sourced ingredients. Creature Comforts’ Los Angeles brewery will also produce select beers exclusively for the California market.
“Over the years, we have admired the stellar craft brewing scene in California and its pivotal role in advancing American beer,” says David Stein, Founder and Co-Owner, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. “We have collaborated with outstanding brewers in Los Angeles and throughout the state, and I’m proud to call them my friends. We are committed to both bringing our beers to California and continuing to build our brand in Georgia, home to our long-time, loyal fans who have been critical to our success,” adds Stein, a creative force for the company who plans to relocate to Los Angeles to help build the brand.
A Partnership with Joe Russo: Film Director and Entrepreneur
Creature Comforts’ Los Angeles brewery is a partnership with Joe Russo, an award-winning film director and entrepreneur. While filming in Georgia, upon one sip of Tropicália®, he became a genuine fan of Creature Comforts’ brews. Over time and many conversations over beer, a human bond and a partnership emerged. Russo has been instrumental in helping the Creature Comforts team bring their brand to the West Coast. He is sharing his insights into Los Angeles and his expertise in storytelling and global brand building.
A Beer Destination with the Capacity to Produce 3.75 Million Pints a Year
Once constructed, the brewery will include a 3,000-sq. ft. taproom, a 10,000-sq. ft. production facility and copious outdoor seating. The brewery will have the capacity to grow production to 15,000 barrels (the equivalent of nearly 3.75 million pints) annually, with more than two dozen hires planned. The brewery includes a 15-barrel brewhouse with a mix of 15-barrel and 60-barrel fermenters and brite tanks, a centrifuge and a canning line.
Los Angeles Bubbles to the Top
When selecting its first market outside of Georgia, Creature Comforts combined both the founders’ personal desires with an array of analytics on American cities, including data points such as the number of breweries, population dynamics, regulatory environment, demographics and more.
“Los Angeles stood out because of its large craft beer community, the success of numerous independent, small craft breweries and California’s brewery-friendly state laws,” says Chris Herron, CEO and Co-Owner, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. “The beautiful weather and coastal location were also factors, since a good number of our beers are great in the warmer months, and we just really love the beach! Combining those factors with the solid friendships we have made with some local breweries and the chance to work in close proximity to Joe and his team, LA became an obvious choice.”
Successful Collaborations with Los Angeles and California Breweries
Over the years, Creature Comforts has collaborated with breweries in and around Los Angeles, including Highland Park, Modern Times and Green Cheek, as well as those in other parts of California, including Russian River, Sierra Nevada, Firestone Walker and Alvarado Street.
“We are excited to join the vibrant craft beer scene in California and plan additional collaborations,” says Adam Beauchamp, Brewmaster and Co-Owner, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. “While we are delighted to share many of our core year-round and seasonal beers, we also look forward to creating unique brews for the Los Angeles community.”
Passion & Serendipity Bring an Entrepreneurial Trio Together
The founders of Creature Comforts together shared a love of craft beer and a long-held dream of opening their own brewery. David Stein began as a home brewer in college with an unquenchable passion for beer. He turned pro after years of diligently honing his craft, while creating an underground brand of beers. He called it “Creature Comforts” to celebrate the fact that beer itself is a creature comfort.
Stein partnered with geneticist turned production brewer Adam Beauchamp, an accomplished home brewer and friend who worked for SweetWater Brewing Company. They were joined by sales, finance and business operations veteran Chris Herron, who dedicated his 12+ year career to the beer and beverage alcohol industry.
At Creature Comforts, the trio would engineer a brewery that is helping craft beer change the way Americans enjoy beer. The winning formula is the ability to consistently make finely balanced artisanal brews, craft innovative flavors that drinkers crave, embrace authentic branding and create lasting impact in the community through forward-thinking initiatives.
A Brand Inspired by Curiosity, Empathy and Sustainability
Creature Comforts celebrates the journey of being curious, pursuing one’s passion, working hard, finding happiness and, ultimately, enjoying the creature comforts of life. Its culture is deeply collaborative and empathetic, offering beers that are innovative, yet authentic. Creature Comforts also embraces eco-friendly practices.
An Award-Winning Brewery in Athens, Ga.
Since launching in 2014, Creature Comforts has embraced brewing beers that are innovative and balanced. For example, Tropicália® was on the front end of the less bitter IPA trend and focused more on the citrus and tropical aromatics from the hops. Beer fans and critics alike responded enthusiastically, both in their home base of Athens, Ga., and throughout the state. Their beers are frequently crowned as the best in their category and the brewery the best in Georgia. As a result of their success, Creature Comforts opened their second production brewery in 2018 to keep up with demand. The world class brewery houses top-of-the-line brewing equipment, a full science lab and a canning line capable of filling 280 cans per minute.
Charitable Initiatives Generate $2 Million of Value and Major Community Impact
Creature Comforts’ purpose is to foster human connection and sees its beer as a means of creating these ties. One of the company’s values is to “Make It Better” and, as such, the company is deeply committed to ensuring its local community is better because Creature Comforts is there. Its groundbreaking strategic impact programs, “Get Comfortable,” targeting those most in need, “Get Artistic,” supporting the arts, and “Brew For One,” an annual beer initiative helping one worthy individual, have generated $2 million of value for the Athens, Ga. community. These programs will also be a force for good in Los Angeles when the new brewery and taproom open in Summer 2021.
Pivoting During COVID-19 and Staying True to the Company’s Values
During the pandemic, the brand leaned into its core values, such as “Make It Better,” “Leave a Legacy,” and “People over Products.” The result was nimbly pivoting to offer drive-through pickup of select beers to satisfy thirsty locals and beginning production of hand sanitizer, for which they donated over 1,000 bottles to 37 nonprofit partner organizations at no cost. The brewery also distributed $135,000 through its “Get Comfortable” fund to local nonprofits and participated in a global brewing collaboration that supported service industry workers.
Making Beer Sustainably in Athens, Ga.
Creature Comforts embraces eco-friendly practices to minimize power usage and waste. This includes using solar power for 70 percent of the brewery’s needs and extensive LED lighting. Highly-efficient, fully automatic brewing equipment also economizes energy use, as does heat recovery in the brewhouse. In addition, spent grain goes to local cattle farms, resulting in a 99 percent total waste diversion from landfills.
A Serendipitous Tasting by an Award-Winning Film Director & Entrepreneur
Call it fate or pre-destiny, award-winning film director Joe Russo was in Atlanta shooting the blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War. Joe’s assistant at the time, a Georgia native, brought his attention to Tropicália®, Creature Comforts’ flagship brew that famously sold out within an hour of hitting store shelves when it launched. On his first sip, Russo was immediately hooked and became the ultimate fan, along with his cast and team. The production crew regularly waited in line to purchase six-packs that they then brought back to the set. Russo, who is always seeking new creative talent to celebrate, set out to meet Creature Comforts’ founders. Upon sharing meals and beers together, he discovered the great people behind the excellent brewery that he adored.
From Athens, Ga., to the Pinnacle of Movie History
To salute Creature Comforts’ behind-the-scenes role in the filmmaking process, Russo gave their Tropicália® and Athena beers a cameo in Avengers: Endgame, which had the most successful box office debut in history. In the film, the brews are enjoyed by no less than Thor, the heroic lead character played by Chris Hemsworth. Russo has a calling for finding amazing individuals who are outstanding at their craft and spotlighting their creations. 
Back in Los Angeles, Serendipity Strikes Again and a Partnership Emerges
Upon returning to Los Angeles, Russo serendipitously discovered a space in the same development as his AGBO production company that was zoned for a brewery. He knew that Creature Comforts had an eye on the city as an expansion market and reached out to the team. Over time, many conversations and beers, they decided to collaborate and build a Creature Comforts brewery in Los Angeles. The goal of the partnership is simply to empower the Creature Comforts team to succeed in their first expansion and help expose more people to this top-quality beer.
“Creature Comforts beers are some of the best I've ever had,” says Russo. “I was taken by the beers on their own, but when I met the team behind the brews, their standards as great human beings matched their standards as exceptional beer makers. I fell in love with their work ethic and their caring attitude towards their customers and employees, as well as their commitment to social causes. I think people in LA are going to value the way Creature Comforts builds community. Equally important, they're going to love the beer as much as I do.”


Creature Comforts is an Athens, Georgia based brewery offering finely balanced artisanal beers. Since opening its doors in April 2014, Creature Comforts has made an imprint in the craft beer community with its award-winning, year-round and limited release beers. Committed to its local community, Creature Comforts has generated over $2 million of value for Athens through its “Get Comfortable,” “Get Artistic” and “Brew For One” programs. The company will be opening a brewery and taproom in Los Angeles in Summer 2021. To learn more about Creature Comforts, visit and follow the company on Facebook at, Instagram at @creaturecomfortsbeer and Twitter at @creaturebeer.



Friday, June 5, 2020

A List of Social Justice Organizations to Donate To

The Grass Roots Law Project is just one of the many to choose from. 

Straight and to the point, here are a few of the many initiatives, organizations and non-profit entities you can support for justice, fairness, equality and human rights. I will be posting more. 

A partial list of Social Justice Organizations to support and donate to:
·         JUST Georgia:
·         Atlanta Solidarity Fund:
·         Women on the Rise:
·         Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative:
·         National Bail Out (Southerners on New Ground):
·         Grass Roots Law Project:
·         Color of Change:
·         Black Voters Matter Fund:
·         Movement for Black Lives Matters
·         Fair Fight:
·         Know Your Rights Camp:


My Black-Owned Breweries Article

I wanted to repost this Thrillist article which has received a lot of love as of late due to what much of America is going through, realizing and wanting to make a difference. Stay tuned for more lists of Black-owned businesses and progressive initiatives  that could use your support as well. 
I thank you.

Black-owned breweries you should check out and support:

Harlem BlueNew York, NY
Harlem Brewing Co. New York, NY
Mack BrewingPhiladelphia, PA 
Patuxent Waldorf, MD
Rhythm BrewingNew Haven, CT
Sankofa Washington, DC
Soul MegaWashington, DC
Union Craft Baltimore, MD
Shout out to Brooklyn Brewery Brooklyn, NY, which is not black-owned but is helmed by trailblazing brewmaster Garrett Oliver

Cajun Fire New Orleans, LA
Dirtbag Ales Hope Mills, NC
Down Home Brewing Atlanta, GA
Green Bench St. Petersburg, FL
Khonso Brewing Atlanta, GA
Spaceway Rocky Mount, NC
Weathered Souls San Antonio, TX

New England
Brazo Fuerte Watertown, MA
Rhythm Brewing New Haven, CT
White Lion Springfield, MA

Black Frog Holland, OH
ONE Fermentary and Taproom Minneapolis, MN

West Coast
Crowns and Hops Opening soon in Inglewood, CA
Metier Woodinville, WA
Warcloud Los Angeles, CA


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Peep the ‘All Together’ movement in the beer industry!

Other Half Brewing has hundreds of fellow breweries providing relief to struggling hospitality workers worldwide!


How have my people been doing during this incredibly challenging time? I hope all is well.

Over here, I’ve been maintaining and staying hella busy while adjusting to this new lifestyle we have been forced to endure in 2020. While my posts on Twitter and especially Instagram have been fairly routine, keeping this website updated based on weekly occurrences has been an interesting task to maintain. Regardless, when something of great magnitude comes into my lap—particularly in the brewing industry—I have to show love.

Enter: All Together
This movement truly hits home. Initiated by Brooklyn’s own Other Half Brewing, they have invited breweries around the world to make a beer loosely based around an “open-source” IPA recipe, and then can and sell their interpretation with the goal of contributing a significant portion of the proceeds to support “hospitality professionals in each brewery’s own community” according to what they sent me directly. As of this posting, check out how many participants globally have joined the cause. Whoa!
In my home state of Georgia, numerous breweries have jumped on board, including a few delicious joints I’ve had the pleasure to sip including Halfway Crooks, Creature Comforts, Wild Heaven, Sceptre, Six Bridges, Georgia Beer, Pontoon, Southbound, Two Tides, Chattabrewchee and my homies at Service Brewing. This is not only dope, but truly necessary and I applaud everyone who has taken part.
Please hit up the link for more information here: All Together.

Support, stay healthy, and maintain. We will all get through this.

Your Bro,


Monday, March 16, 2020

Steer Me! Car Reviews Part 5: 2020 models making their presence

Subaru and Mercedes-Benz make sure this year is one of their best! 
With 2020 reaching its, well, eventful first quarter, carmakers Subaru and Mercedes-Benz show no signs of complacency with new additions to their already revered portfolio. You know my contributors and I do our best to let you know what the best new options are for the road while exploring the world on four wheels, so here we go:

2020 Subaru Outback Limited XT
Besides Subaru’s noteworthy loyalty of their customer base, corporations have made especially the Outback model one of the short list of car options to use for work. Why? Along with the carmaker’s remarkable reputation for reliability over the years, the value, road adaptability, customer service, and practicality have always kept the brand in high regards.
Well now, the sixth generation of the Outback SUV not only sports subtle physical changes sitting on 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, but substantial upgrades in the technology department, including the STARLINK 11.6-inch multimedia touchscreen; across-the-board smartphone integration; and DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System to ensure eyes are kept where they’re supposed be and combat fatigue. We also love the leather-adorned interior; dual USB ports for the rear console; Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity; Lineartronic CVT; hands-free power rear gate; and All-Weather package to make sure we combat any inclement environs confidently. All in all, this midsize SUV is a winner with a very fair price tag around $38K.
Keep the subcompact 2020 Crosstrek and Legacy sedan in mind as well. In an extremely popular segment, the Crosstrek model is one of the most comfortable, spacious, and generous cargo spaces when it comes to packing for long trips. An advanced, yet user-friendly infotainment system seals the deal to make it one of the most sound decisions when purchasing a new auto.
The 2020 Legacy has added some extra muscle.

The top-of-the-line 2020 Legacy Limited XT also makes an impression, boasting not only the new, aforementioned STARLINK touchscreen and similar XT benefits, but also LED steering responsive headlights, increased passenger legroom, and a muscle-flexing 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER DOHC engine pumping out up to 260 horses. Even with the power boost, this sedan still averages 27 miles per gallon combined.
Also note that Subaru proudly announces that their Legacy and Outback are built on the “Subaru Global Platform, which offers increased safety, dynamics and quietness as well as reduced noise, vibration and harshness” for the win, according to their website.
For more information on Subaru’s game-changing 2020 models, visit


2020 Mercedes GLE350 4Matic SUV
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350 4Matic SUV is as stunning on the road as it is on the showroom floor. This head turner garnered attention at stoplights and in parking lots throughout Atlanta as I drove the Brilliant Blue Metallic beauty through the streets. With 24-hour roadside assistance, advanced airbag protection system and the Pre-Safe Predictive Occupant Protection System, that prepares and protects the vehicle and passengers before an accident takes place. Using the sensors placed strategically throughout the vehicle, the system senses when an unavoidable collision is about to take place and will begin tightening seat belts, closing windows, and adjusting head restraints to protect passengers.
I felt very safe in this vehicle whether riding alone or with friends and family. With a 2.0 Inline turbo engine and 255 horsepower with 273 lbs. of torque, this car was just as dynamic under the hood as it is inside the vehicle. Further regarding the interior, Mercedes brings their traditional luxury standard with the soft black Nappa leather seats and a natural grain oak interior wood trim; 12.3 wide screen display; touchpad with Apple Car Play and Android Auto with full Bluetooth capabilities; heated and ventilated front seats; and heated steering wheel. Pampering optional features include the 20-inch, 5-spoke wheels with black accents; heated rear seats; surround sound and view system; four-zone automatic climate control; and soft-close doors. With a combined city and highway of 22 miles per gallon, this luxurious vehicle does not skimp on the amenities and ensures a great driving experience. But then again, that’s what Mercedes-Benz has provided us for decades.

For more information, visit
- Andrea Janise 


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Nappy Roots Returns and Arches Brewery relaunch Kentucky Mud Chocolate Milk Stout!

Now Available on tap and in cans today, March 14, from 1 pm–9 pm!
If you don’t know by this point, get a late pass: The Nappy Roots are not only my brothers who rep ATL and their home state of Kentucky to the fullest, but they truly give a shit about craft beer.
Since they reached out to me for their first collaboration with Monday Night years ago to witness their hands-on brewing, their dedication has increased tremendously by traveling throughout the U.S. and making beer with some of the best breweries out there. And you know what? Every single one of their liquid concoctions has been impressive. Now it’s time for a relaunch of an extremely popular one they did alongside the burgeoning Arches Brewing out of Hapeville, Georgia—the limited-edition Kentucky Mud Nitro Chocolate Milk Stout at 6.6%—on tap and in cans today, Saturday, March 14, from 1 pm–9 pm.
The Nappy Roots’ collective taste in beer is no joke; this is not a gimmick what they’re doing. Their passion is genuine. Come support. Plain and simple. Below is the official press release. See you at Arches!

Grammy-Nominated Nappy Roots Returns to Arches Brewery With Their Craft Beer Collaboration Now Available in Cans

Kentucky Mud recognizes the band’s historical roots; Launch event March 14

Grammy-nominated Nappy Roots and Arches Brewery are hosting a one-day craft beer event on Saturday, March 14 from 1 pm – 9 pm, to celebrate the limited-edition beer relaunch of Kentucky Mud – a brewery-only release available on tap and in cans. The stout celebrates the band’s historical roots, being founded in Kentucky and settling in Atlanta.

The band will be onsite to meet fans at Arches Brewery (3361 Dogwood Dr., Hapeville) for a day of sharing beers with friends, staying warm by the fire pits, and enjoying food from Good Azz Food. At 6 pm, the evening events will continue with the opening of Arches Brewing’s second art exhibition of the 2020 season (“Looking for the Southeast”) that will be accompanied by live music from The Human DJ.

“We are excited to sit back with our fans to relax and enjoy the day drinking a beer we are very proud of creating,” said Skinny Deville, one of the founding members of Nappy Roots. “Having our creation back in stock at Arches is dope and we’re excited that craft beer fans will be able to take some home since it will now be available in cans.”

Kentucky Mud is a creatively brewed Nitro Chocolate Milk Stout with an ABV of 6.6%. Its foundation is rich and chocolaty, accompanied by sweet nutty flavors. The light roasted notes are layered with the addition of lactose, which brings a frothy creaminess. A generous dose of cocoa nibs and bourbon-soaked vanilla beans put the final touch on this adventurous style.

The band began experimenting with their home brewery, Atlantucky, which fermented their passion for microbrewing. During the past several years, they have mass-produced numerous beers across the country. In addition, the group is in the initial stages of developing a reality show that will follow the band as they visit craft breweries in markets they perform.

The Nappy Roots were nominated for two American Music Awards (AMA) in 2003: Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Hip-Hop/R&B and Favorite New Artist – Hip-Hop/R&B. That same year, they were also nominated for Best New Artist at the Soul Train Award. In 2011, Southern Entertainment Awards nominated their album The Pursuit of Nappyness for Album of the Year. The band’s most recent album, Another 40 Akerz, was released in 2017. 

For more information, please visit or


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Peep my new article for Thrillist on Black-owned breweries!

Thrillist provides the opportunity to give this issue more light and I happily jumped on it.

Peace Fam.

Here is my latest piece and I hope you dig it. I am already getting a lot of feedback since waking up this morning and getting a sea of texts about it. It's rewarding to say the least, but the grand prize is giving Black breweries some love in such a major media resource like Thrillist. I want to thank Food & Drink Editor Adriana Valez for providing the opportunity to make it happen, along with everyone who helped me put this article together.
I will say that I am certain there are more breweries out there that may not have been mentioned in the article, so please send me your info so that the list will be even more complete in the future. And for those that were mentioned, keep on pushing. Craft beer is for everyone.

Your bro,


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

More dope happenings for VDay and beyond in ATL!

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day or simply dope happenings around Atlanta, here are more great options to consider!
(Xoxolatl pictured above is just one of the many
who will make sure you're good in February.)

Yep! Like I said, I got you! These great deals, events and retail items are all happening during the month of February! Get it in!


99 Krog St NE

Available through February – Lost-n-Found Youth Trio

Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate is teaming up with Lost-n-Found Youth, a local nonprofit that exists to end homelessness for LGBTQ+ youth, throughout the month of February to launch the Lost-n-Found Youth Trio, a special chocolate bundle featuring three of the shop’s most beloved bars: Ripple Effect, Peru 70% Single Origin and Kissed Mermaids.

The Lost-n-Found Youth Trio is available for purchase through the end of the month at or at Xocolatl’s micro-factory at Krog Street Market. For every set sold at $25, Xocolatl will donate 30 percent of its proceeds to the charity.

1073 Green St (Roswell) / 160 N Main Street (Alpharetta)

Through February - Red Envelope Promotion

Back by popular demand for a second year, Monkey 68 and sister restaurant Monkey 68 Kitchen & Bar in Alpharetta have brought back the red envelope! Throughout the month of February, guests who dine at either restaurant will be handed a sealed red envelope at the end of the meal that holds a special offer to open with their server at their next visit. Prizes include a free signature sushi roll for each month of 2020, a free cocktail for each month of 2020, 20 percent off one visit, a free appetizer and two grand prizes for the luckiest - dinner for a party of 10 or a chef-prepared omakase dinner for two. All envelopes are redeemable through the end of 2020.

50 S Main St. (Alpharetta)

Six Alpharetta City Center restaurants, including Holmes, Lapeer and South Main Kitchen, are teaming up to host a Mardi Gras Bar Crawl on February 22nd! Festivities will include Nola-inspired cocktails and bites at each restaurant, in addition to Mardi Gras beads, dancing, live music in the South Main Kitchen alley, and more. Tickets ($50) are available here.

Every Sunday, 11:30am-2:30pm – Brunch at Holmes

Every Sunday, Executive Chef Taylor Neary serves a brunch menu from 11:30am-2:30pm. Served alongside the restaurant’s regular lunch menu, specials for the next few Sundays include:

  • Huevos Rancheros - Crispy corn tortilla, refried black beans, eggs sunny side up, pico de gallo, Mexican crema, cotija cheese and tajin

  • Proper breakfast - Marinated 7-oz New York strip, eggs a la carte, cheesy hash browns and jalapeño cream

  • Brunswick Stew - New York strip, chicken, pulled pork, corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, smokey broth and sourdough toast
    Advance reservations can be placed over the phone or on Resy here.
    6330 Halcyon Way, Suite 740 (Alpharetta)
    Now Available – New Menu Items
    Tocayo, the fast-casual taco stand inside the food hall at Halcyon, is now serving new menu items including a Burrito with organic rice, heirloom pinto beans, street corn, housemade cheese, tomato, cilantro, onion and garlic crema; Quesadillas with chicken, pork, steak or fish; and Housemade Queso. In addition, the Taco Plate - served with choice of three tacos - now includes rice and beans. View the full menu here
    *NEW* Every Tuesday – Half-Priced Taco Tuesday
    Every Tuesday, enjoy half-off tacos from Tocayo. Selections include: 

  • Steak with onion & cilantro
  • Chicken with onion & cilantro
  • Pork with grilled pineapple, onion & cilantro
  • Fish with roasted chile, cabbage, garlic crema, cilantro & star dust
  • Mushroom with poblano, garlic crema, queso fresco, onion & cilantro
    299 N. Highland Ave.
    Sat., Feb. 29, 6:30pm - 1:30am – Atlanta United FC Season Opener Watch Party
    Hampton + Hudson is one of three locations hosting an official season opener watch party with Atlanta United FC’s pub partnership program. To kick off the season, they’re throwing a watch party complete with beer and food specials, a DJ, Atlanta United swag and raffle prizes, patio games and more. Plus, the Atlanta United Street Team will be onsite hosting fun activities. Starting at 8pm, the match will be played on all TVs at the restaurant (with sound!), and afterward, the party will continue with post-match revelry including a live DJ until 1am and late night bites until 1:30am.
    675 Ponce de Leon Ave.
    Everyday, 3-6pm – Brezza Adds $2 E.L. McIntosh & Son Oysters to Happy Hour Menu
    Brezza Cucina's daily happy hour offers guests $6 seasonal burrata dishes and $2 oysters sourced from E.L. McIntosh & Son oysters, a minority- and family-owned oyster farm in Harris Neck, Georgia that sells their oysters in only a handful of Atlanta restaurants.

    656 N. Highland Ave.

    Mon., Feb. 24, 6pm until Sold Out – Ramen Night Collaboration with Lazy Betty
    Sweet Auburn BBQ and Lazy Betty are teaming up for a special pop-up ramen night from 6pm until they're sold out on Monday, February 24. Chefs Lino Yi of Lazy Betty and Nick Dresser of Sweet Auburn BBQ will dish up Smokey Tonkatsu Ramen with two topping options and other Japanese snacks alongside Japanese whiskeys. Sweet Auburn BBQ’s regular menu will also be served.
    1530 Dekalb Ave. NE
    Mon. Feb. 17, 5:30pm – Talat Market Pop-Up at Lazy Betty
    Talat Market Chefs Parnass Savang & Rod Lassiter are popping up at Lazy Betty and serving a Thai-inspired á la carte menu along with specialty cocktails. Seating is first come, first served.
    Mon., Mar. 30 – Collaboration Dinner with Chef Graham Campbell
    Lazy Betty’s team is teaming up Chef Graham Campbell to offer guests special seven- and 10-course tasting menus for one night only! Chef Ron Hsu and Graham Campbell originally met on Netflix’s The Final Table. Campbell has worked in several acclaimed kitchens in England and Scotland, including the Ballachulish House, which earned a Michelin star while he led the kitchen. Most recently, he served as Executive Chef at Castlehill in Dundee, Scotland. At the dinner, guests can expect dishes like New Zealand Venison with beetroot, kale and juniper from Campbell and Foie Gras Terrine with preserved persimmons and petite salad from Lazy Betty’s team. Wine pairings curated by sommelier Michael McNeill – the only level 4 sommelier in Georgia – will also be available. The seven-course menu is $140 per person, and the ten-course Chef’s counter menu is $180 per person, which is inclusive of service. Reservations can be made here.
    255 Ottley Dr. NE

    New Seasonal: From Atlanta With Love
    East Pole invites guests to elevate their usual coffee order with something truly worth falling for, a seasonal latte made especially for Valentines Day. Featuring a house-made syrup with fresh blood orange, muddled raspberries and a touch of orange bitters and vanilla, the tasty latte is garnished with Xocolatl’s “Love and Happiness” chocolate heart crumbles.
    East Pole x Xocolatl Valentine’s Day Bundle
    East Pole and Xocolatl are joining forces to offer guests the perfect Valentine’s Day gift - a bundle of one bag of Traffic and one commuter bar for $20. Photos available here. Xocolatl will also be making an appearance at East Pole with a chocolate tasting from 10am to noon on Valentine's day! 
    Fadó Irish Pub has thrown their St. Patrick’s Day Outdoor Block Party since 1996, and this year is no exception. The event will feature outdoor beer and cocktail stations as well as food trucks, performances from Irish Dancers, soccer, Six Nations Rugby, live music and a DJ playing all afternoon and night. Pre-sale tickets ($20) are now available here and will be available for purchase at the door. Festivities will begin at 7am with English Premier League soccer and Six Nations Rugby matches on televisions, and Atlanta United will be on starting at 7:30pm.

    Tues., Mar. 17, 7am - Close St. Patricks Day at Fadó Irish Pub
    Fadó Irish Pub will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with “Kegs and Eggs” at 7am and live music and Irish dance performances throughout the day. Starting at 4pm, the celebration will be 21+ with a $10 cover at the door. Live music by Desire will begin at 8pm, and a DJ will perform from 10:30pm to close.
    1465 Howell Mill Rd. NW

    Every Thursday, 4-9:30pm – Pints & Popcorn
Every Thursday at their Westside tasting room, UrbanTree Cidery pairs a seasoned popcorn flavor with one of their hard ciders! Follow on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date on the flavors of the week.
UrbanTree Cidery is teaming up with Ghost Coast Distillery on February 20 for a collaborative happy hour featuring specialty cocktails made with Ghost Coast spirits and UrbanTree’s cider. The Ghost Coast Distillery team will be on-site to meet, greet and give out complimentary swag!

9 South Main Street (Alpharetta)

Every Thursday – Half-Priced Bottles of Wine
Stop in on Thursdays at South Main Kitchen for select half-priced bottles of wine to enjoy alongside the full menu of fresh Southern cuisine like Shrimp & Grits with Anson Mills stone-ground white grit cake, parmesan, conecuh sausage, Georgia shrimp, cream & chive and Cheshire Pork Porterhouse with turnip puree, fingerling potato, apple slaw and natural jus
675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Fri., Feb. 14 through Sat., Mar. 14 – Girl Scout Cookie Sales at Ponce City Market
Girl Scout cookie sales are coming back to The Shed at Ponce City Market! Beginning Valentine’s Day through March 14, The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will be rotating troops and hosting cookie sales at The Shed adjacent to the Beltline every Friday (4-7pm), Saturday (9am-6pm) and Sunday (9am-6pm).
Sat., Feb. 22 – Mardi Gras on The Roof
Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler! Mardi Gras on the Roof at Ponce City Market is back on Saturday, February 22. They’ll be tossing beads, serving Cajun favorites like Louisiana Gumbo and pouring Hand Grenades and Hurricanes all day long to the sweet sounds of Trio Jockamo featuring Will Scruggs. Until 2pm, family fun will be all around with face painting, arts and crafts and kid’s snacks, and beginning at 3pm, adults and children can partake in The Crawfish Boil for an additional charge. From 7-10pm, the Crawfish Boil is 21+ only. Tickets ($35-55) are available for pre-sale here, with limited availability to purchase day-of. Mardi Gras on The Roof is sponsored by Treaty Oak Distilling. Plus, those looking for a Sunday morning pick-me-up following the party can attend 9 Mile Station’s Mardi Gras Recovery Brunch on Sunday, February 23 featuring a live jazz trio and FunkCake! 
Sat., Feb. 22, Noon-4pm – Williams Sonoma Wedding Expo: Atlanta
From the perfect cake to the best florist in town, Williams Sonoma is bringing together their favorite local wedding vendors with their own trusted brands for a Wedding Expo like no other. Guests can register here to enjoy a day of exciting live cooking demonstrations, small bites and champagne.
1317 Logan Cir NW.

Now Available – New Contender Round 2 
Second Self’s second addition to their rotating hazy IPA series, New Contender, is available in cans at the brewery as of today! The New Contender series pins two hops against each other within each release or “round” to “battle it out” for a remaining spot for the next round. Inspired by classic fighting video games, a favorite pastime for many at Second Self, the purpose of the series is to experiment and introduce a new two-hop blend during the brewing process to create unique flavor combinations. The original duo that was available in Second Self’s taproom and around Atlanta featured El Dorado and Mosaic hops. Now, El Dorado and Idaho 7 hops will battle it out to see which stands out. Stay tuned for the results!
Malibu Doyle Now Available in the Taproom
“Malibu Doyle,” a 13.9% ABV Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout named after Second Self co-founder Chris Doyle, is now available on draft in Second Self’s Westside taproom! The beer is a spinoff of the brewery’s classic Olde Oyl beer, except this batch is aged in rum barrels with roasted coconut. 
Every Week – Student Sundays
Second Self is introducing “Student Sundays” in their taproom, where 21+ students are invited to bring their student ID to receive three pints and a six pack for $15. They are also offering a special Second Self Lyft code for 50 percent off rides.


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