Friday, September 21, 2018

The 8th Annual Great Atlanta Beer Fest is coming!

It goes down at the new Georgia State Stadium on October 13th, 1-5  pm. I’m there!
I am always having a blast at the Atlanta Beer Festival events hanging with fellow Georgia beer geeks and sipping what’s new. Well the 8th annual Great Atlanta Beer Fest is coming Saturday, October 13th from 1-5 p.m. With more than 150 beers to choose from, plus over 25 wines, ciders, live music by the talented DJ Q-tip, games, and food available for purchase, it should be crazy as usual. (Peep the sippin’ list here.) What’s even more dope is that this is taking place at the newly flipped Georgia State Stadium—you know, the Braves’ old stompin’ grounds of Turner Field? (755 Hank Aaron Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30315)
For tickets, get the early bird joints! Here is the info:
Tix are $40 in advance, $45 after October 4th, and $50 at the gate. (Sales tax and ticket fees will be added.) For more deets and whatever, hit up the official website:

See ya there!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Monday Night Brewing deals with backlash from GA governor candidate Kemp's visit.

I talk directly with MNB co-founder Jonathan Baker about it.

So I woke up this morning ready to post my new Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’ video I did with SweetWater Brewing, but I got a couple calls and texts about Monday Night Brewing “hosting an event” with the very controversial Georgia Secretary of State and governor candidate Brian Kemp. I thought I should get this out the way before showing y'all how much fun I had at 'Water and end the week on a good note. 
Now I try to stay away from politics when in the beer scene—or pretty much any public atmospheres—because it can get heated and passions can escalate especially in Georgia. I just know who I am voting for and want the best for where I live and beyond. We need things to get better. Period.
Anyway, with such a history being associated with Monday Night over the years including posting one of my first blog posts covering their homebrewing events on Mondays in ATL in 2010 here, hosting my company’s first Heroes Villains comic art exhibit, documenting their numerous collaborations with Nappy Roots like this, plus numerous other instances, the news did concern me. No lie. So before I could reach out to see what the deal was, I saw this Tweet from Monday Night that linked to this post on their site about their "Core Beliefs." It was well written in my opinion. They also objectively included a link to this article by Atlanta Magazine which gave me a better idea of what went down. After I read both inserts, I texted Monday Night co-founder Jonathan Baker (who I just had brews with two days ago at their original location to sample the new Piranha Dealer IPA), and asked him if he wrote the press release. He said he did and then we continued a lengthy discussion. We talked about what went down and how we both agreed it was indeed a mistake because they have done so much to diversify their audience. (Let’s just say Kemp continues to enforce the impression that racial harmony is not one of his priorities as governor.) With MNB setting up their second location called the Garage in the predominately Black section of the historic West End, having the aforementioned Nappy Roots partnerships, and my good friend Mike Jordan’s monthly LIT book karaoke event alongside his wife Jacinta to name just a few of the instances solidifies what their true mission appears to be as an Atlanta brewing company.
Jonathan definitely sounded regretful of how things went down and are currently perceived, which fueled his spirited write up disclosing what the brewery's true ideologies are. He also mentioned they had an event they were working on with Kemp’s opposition, Stacey Abrams, prior to the Kemp visit but decided not to include that in his write up; he kept the focus on their overall values. He also said this to me:

“We messed up. We didn’t fully think through our decision to allow the NFIB to endorse Kemp at our facilities, I completely understand people’s concern. We have been doing some soul searching as owners and hope to make it up to people through our actions moving forward.”
-          Jonathan Baker, Co-Founder of Monday Night

So with that, let’s see how things progress. I trust they will do the right thing. In the meantime, due to my years of experience with Jonathan and the rest of the Monday Night crew including everyone from their tap pullers to brewmaster Peter, we will still have brews together. And maybe leave politics out of it.
Most importantly, please make sure y’all vote.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Brooklyn Mansion is coming to ATL!

Get your tickets here!
Photo by Ty Worthington
You know I love dope beer events and this is definitely one of ‘em!
Cheers Y’all!
One of the most renowned craft breweries in the world, Brooklyn Brewery, is making more movies than a mobile with their gangster ‘Mansion’ party that travels throughout the U.S. When I first heard about this concept, I knew it was something a lot different from your typical tastings, beer festivals, tap takeovers, you name it. Well below is the breakdown and I am attending the Atlanta version next Friday, September 14th at 787 Windsor in Mechanicsville (see the sidebar for more info and tickets), as well as its Pre-Party at Victory the night before. Go here to get your tickets. The next one after that will be in Minneapolis on October 26-27.
Check this official write up straight from the Brooklyn Brewery website. 
See you there!

Welcome To Beer Mansion 2018 

Brooklyn Brewery says: We are lucky enough as drinkers to exist in an unparalleled golden age of beer. The beverage itself has been a part of human life since the dawn of time. But this era of nearly unlimited choice, experimentation, style worship and iconoclasm, storytelling, and sheer fun has never existed before. As brewers, we think is something worth celebrating, and worth celebrating on a massive scale. Every day finds a new beer release, a brewery opening, a favored bartender holding down a shift, a revamped tasting room strutting its stuff, a birthday party, or simply a few kegs of something tasty. We love those parties. From the highest brows to the lowest dives, the loudest shows to the humblest game nights, the camaraderie and passion are a continual source of inspiration.

Plus, there's beer. Like, a lot of beer. And that's inspiring too.

Beer Mansion combines our favorite parties into one. There are four distinct celebrations within the Mansion's walls: The Show, The Bazaar, The Arcade, and The Speakeasy. Each of these represents a certain type of party experience, and all of them celebrate beer. On any other night, you would have to pick and choose which you would attend, but inside Beer Mansion it's as simple as walking down the hall. Each room is filled with games, music, tech, surprises, and of course, beer from us and some of our local friends in each city.
The most important thing to remember at Beer Mansion is that there is no "right way" to experience it. Poke around, find your favorite spots, and try as many beers as catch your eye.

The only "wrong way" is to stand still. And honestly, even then you'd probably have a lot of fun.

Catch us on the road this year and come explore. We'll be waiting for you.


Friday, August 31, 2018

Hit up the One MusicFest next weekend in ATL!

Along with all of the other guests you see above including my bro NAS, Big Boi and Monica just got added to their gangster list!

Straight to  the point, One MusicFest is one of the dopest music festivals of the year! Get your tickets before it's a wrap. It's on September 8th and 9th and the website is Get your tickets here. There are still a few left including their posh VIP option. By the way, peep my Interviews With Brews segment with the founder J Carter we filmed last year here. It was a helluva good time.
See ya next weekend!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Movies you shouldn’t sleep on.

 Get your popcorn ready! (And brews if they serve ‘em.)
Spike Lee is bizzzzack with BlacKkKlansman!
(Photo by Vibe.)

Cheers Everyone!

It’s the weekend and I want to make sure for those of you wanting to get out of the house - whether you want to go on a date night, hang with the homies, or make it a solo flight- here are some movies worth checking out. Most of them I can happily say concluded with follow-up conversation and an overall relief that there are productions that still go outside the box a bit. This is especially true with Sorry To Bother You which I discuss a bit below. It was simply bugged out. Have an open mind for it and look for the hidden messages throughout the film.
Anyway, here are my picks of flicks while they are still in theaters—even if they're playing at the joints that charge a quarter of the original ticket price—along with the recent release of the heavily lauded BlacKkKlansman. My reviews are like you coming up to me and asking what I think or what I would post on my Instagram handle. (Go get a late pass if you don’t know it: @realalesharpton). My brother Lamont Byron aka L.K. breaks down Equalizer 2 for ya with a more descriptive assessment too.
One of the movies I haven’t had the chance to see yet that’s definitely on my agenda is Eighth Grade. It looks like my kind of humor and original writing. Stay tuned for that one.
Enjoy the weekend and beyond!
I say: Honestly, I get a little hesitant to see anything with “2” following it; the majority of the time, results are not favorable. But then again, anything Denzel signs on for is going to be solid at the least. D-Dub and his team do a stellar job of taking roles that dodge bombs. This one continues the trend with a lot of action, an original screenplay, some very necessary messages regarding today’s perception on the youth, relationships, and who to trust. Oh, and a lot of ass kicking perfectly balanced with Denzel’s gift as one of the greatest actors of all time. My kind of film.
Wait For It: The staircase scene.

Contributor L.K. Byron says…
The Equalizer 2 once again the extremely well-casted Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. Usually in the case of sequels, the original is hard to match. In this case, “a worthy follow-up to its predecessor,” would not be an understatement. After a few successful revenge jobs, McCall is settling into regular everyday life—the routine he yearns for. But that mission of peace unfortunately doesn’t last long after he finds out a close acquaintance has been harmed. McCall is now thrust into a warpath, and this time it’s even more personal. Unfortunately for his adversaries, they missed the memo: You don’t disrupt McCall’s bliss or harm those worthy of being in his inner circle. As viewers, we benefit from the mistakes of the wrongdoers as McCall’s spankings get more captivating and shocking as the movie ensues.
“From start to finish, Equalizer 2 is suspenseful, action packed, and seasoned with the perfect amount of unforced humor. You will not want to leave your seat once this thrill ride begins.”

Official Synopsis: Denzel Washington returns to one of his signature roles in the first sequel of his career. Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed - but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?
Run time: 125 minutes

Sorry To Bother You

I say: I really had no idea what this movie was about and felt I needed to go in with that mentality. No teasers, trailers, reviews from other folks…nada. I just know that you will bug out with the shockers they have in store. Alongside the humor and plethora of hidden messages, this is a very necessary film to address a lot of the racism, hard times financially, materialism, the influence of today’s media, and simply having a voice for what you believe in.
Wait For It: The company’s party throws a shocking curve ball. That’s all I can say.

Official Synopsis: Sorry To Bother You tells the story of Cassius Green, a 30-something telemarketer with self-esteem issues, who discovers a magical selling power living inside of him. Suddenly he’s rising up the ranks to the elite team of his company, a company which sells heinous products and services. The upswing in Cassius’s career raises serious red flags with his brilliant girlfriend, Detroit, a sign-twirling gallery artist. But the unimaginable hits the fan when Cassius meets the company’s cocaine-snorting, orgy-hosting, obnoxious, and relentless CEO, Steve Lift. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is unlike anything you have ever seen. It is a searing social satire about greed, racial dynamics and capitalism in a universe not unlike our own. Prepare yourself for something outrageous and totally original.

Run time: 107 minutes


I Say: From the jump, for someone who has had so much of an impact on my life, it was a no-brainer to attend the advanced media screening of Spike Lee’s latest project. An added bonus was continuing to witness John David Washington’s steady momentum of carving his own lane in the acting world and losing the initial label as Denzel’s son. To his credit though, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And that’s one hell of an accolade. Alongside Blumhouse, the homie Jordan Peele and his Monkeypaw team continue their incredible run as producers as well. Shout out to Adam Driver’s performance as well.
BlacKkKlansmen is based on a remarkably true story, provides some comforting laughs to balance out the seriousness of the film, and overall discloses how racism back then is sadly revitalized under today’s American “leadership.” Its frankness is truly timely and necessary.
Now a lot of viewers are claiming that this is the best movie Spike Lee has ever directed; considering Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, that is highly debatable, but evidently this film is stated in the same sentence as the aforementioned classics so it already wins. Definitely check it out and be affected. 
Wait For It: Spike’s signature low-angled, dolly shot.

Official Synopsis: It’s the early 1970s, a time of great social upheaval as the struggle for civil rights rages on. Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first African-American detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department, but his arrival is greeted with skepticism and open hostility by the department’s rank and file. Undaunted, Stallworth resolves to make a name for himself and a difference in his community. He bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan.
Posing as a racist extremist, Stallworth contacts the group and soon finds himself invited into its inner circle. He even cultivates a relationship with the Klan’s Grand Wizard, David Duke (Topher Grace), who praises Ron’s commitment to the advancement of White America. With the undercover investigation growing ever more complex, Stallworth’s colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), poses as Ron in face-to-face meetings with members of hate group, gaining insider’s knowledge of a deadly plot. Together, Stallworth and Zimmerman team up to take down the organization whose real aim is to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream.
Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award winning Get Out, BlacKkKlansman offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as bracingly relevant in today’s tumultuous world.
Run time: 135 minutes


 Mission:Impossible – Fallout
I say: If you want to get a good dose of action and see how Tom Cruise somehow still manages to jump out planes and avoid Father Time’s curses, this one’s for you.
Wait For It: Any action sequence, so I guess the whole movie.

Official Synopsis: The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
Run time: 110 minutes