Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hey, Brewtiful {Sweetwater 18 Belgian-Style Tripel}

"What would you expect from a couple of boys with more of a hankering for beer than for books?"*

Not this brewtiful baby.

Uncharacteristically understated, elegant, and complex when compared to their usual lineup, Sweetwater 18, a belgian-style tripel, celebrates Sweetwater's 18th anniversary.

Like a luscious and boozy present, the beer draws you in with its heady aroma on a first pass even before it reaches your lips; there's no hiding the 10% alcohol in this beer. Fermented using Ardennes yeast (the same used in Spinnerbait, a belgian-style red ale) the beer is balanced with subtle spiciness and mildly fruity esters that calls to be paired with something equally drool-worthy, like bacon-wrapped dates or a cheese plate dripping with walnuts and honey.

Golden and promising as its gilded label, this is definitely a beer worth singing about.

Sweetwater's founders are fond of the saying, "We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time," but eighteen profitable years is a legacy worthy of consideration. And with a sour in the works not far behind this celebratory release, Sweetwater's "good times" seem to have their sights set on a long future, one that caters to both saveur and those looking to just slam some beers.

If you haven't yet had your first taste, start searching for this pot of gold before it's gone (available in 750ml bottles and draft for a limited run).



A sample of Sweetwater 18 was provided as a courtesy to media for review. Heybrewtiful is not affiliated with Sweetwater Brewing Company and received no compensation or other undisclosed exchange for this promotion or review (a.k.a. nobody pays me to write this stuff). 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Six Better Names Than “Bomber” for a Big Bottle of Beer

With craft beer having emerged from its infancy in the United States, it’s time we reconsidered what we call those big 22-oz bottles of beer.

“Bombers.” Really? That’s the best we can do?

What’s Wrong with “Bomber”?

“Bomber” has all the wrong connotations for modern craft beer culture. First, it’s too close to an old phrase for indiscriminate drunkenness--“getting bombed”--that doesn't really fit with the quality-conscious and taste-focused message most craft brewers want to promote.

Second, when most people use the word “bomber” in general conversation, they aren't usually referencing something that builds community and spreads goodwill and cheer. It's true that when a buddy comes over with a couple of bombers, I'm not imagining military aircraft, suicidal fanatics, and Molotov cocktails. But do we really need such a thickheaded name for such a great thing?

Just for fun, let’s run through some alternatives. And before the “Leave Bombers Alone!” campaign revs up, let me point out that we already have some evocative names for other beer containers: barrel, keg, tun, firkin, and so on.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

{Blast from the Past} Suwanee Beer Fest

By the time March rolls around I'm ready to ditch my indoor drinking habits for some festival style sipping. And for me (and the rest of north-metro area) the Suwanee Beer Fest seems to be just what the drinking doctor ordered.

Get yourself some discounted festival fare for the occasion thanks to The Peach State Ale Trail who are offering up $20 for first time Uber riders! Just use code GAALETRAIL to take advantage of this offer.

In attendance two years and counting, here's five reasons you should kick off your house slippers and get sipping with it in Suwanee this March 14th:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Caren West: A Lady Who Loves Beer

Photo credit Teodora Nicolae
Naming her dad as her ideal drinking buddy, she says that although she prefers more hop-forward beers when given a beer list, she'll try just about anything (including drinking a PBR when the time calls for it). Hells yeah.

Celebrating nearly a decade of business in Atlanta handling public relations for some very beer-centric clients (including Wild Heaven, Frozen Pints, and Cypress Street Pint & Plate to name a few) this social butterfly really knows how to throw a party and is a powerhouse of positive energy and enthusiasm wherever she goes.

Meet Caren West: a lady who loves beer.

How did you end up in Atlanta, and do you think you'll stay for always?
"To make a very long story short: I graduated from Auburn University, so ended up spending a lot of time in Atlanta throughout my college career, but never thought I would make it my home. After I graduated, I spent one last glorious summer at the beach working at the Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island, moved to South Carolina for hot minute, and then the next thing I knew I found myself in Atlanta looking for jobs.

I love our city. I am so proud to live in Atlanta and own a business here. I don't see myself leaving any time soon (or really ever) other than buying property in other cities and the beach, but I will always have a home in Atlanta. I made a very conscious decision to open a business in Atlanta and will continue to do my best to support the community and all the incredible businesses and people who make our city so great."

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Craft Beer Report Card: Have We "Failed Our Female Fan Base"?

**This post has been updated with amendments to clarify an earlier version.

I'm rather fond of men. I happen to married to one, so that works in my favor.

The shaven, the non-shaven, the hipster and not-so-hipster--men in all their delightful array of loveliness, directness, stewardship, etc. That they happen to co-habit the culture of craft beer along with me is even more reason to raise my glass in celebration.

It has been MEN, among all my supporters, that have been some of my most loyal and consistent friends, and I am deeply glad for it. Although many a reader, writer, and editor inquiring about my site has attempted to frame it otherwise. (And yes, my Lady friends have also got my back. Holla!)

It's also worth mentioning that I have a son, and there is nothing about his maleness that offends me. It seems absurd to even have to make a statement like that. His boy-ness (yes, I'm possibly making up a word; deal with it) has been a gift to me, and if I'm being honest, also a relief--I feel far too inferior in the ways of womanhood to raise daughters.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Victoria Coombs: A Lady Who Loves Beer

Enrolled in full-time Art Direction studies, mother to seven children, and representing Georgia's Girls Pint Out in East Atlanta (and I thought I was busy), she's also the proud co-owner of Them Two Birds along with her husband Aaron. 

This Woman's crazy big heart, courageous spirit, and kickass work ethic is an inspiration to dream bigger, work harder, and love more--and I know I'm not alone in thinking so. 

Meet Victoria Coombs: a lady who loves beer!

Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Georgia? Do you think Atlanta will be your forever home?
"I was born and raised in Woodstock GA. My husband, Aaron, and I recently moved to downtown Atlanta and we love it. Although Georgia will always be home, I do not believe it will be my forever home. I would like to live all over the world once our children are grown."

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pretzels + Beer = Officially Good Together

Pretzels and beer. It's a combination that works, and when it comes to Knotty Pretzels, they're making things official.

Using the hashtag #theofficialpretzelofbeer, you can officially lend them your support by contributing to their Kickstarter campaign, which went live in November and expires December 14th.

They recently reached out to ask if I'd accept some free samples, and I agreed to give them a taste test. I got a chance to try samples of both their Zesty Italian and Hot Wing flavors, and both were a big hit in my house.

Kid-approved (even the hot wing flavor wasn't too hot for my four-year-old to handle), the herbs in the Zesty Italian, though not officially listed as an ingredient, had a subtle rosemary quality that I really enjoyed.

There's a good reason I don't keep snack foods like this around the house. I can't stop eating them! Although the two flavors they sent paired best with a Pale Lager or Imperial Pilsner in my opinion, an IPA or Pale Ale (depending on the hop profile) would not be out of place.

They have a quality crunch that outshines the bargain brands we usually bring home, and were reminiscent of the "fancy" bagged pretzel varieties I've brought home on occasion (like those mixed varieties with nuts and small sourdough crisps).

I'd love to see some more explicit pairing suggestions, and more variety--like pretzels dipped in dark chocolate paired with an Imperial Stout perhaps? Or sweet and spicy curry pretzels with something of the Belgian variety? Now I need beer, and pretzels.

I definitely recommend you give these a try. And if you get a chance, let the folks at Knotty Pretzels know what you think by posting your own impressions to any of their social media listed below.

Let Knotty Pretzels know what you think!


Full disclosure: The images and opinions here are my own. Although samples were provided for review, no paid sponsorship or endorsement exists between Knotty Pretzels and HEYBREWTIFUL. Sponsored posts and/or sending samples of your product for feedback or review does not guarantee or secure endorsement or favorable promotion. I will always give my honest feedback on all items regardless of paid sponsorship. Inquiries and other requests should be sent to the address listed on my contact page, with the understanding that not all requests will be accepted or considered. 


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