Monday, December 30, 2013

{Publik Draft House}: Your Beer On Tap

See more of my visit to Publik Draft House

In the early hours of a cold December morning, Eddie and his bar manager are already hard at work preparing for patrons of the Publik Draft House in downtown Atlanta. Despite his full schedule, Eddie pulls up stool to chat about The Great Southern Craft Beer Competition and his reasons for partnering with Monday Night Brewing.

A dabbler in homebrew himself, Eddie understands the hard work and craftsmanship that go into producing something competition worthy. "I've tried home brewing. I really appreciate how hard it is. The hand-crafted consistency. I've made a mess of it myself, so it really amazes me when someone can produce something quality over and over."

For Eddie, it's also about building stronger ties to his community. "If it weren't for the locals, we wouldn't be doing well. The locals make us. And although we've got the peach on our license plates, and all that, I don't know if I believe it. This sense of living local. There's local food here from farmers that we can't get. There are local beers I'd like to have on tap that aren't available. I want to have my restaurant reflect my community and give people a taste of home. The homebrew competition is part of that."

And in a little over two weeks, Eddie is going to get his wish. Monday Night Brewing will host a kickoff party to celebrate locally made beer and food.

Scheduled for January 19th, the kickoff event is open to the public. The tickets (a cost of $25) will buy you a souvenir pint glass, and free access to the event, including complimentary food, entertainment, and the chance to win a variety of prizes. Attendees will also receive 6 complimentary tastings of Monday Night Brewing beer, brewery tours and beer-based food pairings. To purchase tickets visit:

About the homebrew competition
The entry period for the Great Southern Craft Beer Competition begins January 19 and runs through March 15, 2014. Applicants must submit six bottles of their specialty home brew along with an entry fee of $10 per brew. There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted. The “Best in Show” winner will be selected by a panel of four judges and announced in April, winning the prize of distribution for one year in P.D.H. and $1,000.

Those interested in the Great Southern Craft Beer Competition celebration event or competition can visit or connect at

This is a sample sponsored post. No monies were exchanged for promotion or other services provided by heybrewtifulFor sponsored post pricing and details, please contact Jessica Miller at

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top 10 Moments {My First Year in Craft Beer}

I did something really hard, you guys. I made you a list. It was hard, but I did it. FOR YOU. This list is by no means a complete record of all the salsa dancin', sunscreen lovin', ice cream eating wonderfulness that occurred in the last year. But ya know--brevity. It's not my strong suit.

My first year in craft beer has been sort of epic. On the one hand, there have been some grand beer-related failures... like that one time I thought I'd brew a beer with beets (let's not bring that up at the dinner table, shall we?).

On the other hand? I'm just completely freaking blown away by the amazing bloggity-beer goodness that this inaugural year has entailed. Because for real you guys, I sort of only do this because I'm obsessive and neurotic and have a habit of talking to myself... something like that. You too, right? I promise, I can stop writing about beer annnny time I want. 

Seriously though, it's been an amazing whirlwind of a year. And although I'm not always certain of the "why" when it comes to figuring out what I'm doing with this precious little life of mine, I'm pretty sure craft beer was destined to be a part of it.

Without further ado, here they are, in the exact order that they came to mind, the BEST ten(ish) moments from the first year of HB.

1. The day Annie gave me her direct line.

2. The day they let me put radishes in the beer.

3. That one Monday, after hours, I spent sipping homebrew.

4. The afternoon I went to two Atlanta bars in one day.

5. The one time I got up close and personal with a box of wet hops.

6. The day I met the Duchess and interviewed a good friend.

7. The afternoon I got to spend photographing whiskey barrels.

8. The night craft beer gave me a taste of family.

9. The day I realized we're not an anomaly, but we are worth talking about.

10. Getting to witness so much amazingpositive press about women in the craft beer industry.

My list of most anticipated moments for 2014 is getting longer by the minute so it's time to toast the successful transfer of eggs to the fridge, or crack open that single-wide IPA for another round of research, or just, ya know, fold some laundry or something. Your pick. Until next time, my lovelies, I hope your glass is full, and your heart is open, and your passions are pouring just right.


Friday, December 20, 2013

{Update} with Sarah of Wild Heaven

As we inch ever closer to the new year I'm checking in with the ladies who made this first year of features a success. Here's what Wild Heaven Sarah had to say when I asked her for an update...

New developments…
In my personal life, I got engaged. At work, we are finally on the road to opening up in Avondale Estates! Major plumbing, trench drain, and some tile flooring went in most recently. It's really coming along well, and on-schedule. I'm confident we'll be open by early Spring 2014. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram for updates. We're so excited about the progress that we can't help but post about it as it's happening real-time.

New brew loves? Old favorites?
I have to say our Ode to Mercy Special Winter Ale turned out quite well this year but that's too easy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{Update} with Erin Lundmark of Jekyll Brewing

As we inch ever closer to the new year I'm checking in with the ladies who made this first year of features a success. Here's what Erin Lundmark had to say when I asked her for an update...

So, update. What's happened since we last checked in with you? Any new developments on the beer horizon?
Well, Jekyll Brewing opened in August. We've been very successful and well received. I'm doing all the sales, marketing, and special events. It's a full load, but it's a labor of love. As for new developments, we're finally at the point of being able to play around and make some fun stuff. Most of them will only be in the tap room for a bit, but we'll see what happens with them. We've got a Smoked Porter pouring right now, and a Foreign Export Stout that each of the brewers has taken a 1/6 barrel of and played with.

Monday, December 16, 2013

{Update} with Hops Diva: A Lady Who Loves Beer

As we inch ever closer to the new year I'm checking in with the ladies who made this first year of features a success. Here's what Hops Diva had to say when I asked her for an update... 

What's happened since we last checked in with you? 
In the last month, I’ve helped coordinate a beer festival, went to the GALS Christmas party/bottle exchange and attended the Summit's Wayside Tavern Georgia Brewer's Dinner at the Cumming and Snellville locations. Needless to say my liver and I have been busy.

Since you last checked in back in May, I wrangled volunteers for HOToberfest and the Wrecking Bar Brewpub's Strong Beer Festival, I attended my second GABF, I was a judge at SweetWater Brewing Company's Brew Your Cask Off for the third year and I started brewing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Innagural Strong Beer {Festivities}

click here to view more

It was a day of firsts staged to celebrate and raise funds for The Georgia Craft Brewer's Guild who are hard at work lobbying for changes to GA alcohol codes, most notably HB314.

If passed, the revised legislation would allow breweries and brewpubs to sell limited amounts of beer from their establishments for customers to take home (which under current law is illegal). For obvious reasons, both the craft beer consumer and the brewers of said beers are clamoring for change.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Update} with Sande Edwards: A Lady Who Loves Beer

As we inch ever closer to the new year I'm checking in with some of the ladies who made this first year of features a success.

I reached out to Sande Edwards, who has continued to entrench herself in the local Atlanta craft beer scene, to see if she'd be interested in speaking about her recent involvement with the Georgia Craft Brewer's Guild. Not only has she taken on the task of managing the social media for GCBG, but she's also been hard at work building her own presence on the web with her blog BeerHeadATL (check it out).

With Sande's help, GCBG has partnered with HeyBrewtiful to offer memberships directly through our site (see the ad top right). In exchange, they've offered me one year of free member benefits. Isn't that dandy? I admit, I did a jig.

AND I immediately bought tickets to the upcoming inaugural Strong Beer Fest at Wrecking Bar coming this Saturday, December 7th. Become of member of GCBG today and your ticket is only $20 with a special promo code!

See what else Sande had to say when I asked her for an update.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Give the Gift of Beer {A Guide}: Part 2

In the spirit of giving (and gifting), Atlanta's own @ATLbrewbabe has graciously agreed to share some of her top beer-centric gift ideas for the devoted imbiber in your life. Make sure to check out her individual posts for a more detailed overview of each item, and special promo codes. Thanks for sharing Gina! Click here for more gift ideas from ATLbrewbabe.

Last and most certainly not least are my last 5 gift suggestions. All these gifts are from small business and a few are hand-made--two qualities I greatly admire (and the reason I decided to create this gift guide). This holiday season connect with your community and give back by buying local.

6. Beer & Food Calendar by Heidi Schweigert (a.k.a. redcruiser) on Etsy

7. Beer Transport Unit via Growler on Board and available at The Smyrna Beer Market

8. Chalkboard beer caddy by Pauline Knighton (owner of SixNSticks) on Etsy

9. Beer Sweater by Freaker

10. Glassware by

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

There's {Beard Envy} at Red Brick Brewing

Click image for more pictures

There is an energy here. A mysticism. Like any other task, brewing has a unique language. Its own dance moves. Its own silent prayers.

Though the music of the brewery is likely a common enough song between brewers (whose worlds seem to combine industry, sorcery, and science in equal parts) it's a melody that retains enough of the unfamiliar to still weave spells over me.

Steam rises from the pile of wet grain. Someone turns on a little old-school rock-n-roll. Bottles jump and shimmy in the line like overeager teenagers.

The men move leisurely around the brewhouse in boots and safety glasses, sporting mustaches in varying stages of success. Guarded against the cool temps with winter hats and warm jackets, their routines are measured in pithy remarks and bouts of hard labor.

Heat from the brew tanks collides with the cold air from the open hanger, a subtle fog hanging in the overlap.

I sit in a small gap taking photographs between the racks of reused Buffalo Trace barrels. Clinging in a sticky, crusted advertisement, the exterior of one belies its closeted richness. Inside, a 9% barleywine they've named "Beard Envy," does its work.

"This one's going to get some people in trouble," I say as one of the brewers approaches my alcove.

There's a kind of magic in these whiskey casks. Made from oak trees that first lived and breathed for as long as 70-80 years before being transformed into vessels for man's spirited concoctions, the wood endows whatever it holds with its particulars.

The malty richness of this barleywine will take on the bourbon quality still emanating from the unique character in the charred oak. Steve Anderson, lead brewer, had this to say about the upcoming release.
"Barleywines are kind of a hard sell. We tried to stay away from an overly sweet barley wine. What we typically don't like about barley wines is that syrupy sweet, overly caramel taste like a Werther's Original. This one is very balanced. Easy to drink, but kind of sneaky on the alcohol. I used a lot of Dark Munich Malt. It's kind of our secret weapon." 

Mr. Anderson warns that this one may be hard to get due to the small amount made. So if a locally made barleywine from Atlanta's oldest brewery is your kind of inspiration, keep an ear to the ground for this future release or you might end up with envy of another kind.

Monday, November 25, 2013

DrinkLikaFish {ATLOnTap}

With their combined powers of inebriation, knowledge of movie and pop-culture trivia, and experience in both articulation and film editing, BiGFiSH and DOuble D are a triple "double threat" (because any idiot can get inebriated) that results in filmed beer reviews one might characterize as a delightful mix of train wreck and intelligence. With full-time jobs and families both, they began filming in 2010 and have 100+ episodes to date.

May I introduce, the men behind the bar at DrinkLikaFish, Brian and Dave! 

Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself and what you do? Is beer a full-time paying gig for you, or do you keep day jobs? 
BiGFiSH: If this was our full time gig we’d be two things; overjoyed and unemployed! No, Double D and I both have “day jobs” that have absolutely nothing to do with the brewing industry. We both work at the same company, but in different departments. I am a propaganda provocateur and he is a solutions specialist. Honestly, we work for a very cool company and often get to see some pretty impressive stuff. Not to mention we IM each other constantly throughout the day with cringe-worthy images, jokes, thoughts and overall foolishness. Good times.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Give the Gift of Beer {A Guide}

In the spirit of giving (and gifting), Atlanta's own @ATLbrewbabe has graciously agreed to share some of her top beer-centric gift ideas for the devoted imbiber in your life. Check out her recap below, or stop by her hot corner of the interwebs as she continues to share a daily dose of giving (including sweet promotional codes which entitle you to discounts and other freebies). Stop back next week for a follow-up post with even more gifty goodness.  

Make sure to check out her individual posts for a more detailed overview of each item, and special promo codes. Thanks for sharing Gina!


Let’s be honest. Sometimes your loved ones just need a gift with some… spirit. And by spirit, I mean beer. And by beer, I mean—wait, beer is exactly what I mean. Here's the weekly wrap up of gift ideas from my blog, ATLbrewbabe. Cheers!

  1. SoberDough, $6.75-$36.00 - With SoberDough you combine your favorite craft beer with the SoberDough bread mix for amazing Artisan bread. Best part? No baking skills kneaded.
  2. Baker's Bark, $5.95-$32.95 - Baker’s Bark is an all-natural craft beer spice rub. Perfectly balanced, it compliments all meats and veggies. Seriously, everything. 
  3. Hopcloth tee, $13.00-$18.00 - Hopcloth shirts are really soft and comfy with 60% cotton, 40% polyester blend. Enter 'ATLBREWBABE' discount code for 20% OFF. You're welcome.
  4. Brown Bag Soap Co, $2.25-$23.50 - Craft beer soap bar, lip balm & candles are only made using ingredients that you can understand when you read the label (ie. Coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, shea butter, olive oil, etc). 
  5. Duffy's Brew, $19.00 - Beer infused shampoo & conditioner. Currently made with the brew The Wise E.S.B. from Elysian Brewing Company.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Is Craft Beer Color Blind {Part 2}

It’s no secret beer culture has been historically dominated by mostly male, mostly white participants. And it seems, by the numbers at least, that craft beer culture is no different. (Check out Part 1 for a more detailed exploration of the statistics).

I spoke with Annie Johnson, this year’s homebrewer of the year, whose take on the matter is that many people of color simply don’t have access to craft beer, and that without access, there isn’t going to be interest.
“If you think about most urban cities, and you have a minority population that belong to a certain area of town, we all know it… If you go to the little corner mart, there is no craft beer. It’s Bud, Bud Light. Nothing is marketed to them except for those. They’re the only ones that are marketing to that particular crowd. And if you’re not exposed to it, you’re not going to be interested in it.”
Not wanting to leave Atlanta out of the conversation, I also invited Ale Sharpton and Lenox Mercedes to weigh in on the subject. Though neither Ale or Lenox had spoken to each other or read Annie’s interview at the time I spoke with them, they had similar thoughts on the matter.


Ale Sharpton (a.k.a. Dennis Malcolm Byron, Jr.) a prominent Atlanta beer blogger and web host who is regularly asked to contribute to Thrillist as an Atlanta beer expert (and who also writes for Beer Connoisseur,, The Atlanta VoiceJet, J'Adore, and others) agreed that lack of exposure to craft beer was a problem, but the issue is also part of a larger historical context:
“I think [exposure] is a big part of it. There was also a period of disconnection when beer was discovered in Egypt and the Sumerian civilizations, to Europe. When it was brewed eventually in the U.S., German and English immigrants played more of a role than others. That has a lot to do with it as well. Eventually, the microbrewery movement was simply dominated by whites. Things are turning around slowly.”
Ale Sharpton sees his work as a beer blogger, in part, as a form of activism:
“What I realized was that particularly African Americans were not regularly informed through avenues directly catering to them via magazines, websites, and other sources. Part of my goal of developing the Ale Sharpton brand was to help [people of color] realize that there is an awesome, exciting, and burgeoning world of craft beers to enjoy. [...]
I always try to promote festivals as much as possible, because they are the ultimate tasting vehicles for hundreds of different ales and lagers. [...] I try to help open more doors for everyone. Hopefully, the only white and black issues in the craft beer world will solely concern things like witbiers and stouts. It's a slow movement, but we are getting there one sip at a time.”
When asked to assess the current level of diversity in the craft beer circles he travels through for work, Ale says the numbers don’t lie:
“I have yet to walk into a black-owned brewery, but I have met a number of black brewers throughout my travels, including Garrett Oliver. I also think there have been issues with getting funding to start breweries. I have met a lot of aspiring black and Latino brewers who want their own breweries, but getting the funding has been the biggest obstacle. It is simply a reality that spreads beyond the beer world.
Hopefully one day race will be a non-issue, but the numbers currently don't lie. There is still not a balance. I think exposing the beautiful characteristics of beer to everyone is a step in the right direction. Perhaps breweries can start having minority brewing programs and I would like to help take part in that. Golf, tennis, and auto racing have similar programs. Why not beer?”
Ale Sharpton says brewpubs, bars, and eateries also bear some responsibility:
“One other point I would like to make: Black-dominated eateries, bars, clubs and other public establishments, for the majority, have terrible, extremely limited beer selections that are often monopolized by macrobreweries. I thrive on consulting here as well. Again, it is all about exposure and providing opportunities to taste different styles. This will lead to other open doors in the brewing world.”

Lenox Mercedes, owner and organizer of High Gravity Hip Hop, says brand loyalty may also play a part:
“Part of the reason the interest level is not as high is because Black and Latino people are so brand loyal that we’ve been drinking the same stuff for like 50 years. It’s Budweiser, Heineken, Guinness, Corona. And that’s pretty much the top four in terms of urban and Latino. You have a few others, here and there, but primarily that’s what we drink.”
Lenox went on to say that he hopes he and his company can be players in bringing craft beer to overlooked communities:
“There is not enough engagement going on. Craft beer doesn’t market to Black and Latino, at all. So, that’s why I exist. I saw an opportunity to say, OK, the stuff is great. We just need a conversation started around it in an atmosphere that’s comfortable and we will support those brands as well. [...]
I think [craft beer] represents a lot of good things about America, about real people in the world, that just are like… don’t bother us with wars, and all that stuff. Just do what you do and have a good time.” [...]
My whole stance is, craft beer is leaving money on the table by not marketing out.”
His reasons for creating multi-cultural craft beer conversations extend beyond mere recognition of an open market.
“Being from NY… I’m Latin. My father’s Dominican. My mom is from Ecuador. And I grew up in a black neighborhood, surrounded by an Italian neighborhood, surrounded by a Jewish neighborhood, surrounded by a Puerto Rican neighborhood… So, we hung out with everybody. Indian friends. Asian friends. Everybody. It’s like, if everybody can’t come, I’m not going.
When you come to Atlanta, there is this black/white/Mexican thing. That’s how they hang out. So, I felt that my company was needed, my festival was needed, in a macro sense. When American is fumbling through some big issues—housing crisis, unemployment, wars constantly—we need more reasons to come together than to get apart.
And if we can come around music and beer, it’s easy. Everybody relaxes.”
Although participation at this year’s HGHH event (which also had a Cinco de Mayo theme) was lower than expected, Lenox has plans to improve for future events, including altering his price structure and avoiding the theme.
“I found out, that Cinco [de Mayo] is offensive to Mexicans. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo is offensive to them. And being Latino, I was hurt. I didn’t want to offend anyone. I didn’t know that until I talked to Mexican people and they were like ‘You know we don’t celebrate that, right? Yeah, that’s totally American shit, and it’s like a spoof almost.’ So I felt bad. That’s my last Cinco de Mayo. Never again. Never, ever again. [...]
I really thought I had the formula for 700 people to attend. And I just needed some more support on the promotion. And then you’ve got stuff like ticket price. Because Black and Latino [are] new to craft beer, they’re also new to the beer festival format. So they’re not just ready to pay $40-$50 for a festival ticket, even though I know my festival is worth that.”
Despite not being native to Atlanta, Lenox says he’s not going anywhere, and is committed to seeing his company, and his city, continue to grow and diversify.
“I’ve been here ten years now, and I feel like I’m part of Atlanta, especially working at Morehouse and knowing a lot of natives. I’m invested in seeing it grow. I’m not leaving. I think this is it. My dad is here… [...] Yes, there are some areas that are unsafe, for everybody! And the West End is rough around the edges, but there are a lot of great places to go. So, now my focus is to find those places that have craft beer, respectable craft beer, and hip hop.”
Toward the end of our chat, Lenox was more forthcoming:
“To me, I’ll be honest with you. I’m really tired of the race discussion. Our packaging on earth is only that. You have to be in a certain spiritual place to be able to elevate above your race and even your gender. You’re a human being. These things such as race, you really have to evolve past that. I can sit down with anybody [and] I’m going to express myself from the heart.” 
In parting, I’d like to extend my deepest thanks to AnnieAle, and Lenox for sharing their thoughts and for being so open about their own experiences within the craft beer culture. It’s conversations like these that give me hope, not only for the future of craft beer, but for the future of the culture at large. 

Although I do enjoy unwrapping a pretty package, it’s the inside that keeps my interest. So whether we’re talking about beer or about people (who are each a unique brew of their own sort), I couldn’t agree more. Slow as it may be, craft beer’s evolution is going to need to keep pace with its growing demographic (both inside and out) if it's to maintain their grip on its minimal market share. 

We invite you to comment and contribute your thoughts on this topic here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. The full transcript of my interview with Lenox, which covers a wide range of topics--including public transit, transcending ideas of gender and race, and the right to freedom of speech--can be found after the jump.

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's a fish! It's a plane! It's a Flugtrout! {Hudson Custom Fabrication} talks about their recent job for Sweetwater Brewing Company


Set to make its inaugural (and final) flight in Miami, Sweetwater’s “Flugtrout” is a giant flying fish made of aluminum, polystyrene, plywood and Tyvek wrap, and will set sail at the annual Flugtag flying competition this Saturday, September 21, in Bayfront Park from 12-5 p.m.

The event, organized and funded by Red Bull energy drink, “challenges teams of everyday people to build homemade, human-powered flying machines and pilot them off a 30-foot high deck in hopes of achieving flight.”

The fabricators behind the job, Andrew and Whitney Hudson of Hudson Custom Fabrication (self-described beer aficionados both) happily agreed to build the flying fish for one of Atlanta’s oldest craft breweries. They took some time out from running their small business and running after their three daughters to answer a few questions about the job and what makes their business unique.

To vote for Team Sweetwater, the brewery suggests you "click the big red VOTE button a time or 10, or text MIA13 to 72855. The rules say we can't bribe ya, but we'll send you some serious good karma if you help us out." You can also follow the event on Facebook, and cheer them on through social media @redbullMIA, hashtag #flugtag.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Love Beer {Soap}

Some soap from Brown Bag Soap Company came in the mail last week, and I immediately swooned.

This may come as no surprise, but as a work-from-home/stay-at-home mom most days, I am usually in no hurry to bathe (I know I'm not alone here). But these soaps had me looking for an excuse to lather up.

The mess in the kitchen, the needs of my child, the pile of laundry yet to be washed -- all faded for at least a few moments while I inhaled the delicious aroma of these hand-crafted, locally made, beer-infused bars of soap-sent glory.

"What are you doing?" My husband asked, walking into the kitchen with an armful of groceries, a fistful of mail, and his work bag slung over his shoulder.

"Smelling beer soap. Here, smell it!"
And he did. And it was good.

click image to enlarge
The package Hannah sent me last week has been sitting nearby my usual workspace, and taunting me with its delicious and heady aroma of hop resins and essential oils. Made with Sweetwater 420, orange and lemon essential oils, and a touch of honey, the Pale Ale Bar was easily my favorite, and with a host of natural and skin-soothing ingredients, my four-year-old was happily compliant when I tested them out on him at bath time.

click image to enlarge
Not a soap snob? You will be after these.

At a little over five dollars a bar, they're an investment you'll want to savor. They'd be ideal as an unexpected gift for those who appreciate plant-based personal care products, or simply need to stop and smell the hops (which I much prefer to the smell of roses anyway).

To contact Brown Bag Soap Company and purchase some soap of your own, visit their website, follow them FacebookPinterest, and Twitter, or email


This is not a paid advertisement. Products were made available in exchange for a review only. These are my personal opinions and are presented as an honest representation of my own experience. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Is Craft Beer Color Blind? {Part1} Annie Johnson, AHA Homebrewer of the Year, comments

Annie Johnson, pictured at Rogue Beer's Hop Farm in Independence, OR. Used with permission.

For Part 2 of this ongoing investigation (coming next week), I conducted interviews with High Gravity Hip Hop’s Lenox Mercedes and Ale Sharpton, prominent Atlanta-based craft beer authorities. Stay tuned for commentary from Lenox and Ale, both men of considerable talent, enthusiasm, and expertise who have both personal and professional comments on the subject.

Writing for NPR, freelance journalist Alastair Bland asks a question that’s been on my own brain from time to time. Namely: "Why Aren't There More People of Color In Craft Brewing?"

My limited experience with beer festivals on the outskirts of Atlanta has made me wonder as much. Such events can seem overwhelmingly white. That’s not a criticism of the festival or festival-goers themselves, but merely an observation that didn’t seem in keeping with my broader impressions of the craft beer culture at large. For me, craft beer encourages people to convene over a singular and unifying enjoyment--beer. It seems to include and facilitate participation (from consumption to creation) from just about everybody. It’s about demographic and democratic overlap.

While Bland touches on a number of relevant aspects of the craft beer scene, the voices in his article pretty much offer a collective shoulder shrug. Bland does mention homebrewing as an integral part of the discussion, including the following from Lagunitas Brewing Co.’s Jeremy Marshall:
"Craft brewing is rooted in home-brewing [...] And if you look at home-brewing, you see nerdy white guys playing Dungeons and Dragons and living in their mom's basement, and I know this because I was and am one of them."
Marshall’s comments seem confirmed by statistics shared at this year's Craft Beer Conference (when it comes to the consumer, at least) that the culture of craft beer is predominantly white (about 85%), male (over 70%), and young (over a third of survey participants were under the age of 45).

While this picture rings true in the way that most caricatures are true, it oversimplifies what's really a more complex crowd of interest. The Nielsen data, as artfully compiled and extensive as they seem to be, aren’t inclusive of the beer culture at large, and fail to account for some important areas of discussion.

One commenter, Cbroman, wonders “why didn't NPR interview the winner of the top spot in the American Homebrewers Association contest this year in crafting this story?”

Great question.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Barrel and Barley Craft Beer Market {ATLOnTap}

View the full size image gallery here.

Open for just a few months (since July 3rd of this year), Barrel and Barley Craft Beer Market has already gained attention from the local community for it's quality craft beer selection. The owner, Zach Yurchuck, a recent graduate of The University of Georgia, says he had a "unique opportunity" and "couldn’t think of anything I would enjoy more than doing my part to help turn NW Metro Atlanta from a beer wasteland into a beer geek’s dream."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Burnt Hickory Brewery {On Tap}

Mmm, beer...
In an uncertain (if still burgeoning) beer scene, a number of new-ish Georgia breweries seem to be after the average drinker, offering sessionable craft versions of classic ales and lagers that have the potential to leave the average beer geek a bit... bored.

And then there's Burnt Hickory Brewery

Keeping true to their past...
In keeping with his punk-rock roots, Hedeen maintains a high-level of irreverence for the "establishment." He remains unconcerned with what's already been done, and the result is a consistent outpouring of remarkably balanced, unique, and delicious beer that aims for the possible, rather than the predictable.

Friday, August 30, 2013

What's Cookin' Brewtiful? {Spent Grain Bread}

Lately I've had Autumn on the brain, although here in the South it's still very much August, and despite a few teasingly cool days a week or so back it's still sweltering mid-day. But cooler temps, and the promise of a change in seasons has the lazy days of summer behind me (at least in my brain). Around these parts that means bread-baking days are deliciously present, and I'm excited to have the dough rising on the counter again in preparation for many yummy combinations to share with family and friends.

Perks of being a bread-maker's bestie who also has the brewery hookup? Spent grain bread, of course.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Happy (belated) Birthday to Red Brick Brewing!

Let's me start by saying I was not the designated driver.

One of the many benefits of not having a smart phone is that I do not often feel the compulsion to take pictures of deliciousness before consuming all evidence of said deliciousness.

When presented with glacial amounts of brews + food trucks it's really the best option to let the beer and burgers go first (or is that women and children). Did I mention the titanic amount of beer that was at this thing?

I did, however, manage to snap a few little lovelies and set them aside for you here: You can thank me later. It's cool.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

For the love of beer

Why do we do what we do? For the love of beer, of course.

And according to a recent survey put out by the Beer Bloggers Conference (which is happening right now, incidentally) that's pretty much par for the course. A wide percentage of us (over 50% in most categories) run our beer blogs for the sake of personal satisfaction while simultaneously parenting, working full-time jobs, and earning zero dollars for our blogging efforts.

In a nutshell? Yep.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kati Collier: A Lady Who Loves Beer

An Atlanta native who returned to her roots after living in Ohio with her husband (and Stone Brewing sales rep.), she's looking forward to settling down in Decatur not far from Brick Store Pub (jealous yet?). Marketing analyst and "Professional Beer Wife" (no, seriously), this foodie will probably be found crying and clutching cookbooks this October when she get's to meet her idol--Ina Garten (How could you NOT love a woman that puts coffee in her brownies?). A woman after my own heart.

Meet Kati Collier: a lady who loves beer.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jessica Smyer: A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a talent for killing houseplants and killing time with strangers, this smiling Ohio native loves her some Atlanta Opera, a little Cohutta Wilderness, and of course---beer.

Meet Jessica Smyer: a lady who loves beer.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hannah White: A Lady Who Loves Beer

A graduate of Georgia Southern, where she "developed a true love for booze," she recently quit her day job to become a self-employed, full-time soap-maker (and with ingredients like hops, beer, and champagne, who could blame her).

Meet Hannah White, a lady who loves beer.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

{don't be a glasshole} The Cans of Summer

photo credit @atlbrewbabe 

It's summer, ya'll. And that means beer -- beachside, poolside, parkside. As lovely as it is to sip gleefully from a snifter, glug straight from the bottle, or swing that historic looking hinge-topped growler from your handlebars, there are plenty of places that make glass impractical and unsafe. Take some advice from our pal Sarah: #dontbeaglasshole. Pass on the glass the next time you stop by to fill up at your local growler shop. Get in on the hot summer action with these options instead.

From left to right: Growler gamechanger via GremlinGrowlers; Stainless steel via TheBeerGrowler; Perfect poolside plastic via MoondogGrowlers.

Join the twitterverse (and instagramnation) using hashtag #thecansofsummer and share your pics of those lazy summer brews along with our locals, like @atlbrewbabe, who's made raising a can this summer pretty damn cool. Cheers Gina!
photo credit @atlbrewbabe 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ladies Who Love Beer {roundup}

A week at the beach was a beautiful way to pause and reflect on this here blog and its evolving network of craft beer enthusiasts. We've got some stellar changes in the works, including guest authorship, Facebook admins from your neck of the woods, and new features including your city "On Tap." In the absence of 4G and smart phones and other things that allow me to feed my obsessive internet presence (not to mention a plentiful supply of good company and good beer), a week without internet also got us completely off schedule with the lineup of ladies for our regular feature on women and beer.

Wanna help get us back on track? Email heybrewtiful{at}gmail{dot}com with your hand raised. In the meantime, it's been a great couple of months with some awesome contributors from May and June. Here's a roundup of my favorite quotes from the ladies featured in the last two months.

Caylee Betts
"What I’d really like to see more of is the same importance and credit given to growers and specific hop fields. In the Washington wine industry, some vineyards have such prestige that they nearly the sell the wine by just being mentioned on the label. Certain growers are Washington wine legends. And the consumer is aware of some of the greatest vineyards. Lately, I’ve seen consumers much more interested in hop varietals; Citra, Cascade, Centennial, Sorachi Ace, Simcoe, Sauvin, etc. I think, for Washington, this could lead to more beer, more jobs, and more interest in the central/eastern part of our state. [...] It would be fun to give wine country a run for their money with a badass hop/beer country!"
Tara Tolliver Shortt
"We all know that beer has traditionally been a guys drink of choice. While I can see slow changes, I would like to see it socially “acceptable” for women to be proud of drinking beer. Why is it OK to bring a house warming gift of a bottle of wine, and frowned upon if I brought a six-pack of my favorite brew? I wish beer was looked upon as being more sophisticated and not necessarily as cheap and low income. I wear a beer stein charm around my neck. I usually get a 50/50 reaction. 50% WOW that’s cool, what kind of beer do you drink? And 50% eye roll."
Heather Erickson
"I have been home brewing for a little over three years now. What started as curiousity in my friend's garage has now turned into a full fledged passion. I have brewed over two dozen different styles of beer, entered Pro Am competitions, and have won a silver and bronze medal for my beer. What I like about brewing is the creativity that goes into a batch. Much like an artist creating a painting or a sculpture, I feel that brewing is my kind of art. I enjoy pushing the envelope and creating concoctions that aren't mainstream."
Hops Diva
"I’ve been drinking craft beer in Atlanta for 17 years. There are still some events where the men outnumber the women, but there are a lot more women who appreciate good beer today. The Georgia Ale and Lager Sirens (GALS) started three years ago and while I’ve made some great friends through the organization, I’m not sure their mission of "Infiltrating the Sausage Fest of Beer" is as necessary now as it would have been maybe ten years ago. In my neighborhood alone there are at least four bars/brewpubs that are owned or co-owned by women."

Sande Edwards
"Some beer drinkers get a little snobby when it comes to beer. Craft beer is in it's infancy, especially here on the East coast so it's kind of understandable that people want to feel special about drinking well made beer and being part of the craft beer scene so they like to "drop some knowledge" on the uneducated, but let's not be pretentious about it people."
Lacey Pyle
"I would like to see regular beer tasting events in Forsyth County with the kahunas to say, "This is a beer tasting. No wine, no saki, no apologies; just beer." Take it up a notch: host craft beer from local breweries at great venues. Elevate brewing for the craft that it is and get brewpubs to network with local hobbyists. Some people assume beer lacks the credibility of wine--and Beer Geeks can change that. There's something to be said for a beer palate the same way there is for wine, coffee, cheese, and tea."

Want to read more? Check out the March and April archives of Ladies Who Love Beer.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Sande Edwards: A Lady Who Loves Beer

A Georgia native who grew up "barefoot and wild" in small-town Adairsville, this graphic designer has recently found herself back in Lawrenceville after an educational nine-year foray into the DC craft beer scene. With a thirst for half-pours and beer flights that has been sadly disappointed by her hometown haunts, this hop-head spends her spare time dabbling in homebrew, hiking, biking, and running in the great outdoors.

This is Sande, and she loves beer.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary (a.k.a. "Hops Diva"): A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a real thirst for Imperial IPAs and 17 years of Atlanta craft beer drinking to her name, this New Jersey born, hop-loving Scorpio is also a fan of live music, comedy, and theatre. While the work week has her putting her considerable talents to good use planning and promoting events both on and offline, off the clock she lives life as the "Hops Diva" frequenting some of the best downtown Atlanta bars and brewpubs, all within "stumbling distance" of her Atlanta residence.

This is Mary, and she loves beer.
Mary and her husband Joe.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Heather Erickson: A Lady Who Loves Beer

An elementary school teacher for the past 14 years (the last nine of which she spent teaching 6th graders), her love of beer comes from the "obvious need to self medicate" (and I quote). Born in Seattle, WA but currently living in Tacoma, she finds herself up and down the I-5 corridor at least once a month for a "beerventure," (even more often during the summer months). She is also a self-described math nerd who says she is also "outdoorsy, sarcastic, and driven," you'll find her using her spare time to concoct medal winning home brews.

This is Heather Erickson, and she loves beer.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is Magic Hat really trying to sink West Sixth's battleship?

I was interviewed recently for Austin L. Ray's "First Draft" series and said something about big beer not really being malicious, just out of touch, overeager, and seemingly disingenuous. But the recent hubbub over the Magic Hat lawsuit of West Sixth Brewing made me wonder if I had it wrong. 

It's hard to know exactly where the truth lies between the story West Sixth Brewing has very publicly sold as a tale of bullying, and the one Magic Hat says is an exaggeration of the truth

Back in the day (say, about seven years back) I spent many a "magical" afternoon over a pitcher of #9. As my palate has evolved (or is it the beer that's changed?) I moved on. Drinkable, sure. But not my first pick (or my second, or my third). 

The similarities seemed pretty obvious. A simple inversion of the image suggests that the differences may not be so distinct.  OK, so the West Sixth logo is off centered, a different color, and more simply designed overall, but turning it on it's head doesn't really solve the problem of copycatting in my book (and neither do their alternate sketches). For a design company, even one as widely solicited as Cricket Press to not only ignore those similarities, but continue to perpetuate them in their suggested alternatives, smacks of laziness, and suggests a lack of creativity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm already annoyed with the bad habits of bigger companies pushing around the little startups. It makes me want to hurl. Or at least write ranting blog posts that no one really reads. I get that the whole David and Goliath dynamic riles people up too. It feeds this feeling of justified outrage like nothing else. From the looks of my Facebook feed lately, I'm not the only one.

What really interests me, though, is that this is an issue of design. I'm willing to concede that maybe it's just a case of "great minds" thinking alike. After all, it's a label with a number on it. How different do you expect it to be? Surely stranger things have happened, like say, allowing Monsanto to patent a soybean.

My own ideas for a barrel-aged beer label weren't too far off from any of the one's pictured above, come to think of it. Which is pretty embarrassing. There's nothing much worse than realizing your ideas are unoriginal. 

But where the differences lie are in the details. Although the underlying idea is the same (because who doesn't want a barrel on their barrel-aged beer?) the artistry is original enough to avoid looking like tinkered versions of someone's original. The font choices, placement of text, subtleties of toning, backgrounds, and overall uniqueness of other design elements, create an overall artistry and stylistic thumbprint that distinguish one from the other. 

Would it be so difficult to choose another from the surely thousands of fonts available for the West Sixth logo to avoid the obvious similarities to Magic Hat's #9? The answer is, yes, actually. Because sixes do look pretty much just like inverted nines when you start looking at them, and with it touching the edge on the left-hand side of the circle like it does, other styles just look strange, or misplaced. They don't look integral to the design. 

But if the compass is integral to the identity of the West Sixth brand, why not make it more of a main feature? Its placement, coloring, and design only emphasize the similarity to Magic Hat's label. And unless they're trying to evoke the six directions (including heaven and earth) by having a compass so near the numeral, does it really make sense? There are plenty of other inspirations out there for compass designs, some of which actually point west.

Ultimately, it seems like it would be easier to just rework the design than to give Magic Hat grounds for a lawsuit. You're welcome to disagree, but from where I stand, it seems like West Sixth Brewing ought to be worrying more about their beer than this beer label. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How big is your beer cellar?

There are, in English, purportedly no two words more beautiful than "cellar door." As a recovering academic and former English teacher, I still never quite understood. Until I heard about beer cellars, that is.

Most beers, being perishable goods, aren't really designed to hang around for a someday pour. The hops start to fade and the quality degrades. "Born on" dates and such (remember 2009?).

While home brew and other freshly bottled beers peak in flavor 2-3 months, others (not unlike most people I know) mature with age, improving over time in character and complexity. Particularly barrel-aged versions, barleywines, lambics, Imperial Stouts (and so on).

Admittedly, I've not had the restraint foresight to cellar my beer. Although I suppose it's only a step away from waiting months on end for homebrew that'll be drinkable roundabout August (when a beet porter is unlikely going to be my top seasonal beer pick).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tara Tolliver Shortt: A Lady Who Loves Beer

A lady whose love of beer is matched by her unapologetic love of bourbon and baseball (Braves and Phillies, thank you very much), this daytime Dental Assistant has found a second home among her rounds of the Atlanta breweries, both inside and outside the perimeter.

This is Tara, and she loves beer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caylee Betts: A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a love for good food, good design, and good drinking, this Seattle-based, small-business owner loves helping craft breweries, boutique wineries, and independently owned/operated restaurants grow their brands. When she's not hard at work doodling and designing, you can find her drinking with fellow members of her adult beer-league kickball team, and enthusiastically documenting the local food, wine, spirits and craft beer in Seattle.

This is Caylee Betts, and she loves beer.

Friday, May 3, 2013

{Ladies Who Love Beer} roundup

We're taking a break from our regular Friday feature for a collection of my favorite {LadiesWhoLoveBeer} quotables from March and April. Meet me back here next Friday for our regularly scheduled programming. Cheers!

Erin Lundmark -- Alpharetta, GA
"I like the camaraderie of the beer culture. I haven't personally experienced any camaraderie on the commercial side, but the homebrew community has been fabulous with their support of our start up. And I like seeing the larger craft breweries work together on beers."

Friday, April 26, 2013

Amy Penrose: A Lady Who Loves Beer

With a love for oysters, the Adirondack Mountains, and her #1 drinking buddy (and soon to be husband) Jason, this "craft beer girl" takes full advantage of the budding beer scene and is only a stone's throw from my own hometown (who knew!?), residing in Rochester, NY with her fiancĂ© and their black lab Ruckus.

This is Amy Penrose, and she loves beer.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An update {April}

Everything here has been blooming hard, or trying to for the last few weeks. It seems we've finally moved past the sweep-the-pollen-off-the-floors stage of Spring, and the warmer days have made it much more appealing to spend hours standing around a kettle full of would-be beer (I can think of much more terrible ways to spend an afternoon, chilly or otherwise).

It's been a while since I posted an update on the goings on this side of the screen, so I thought I'd take a moment to catch you up before this update turns into a novel on me (picture heavy post, please be patient while it loads).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Paula Nix: A Lady Who Loves Beer

We continue today with our regular focus on women and beer, but would like to preface this week's feature by sending along the thoughts and prayers of the Atlanta beer community (and the community at large) to those who were injured, killed, and directly affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon. We raise our voices, our prayers, our thoughts (and yes, likely a glass or two) to the surgeons, doctors, friends, families, and first responders who ran (and continue to run) toward the chaos, and who continue daily to support and help heal each other as we search for answers. 

{Ladies Who Love Beer} Paula Nix

A woman whose love of beer has evolved along side her husband's home brew, this lady has a passion for converting people to the world of craft beer. When she's not homeschooling her three kids, enjoying her "makeshift beer garden with friends," and soaking up the good drink (and good eats) of her local beer haunts, this pastor's wife can be found enjoying the good company of her husband (and best friend) in their Woodstock home. 

Paula Nix and her husband Spencer. Photo credit Jennifer Carter

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mary-Kate Laird: A Lady Who Loves Beer

Often mistakenly referred to online as “sir,” “man,” or “dude,” this Alabama-born-and-raised Atlanta-transplant is the female voice behind the Suwanee Beer Festival’s social media pages. Though she mostly drank rum and Coke in college (“out of necessity” of course), she graduated to craft beer once she earned her diploma. When she’s not working the beer pages, you can find her kicking around the soccer ball, investigating the taps with her friends, and running around town with her dog Porter.

May I introduce, Mary-Kate Laird: a lady who loves beer.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Victoria and Diann: Ladies Who Love Beer

Their names? Victoria and Diann. Their quest? Beer. The air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow? Well all right, they don't know the answer to that one, but it's not going to keep them from trying.

Bound by beer if not by blood, these two sippin' sisters have a drinking history that eclipses its own origin. Preferring drinking establishments that allow beer enjoyment to be a family affair, these two enjoy the company of their kids, comfortable couches, and (their husband's?) home cooked meals. With one foot in Nashville, Tennesee and the other in Asheville, North Carolina, there's plenty of craft beer to go around. And although it cuts down on their face time, it doesn't stop them from sharing the laughter and the love across the miles through their blog and other social media channels.

May I introduce, Diann Logan Meriwether and Victoria Lamberth: ladies who love beer.


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