BACONFEST 2015

Saturday, April 25th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

All Hogs Go To Heaven

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.dadsgarage.com/shows/season-20/special-events/baconfest-2015.aspx

By Liz and John Attaway

All Hogs go to heaven. How do I know that? Bacon. Those fried nuggets of pork goodness that only can be described as heaven.  This year, Baconfest was celebrated on an unusually cold yet gloriously beautiful day at the end of March. Bacon was sorely needed to take the edge off of the chilly day. The festival delivered with fun filled, light hearted games, several types of music including a full band all dolled up in bacon gear, a silent auction with tons of swag, and of course bacon. You had me at bacon, right?

Of the fun filled games, the first stop was the Hobo Wine Tasting. Night Train, Cisco, Wild Irish Rose. Three words and wines I never thought I would try or be in the same sentence for that matter. According to the wine tasting sommelier, the Night Train wine was a good year when the light was on in the picture on the bottle, a bad year when off. I laughed a little and said, “It was a good year.” That was the best of the three awful wines tasted and that’s saying a lot. There was also Cisco that was a spring varietal that we only gets produced with the right grapes for spring. So wrong. It tasted like cough syrup. The girl next to me literally spit it out. Wild Irish Rose was the worst of the bunch, which they told me was named after Richardson’s son that he didn’t like very much, hence the name “Wild Irish Rose”. It was a whole bunch of fun to hear kooky stories about some nasty wine I’ll never have again. Cheers!

The other shenanigans included a very popular flip cup tournament that was never dull on hilarity and flipping cups. They also had the Baconatrix again this year. Heard at Baconfest alert! We were walking by and a wise young lady said about the Baconatrix, “its 50 shades of Bacon.” Seriously? Sigh. There was also Terrible Caricatures that were really, really bad. I don’t even draw that bad.  One of the gentlemen got is picture and laughed for about 5 minutes before pitching it in the trash. The GA Renaissance Festival had a small tent but enthralled the crowd with the stock. People would pose in the stock with a sign beneath them that either said sober, drunk, or moron. Which would you choose? Further down, there was Human Foosball were they tether you to a bouncy house and you play actual life-size foosball.  It was pretty interesting. I wonder what the liability on that is with drunk people and physical sports. Hm. Beyond that, there was Dr. Boobies who guessed anyone’s cup size. Do you know how many men were showing their man boobs? Next to that pepole were getting their faces painted with anything from bacon to penises. That’s a wide variety of painting to master if you think about it. So many fun things, so little time. We conquered them all except Shut the Box, which looked REALLY fun. It was really interesting to watch. I never saw anyone win. Did you?

This year, Baconfest, introduced the first annual Bacon Smackdown. The participants were Barcelona, Corner Tavern, Bone Lick, Folk Art, and West Egg. The lines were pretty long so I only got to try Barcelona’s pork belly and Corner Tavern’s Bacon Chorizo Chili. The pork belly was delicious with cherry glaze, the right amount of sweet with the salt of the pork. It was tender and hit the spot early in the day. As for the chili from Corner Tavern, it had bacon jerky pieces in a spicy, chili sauce. I’ve never had bacon jerky in chili before. Yum. They were both very, very good but I’d have to go with the Pork Belly as the winner of the two. It was the salty sweet contrast that did it for me. The masses disagreed as they named Corner Tavern the winner of the Smackdown. Congrats! One thing of note for Corner Tavern: the Little Five Points location is back open! They had a grand re-opening on Monday, March 30th! Welcome, back!

And with that, Baconfest 2015 comes to a close with bacon in our hearts and a lingering bacon smell in our hair and on our clothes. Until next year…

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SPECIAL EVENT AT THE IMPROV ATLANTA: SILICON VALLEY’S KUMAIL NANJIANI & THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH

Friday, April 17th to Saturday, April 18th at 7:45pm and 10:15pm

Location: The Improv Atlanta

KUMAIL NANJIANI & THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH BIOS 

Kumail Nanjiani

A clever standup comedian with a unique cultural perspective, Kumail Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan but moved to Iowa to attend college. He had never even seen a standup comic before a fellow Grinnell College student showed him Jerry Seinfeld’s HBO special I’m Telling You for the Last Time. He was instantly hooked, but he didn’t try his hand at performing until he graduated and moved to Chicago. Nanjiani attended Second City writing classes and performed at open-mike nights around town, and then in 2007, he introduced his one-man show, Unpronounceable. In 2008, he brought the show to Los Angeles and New York City, landed a job as writer on the Comedy Central television show Michael and Michael Have Issues, and began making regular appearances on the network’s The Colbert Report. In 2010 he starred in the film Life as We Know It and in 2011 he joined Ali Baker and introduced the video game/comedy podcast The Indoor Kids. In 2013 he hosted his Comedy Central special, Beta Male, which was also released as his debut album that same year.

Thomas Middleditch

Thomas Middleditch can currently be seen as Richard Hendrix, the central character in Mike Judge’s (recently Emmy nominated) series on HBO, SILICON VALLEY. Thomas will soon be seen in the feature films, THE FINAL GIRLS, and THE BRONZE opposite Melissa Rauch from “The Big Bang Theory”. Thomas has also been featured on THE OFFICE, playing the role of Dwight Schrute’s brother, and he was “Fuzzy” in the Paramount Pictures feature, FUN SIZE.  Other film work includes: WOLF OF WALL STREET, BRASS TEAPOT, THE KINGS OF SUMMER, THE OTHER GUYS, BEING FLYNN, and SPLINTERHEADS.  Thomas is a regular performer at UCB, he is a member of THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY and creates and performs comedy shorts with College Humor.

The Improv Atlanta is located at:

56 E Andrews Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

More information on upcoming shows:

http://www.theimprovatlanta.com/

GEORGIA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL 2015

GEORGIA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL 2015

Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, June 7th at 10:30am to 6pm Each Day

Location: Fairburn, Ga

Themed Weekends Announced for the 30th Anniversary Season!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.garenfest.com

March 4, 2015 – Atlanta, Georgia

There’s a Whole Lotta Fun…And a Little Bit of History at the 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival running over 8 spectacular weekends from April 18 through June 7. Each weekend features something uniquely special to enhance the enjoyment of all who enter the gates of this 32-acre English Village and step back in time to the 16th Century.
Opening Weekend April 18 & 19 – BUY ONE-GET ONE FREE: We’re kicking off our 8-Weekend Anniversary Party with a Buy One Adult Ticket – Get One FREE special. These BOGO tickets can be purchased online, at Walgreens or at the Festival Gate. Who doesn’t want to celebrate for ½ the price of a regular admission?!
Roman Weekend April 25 & 26 – Roman Toga Party & Pet Friendly Weekend: It’ll be the biggest Toga Costume Party of the 16th Century! Costumes are optional, but there will be a costume contest and a daily parade. But wait…There’s more…It’s also Pet Friendly Weekend. This is the one weekend each year that patrons can bring their pets on a leash to enjoy the Festival. (Some restrictions apply – see website at www.garenfest.com for complete details.) There will be a pet costume contest, pet adoptions and of course…don’t forget the parade!
You can’t have Roman Weekend without Roman Horseback Riding! The Georgia Renaissance Festival welcomes its newest addition to the cast, Equus Maximus, the most exciting equine acrobatic production ever to appear at any outdoor Renaissance Festival. Equus Maximus will be making its only US appearance in 2015 every weekend of the 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival. These brave Knights unleash the thundering fury of the 12 amazing horses in their stable for death defying jousting tournaments, chariot races and Roman riding. You don’t want to miss this!

Kids FREE Weekend May 2 & 3: This weekend is an annual favorite for families. Each child ages 6-12 gets in FREE with the purchase of an accompanying adult ticket at the Gate. (Savings of $10 per Child!) Children under 5 are always FREE! Also included this weekend will be special events and activities just for kids including a kids-only costume contest, games and human-powered thrill rides, and Dream Hayven Farm’s introduction of Kira the Unicorn and all of her animal friends in the interactive animal discovery garden! A must-see for all ages.
Highland Fling Weekend – May 9 & 10: Come out and enjoy all of our guest bagpipers and Irish dancers performing this weekend as we celebrate our Celtic heritage. Bring your clan and enjoy traditional foods and ales. There’s even a Haggis Eating Contest! Special guests this weekend include the Drake Irish Dancers and the Atholl Highlander Pipe and Drum Band! The Atholl Highlanders have performed at the Georgia Renaissance Festival every year since it opened in 1986! The Royal Cupcake Wars returns on Sunday when the elite panel of judges will taste all of the delicious cupcake entries and select the one supreme winner. Sunday is Mother’s Day and we will honor the first 100 Moms through the Gate with a flower.
Time Warp Weekend – May 16 & 17: This is by far THE BEST people-watching weekend of the 8-week season. This weekend is a cosmic reunion when History meets Fantasy and Super Heroes meet Royalty. CosPlay and Sci-Fi Super Heroes suit up and strut their stuff for the cameras as this 16th Century English Village of Newcastle becomes one big Photo Op for the weekend. Don’t be surprised if you see Storm Troopers posing for photos with The Queen! This Costume Party on steroids is open to all with daily costume contests – one for kids and one for adults. Keep an eye on the website at www.garenfest.com for coming announcements of special guest appearances at Time Warp Weekend.
Memorial Weekend – May 23, 24 & 25: 3 Days To Play! Triple your family’s pleasure on this holiday weekend. We’re open for 3 full days of FUN! Lose yourself in the adventure and merriment at this unofficial kick-off to summer weekend. Saturday is Deaf Awareness Day – Look for special interpreters signing at select stages on Saturday.
Pirate Invasion Weekend – May 30 & 31: Drop anchor this weekend as Pirates take over the Village. It will be a sight to see and the public is invited to come to people-watch or come dressed like a pirate and join in on this seafaring adventure. There will be Pirate Costume Contests for Men, Women and Kids, a Walk The Plank Trivia Contest and a Sea Legs Relay Race. ARRRGGGGG!
The Last Hazzah! – June 6 & 7: It’s the final weekend as the 30th Anniversary celebration draws to a close. It’s your last chance to enjoy a 1-1/2 pound roasted turkey legge, Steak-On-A-Stake or Chicken Fried Bacon. It’s also your last chance to take home unique, one-of-a-kind gift items, hand-crafted by over 130 talented artisans in the Village Marketplace. See your favorite performers and the Jousting Knights one more time before the Villages slips back into History…until next year.

JUST THE FACTS…
– 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival (Opened in 1986)
– An Interactive arts and entertainment festival combining outdoor theatre, circus-style entertainment with an arts & crafts marketplace and jolly olde English pubs set in a 32-acre recreation of a 16th Century English Village
– April 18 – June 7, 2015 (8 Weekends)
– Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day
– 10:30am – 6:00pm
– Open Rain or Shine
– FREE PARKING
– Located just south of Atlanta’s Airport at I-85, Exit #61 (Peachtree City/Fairburn)
– 200,000+ Annual Attendance
– Voted Top 20 Event in 2014 by Southeastern Tourism Society
– 10 Stages with Continuous Entertainment
– 150 Shows Daily: Comedy, Music, Circus-Style Shows and Jousting Knights
– 130+ Master Artisan Crafters in the Village Marketplace
– Renaissance Games of Skill: Axe Throwing and Target Shooting with Bow & Arrow
– Human-Powered Thrill Rides for Kids of all Ages
– Animal Exhibits and Demonstrations: Birds of Prey, Reptiles, Unicorn and more…
– General Admission at The Gate: Adult $22 / Child Ages 6-12 $10 / Senior 60+ $20
– Children Under 5 are always FREE
– Discount Tickets Online at GArenfest.com: Adult $19 / Child $8 / Senior $18

 

 

FREE CONCERT SERIES COMING TO PIEDMONT PARK THIS SPRING & SUMMER

Sunday, April 26th and Every Sunday through Sunday, June 28th at 7pm

Location: Park Tavern

The series kicks off on April 26 at 7 p.m. with California rock band Bad Suns

A new, weekly alternative music series is coming to Piedmont Park this spring and summer.  Radio 105.7 and Park Tavern have joined forces to bring Atlantans and visitors alike an incredible lineup of live music from some of today’s most buzz-worthy artists every Sunday for FREE.

The series kicks off on April 26 at 7 p.m. with California rock band Bad Suns – known for their stadium ready anthems and undeniably catchy hooks; Atlanta-based indie-alt band The Electric Sons; and the award-winning indie band Kiev.
While the full lineup will be announced in the coming weeks, additional confirmed artists booked for Sunset Sessions by the talented team at The Bowery Presents South include:

Mother Falcon (5/3)

Boogie (5/10)

Those Darlins (5/17)

Kebbi Williams & The Wolfpack (5/27)

Ivan & Alyosha (5/31)

Pigpen Theatre Company (6/7)

The Whigs (6/21)

Caroline Rose (6/28); and Little Tybee (6/28)

BEER, BOURBON & BBQ FESTIVAL 2015

Saturday, February 28th at 12pm

Location: Atlantic Station

Porkus Maximus

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.beerandbourbon.com

 By Liz and John Attaway

On a beautiful, warmer, almost spring day with the Atlanta skyline looming over Atlantic station was the 2015 Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. What a way to kick-off the spring festival season where you could almost feel spring starting! From all types of beers, to high end bourbons, to food truck after food truck of BBQ, the festival had a little something for everyone and then some. This year’s crowning glory was the first annual Shrine of Swine where porkus maximus was achieved with an hourly whole hog tasting.

The first thing on the agenda was finding new and exciting beers to sip. John and I agreed Heavy Seas was one of the best with their Loose Cannon, which was John’s favorite and mine was the Strong Scottish Ale in the Desert Island Series. It’s an 8% APV limited beer with notes of malt and chocolate, yet drinkable and light enough to have more than one. Loose Cannon is Heavy Seas flagship beer, which is an IPA with three different hops with notes of grapefruit and pine (Soap anyone?). Other beers we enjoyed were Jekyll’s Export Stout, which is a local brew out of Alpharetta. What I like about the Export Stout is an Imperial Stout with very deep malt notes, dark roast, raisin, and a hint of smoke. Second was Finch’s Stash Stout which had deep chocolate notes, as well as Southern Tier’s Chokolat. Both were heavy on the chocolate and reminded me of hot cocoa. Yum.

Along with the beer, the Tasting Tent was an exceptional place to learn about some local breweries. First up was Red Hare with their four year-round beers: Cotton Tale Pale Ale, Watership Brown, Gateway IPA and the Long Day Lager. John liked the Gateway and Cotton Tale, while give me the Watership Brown all day. What I enjoyed about the Watership Brown are the chocolate and malt notes. The other brewery was Monday Night. One of my favorite local beers is the Drafty Kilt from Monday Night and is one of their mainstays. I’ve discussed Drafty Kilt before but it’s dark and roasted Ale but drinks like a stout with a light touch. I could drink it all day. Now just to get out to both breweries!

BBQ. As I mentioned before was Shrine of Swine, in its first year it was an instant sensation that everyone was talking about. Beyond the whole hog tasting general attendees could purchase BBQ from the plethora of food trucks offering pulled pork sandwiches to beef brisket. The lines got long so they must have been offering up some serious grub. If you were lucky enough to go VIP, they had pulled pork   Shane’s, Pork rinds with pimento cheese from Smoke Belly, several offerings from Pit Master BBQ and much more including Pork Belly and flavored bacon. Let’s also not forget Salvage Jerky was handing out Sriracha Bacon. Yum.

Overall, it was a fun-filled warm day in late February. We watched giant Jenga, saw a heated game of corn hole, and enjoyed the warm weather.

 

 

OYSTERFEST 2015

Saturday, February 7th at 1pm

Location: Park Tavern

FOR MORE INFORMATION:http://spiralentertainment.com/

AS WELL AS:  http://www.parktavern.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

You would have thought it was a late springtime day with the sun shining bright and the light, warm breeze coming over the park. There’s no denying Park Tavern at Piedmont Park is a beautiful venue with a striking skyline and park view. You notice the second you walk in that you’re in for a treat. This rarely beautiful February day, and Oysterfest was brought to you by Spiral Entertainment. They know how to gather people for one great party.  Let’s pull out our shuckers and get shuckin’.

What would an Oysterfest be without the stars of the show? Oysters. I admit that I don’t eat them for many reasons, but there are thousands of people out there that obsess over them and what better way to gather a few thousand friends and fawn over these rock-like delicacies.  Inside the cold, hard shell there is a gooey-ooey center, be it steamed, raw, fried, on crackers, with hot sauce or simply naked, Oysterfest at Park Tavern are one big shucking party. And when I say big, I mean packed to the gills, people sat outside in lawn chairs or waiting in lines to get their Oysters the way they want them. Who knew there were so many Oyster fans?

Another ingredient as important as the shucker is the Oyster’s companion drink. For many and myself it’s beer, but there were Bloody Marys and many other Oyster friendly cocktails. Something you may not know about Park Tavern is that they brew their own beer. The one I like the most is the Amber Ale. It is very malty with caramel notes. They also have a good IPA that just the right amount of hops, which is the one John prefers. They have many others, as well as a good food menu, as well as $1 draft when it rains (or snows). That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me.

The event was held on Saturday, February 7th. Bummed you missed this event? Don’t worry: Park Tavern and Spiral Entertainment have another upcoming event called LuckyFest. It’s a St. Patrick’s Day kick-off extravaganza. Luckyfest will be held on Saturday, March 7th.

ATLANTA WINTER BEER FEST 2015

Saturday, January 24th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://atlantawinterbeerfest.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

After 5 years and dozens of beer festivals, Atlanta Winter Beer Fest sold out! It was filled to the brim, to the max, no Vacancy, packed like sardines, no Dogs Allowed (or Birds)! Alright, that last one was taken from one of my favorite Snoopy movies, but you get the drift. What was amazing was that it didn’t feel cramped with several areas to hang out including the local tent, swag and food tents, outside, and then the three Masquerade inside areas. I think the only place I felt like I couldn’t breathe was in Hell and that’s another story for another time. Wink. Let’s dive in.

More and more festivals are in Atlanta are integrating the blooming, ballooning local brewery scene, and I love it. One of the newer breweries that is contracting out of North Carolina but coming soon to Chamblee/Brookhaven near you, is Pontoon. They have a Tiffany Blue color that reminds me of the lake on a calm Sunday. Beyond that, John has an affinity for their Pilsner, which is called No Pants Pilsner. It’s a little hoppy for me but he always gets it at a local bar. Another one we’ve seen for a while now at several beer festivals but without product is Southern Sky. I love their slogan, “a little bit out there.” Being in advertising by day, I find it snarky and fun. Along with their slogan, they are going to go against the grain and permanently offer a porter that they claim can also be categorized as a stout. I can’t wait to try it because with chocolate and coffee notes; it could be right up my alley. Finally, they are going to open their brewery and tap room right around the corner from my office in Kennesaw. Happy Hour, anyone?

It wouldn’t be an Adventures in Atlanta beer festival blog without my proclaimed best beer of the festival. This one was tough because believe it or not, I’ve tried about everything out there that was offered! That being said, drum roll please. The best beer of the festival:  Mac Daddy Porter from Monday Night Brewing!  Confetti falls. A band plays. A trophy exchanges hands. What I like about Mac Daddy Porter is its smooth and light but has big, bold coffee taste with a little bit of earth and chocolate. It’s right up there with Drafty Kilt and I love Drafty Kilt.  Other local brews we found interesting to name a few were Second Self’s Thai Wheat, Jekyll’s Stout, and Eventide’s Nitro Stout. Yum.

Atlanta Winter Beer Festival also offered more food and samples this year than in year’s past. It was a good thing that Knotty Pretzels was around, not only to fill some tipsy stomachs, but to save one of our friends from Savage Jerky’s Ghost Pepper Buffalo Jerky. It was tasty, just a little spicy (ok, a lot spicy). I wouldn’t even think of trying it! Ghost Pepper? I don’t think so! Not only was the food abundant, but so was the entertainment. The two that stood out to us were the duo that dressed as Captain America and Batman and Kara Claudy. The comedy-singing duo gave away swag for correct trivia answers and even sang a song or two including Karma Police from Radiohead. I think they may have been Dad’s Garage, but I’m not sure.  Kara Claudy got a tip from us because she had a great range that included favorites No Rain by Blind Melon and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.

After a cold day, everyone went home happy with beer in their bellies and a good time in their memories. I bet you’re all ready for your next festival? Hogs and Hops is coming up in April, and don’t miss Atlanta Beer Fest’s newest venture: Atlanta Wine Party in March.

http://atlantabeerfestivals.com/
http://www.hogsandhopsatlanta.com/
http://atlantawineparty.com/

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ROCK 105.7’S 404 CHRISTMAS WITH BUSH

Tuesday, December 16th at 8pm

Location: Smith's Olde Bar

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ROCK 105.7:http://www.radio1057.com/main.html

MORE INFORMATION ON SMITH’S OLDE BAR: http://www.smithsoldebar.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

There is a lot that can be said about the holidays: a time for family, spreading holiday cheer, celebrating Christ, decking the halls, walking in a winter wonderland, looking for Rudolf’s red nose in the night sky, or sitting on Santa’s knee. If you could talk to Santa this year, what would you ask for? A good concert would be high on my list and one this intimate at the top. So, this year, on a mild December night, situated between Moreland and Piedmont at Smith’s Olde Bar, Rock 105.7 played Santa by treating its loyal listeners and friends to an intimate evening with Gavin Rossdale of Bush. It was a perfect Christmas present for any avid Bush fan. Thanks, Rock 105.7 and sponsor Heineken, you rock!

Onto the concert experience, opening Rock 105.7’s 404 Christmas was Twin Atlantic from Scotland. They just released their third album, Great Divide, and will be touring soon. Melodious with loud guitar riffs, this alternative rock band spent a few songs acoustically with us but was impressed with the American way of spending the holidays. They said people in Scotland should enjoy the holidays like us! Cheers! Once they made way for Bush, the ladies started swooning and out came the smartphones for frantic picture and video taking to forever remember the night.

Starting with “Everything Zen,” accompanied by “Comedown”, “Glycerine,” and a handful of other Bush greats, Rossdale strummed and crooned his way through the night with heart and soul. He was humble and grateful for the loud sing-a-long like atmosphere encouraging the audience to interact with him. Even though billed as Bush, it really became The Gavin Rossdale Show with all the focus on his voice and performance. Chris Traynor, Bush guitarist was also on hand to accompany Rossdale. I’d like to note there’s something to be said about a performer that can take grunge rock songs and turn them into guitar solos and perform them almost totally acoustic.

Beyond Bush classics, Rossdale treated the intimate gathering of Bush fanatics a special holiday treat: two covers that will probably never happen again, so it truly was a once in a lifetime performance. The first was “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd which got the audience singing. Again. After ending with Comedown and taking a bow, Rossdale came back out for his encore, Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” He stayed true to the Mac version of “Landslide” and it was mesmerizing and beautiful to behold.

And with that, to all a good night.

MORE INFORMATION ON BUSH: http://bushofficial.com/

MORE INFORMATION ON TWIN ATLANTIC: http://twinatlantic.com/home/

ANDREWS MOONSHINE FESTIVAL 2014

Saturday, October 18th at 1pm

Location: Andrews Entertainment District

FOR MORE INFORMATION:http://www.andrewsdistrict.com/events-2/tickets/

By Liz and John Attaway

Out in the woods of North Carolina, Wayne Nix of Discovery’s Moonshiners show is hauling moonshine to his clients in an old pick-up truck with some clear bottled liquid in the back, rocking to and fro as the tires hit the cracked, dirt road. That’s kind of what it was like on this fall-like October day, Andrews Entertainment District started a new tradition: Andrews Moonshine Festival, but without the dirt road (yes, there was a pickup truck)! With celebrities and moonshine aficionados in tow, everyone got to rub elbows with distillers and explore the world of ‘Shine.

Speaking of Wayne Nix, he was in the house taking pictures and promoting his own brand of moonshine, Hanging Dog Moonshine. The curious thing is that one of my clients at my day job is Discovery’s off-air and we helped promote the show Moonshiners last year. After talking shop with Mr. Nix, and taking a much needed picture for my office, he explained that Moonshiners is legit and to not lump them in with the other “reality shows” out there. He also came bearing ‘Shine gifts: you could buy a Wayne’s World T-shirt or simply try his ‘Shine. It was pretty good and I know it might not be the ACTUAL ‘Shine from the show, but I can pretend it is! Keep on truckin’ Wayne, you were a pleasure to chat with!

In the same vein as other ‘Shine celebrities was Bill Elliot. When I was young, my parents and close extended family used to travel every July to the Firecracker 400 in Daytona Beach. The adults would go every year to the race, while for us kids, it was the annual beach trip. I’d heard of Nascar greats like Petty and Allison, as well as Bill Elliot every year, as my uncle was a huge fan. Secret: my cousin Allison was named after Bobby Allison. But, I got the pleasure of talking to Billy and told him the above story. He was there as the face for his own brand of moonshine called Dawsonville Moonshine. He had an apple pie moonshine that was a little sweeter but it tasted like apple pie in a glass. Yum.

One thing I didn’t know moonshine could be was inspirational. I talked to Charlie Ball of Troy & Sons Distillery. His wife and he moved to North Carolina to help their sons, whom have a rare metabolic disease. Little did they know that the move would result in a moonshine business that would bloom out of housewarming gifts made by their mother, Troy, for their neighbors. The Today Show covered the story and lovingly call her the Moonshine Mom. Check out their story here:   http://www.today.com/food/mom-honors-her-ailing-sons-moonshine-making-business-2D79607492

Finally, I went into Andrews Moonshine Festival believing that moonshine is a million proof alcohol that you have to drink out of a thimble or risk overdosing on alcohol. I learned something new! Let’s get to my favorite moonshine of the event was Moon Pie Moonshine that has a hint of chocolate with the obvious kick at the end. It was sweet and good on its own but when they added A&W root beer to it and all of a sudden it tastes like a tootsie roll.  Awesome. The other one I was impressed with was American Born Moonshine and their sweet tea flavored beverage that was brewed with a mix of Earl Grey and English Breakfast tea. It literally tasted like tea. They had lemonade added to it in a mixed drink that was also good, but the moonshine itself made the drink!

Thanks, Andrews Moonshine Fest, for setting me straight on moonshine.

KENNESAW CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL 2014

Saturday, September 27th at 1pm

Location: Downtown Kennesaw

FOR MORE INFORMATION:http://kennesawcraftbeerfest.com/

By Liz Attaway

In the hills outside Atlanta is a small, sleepy town with an up-and-coming vibe, and recently has several restaurants popping up in its charming downtown. That being said, wouldn’t it be fitting that one brewery has located there and a second is about to open? I wish we had ONE brewery in our inside the perimeter city! What’s a girl gotta do to get one? Ok, don’t answer that. But, in its inaugural year, Kennesaw Craft Beer Fest, highlighted a variety of fall beers in delightful small town atmosphere.

I cannot say enough about the beer selection at the Kennesaw Beer Fest. Maybe it was the time of year or maybe it was a miracle but this was the best beer selection at a beer festival that I’ve ever been to and that, my friends, is saying a lot. From, pumpkin beers flowing from real pumpkins, stouts, porters, to specialty beers I was impressed with what the breweries had to offer.

My favorite beer of the festival and the best brewery showing was Burnt Hickory Brewery out of Kennesaw. They had at least three beers that I would drink on a regular occasion and that was just what they brought! Starting with my favorite beer of the festival: Gourd Knocker Imperial Pumpkin Stout. It was a delicious, sweet milk stout made with eggnog and strong pumpkin notes. The two together were divine. Yes, divine. I know I shouldn’t have any of it but it was so good, would you blame me? I talked to Scott who owns the brewery and he explained that the beer was a take on their Christmas beer that is brewed with eggnog that they showcase every year over the holidays. They simply added pumpkin to it. This was probably the only time they would EVER have this beer and it was an honor to get a few tastes of it! They also had two other beers that I would have seconds of: the Graham Cracker Stout and a Pumpkin Porter. The Graham Cracker Stout has hints of honey and graham cracker on top of a malty stout.  The Pumpkin Porter isn’t as dark or sweet as the Gourd Knocker but it had a good pumpkin kick at the end of a smooth porter. Want to try Burnt Hickory? They are having an open house on October 18th with some specialty beers.

While perusing the rest of the beer selection, I came across Cherry Street. I’m not sure who I talked to but he was from the Cherry Street Brewery and recommended two beers to try that were not at the festival: Pumpkin Pie Porter and Coconut Porter. He explained that the Pumpkin Pie Porter is like pumpkin pie in a glass. The Coconut Porter is not too thick at 6.3% but tastes like a slice of chocolate pie. I wonder if it really does. I’ll have to give them a try. Not only were these recommended to me but about five independent groups of people recommended Southern Tier’s Warlock. It is a stout but that’s about all I know about it, but that’s enough for me with all the rave reviews. Elsewhere, Terrapin’s Liquid Bliss was a peanut butter cup in a glass, which I bet is delicious on tap. I’m not huge on peanut butter as a drink but it’s pretty good, all around beer for after dinner or as dessert. That brings me to PumKing. I found it in the back room of VIP. A good way to top of the afternoon, If I may say so myself.

At the end of the day, Kennesaw Craft Beer Fest, was an all-around fun event in a great location. I’m sure it will be back next year. Feeling sad you missed the event? Don’t worry, there’s Boos and Brews on October 25th and Acworth Beer Fest on November 8th to enjoy your favorite fall beers. Check out the below links for more information.
http://atlantabeerfestivals.com/boos-and-brews/

http://acworthcraftbeerfest.com/