WILD HEAVEN’S EMERGENCY CHICKEN PICKIN

Saturday, June 27th at 7pm

Location: Wild Heaven Brewery

IMG_7586  By Liz and John Attaway

  The forecast called for rain with little chance of a dry hour that night in June. The patio was lit with party lights, while the tent was up protecting the precious chicken cargo from the impending doom. It was a brave effort but unnecessary as the clouds spaced out in the late afternoon sky. As the sun set in the west, the clouds had a pink, blue, and purple glow that was glorious and beautiful, showing the world that even a rainy day has a silver lining. What was so beautiful about this sunset was sitting a-top their entrance is the Wild Heaven logo where the pink, blue and purple cloud background shown through the big windows and behind the logo, it was a beautiful site for the Emergency Chicken Pickin event.

Wild Heaven’s Emergency Chicken Pickin was about two things: chicken and beer. This chicken was something to write home about; it was that good! With Pine Street Market grilling succulent Springer Mountain Chicken that was marinated in Wild Heaven’s Emergency beer, what wasn’t to like? It was cooked with the skin on and bone in to give you the moisture needed to make it tender and juicy. I had a snack before I went but I ate a whole piece ½ of white mIMG_7587eat and John got another piece too. More, please.

Beyond the chicken was the beer, John’s favorite is the Let There Be Light, an American Pale ale, that is one of the more hoppy options at the brewery. What I really like about Wild Heaven that they don’t over hop their beer. My favorite was the Eschaton, which is a malty, Belgian-Style Quadruple. It’s dark, malty, beautifully balanced and would be so good with chocolate. Of the new offerings, we really enjoyed Emergency, as well as the Pearly Gates No 19. Emergency is a Pil-style Session Ale. It’s one of those summer beers you can get a six pack of and sip on at the pool. It’s light, bright, and an easy drinker but not so light you feel like your drinking a light beer. The Pearly Gates No 19 was a special beer only for this event and it had a little more bit   e and bolder flavor and a slight nutty aftertaste.

With the good turn-out, the glorious sun set, and chicken and beer pairing, the event seemed to be a hit. We were IMG_7582impressed with the quality of the chicken and the beer offerings of the night. If you’d like more information on Wild Heaven, their beers, and their tours/tastings check out their site at http://wildheavencraftbeers.com/

See you next time, Nick!

DAD’S GARAGE & FRIENDS 2015 AT THE FOX THEATRE

Saturday, June 13th at 8pm

Location: The Fox Theatre

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

By Liz and John Attaway

There is a sign in the heart of a big city that glitters against the night sky. It is notorious for its beautiful ballets and mesmerizing musicals. The town folk all hold it in the highest regard and visit it several times a year in all their finest; ladies in their ball gowns and gentlemen in their tuxes and top hats. Just think about pulling up in a Model-T and walking down the red carpet. Those days are gone but the nostalgia and the sign still stands, as glittering and prestigious as ever. Welcome to The Fabulous Fox Theatre. Juxtaposing the beauty and prestige is Dad’s Garage, an improv troupe that is irreverent and playful, while entertaining Atlanta without any of the pretense. That’s what made the Dad’s Garage & Friends event so interesting: East meets West, North meets South, Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract. You catch the drift. Tonight, Dad’s Garage finds itself getting all dressed up, even “Schmancy”. Well played, Dad’s Garage, well played.

To go along with their new shiny shoes and bow ties, Dad’s Garage & Friends boasted many celebrity friends that Kevin Gillese, the Artistic Director of Dad’s Garage, said “you’ll never see this combination of actors again.” That’s what I call: #truth. Of those featured celebrities were Amber Nash and Lucky Yates who voice Pam and Krieger on the show Archer from FX. Followed by Fred Willard who has appeared on TV shows from Modern Family to Mad About You to Rosanne. Colin Mochrie, a frequent Dad’s Garage visiting actor, is from the original and CW reboot of Whose Line is it Anyway. Cedric Yarbough who portrayed Deputy S. Jones/Rufus from Reno 911. Gary Anthony Williams who wore a loud pink button down voices Uncle Ruckus on Adult Swim’s The Boondocks, and was recently seen in The Internship. Last but not least, there was also David Willis, who is the voice of Meatwad from Aqua Teen Hunger Force on Adult Swim.

Beyond the cele11393151_1599988356932535_7023246345605088045_nbs was some very funny skits, sketches, songs, and modern dances. My favorite skit was the Atlanta Opera sings the skit that Mochrie described as, “the first opera with an NC-17 rating.” They took audience ideas like Frisbees, Batman and the Penguin conversation, and the invention of the Cotton Gin and incorporated them into a script that the Opera singers would put their spin on. It became naught quickly. Like the Batman and Penguin skit, it was like a duck with Tourette’s. Topics ranged from friends, lovers, flying, the devil (but spelled kdevil), and cotton. I laughed so hard I almost cried when the typos became rampant and the Opera Sings had to sing the words exactly as typed. The look on their faces was PRICELESS. Worth. Every. Penny.

Keeping with the Atlanta Opera, who was a partner for the night, was the Atlanta Opera sings Jaden Smith’s Tweets. Yes, Jaden Smith of Will Smith fame. The best ones were “Most Trees are Blue” and “Dying is mainstream #money.” The Atlanta Opera wasn’t the only ones singing as Yarborough and Williams took audience suggestions and were tasked with improving a song that incorporated the audience’s ideas. A young lady in the front named “Kat” gave them the suggestion of a giraffe. They sang about this giraffe to the tune of Reggae and the funniest, Gospel Hip Hop, totally made up for this event but one part choir, one part Kayne West (who was a guest host, kind of). It was a hoot.

Beyond the song shenanigans, as advertised, the Dad’s Garage troupe did their version of “Too Many Cooks” The Musical. Of course, it started with a very large family at home. Other elements that they blended into the musical was Coat, Smarf, the cat-like puppet that reminded us for Alf, and the machete wielding killer. In “Too Many Cooks” style, (SPOILER ALERT) the killer lops the head off of a bunch of the actors and ended with him standing among the dead. I think I’ve seen this before…

A few other tidbits that were amusing included Two Lies and a Truth, where Gary Anthony Williams had the best line saying that he tried to dig his way to the devil. Meatwad admitted that he got paid in tater tots (because let’s not lie, their awesome). The segment about 1-star reviews on Yelp for Atlanta Attractions includ11247890_10207012962464763_7945729679863100524_ned a scathing review of the beloved Clermont Lounge. The reviewer stated that it’s “a great place to get an incurable disease.” I would admit that I wouldn’t wear opened toed shoes or a long dress there. It may stick to the floor. Shudder. Finally, we got a treat with an exclusive improved Archer scene that was specially made for the event. Lucky Yates, who voices Krieger, and Amber Nash, who voices Pam both lent their voices and it was just like watching an actual Archer episode. Krieger must have really pissed off that big cat that kept attacking him. So fun.

With a few Hitler gabs and a literal choir, the Dad’s Garage and Friends came to a close. What an enjoyable night full of laughter and wonder. We’ve actually never been to an actual Dad’s Garage show, we’ll have to get out to a show and see what they do day-in and day-out to keep so many close friends (and good ones at that). Maybe once they take over that church in the Old Fourth Ward. Dad’s Garage has been around since 1995. They used to be located in Inman Park and have been displaced recently to perform at 7 Stages Theatre until their permanent home is finished. ANNOUNCEMENT: They will be opening on New Year’s Even 2015-16 in their new location! Cue the Choir.

Want to get out to The Fox Theatre? Here’s their web address to see upcoming shows and ticket information here: https://foxtheatre.org/

 

SWEETWATER 420 FEST 2015

Friday, April 17th to Sunday, April 19th at

Location: Centennial Olympic Park

FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.sweetwater420fest.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

There is nothing more beautiful than the Atlanta Skyline at night with the lights a-glow, while the skywheel floats gracefully clock-wise changing from green to red to blue. What makes it even more wondrous is the unending sea of people covering a large amounts of muddied earth. They all sway in time to the beat, while the rhythmic lights from the stage cast shadows onto that sea of moving people. Just imagine this moment with the skyline in the background, and you stand watching Primus from the side of the stage taking it all in. Epic.

All the grounds were muddied from the Friday night rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the 420 festival goers. They seemed more excited and eager than ever before. While we were there, we didn’t even need a rain coat. Well, almost didn’t, and that was a miracle. Experience wise, our favorite was that we got to go through the VIP Big Fish area and Honey Hole and they were both worth every minute. We would highly recommend them to anyone who attends next year! They had everything from discounted food and beer to relaxation tents and a special VIP area to watch the show. On top of that, they had a back-stage platform, where VIP could watch any show from basically the front row. And even better was the VIP walk-way between the Big Fish area and the VIP watching area. You got to walk through the crowd and watch the front row enjoy the music. We got a lot of high fives. It made you feel like a celebrity!  <CELEBRITY ALERT> OR you can actually stand next to a celebrity, like Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in The Hunger Games)! Yes, that happened but we didn’t want to bother him. <CELEBRITY ALERT>

Now for the music. Cage The Elephant was hands down the best show of the weekend with lead singer Matt Shultz’s energy, and the well-known songs like “Shake Me Down.”  Matt couldn’t help contain his excitement to be performing by jumping multiple times on the guitarist Brad Shultz’s back. We’ve seen them before so I wasn’t surprised with how good they were and how much the crowd enjoyed the show. That being said, I wasn’t surprised when Matt jumped into the crowd and sang as he crowd surfed. The crowd went wild.

The Sunday headliner, 311 was that band from late high school and early college that was new, exciting, and different. They remind me of being young and innocent with my whole life ahead of me. They remind me of the people from my past, the old friendships, relationships, and going away to college. Needless to say that, they are a bit nostalgic to me. I don’t think I’ve seen them since 1998 Rock Fest that was held at the Atlanta Horse Park. It was a line-up of late 90’s bands that included Silverchair, The Offspring, and Live. A lot of time has passed since then, but what struck me about 311, was even though they have aged their music is still as fun as I remember. They started the set out with “Beautiful Disaster” and they played a lot of their greatest hits especially my favorite “Down.”  With every song, the crowd erupted with excitement and they seemed to love it and so did we. It was a trip down memory lane.

And like every festival, it must come to an end. With that, Sweetwater 420 Festival winded down and the crowd parted out of the green, iron gates of Centennial Olympic Park. All is quiet there, the stage and grounds are empty. The moon peers through the clouds and looks down on it knowing what a great weekend it was in Atlanta. It knows that all who attended will remember Sweetwater 420 in 2015 fondly and thinking, “until next year.”

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hogs and hops atlanta

HOGS AND HOPS 2015

Saturday, April 11th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

Can a corn dog change your life? Yes. Yes it can.

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

By Liz and John Attaway

The billowing BBQ smoke twisted its way into the clear, spring air, while meat, veggies, and even doughnuts were welcoming their finishing touches before the masses descended upon them. This year’s Hogs and Hops 2015 was a mecca of BBQ taste testing with everything from pork sausage, corn dogs, pulled pork, Hawaiian park tacos, bacon, collard, mac and cheese, wings, and even corn, donuts, and popsicles.  Beyond the cuisine, there was beer to pair and entertainment to watch. So we sipped along, chowed down, and enjoyed every savory bite.  There were so many good things to taste, we should have brought our elastic waist pants.

Let’s dive right in to the meat and potatoes of this festival: the BBQ! Of all the offerings at Hogs and Hops, Smoke Ring’s pulled pork was the of the pork BBQ category. It was slightly smoky, tender on the inside, yet a delightful crisp on the outside. It was so tender and flavorful that we had seconds. I’d have to say, my favorite overall tasting was the Pallookaville Corn Dogs. More carnie food than BBQ, it was a flavorful, salty, pork hotdog enveloped in a perfectly fried cheese batter that had a sweet, fluffy inside and crisp, fried outside. It was salty, sweet and glorious. Bravo, Pallookaville! Can a corn dog change your life? Yes. Yes it can. Now I get why your lines are epically long at festivals. Let’s not forget DBA Barbeque that brought a smorgasbord of goodies that included their deliciously delightful smoked turkey, as well as their crisp bacon. Starting with the smoked turkey, which was the best pork alternative being tender and juicy. They also were the only participant that brought bacon. That’s a win in our books.  John had about 10 helpings. I think those were probably his favorite.

Beyond the traditional BBQ offerings was Sweet Auburn’s pork taco filled with pork, sauce, and slaw. I have to say the sweet, Asian inspired slaw was the perfect topping, even go as far to say the best part of this taco. We enjoyed it! In the veggie category two stood out: Hottie Hawgs corn and Pallookaville’s Collards. The corn was the right amount of sweet and smoky, topped with butter and seasoning salt, of course, hold the butter for me. I snuck a piece of DBA’s bacon around a piece of my corn. I must say what a mashup that was! Healthy BBQ option? I think so! Then, the collards at Pallookaville were crunchy, balanced with vinegar and slight ham flavor. I’ll take a big fat bowl any day.

Deserts were scarce but they did have several King of Pops flavors and The Naked Donut Co. We love the Naked Donut Co and their donuts remind me of benefits. Little flavor pillows fried and topped with whatever you want from deulce de leche, candied bacon, cinnamon, brown sugar, to maple glaze. Too bad they were out of the candied bacon, but who could blame them they had the longest line at the festival. I bet it was divine. Picture it with me now.

One tidbit about the beer before we bring Hogs and Hops 2015 to a close: did you know Porters go well with smoked BBQ? You learn something new every day! It’s the right amount of malt that mixes with the meat’s smoke that really does it! My favorite of the porters was Jekyll’s Smoked Porter. It paired the best with the pulled pork from Smoke Ring. Reformation also had a very good stout called Stark with a good balance of malt and hops. I also discovered was Eagle Creek Puffs Magic Stout. I like Irish Stouts so-so and will drink one in a pinch but this one had more body and flavor, not as “nitro” or bland as most Irish Stouts I encounter. I also like that it wasn’t as dry.

With too much food in our bellies and some beer on our minds, I left with only one on my mind: stuffed. Can we do it again this weekend? If you find you missed out on this one and you’d like to come out to one of Atlanta Beer Festival’s other events there are many coming up including Kennesaw Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 2nd and then Summer Beer Festival back at The Masquerade, Saturday, June 20th. Cheers!

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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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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.