Friday, April 25th to Sunday, April 27th at

Location: Kingsdown, Ga


By Liz Attaway

On the hill above a rural Georgia field is a large illuminated COUNTER.POINT sign that overlords something magical and inviting; it lures you in and takes hold of your soul. On the left of this sign in the sky is a sea of people gaggled together in front of an illuminated stage, their hands in the air, their bodies jumping and dancing in unison, their lips mouthing the words, while we stand in the back in awe of the sight. The excitement and anticipation from the crowd sends goose-bumps up your spine, touching deep inside all you want to do is join in on the happiness. That’s Counterpoint and I’ve never seen anything like it.

Let’s get right to the heart of the Counterpoint: the music. From Sleigh Bells, to Foster the People, to The Revivalists, to the headliner, OutKast, Counterpoint had wall-to-wall music, sights and sounds that kept the proverbial you busy and satisfied for three days. The scene described in the first paragraph was OutKast with Big Boi proclaiming, “It’s good to be back in the dirty, dirty.” Playing everything and I mean everything you’d wanted to hear: Rosa Parks, Hey Yeah, Mrs. Jackson, and Skew it on the Bar-B to name a few, they put it all out there for our enjoyment. They came out later than expected due to a rain delay, but it was worth the wait as the people danced and swayed to the tunes they knew so well. We loved every minute of it from the American Flag to the laser light show! It looked like Andre 3000 and Big Boi both were having a blast and that’s what it’s about: giving the audience a good time, while having a good time themselves. Now if they could just have had a big screen or two for the people in the back to see the shenanigans. Funny story: we met Andre 3000 in an elevator and didn’t even know it until later that night. He was very gracious to us and probably enjoyed a regular conversation for once. It’s good to have them back and I can’t believe they are celebrating 20 years. Now, I’m feeling a little old.

The most anticipated artist for me was Sleigh Bells. Having seen them before in a small venue, they didn’t disappoint with blazing guitar, deep base, loud drums all held together by Alexis Krauss’ smooth voice. Last time we saw them Alexis got hit in the head with the guitar but finished her performance and even made an appearance at the merch table, gash and all. If you’ve never heard Sleigh Bells, I would describe them as upbeat electronica pop rock, or as I first heard them described, noise pop. I love Sleigh Bells and on top of that their energy and humility is breathtaking. Alexis gives it 100% every song, every time and seems to love every minute of her time on stage and her performance. My only complaint was their set got cut due to a rain delay and probably had to cut my favorite of their cannon of songs: Tell ‘em from the Treats album. I need more. When’s the next show?

I haven’t seen Foster the People before and I have to say they were quite good live. With spikes of clear stone reminiscent of the fortress of solitude from superman, they came out with gusto and LEDs fluttering light in the background. They played several songs that were widely known like Pumped up Kicks and Don’t Stop, while mixing in some other songs that kept with the quality of the radio songs. Not only can Mark Foster sing, he also plays the piano and put his talent on display several times during his set. Another band we enjoyed were The Revivalists, as they were a little different than the other Counter.Point fare. With French horn and saxophone accompaniment, the lead singer, David Shaw was probably the most energetic lead singer besides Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells. He jumped out into the crowd the second he could and the crowd loved it. His music reminded me of a band from college called, Dayroom and it excited me! I think I’ll be downloading their music soon from iTunes.

Beyond the music, our new friends at Heineken, cornered the market on beer and offered its flagship brand, Heineken, Heineken Light and a new beer introduced to the crowd called Desperado. Desperado is a new tequila barrel-aged Mexican lager that is sweet, cold, and satisfying for the spirit, wine, and occasional bud light lime drinker. Surprised by the taste, it was sweeter than anticipated with a hint of citrus and a smooth light tequila tart taste throughout. The beer wasn’t the only thing Heineken brought to Counterpoint, they brought what was called the Heineken House. It was a bar in a uniquely built art exhibit of live artwork being painted by the artist as the festival went on around it. At night, it was illuminated for the world to see with neon green outlines. The artwork was done by artists that were brought in from all over including big cities like Los Angeles and hometown heroes from Atlanta. Heineken will also be sponsoring two more big Atlanta shows called Shaky Knees at Atlantic Station that has a stellar line up including The National, Modest Mouse, Cage the Elephant and more is one. The other is Party in the Park on May 17th that is sponsored by Desperado and has big names like MGMT and Girl Talk. Where do we sign up?

As for the other sponsors, Zippo had a design a Zippo contest where the winner would win a guitar. I saw several of the entries and they were all very good. Next to Zippo was Cracker Jack’s and they were giving out Spicy Pizzeria snacks all weekend, which came in handy in a pinch. Also, Bed Head had a tent where attendees could get rid of that nasty festival hair and get their “hair did” by a professional. Bell’s had a draught house where they featured several of their beers including my favorite Bell’s beer: Porter.

What would a festival be without the people? Beyond the words were the poles, hundreds of poles, with anything from cardboard cut-outs to umbrellas, to glowing eyes, to trees. The most interesting were Bill Cosby and King of the Hill’s Hank with glowing eyes, while the worst and most perplexing was the literal tree. It was like the guy picked it up in the woods and said, “Hey, let’s use this as our pole.” What. In. The World. There was body paint, guys in speedos, several dozen people with fashion fur hats, and so on and so forth, so talk about a melting pot of cultures. The OutKast fans were out in force on Sunday with tailgaters in day parking blasting classic OutKast. We even got asked what our favorite OutKast album was on the way back into the festival grounds.

Where were all these people staying? There were several things you could do that included camping, Glamping, RV parking, day parking, or staying off-site at a hotel. We were going to drive home but we ended up finding a hotel the night of only 15 miles away in Adairsville, so it was entirely possible to find something last minute. The camping on the grounds of Steeplechase looked the most fun with people grilling out, taking naps and enjoying their friends. Up the hill is where the RVs were parked with their air conditioning and personal bathrooms, which would have been a good change from those Johnny-On-The-Spots. The next lot over were the nicer RVs of the VIP where we met our friends at Heineken and next to that were the Glampers. You could purchase a pre-pitched tent with anything up to four cots to an actual bed! They looked tres chic as the French would say. If you didn’t feel like playing in the mud with the masses, there were people who day parked and went home or stayed in hotels. It was very easy to get to and from the concert with plenty of car lanes and very little lines.

Overall, what a glorious weekend of good music, interesting people, exciting new connections, and everything in between at Counterpoint. We had such a good time and CAN’T WAIT to go back next year and experience it all over again. You should also pencil it in for next year, this is a can’t miss festival anyone can attend!


Saturday, May 10th at 7pm

Location: The Buckhead Theater



By Liz Attaway

Spectacle Wishes and Eye Surgery Dreams.

On a stormy night in May, a few hundred people gather together for a lavish event that helps needy Georgians see. Women in ball gowns, men in tuxes, all dressed up to help their friends, family and strangers from all over Georgia.  This event is the annual Night of Spectacles and now in it’s seventh year, Georgia Lions Lighthouse has helped over 6,490 people in 2013 alone. This event raises money to provide eye services like exams, glasses, surgeries, screenings and even hearing aids to those who can’t afford them.  With silent auction, live auction, reverse auction, and a stunning fashion show there is plenty of room to open your heart and help your fellow Georgians.


The main event of Night of Spectacles is the fashion show. This year, SCAD, Clark Atlanta, and Georgia Southern fashion students competed for a $1000 scholarship to help them to realize their fashion dream. The winner of this year’s $1000 scholarship was Lily Johnson from Georgia Southern who had one of the most unique dress designs with over 300 eye glass pieces, while being edgy and different. This is her third year in the competition, and her attention detail, hard work, and overall unique design made her dress the clear winner for to the judges. As far as the other winner, the runner-up was Walter Dixon of Georgia Southern. Finally, another designer, Melanie Woodroffe, who is not a student was recognized as she creatively crafted a “steampunk” designed dress that incorporated a top hat and the classic Victorian era detail. My favorite dress was one that would be easily wearable with blue eye glasses down the front and a low back. It could be worn out on the town! I also liked the navy blue number with the open midriff and dangling clear eyewear. Another one was black with what I would describe as gold wings and adornment, as well as a princess ball gown with a long flowing pink train. The variety and imagination of the students was in full force this year and there wasn’t a bad dress in the house. Bravo!


I wanted to take a minute to talk about the judges as I was impressed with their pedigree! Starting with Julie Moran who is a Georgia native who went on to be a host on Entertainment Tonight! She is uniquely qualified for fashion as she covered numerous fashion events for her day job. There was also Sherie Nevett, who has her own clothing line called Sherie Nevett Designs. She was wearing a stunning white dress that was very fashion forward. The final judge is Jessica Black, the 2010 Miss United States and Georgia girl as well. It must have been an hour to win this competition with such forward thinking fashion icons!


On top of the spectacular fashion show, the silent auction included a variety of items from big items like Southwest Roundtrip tickets, to sunglasses, to gift cards for several restaurants and outings, to an autographed Cam Newton football, and even a wooden train. They were selling like hot cakes. After the silent auction closed, the live auction took center stage and was co-hosted by Georgia Franco. George Franco is a news anchor over at the local Fox Five News affiliate and seemed to really enjoy pumping up the crowd. Some of the items included a trip to Italy to stay in the Tucson son, as well as an African safari for the adventurous, even a beach vacation in Florida. After that, the reverse auction was probably the most lucrative of the donations as people gave from larger sums to smaller sums. One guy gave $50 per Lions member in the room, which was impressive. Everyone at our table gave during the reverse auction and seemed to move people to give. And let’s not forget the fabulous food catered by Soiree with little chicken salad sandwiches, prime rib, and cooked mixed vegetables. They even had a risotto bar where you could choose your toppings, which I had never seen before.


If you don’t know anything about the Georgia Lion’s Lighthouse more than what was mentioned above, know that on top of the people they have helped, the eye surgeries, and glasses, they also recycle eye wear and have volunteer opportunities open to the public in their eye clinic. Too many people desperately need help with their sight and before I started helping with Night of Spectacles years ago, I took for granted my eye sight. Now, I know how many lives Georgia Lion’s Lighthouse and the Night of Spectacles help all over the state and beyond. If you would like more information on the Georgia Lion’s Lighthouse go to their website:



Friday, April 18th to Sunday, April 20th at Varied by day

Location: Centennial Olympic Park




 As The Mist descended upon Atlanta, a rogue storm of bloodthirsty creatures wreaked havoc on this sprawling metropolis, while a small band of citizens fought for their lives held up under the Sweetwater 420 stage. Ok, maybe that was the synopsis for Steven King’s The Mist with some creative tweaks (special credit to IMDB), but none the less, the mist was a minor issue. What it wasn’t an issue for was the spirit and mood of Sweetwater 420 Festival. With great music, a vibrant artists market and a ton of happy people, the festival was in full force despite the minor mist setback.

Our first stop this year was to see our friend, Wesley Cook, play the main stage.  With his smooth sounds of the beach, intertwined with some catchy rock riffs, he was a big hit to festivalgoers. Cook is a dynamic singer, songwriter who has competed in Rolling Stone’s Street to Stage competition, as well as does anything from acoustic small shows to big stage productions. We would say he is a mix of beach fun-in-the-sun, Dave Matthews, rock, and jazz, then top that with his energy and you’ve got Wesley Cook. If you like any of that, you should check him out at

I’ve never seen anything quite like the Not So Silent Disco Tent.  Heard from across the street, the dance beats filled the air around the tent as tons of festival goers piled into see the rainbow bright girls dance in front of a white, futuristic stage set up dressed up with lights, a hazer, and beach balls. The crowd danced to the beat in time as non-festival onlookers from the fence gazed in amazement. It was probably one of the best things at 420. It was energetic!

On the sponsorship side, Tic Tac blew me away with their neat little set up where attendees could stand in line to get a make-your-own pack of Tic Tacs. They had a large variety of flavors including, light and dark strawberry, peppermint, berry, as well as spearmint. Once the pack was put together you got your very own label. On the other side of the set-up was a place you could take a picture IN a Tic Tac pack. It was pretty fun the only downfall was the long line. The other big sponsor had to be Johnsonville Brats. They brought a really big truck that boasted it was the world’s biggest grill. It looked and smelled fantastic. They were selling large brats for $3 so we tried them. Mm Mm. Worth every bite. They weren’t the only food offering, there were a ton of food trucks scattered about including Mixed Up where you got your food to hair metal tunes, as well as anything from fries to comfort food to fish.

In the paved area of the park, the artist market had it all from jewelry (big watches, my favorite), clothing, artwork, to anything in between.  Beyond that there were two other experiences worth noting and they include the Comedy Stage and the Sweetwater Experience. To get out of the rain or for a little change of pace, attendees could go in and watch a live improve act from several improve theaters all over the city. The other place you could go was the Sweetwater Experience. They had beer pairings with food and a seminar on what is in your beer. Not to mention the specialty beers you could try for a small fee.

Overall, despite the misty experience, Sweetwater 420 was a lot of fun this year. Moving it from Chandler Park to Centennial Olympic park was a stroke of genius and made for a much better festival experience. The lines were a lot shorter and the parking situation was 100% better. We had a great time and are looking forward.


Saturday, April 5th at 2pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

“We Smoke Pig Butts and We Cannot Lie” – Smoke Ring BBQ.


“We smoke big pig butts and we cannot lie,” huh? We have to admit that we too like smoked butts and cannot lie: we like them in rub, we like them in glub, we like them here or there, we like them everywhere. Dr. Seuss and Sir Mix A lot aside this festival was all about the food and there was more than I could fit into my belly.  At Hogs and Hops beer was flowing, the barbeque was smoked, the stew was stewing, the collards were steeping, all that being said are you hungry yet?  I drew up my elastic waist pants, gathered wet wipes, and dug in.
Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts? My favorite food of the festival was the Brussels sprouts from Smoke Ring. It was different and unexpected at a big barbeque festival. They combined what tasted like oil, garlic and salt. It was a thing of beauty, I might have muttered the words: To. Die. For. It wasn’t an understatement. I know it’s weird to talk about Brussels sprouts in a barbeque article so let’s move on. Of the barbeque variety there were two dishes that stood out to me: Bone Lick’s pulled pork straight from the hog was the first one. The pulled pork was tender with a lightly smoked and rich flavor, don’t ruin it with sauce, and eat it plain.  I had to go back for seconds and thirds. The second of my favorite barbeque offerings were the D.B.A Barbeque ribs. They were cooked to fall off the bone and had the right amount of spice and rub giving it a little bite. Along these same lines were was the best barbeque sandwich, by Moe’s Original Barbeque; it was the Turkey and Slaw. The turkey was tender and slightly smoky, while the slaw was vinegar based with the right amount of bitter cabbage and vinegar, topped with some mayonnaise. It was so good I ate the whole thing despite being stuffed up to my eye balls. Speaking of slaw, if you haven’t tried Sweet Auburn Barbecue’s Asian Pear Slaw, you’re missing out. Sweet. Salty. Vinegar-y. Slightly creamy; four good adjectives that should make your stomach growl. I know mine is! Let me take a minute here to mention that Greater Good Barbeque was the winner of the Hogs and Hops judges competition, but I didn’t get around to them as they were the furthest from the front. We will have to take a weekend adventure to try them and you should too.
Barbeque wasn’t the only thing on the menu like the Brussels sprouts, Bone Lick had some really good collards soaked with bacon, and another one of my favorites was the Italian Meatball from Mighty Meatball. It was smothered in marinara sauce, cooked, and then topped with more marinara sauce. Did I mention the meat was hand ground and they even make their own sausage? Phenomenal. Mighty Meatball has two food trucks and frequents the Atlanta Food Truck Park. You should go and hang out with these friendly, down to earth restaurateurs. Don’t forget the dessert. The line leading up to the tent said it all about The Naked Donut Company; they were fresh fried right on site and seconds before being topped. They were sweet and sticky with or without chocolate and sprinkles.


Barbeque and all the fixin’s weren’t the only draw, there was also some new Atlanta breweries and several new beers on tap to try. A new Atlanta brewery called Yes Face has a phenomenal beer called O Face Stout. It was one of those Stouts that you drink multiple of and enjoy the whole time.

Some stouts tend to get bitter over time or don’t have enough malt flavor but this had the right blend of both malt and flavor.  Have you ever heard of beer that tastes like pretzels? Look no further than Shock Top who now has a pretzel wheat beer that was surprisingly good (if you like pretzels as much as I do). It smelled like a bag of pretzels freshly opened and finishes with a slight pretzel flavor but smooth throughout.  I was surprised that I liked it so much because it was just so odd.  Speaking of pretzels, we’ve tried Knotty Pretzels a few times but paired with the Pretzel Wheat it was heaven. The local Atlanta pretzel company has some good flavors including Italian, which was really fresh and good.

With a full bell, we left Hogs and Hops with a smile on our faces. It was barbeque and beertastic and now I know what restaurants I’ll be going to for my barbeque fix.

Try any of these places for yourself, here’s a handy list:

Smoke Ring

Bone Lick BBQ

D.B.A. Barbeque

Moe’s Original Barbeque

Mighty Meatballs Food Truck

The Naked Donut Company

Greater Good Barbeque

Sweet Auburn Barbeque






Saturday, April 5th at 12pm

Location: Atlantic Station

The Carnival’s Coming To Town!


 Step right up! Don’t worry height restrictions don’t apply here; you can be 10 feet or 2 feet to ride these ride. With the beautiful Atlanta downtown skyline, blue sky, and the red flags of a carnival tent swaying in the wind, The Beer Carnival rolled into town with a plethora of engaging carnival games and beer. On this glorious day there were so many carnival games, it was almost impossible to figure out where to start. To the right were games and beer to the left were games and beer, what shall we do first?

From Angry Beers, a live take on Angry Birds, to Keg Racers that pits friends against each other in a race to glory, to several plastic ducks taking a swim down a watery luge, there was a little something to do for everyone (and their mothers!). My favorite game had to be the Duck Luge. I know, I know there was a game called Surgery! that was a BIG take on Operation! It was cool and deserves a little shock mention but it wasn’t my favorite. Why you ask? Water! Not only was it a little unique, it also involved pumping water that may or may not work or splash all over the participants and it just made for a really fun time.  I watched one girl laughing so hard that her pump didn’t work well that it really was contagious to all the people watching and playing.

Then, there were the Keg Racers, where you could sit on a plastic keg with wheels and race one of your friends around a short track and walk away with bragging rights. The line was pretty long and some people were really good at it and some people just would fall off or putt around the track. It was pretty funny to watch but it didn’t matter, the participants really had a lot of fun.  Another one of the games was the Beer Graffiti Wall, which was totally full by 2:30pm. There were tons of sayings and names on it but not a lot of real estate. So, we took to the ground and wrote our website on the ground and took a picture. Free advertising (kind of)? Yes, Please. Genius! Finally, there was Top Spin that allusive game that we played several times and just couldn’t win. It became a mission to win! What I found was that no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t win. It was like we could squirt the target all day but it was really random if you won or not. What is the trick to this game, I wonder? Is it like finding Bigfoot and just never going to happen? I guess so for this year. I would like to mention some of the other games that included BOWL! a big bowling game, some traditional carnival games like throwing balls at cans, to floating beer pong. I can’t monition them all here!

Let’s not forget the beer: three to mention. First, O’Dempsy’s Your Black Heart Stout was there, so you know which one I went back to a few times as they have one of my favorite stouts. I’ve had this beer so many times and just love it. Highly recommended. In the VIP area were two specialty beers that turned my head, the first being Starr Hill Little Red Roostarr Coffee Cream Stout. I took a chance on this one even though it had the word “milk” in it and it was worth it. It was a gloriously smooth with a strong chocolate nose and a creamy finish. One of the best beers I’ve ever had and no it isn’t better than my favorite beer Wake-N-Bake so don’t ask.  The other was the Red Brick’s 20th Anniversary Ale.  It was a Russian Imperial Stout aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Red Brick’s website quotes it at 10.5 percent ABV and one of its biggest beers yet. It was a good big beer with a lot of up front malt and a smooth bourbon finish. I would recommend it. Finally,back out in the general area was Eventide Stout. I finally found a place that has a stout that is in their regular brewery rotation. YES! It’s really hard to find stouts on tap all year round at a brewery.

This carnival wasn’t about the bearded lady, elephants, clowns, or the Amazing Houdini the Magnificent; it was a fun time with games and beer. There was so much to do and so little time. Next year, I’m playing more games and by God I’m going to win Top Spin.


Saturday, March 29th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Festival

You’re Bacon Me Crazy.


By Liz and John Attaway

With a short cover of Closing Time renamed “Pooping Time” and the distinct smell of bacon in the air, Baconfest 2014 kicked-off with a few rolling clouds, light sprinkles, and all the bacon you could eat. Despite feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West in my greenish CW poncho fearing the

rain might melt me into a puddle (ok, the rain wasn’t bad); the festival was one of the best festival experiences you can have in Atlanta. It was all about the bacon, beer, and carnival shenanigans. Whether you had Portioned Porking, Go Whole Hog, or Bottomless Bacon there was 2,250 pounds of grease-laden bacon and BLTs to partake in and don’t forget the PBR. But, this festival had it all.

What is “all”, you ask? Let me give you a very short list of the attractions in no particular order: Hobo Wine Tasting, Prize “Wheel,” Karen’s Kompliments, Wynatte Flip Cup Tournament, Scavenger Hunt, Kissing Booth, Dr. Boobies, Baconatrix, PBR’s Human Fest, Mini Roast, In Your Face Painting, Thimblerig Circus, Blast Off Burlesque, Seed and Feed Marching Band, an adult bouncy house, and more. How was that? All that being said not only did you get to enjoy entertainment on stage from silly songs to circus side shows and bands to burlesque, but there was so much to do you don’t even know where to start.
So let’s start with my favorite and one of the biggest attractions: the Hobo Wine Tasting. Warning: whatever you do, don’t try these at home.  From the minds of the Euclid Yacht Club, the group was offered three types of Hobo Wine: Wild Irish Rose, Thunderbird, and some sugary strawberry crap. Not one of them was worth standing in line for but all together they were the trifecta of yuck. Top them off with some canned cheddar cheese and off-brand crackers and you get Hobo Wine Tasting. It was all the way around delightful probably to Hobos only. The other big attraction was the Prize “Wheel.” Some of the coveted prizes included a wrestler hug, a high five, some musical accompaniment, and don’t forget the PBR swag. While we were waiting in line, there was a downpour and the wrestler got drenched, so by the time we got up to the front we were all crossing our fingers that we didn’t have to endure a wrestler hug. Especially once we saw him pick up one guy and carry him around. What if I landed in the mud and got gross wrestler sweat on me? Luckily, we made out pretty good with PBR wristbands, a PBR t-shirt (that was worn as a cape), and some bacon temporary tattoos. Did I mention the PBR t-shirt that was worn as a cape? The PBR people thought it was awesome and stopped to take a picture of him.

This content is rated PG-13. Proceed with caution. What is that on your face? I couldn’t help but spew a little bit of beer out my nose as I passed droves of people with genitalia on their faces. From pink and purple penis to vaginas and everything in between, the Naughty Face Panting people were not shy about showing their uh-hem… stuff off to everyone who would look.

My favorite had to be the head penis that ran ear-to-ear.  I think the number of guys with these naughty bits on their face was the most in the history of the world. Couldn’t they just have painted bacon? The fun didn’t stop there: they were also giving away spankings via the Baconatrix. People lined up to get three licks like they were Tootsie Pops. It was quite risqué. Finally, things got a little hot when the police took the stage and gave us a little strip tease. No, not the real police, but the Blast Off Burlesque that stripped down to their shorts and t-shirts.
What would any good festival be without the obligatory band but I’m happy to report this one was a mish-mash of horns, drums, dancers, and furries(!) that joined to bring us Seed and Feed Marching Band. It was a different spin on your typical festival band/marching band. I talked to one of the members and they said they have been around 40 years and they are celebrating their 40th year by leading the Inman Park Parade this year. I promised I would put in a plug to see them as this will be their biggest and best showing yet. It’s going to be hilarious!
With everything going on, how could you get all that bacon and beer in? It was possible and I walked away feeling full and swearing off bacon and PBR for at least 24 hours. Until then, the meat sweats will continue and the happy memory of Baconfest will linger on.



Saturday, March 15th at 11am

Location: Masquerade Music Park

Get Your Green On.


Take a minute to fill your lungs with the fresh, spring air. It’s festival season and we kicked-off St. Patrick’s day with a fun-filled, Bull riding, kilt wearing, music and food festival called ShamRock Music and Food Festival. It was a mild enough day to wear your favorite St. Patty’s t-shirt. Several hundred of your closest Atlantans listened to bands, had a few drinks, and perused a few of the seven food trucks. Did I forget to mention it was at one of the best venues in Atlanta, The Masquerade?

One of the highlights of the festival was the variety of food trucks that were offered to the attendees. It ranged from Peurto Rican, New York Street Food, and even a doughnut tent. I was most excited about the Alligator on a stick from Wolf Creek BBQ. A few feelings swelled in my throat: the first was my love of food on a stick, the other is my disdain for The Florida Gators. It’s the perfect food. Go Dawgs! #gatorhater! Sorry, I reverted to my football-self. You know what I also really wanted to try were the “Naked Doughnuts.” They looked good and they were fresh out of the fryer.

The other draw was the music. When we were there, we saw the opening performance of Take 3. A 3-piece band that sounds like a full band, they even joked that when you get drunk you’ll see more of them. They started out with an 80’s classic, “Working for the Weekend,” followed by a few 90’s song that included Dishwalla and Sublime. They were pretty good, so here is their link to check them out at their next gig:

Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about The Masquerade (again). It’s a hidden gem of Atlanta and one of the best outside venues we have. I just don’t think people realize it. It’s big, grassy, has an outdoor stage, even a place for port-o-potties that is hidden behind a fence. I know, that doesn’t sound like a plus, but if you’ve been to a million outdoor festivals, you know it’s all about the port-o-potties. Kidding aside, it’s a great festival space with so many possibilities for food, tents, and good for all seasons.

All that being said it was a very enjoyable and relaxing time with green shirts, green beer, and way too much food than you can ever try. Don’t forget the mechanical bull. You should see these people on it. Hilarious. Thrive Concerts and Events does this festival every year and you should try it out next year:

Thanks, Thrive for welcoming us into your festival and we’ll see you next year!





Saturday, March 1st at 1pm

Location: Atlantic Station

Brew it. Taste it. Sip it. Pork it.


By Liz and John Attaway


March is known for its wild weather, but it’s quickly becoming the official start of the spring festival season! How long before it is known more for its festivals?  And what a better way to kick off the festival season then with the trifecta of fun: beer, bourbon, and BBQ.  Last weekend, a large crowd gathered outside the hustle and bustle of Atlantic Station, waiting outside a pair of gates as lines wound up the stairs and into one of their first festivals of spring: The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. The national touring festival with 8 locations and now twice the size of 2013, this festival is destined to become one of Atlanta’s biggest. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (aka BBB) has little something for everyone:  besides the beer, bourbon, and BBQ there were cigars, music, wine, fun contests, food and drink pairings, VIP, and 5-6,000 of your closest friends.

I was thinking that $35 was pretty cheap to get free bar-b-que but unless you were VIP, the grub wasn’t free.  Don’t worry $35 is good for what you did get so I’m not complaining. It wasn’t that big of a deal because you could grab a sandwich for $6 from just about any vendor. I perused the offerings that included Williams Brothers, Hottie Hawgs BBQ, Big Shanty and others. I opted for a pulled pork sandwich (the “usual” for me) from Hottie Hawgs BBQ. The meat was tender and a pretty good size for the price. The BBQ sauce was a little bit sweet and a little bit sassy, so I enjoyed it. I have to say that the most interesting looking bar-b-que place had to be the Big Shanty. It looked like a little house on wheels. Very cool!

My overall favorite thing at Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival was the Tasting Theater. Each hour had its own theme and you could sit and learn something new or even better eat your way through the hour. From a range of speakers and activities that included food, drink and pairings, a few of the offers interested me immensely.  We could only go to one, so we went to the Bourbon and BBQ pairing featuring Smoke Rings BBQ. While in the pairing, we tried a Savannah Bourbon Co Bourbon while the bar manager talked, then they served deviled eggs with Bacon and bourbon sweat tea. The deviled eggs were perfect and the bacon gave it that smoky, bar-b-que flavor, and then paired with the bourbon sweat tea, I felt like I should be sitting in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere in rural Georgia. Some of the other seminars/offers they also had at the tasting tent were a Southern Food seminar, the history of Bourbon Seminar, Good Eat and Meet, and the co-founder of Templeton Rye spoke.

And who doesn’t like a good, ole fashioned Beer Belly Contest? You heard right, Beer Belly Contest. Ok, to be fair, I have never seen one of these and I have to call: shenanigans. It was something that the crowd really seemed to enjoy and got into with whoops and hollers. Contestants were brought on stage and their beer bellies were measured in front of the crowd. The biggest guy had up to 4’11″ of belly fat and attributed it all to Bud Light. That’s my light beer of choice, so I commend you! Also, Rock 100.5 also had their own shenanigans going on at their tent with two contests I saw while waiting in line for a beer. The first one they got a young lad to drink down some BBQ sauce from the bottle for a t-shirt and some prizes. They also had (PG-13 content) a contest to put a condom on the end of a plunger.  On that note, maybe it’s time to put down the bourbon.

Overall, even with the large crowd and busy Atlantic Station, the festival was full of fun (including beer and BBQ), while most people seemed to enjoy the slightly over-cast and mild Saturday afternoon with their friends. I had some friends in VIP and they RAVED about their festival experience that included free food (if you got their early) that was very good, a lot more beer choices, and a lot less crowded tent. I think if you do this when it comes around next March, maybe you should opt for VIP. It may cost a little, tiny bit more but you get all the festival fun outside and all the exclusivity inside.  Win-win.