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By Liz and John Attaway
With billowing clouds and small spurts of sunshine, there was the distinct smell of fresh cut grass in the air surrounding the lush Candler Park. Atlanta’s first annual Cork Puller’s Beer, Wine, and Spirits Fest got underway with a trifecta, holy trinity of drink choices: beer, wine and liquor. The crowd was decent but we never felt like we waited too long for a drink and plenty of space to sit and watch the bands. Here are the highlights of this year’s Cork Pullers.
What would an almost fall festival be without the emergence of the year’s porters, Oktoberfests, and pumpkin ales? The best beer I hadn’t tried at the festival was the Misdemeanor Porter by Jailhouse. It was smooth and malty but not too heavy for a good drinking beer any time of year. Someday, we’ll make it to Hampton to visit them. I’ll come right out and say it, I’m not a huge Sierra Nevada fan. Too. Many. Hops. To my surprise Sierra Nevada has come out with an OctoberFest that is slightly heavier and not too hoppy. I enjoyed this one! Terrapin had just tapped their PumpkinFest the night before so there was plenty to go around at Cork Pullers. Finally, always a delight are some of my favorite Atlanta beers from Monday Night with their Drafty Kilt, and Orpheus’ Atalanta Plum Saison. Too bad the tents weren’t next to each other and I just would have thrown down a chair and hung there.
The other big player was the wine. There were two good whites that I really enjoyed: The D’Arenberg The Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc and Columbian Crest Unoaked Chardonnay out of Washington State. The Sav Blanc was a smoother, crisper wine without the traditional over the top grapefruit nose. I enjoyed that. The chardonnay was very smooth with a hint of butter at the end. It was good for a hot summer day. There was also liquor, but I’m not a big liquor person so I stuck to beer and wine. Even though I’m not big on it, the festival goers sure would as the lines for both Jack Daniels and American Born Moonshine were pretty much the longest lines at the festival. They must have had something good.
I have to take a moment here to throw kudos out to Cork Pullers for having the BEST water station we’ve ever seen at a beer festival. Everyone was impressed! Everyone needs to hydrate in the heat, so this was genius. GENIUS, I say! So that’ll about do it for this fun new festival. Until next year…