Since it's one of the largest beer (and music and comedy) festivals in the state, we figured it was a good time to talk about beer fests. Specifically, some of the great ones in the southeast (and the country), and our opinions on what makes a great beer fest. Also, some tips for newbies on surviving one!
We broadcast from the mobile Airstream studios of 30A Radio, so we talked to Cory Davis about the beer scene in the Florida panhandle. Some great information for folks looking to travel south on vacation this summer.
At the SweetWater Experience tent, they really pulled out the stops. With 28 beers on tap - almost every one only available in limited amounts and usually at the brewery - we took advantage of it.
First, we sampled SweetWater's Mexican Lager, a great easy drinker for beach, parties...or concerts!
But next, Tim and Aaron were able to introduce Cory to one of their favorite SweetWater beers, the Exodus Porter. And in no way should this serve as a plea for SweetWater to return this brew back into production.....
Coming up next week? Speaking of Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative, we'll be up in Cumming to help celebrate their anniversary. Have a great week, join us on the socials, and don't forget...DRINK LOCAL!
Opened in Helen in 1990, Friends Brewing and the Helenboch Brewery was Georgia's first craft brewery. It was a very different time for beer in Georgia, and across the US. Microbrew was the term used for what we call craft beer today, Georgia still had a 6% cap on ABV, lagers were the preferred styles, and Friends Brewing was just the 175th microbrewery in the US.
Friends made a great impression on the beer scene when they launched, Helenboch won silver at the Great American Beer Festival in 1989 and Helenboch Oktoberfest took gold in 1991. The famed beer writer Michael Jackson visited the brewery as well, and no visit to Georgia is complete without a trip to Waffle House where Jackson experienced the greatness of hash browns served scattered, smothered, covered, topped, and chunked.
Helenboch beer was brewed in Helen from 1990-1991 and contract brewed through 1998. After being gone for nearly 20 years a Facebook message to Friends Brewing's President Dow Scoggins from Helenback Race Series founder Dan Wilkins set the wheels in motion to bring it back to life. Scoggins posted to see if a brewery would let him brew his beer with them... or give him $500,000 to re-open a brewery. He didn't get any funding offers but Max Lager's John Roberts saw the post and reached out to Dow and in short order they agreed to make Helenboch happen again.
As with many microbreweries of the day Friends Brewing is no more, but the original owners are still very passionate about beer. I sat down recently with Rick Roberts, Frank Cronin, and Dow Scoggins from Friends; John Roberts from Max Lager's; and Dan Wilkins from the Helenback Race Series to sample and talk about this old/new brew and the memories it brought back.
You can try Helenboch beer at Max Lager's now "until it's gone" or run the Helenback Race Series on April 29th and enjoy a pour at the finish line.
We talk to Brandon Hintz, the owner of North Carolina's Currahee Brewing and Alpharetta's Hop Alley Brewpub.
We're talking all about Athens-area beers with Chris Herron, CEO of Creature Comforts Brewing Company, Brian Roth of Southern Brewing Company and Owen Ogletree from Brewtopia Events.
Owen was kind enough to invite us to broadcast from the 22nd annual festival, and it was awesome as expected. The guys from Scofflaw also crashed the party too!
Have a great week, check out beerguysradio.com, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter...and DRINK LOCAL!
We are featuring the crew from Madison, AL's Rocket Republic Brewing Company on this week's show.
Tim and Aaron sat down at the Porter Beer Bar with Nick Purdy from Wild Heaven Beer. We had a great conversation, ranging from SB85's impact on their brewery, the plans for the second location, and how to get the best watermelon flavor out of a watermelon (hint: it involves lots of work).
No foolin' around here! We attended TinyPalooza 2.5 at Snellville's Lincoln Fill Station. Before we went around sampling some amazing beers, and after the wind tried to literally take our production equipment away, we were able to talk to Athens newest brewpub in planning, Akademia.
On a dark and stormy night, we headed out to TopGolf Midtown for the finals of their winter league.
As luck would have it, we were joined by Tucker Berta-Sarkisian and Brian "Diggs" Diggelmann from SweetWater Brewing, Gina Silva and Tyler Vigue from TopGolf, and the one and only Ale Sharpton!
Spring Beers were on the discussion list, and we talked about the change in season, and the transition from maltier, darker beers to hops and saisons.
Truck and Tap's Beers of the Week:
Lots of them. Ale shared some beers from his recent trip to Charlotte, including NoDa's Hop Cakes Double IPA. Plus, SweetWater's Wookie Down Imperial Red Ale, its newest Dank Tank Release. And 420, Jekyll's Hop Dang Diggity....and more!
Headlines (Sponsored by Your Pie Perimeter)
SB85 HAS PASSED! Finally, Georgia becomes the last state to allow direct sales for brewers and distillers in the state. What does that mean? Basically, we will no longer have to deal with the farce of buying a tour and getting free samples. Yes, that means that you can actually go to a brewery and order a pint of their beer. Amazing stuff on 2017. Looks like the rules will go into effect late summer or early fall of this year, so stay tuned.
One great announcement on the heels of this - Wild Heaven will open a second location on the Beltline.
Other news headlines:
Next week, we're continuing this road trip. We are headed to the Lincoln Fill Station in Snellville, checking out TinyPalooza 2.5. Cheers!
We're talking to Reformation, Jekyll and TopGolf Alpharetta this week.
We talk to Molly Gunn and Nick Rutherford, the duo behind Atlanta's iconic beer bar, The Porter in Little Five Points. Cheers!
If you're like Aaron, you love Asian food, but hate the beer selection.
Andy Tan and Chris Collier aim to change that. They have just opened up Hopstix. The Chamblee restaurant combines Asian fusion cuisine (including sushi hot dogs and amazing ramen) along with craft beer brewed on site. We talk about Andy and Chris' journeys through craft beer, their relationship with the Covert Hops homebrew club, and more!
Truck and Tap's Beers of the Week:
Coming up next week, we'll be on location, talking to the team behind one of the best beer bars in the country, The Porter! Thanks for listening, and we'll talk to you next week.
So what better way to celebrate the mild weather with a coastal brewery?
Big Beach Brewing Company from Gulf Shores, Alabama, joined us for this episode. We talked to head brewer Rod Murray and co-owner Jim Schamburger about their craft beer journey, the differences in brewing beer for the beach crowd, and their rapid growth over the year.
We also had Brandon King in studio. He's one of the minds behind two great craft beer destinations - The Stout Brothers / Smyrna Beer Market and The Nest restaurant in Kennesaw. We talked beer, barbecue...and their anniversary party that will feature such things as smoked alligator.
Thanks for listening! Coming up next week, we'll talk to the Atlanta metro's newest brewpub, Hopstix! See you on the socials, and don't forget to DRINK LOCAL. Cheers!
We're talking craft beer, Marietta (Georgia) style with Ironmonger Brewing's owner David Sheets and new head brewer Barron Sluder.
Also, we talk Georgia SB85 and more!
In this episode, we talk to Mike Castagno, the brand new head brewer at the iconic Decatur brewpub, Twain's.
We also have Twain's owners (and brothers) Ethan and Uri Wurtzel on the show, talking about Twain's past 21 years in Decatur and how they've had to adapt and change to compete in the great craft beer market in that city.
Tim gives us an update on SB85, and we'll talk about an Atlanta brewery making a cameo appearance during the Super Bowl!
Next week, Ironmonger Brewing will join us in the studios. As always, drink local, and cheers!
Not only is there some important football game going on this Sunday (#RISEUP), we invited a veritable plethora of guests on the show.
Nancy Palmer of the Georgia Craft Brewer's Guild joined us on the exciting news about SB 85 - a bill that would actually (*gasp*) allow brewers to sell beer (wait for it...) at the brewery! Regardless, this is great news for Georgia's beer community. This bill, a compromise between the Guild and distributors, would allow:
In studio? We had a little change of pace. Tony Jones and Ian Flom from Mercier Orchards took a trip down from Blue Ridge to talk all things cider. We were able to talk about the history of Mercier Orchards and cider, as well as the process for making it.
Also, we talked to Matt Leff of Nuit Belge. Coming to Atlanta's The Foundry At Puritan Mill, Nuit Belge combines some amazing chefs with Belgian (and Belgian-inspired) beers. It's coming up on Feb. 25, and if you use the promo code BGR10, you'll get $10 off the ticket! Tickets and details here.
Well, OK. Ciders of the week. Including:
Coming up next week? Back to the beer, as we talk to the folks behind the iconic Decatur spot Twain's Brewpub & Billiards and new head brewer Mark Castagno joins us, among others. In the meantime, drink local...and Cheers!
What an amazing event!
If you haven't been to one of the 13 iterations of the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, then you're missing out. Owen Ogletree, owner of Brewtopia.com, puts on the event every year at the Prado in Sandy Springs. This year's version featured more than 60 casks of unique and creative beers from Georgia, national and international brewers!
We took advantage of our attendance at ACAT to drink some amazing beers (of course), but also to get updates on a few breweries and brewpubs in planning.
First on the list was Mitch Steele. The former brewmaster for Stone Brewing is working with his partners to open up a brewpub on the Atlanta beltline sometime late in 2017. We spoke with him about the plans, and the reason why they picked Atlanta.
Next, Owen took some time out of his busy day to talk about casks. What they are, the history involved, and why they are so much more nuanced than "normal" tapped beers.
In our third segment, we speak to Matt and Lauren Curling, the husband and wife team behind Roswell's Variant Brewing Company. Also planning a 2017 launch, we talk about how they got started in craft beer (hint: it wasn't Matt at first!) and the trials and tribulations of starting up a new brewery.
We also talk with our great sponsors, Your Pie Perimeter, about their upcoming Second Anniversary party.
Ryan Skinner and Todd DeMatteo joined us in the fourth segment. Ryan and Todd are planning a new brewpub, Good Word, in craft beer starved Gwinnett County. We talked about starting up a new brewpub in downtown Duluth, as well as their idea for bringing the comforts of home to a brewpub.
Finally, we were lucky enough to grab two of the world's foremost experts on cask ales. Des de Moor is a London-based beer judge and writer; and Steve Hamburg is a Chicago-area writer and beer judge. Both are cask experts, and we talk about the cask movement in the United States and what makes a great cask ale.
Next week, we'll be cidering it up with the folks behind Mercier Orchards. Thanks for listening, and don't forget...drink local!
We were lucky to have three awesome guests. First, the evil genius (not really evil, but it sounds good) behind Burnt Hickory Brewery, Scott Hedeen, joined us in studio. We uncapped plenty of whales from BHB, thanks to Scott (and Brian Hewitt's) stash.
Scott talked about the challenges of operating a small brewery under current Georgia laws, the special ambiance of the tap room (including one crazy Yelp review), and the ideas behind their many creative variants. We also talked about Georgia Beer Day, the growth of craft beer (and spirits) in Kennesaw, as well as the fist BHB Town Hall meeting this week. Finally, Tim tests Scott on music and beer pairings. You'll find out what the best beer is for listening to Taylor Swift, natch.
Also joining us was Morgan and Lisa Maclellan, the owners of Your Pie Perimeter. Not only are they one of our great sponsors, they are renowned among the Your Pie community when it comes to their craft beer program. We talk shop, and learn more about the importance of craft beer on their bottom line.
A special shout out to our newest sponsor, CRL CONTRACTING. Working on opening a brewery? CRL is the most experienced contractors when it comes to building breweries and tap rooms. They've built for Orpheus, Second Self and Scofflaw. Thanks for your support!
While Aaron is (ahem) on assignment, Brian Hewitt of StogieReview.com filled in with Tim. Broadcasting from Your Pie Perimeter, the Beer Guys chatted with the crew from Omaha Brewing Company.
It's a new year, and it's time to get back into the beer!
And, as luck would have it, it was a Northeast Metro Atlanta show.
We had the crew from Reformation Brewery in the house this week. Co-founder Spencer Nix, along with Ryan Morley-Stockton and photographer extraordinaire Jessica Miller joined us in studio this weekend.
We talked about the brewery's origin story, which includes some in depth conversations about religious history, seminary school, and parties that got just too popular for a house to hold.
2016 was a big year for Reformation. They canned their first brew (and have now expanded to 5 canned products). 2017 looks to be another growth opportunity for them, with potential expansion out of Georgia.
We also spoke to Spencer about the challenges and opportunities facing Georgia's beer community this year.
Headlines (furnished by Your Pie Perimeter)
The biggest news in Georgia beer was a personnel move. Steve Anderson, formerly of Atlanta's Red Brick Brewing, has joined Kennesaw's Dry County Brewing as its brewmaster. We spoke briefly about his first week on the job, the challenges, and the advantages of not having to deal with a daily commute to Atlanta!
Truck and Tap Beers of the Week:
Coming up next week, we're going on the road. We'll be broadcasting from Your Pie Perimeter on Thursday, January 12. We'll talk to the crew behind Omaha Brewing. Come join Tim and have some pizza and beers at a great spot! We'll see you next week, and don't forget...DRINK LOCAL.
Happy New Year!
As we say goodbye to 2016, we wanted to hand out some awards. We asked you, our listeners, to vote on the best of craft beer in Georgia and Alabama. Nearly 1,000 of you responded, and we have the results.
Want the complete list of winners? Here's Georgia and Alabama.
Truck and Tap’s Beers of the Week:
Headlines (brought to you by Your Pie Perimeter)
Next week? We'll ring in the New Year with a conversation with Reformation Brewing. Have a great week, we'll see you on the socials...and don't forget to drink local!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc!
It's the holidays, so we're spending time with friends and family this weekend. Enjoy our "best of" edition, featuring interviews from:
Thanks again to all of our sponsors who make the show possible, and all of our awesome fans!
We'll be back next week with our "Best in Craft Beer 2016" awards show.
Happy holidays, and cheers!
As we get into the homestretch into Christmas and the new year, we were able to talk with the crew behind Huntsville's Mad Malts Brewing. Co-Owners Chris Bramon and Jeff Peck joined us to talk about their start in craft beer, the reason behind their name change, what they learned at the Great American Beer Fest, and what year 2 has in store for them.
We also had homebrewer extraordinaire Jon Shari (of Little Cottage Brewery fame). Brian Hewitt also joined us in studio, bringing in a bomber of Shari's American Imperial Stout, Wax Off.
Coming up next week? It's Christmas, so we're giving you the present of some of our favorite interviews of the past year. Our last show of the year on Dec. 31 will feature our BEST OF CRAFT BEER 2016, so be sure to vote for your favorites in Georgia and Alabama.
Cheers, and have a Merry Christmas!
The Beer Guys head up north for this week's interview. North Georgia, that is.
A few weeks ago, Tim took a trip to Blue Ridge. While there, he ran into Tom Fennell, owner of Fannin County Brewing. He joined us on the show via phone this week.
We talked to Tom about his start in the craft beer industry, after realizing that a winery may not be in the cards for him. We also speak to the growth of craft beer in his small town, and the popularity of craft with the tourist crowd.
Finally, we discuss the upcoming legislative session, and some of his conversations with Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, an influential member of the state house.
In studio, we welcomed beer fan and podcaster Nubyjas Wilborn. A sportswriter by trade, he also talks craft beer on his Beer it Is Podcast. Tim, Aaron and Nubyjas went over the craft beer scene in Georgia, and last week's Wrecking Bar Strong Beer Fest.
Truck and Tap's Beers of the Week:
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
We're talking, of course, about stouts, porters, and all those great roasty holiday beers that come out this time of the year.
To help us enjoy them, we invited the trio from Dry County Brewing company into the studio.
Truck and Tap’s Beers of the Week:
Dry County served up some of their dark beers, including their Bad Hombre.
Other wintry-type beers we talked about:
Headlines (sponsored by Your Pie Perimeter):
Coming up next week? We'll head up north.... North Georgia that is, to talk to Fannin Brewing. Have a great week, and cheers!
We're taking a little break this week to spend some QT with friends and family. And we're releasing the show a bit early so you can listen while you travel!
(looking for more craft beer stuff to listen to on your drive? Check out Project BGR, our other craft beer podcast!)
In the meantime, please enjoy some of our best interviews from the year, including:
But most importantly, we want to thank you so much for your support! It's been a great year so far, and we're looking forward to telling the story of craft beer for many years to come.
Have a great Thanksgiving. Be thankful, drink local, and CHEERS!