Though you might not guess it from the name, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has turned out to be an important gathering for Southern craft brewers.
Building on the learning experiences of the 2011 inaugural festival, 2012 again proved that craft beer has a place at the Southern table, alongside barbecue, bourbon and other regional delights.
One of the best examples of that serendipity could be found at the afternoon tasting tents, where people were visibly giddy to spy a row of Southern craft brewers pouring beer directly across from a row of Southern chefs serving fried chicken.
The crowded walkway between the tables was a very happy place, with sipping and munching and perfect impromptu pairings like Sweetwater’s hoppy-citrus IPA and Cardamom Hill’s South India-style spicy fried chicken. And there was a convivial buzz as brewers and chefs traded samples back and forth.
On Friday afternoon, I had the