“I am very saddened to inform you that we are closing the vineyards and winery at Blackstock.” Thus began David Harris’ not unexpected letter earlier this year. We found out officially just after the New Year that he and his wife, Trish, were throwing in the towel after 17 seasons of growing arguably north Georgia’s best wine grapes from their vineyards outside of Dahlonega.
A freeze in April 2012, which left Blackstock essentially cropless, sealed the deal. Never heard of the Harrises or Blackstock? Not a surprise. From challenging weather, to a byzantine distribution system, to a largely skeptical market, to the preponderance of inexpensive, imported California grapes, Georgia’s winemakers face
Last year, Atlanta’s Frozen Pints hit the market with craft beer ice cream. Now, Roswell’s Happy Hour Confections is infusing sweet and savory baked goods with craft beer.
During a recent conversation at Five Seasons North in Alpharetta, owner Holly Pezzano sipped a pint of Dark Star stout and explained how she made the move from home baker to entrepreneur.
“Actually, my husband started all this as a kind of challenge,” Pezzano said. “He made a chili recipe with beer and was so thrilled with the result he said, ‘What else can we try?’ So we started marinating and cooking all sorts of things with beer. Then I tried baking with beer.”
As Pezzano got more serious, she began dreaming up more recipes and testing them over several months, often taking samples by her favorite beer shop, Ale Yeah! in Roswell, for feedback.
“At one point, she would come up here at least twice a week,” said Ale Yeah! owner Eddie
This week’s column will tackle the subjects of how to remove the transmission in a 1970 Pontiac GTO with the help of port tongs and the interesting connection between the wines of Barolo and the 3-4 defensive scheme used by the Green Bay Packers.
I will completely understand if many of my female readers take a rain check this time. I’ll see you in a couple weeks with less overtly masculine themes.
When General Motors beefed up its power plant for the 1970 GTO, it presented engineers with a unique opportunity to utilize transmission technology dating back to the early 1960s….
OK, fellas. I think we are alone now. What I really wanted to talk to you about today is one of the most stressful situations American males face every year: ordering the wine for your Valentine’s Dinner. If you blow this important call, you can expect the dreaded “eye roll of
At a recent preview tour of the new Monday Night brewery on Atlanta’s Westside, our guide asked whether anyone could name the four basic building blocks of beer. Of course, a whole bunch of hands shot up, and at least one person shouted out the tried-and-true answer: water, malt, hops, yeast.
Nowadays, though, those ingredients are just the bare essentials. In the Belgian tradition, many beers are dosed with candy sugar and flavored with fruit and spices. Or in American extreme fashion, they’re jacked up with chocolate and/or coffee, or inebriated in wine or whiskey barrels.
Casks, once the vessel of English mild session ales, have become a delivery system for all sorts of wild flavors.
Some of the winners at the 2012 Sweetwater Brew Your Cask Off competition were named “Nuttin Butter,” “The Chubby Chocolate Bunny” and “The Elvis Peanut Butter and Banana Porter.” And at the most recent Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting, Sweetwater made “Sad Ending,” an Imperial
The “Wall of Ties” — a towering neon-lit display tacked with layers of old neckties — is maybe the most conspicuous of the many playful design elements in the new Monday Night Brewing tasting room on Atlanta’s Westside.
But there are tie-shaped tap handles and tie-shaped door handles, too. And even the shiny stainless steel fermentation tanks out in the brewery are hung with giant ties.
Like their motto, “Weekends Are Overrated,” ties are proud emblems for the three Monday Night partners, Jonathan Baker, Jeff Heck and Joel Iverson, who met in a weekly Bible study, and decided to open a craft brewery together while concocting homebrew recipes in Heck’s garage.
“We started as white collar guys, and when we’d come home on a Monday, we’d loosen our ties and brew beer,” said Baker, who has the title, Marketing Guy and Master of Mind Control.
“Monday is traditionally a much maligned day of the week but for us it became a day to look
Winemaking is tough.
Great wines are the result of blood, sweat, tears and plenty of trial and error. Every once in a while, in the midst of their toil, a winemaker has a bone thrown his or her way. That was the case with Peter Rosback, the well-regarded Oregon winemaker, and the “discovery” of his Red Table Wine.
Rosback’s winery, Sineann, is best known for its pinot noirs, but in recent years, Rosback has dabbled with cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, zinfandel and merlot from Columbia Valley. He also travels to New Zealand to produce sauvignon blanc and pinot noir from the South Island’s exciting Central Otago region.
Sineann makes about 20 wines in any given vintage with a preponderance of red varieties. Sineann is well
Every fall, American Homebrew Association members team up with breweries from around the country to create homebrew recipes and enter them in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition in Denver.
Around the same time, the winners of the Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest are announced and soon after, the winning beers are brewed, bottled and made available nationally in the Samuel Adams Longshot variety six-pack.
Here in Atlanta, contests and collaborations between homebrewers and brewpubs are becoming more common, too, including a string of one-off guest brews at Five Seasons, Twain’s Homebrew Challenge and the recent Max Lager’s Challenge.
This month, Taco Mac locations around Atlanta are featuring Red Brick Cherry Chocolate Porter on draft. The beer was brewed by Atlanta’s Red Brick Brewing Co. using a recipe from Woodstock homebrewer Bob Southard, who won Taco Mac’s inaugural 2012
I’ve lived in the South for 23 years this week and (bless my heart!) have never really understood many phrases used by my adopted region. In the latter half of 2012, I came to appreciate one term, or at least I think so. I do believe I’ve had “the vapors.”
According to Wikipedia and several snarky, know-it-all websites, having the vapors is an antebellum expression for being overcome by emotion or ever-so-slightly stimulated by someone or something.
Yep, I’ve had the vapors alright.
What caused me to get all hot and bothered? Recognizing that you’re reading this in a wine column, you may have guessed it was a
In the waning days of 2012, a battle that’s been simmering for a long time boiled over into what could become a full scale war.
On one side, the Goliaths of multinational beer sales, AB InBev and SABMiller. On the other side, the Davids of American craft brewing and their trade organization, the Colorado-based Brewers Association.
The backstory is the growth and strength of craft beer.
While still a tiny percentage of overall beer sales, the dollar sales for craft brewers were up again in 2012, while brands like Michelob and Miller Genuine Draft made the Wall Street Journal’s 2012 list of “Beers Americans No Longer Drink.”
The rise of American craft breweries, which include the likes of Boston Beer Co., Sierra Nevada, New Belgium and, closer to home, Sweetwater, is an incredible success story. And the Brewers Association and its president, homebrew guru Charlie Papazian, have done an amazing job telling that story.
But now the BA is telling another story, too, crying
There is a wine industry joke that goes something like…
What’s the difference between God and a winemaker?
God knows he’s NOT a winemaker.
The folks at Roots Run Deep Winery, which brings you the popular Educated Guess line of wines, might not get the humor. If we’re to believe their complexities-of-winemaking-revealed labels, showing all the technical gobbledygook that goes into making wine, you’d think they have their hands on the divine controls of fermentation.
The fact is, stuff ferments. At best, winemakers are shepherds, keeping grapes safe as they grow and not screwing up anything as yeasts turn the juice into wine. You want a god-like figure? Look to a brewer or