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Brewtopia Events LLC

Owen Ogletree's Brewtopia Brewsletter: April 2013

In this issue:

- Athens Craft Beer Weekend: April 3-7

- Only a Few Days Left Until CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST !

- New SE Breweries Spreading Like Kudzu

- Featured Beery Links & Events

- Brewsletter Sponsor

Cajun Cooking & Craft Beer in Florida

- Follow Brewtopia Events on Facebook

Follow our craft beer adventures...


- Athens Craft Beer Weekend: April 3-7

If you'll be in Athens, Georgia for the Classic City Brew Fest on Sunday, April 7 (see below), be sure to take part in these other beer-centric events on the days prior...

  • Copper Creek brewpub taps a special cask ale at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 3. BrewFest attendees should also note that Copper Creek is now open on Sundays.
  • aromas [craft works] hosts its annual BrewHaHa on April 5 at 6 PM that features Bell's Hop Slam, Founder's KBS and many other rare drafts. Several of these special offerings will be on tap all weekend.
  • Terrapin Beer Company's tour on Saturday, April 6 offers a look at the brewery's huge new brewhouse along with tastes of all the current Terrapin beers and a special collection of past brews.
  • Trappeze Pub in downtown Athens will be tapping special casks and draft selections all weekend. Also expect some exceptional brews during the hours directly following the Classic City Brew Fest.
  • Also make the short drive to Watkinsville's Chops & Hops gastropub to sample the delectable food menu and huge range of special draft and bottled beers.




- Only a Few Days Left Until CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST !


(coming up on Sunday, April 7, 2013 in Athens, GA) was voted one of the USA's TOP TEN BEER FESTS on and Americas Best Online! You can't miss it - every ticket is a VIP ticket, and each ticket comes with a free digital subscription to Beer Connoisseur magazine. At $39.99, these tickets offer the very best beer festival value around!


Athens' Classic City Brew Fest on April 7 offers fun, uncrowded sampling of more than 300 world-class craft beers from around the world, a cask ale pavilion with 18 rare real ales made just for this event, and live music from Tropical Breeze. A benefit for the Athens-Area Humane Society. Click for tickets, information and discounted Foundry hotel rooms for Sunday night.



Please help us sell out the BrewFest and benefit our charity by taking a moment to send out the above paragraph on Facebook or Twitter. Every name who shares this BrewFest information in the next 48 hours will go into a drawing for TWO FREE TICKETS! We appreciate your help in promoting our great fest!


BrewFest's Cask Ale Pavilion alone is worth the price of a ticket. Here's a sampling of just a few of the mouth-watering 18+ cask ales that will be available...


  • Wild Heaven White Blackbird saison aged on Chardonnay oak with pink peppercorns & fresh lime zest
  • Jailhouse Saison Reprieve
  • Mazurt Imperial Stout
  • Max Lager's My Cold Scottish Soul aged in a High West Rye barrel
  • Wrecking Bar Bourbon Barrel Siberius Maximus
  • Stone dry-hopped IPA
  • Eagle & Lion Yes Face IPA (one of the last on Earth)
  • Westbrook Brewing Udderly Oatmeal Milk Stout
  • Burnt Hickory Graham Cracker Stout with coffee & vanilla
  • Cherry Street Nelson Sauvin dry-hopped Guava Cream Ale
  • Twain’s Black Eye Roasted Rye India Black Ale dry-hopped with Galaxy hops
  • Blue Tarp Bantam Weight Ale - dry-hopped







Also prepare yourself for jaw-dropping special releases and seasonals at the Classic City Brew Fest from the likes of these great craft breweries...









Get your tickets today - time is running out!


Sponsors: Brewtopia Events LLC, Terrapin Beer Company, Goose Island, 5 Points Bottle Shops, Trappeze, and Chops & Hops. Special thanks also go to Athens' Cox radio stations including Magic 102.1 and Power 100.1.



- New SE Breweries Spreading Like Kudzu

Originally published in Southern Brew News.


By Owen Ogletree


The Southeast has developed an insatiable, growing thirst for craft beer. In response, fueled mainly by fervent homebrewers wanting to turn their beloved hobby into a career, an impressive number of upstart microbreweries and brewpubs are springing up from Louisiana to North Carolina.


This exciting time for southeastern craft beer drinkers also translates into a few challenges for both new and established brewers. An eager new microbrewery owner soon realizes the frustrations associated with locating used equipment, signing multiple-year hop contracts and securing a distributor in a market already filled with tasty brands. Once holding a majority of the craft beer market share, older breweries are now forced to work a little harder to continue to spark the imagination of a new generation of southern beer geeks.


Are brewers worried or excited? Cautious or inspired? Optimistic or disconcerted? We chatted with brewery representatives from around the Southeast, getting a few of their thoughts on this brave new world of craft beer expansion in our neck of the woods.



Competition is Key


Most craft brewers in the Southeast view competition as positive. "The craft beer industry has thrived because brewers strive to raise the bar in order to be recognized," notes Kevin McNerney of 5 Seasons brewpub in Atlanta. "When the bar is continuously raised, the craft beer consumer is intrigued and remains engaged. When the consumer is engaged, they demand more craft beer. Breweries that excel in quality will always have customers, and those that focus on non-quality issues will be forgotten. The moment you think there are too many breweries on the block, a young, new brewer with innovative ideas will inspire you."


The United States now boasts a record number of breweries - with hundred of new applications being processed. Terrapin's John Cochran reports, "Our Georgia Craft Brewers Guild website went live last October, and within 24 hours we received five applications for 'breweries in planning' in Georgia alone - five in one day! For me, these potential new breweries represent another avenue in reaching the 80+% of the population who have never heard of or tried craft beer. This can only benefit the existing breweries."


Out-dated alcohol laws and beer prejudices and misconceptions led to the Southeast being considered a craft beer wasteland for many years. Alabama and Mississippi are just beginning to emerge from these restraints, and brewers in these two states see competition from new craft breweries as totally welcome and completely positive. "We've been expecting and looking forward to the Mississippi craft beer 'explosion' for quite some time," says Leslie Henderson of Lazy Magnolia. "This means that new suppliers may set-up shop near me, or at least dedicate more customer service reps to our area. Store shelves in Mississippi still have a lot of room for new and exciting products. Many breweries are reluctant to distribute to our state at all, so we need to grow that variety right here at home."


Continued Spirit of Collaboration


Taylor Yates, of Georgia's new Burnt Hickory Brewery, agrees that the state's influx of fresh breweries produces more competition, but this progression necessitates renewed creativity, consistency and collaboration. "Collaborations between breweries both old and new should raise the bar for the current status quo for the consumer," Yates explains. "At the end of the day, the individual who stands to benefit the most from the current surge in new breweries is the craft beer drinker, and we brewers have a unique opportunity to concoct an exciting, new destination for craft beer lovers here in the Southeast."



NOLA Brewery in New Orleans feels that the craft industry is just beginning to take off in the Gulf South, and owner Kirk Coco expects continued, rapid craft beer expansion in the near future. "I see growth here until we hit the 35-40% market share that craft beer is seeing in the Pacific Northwest," he says. "The more craft breweries, the faster this expansion will occur - so we are very excited to see more breweries starting up and more varieties hitting the shelves. Collaboration has always been a cornerstone of the craft brewing guilds, and we will definitely continue to see this in brewing beers together and, most importantly, in drinking beers together!"


Brave New Brewing World


Justin Stange (pictured below) of Tampa's Seventh Sun Brewing envisions the Southeast as soon equaling the beer cultures of Colorado, Oregon and California. "As craft grows in this region, with it will come even more innovative and inspired beers. The educated and curious consumer exists here, and many breweries outside of this region have already noticed."



Feeling optimism, balanced by a bit of caution, Spike Buckowski, co-owner and head brewer of Terrapin, expresses, "I think at this point the Southeast is wide open - just ask Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues and New Belgium who are installing brewing plants in North Carolina. We have an awful lot of room to grow down here, but at some point there will be saturation. Just like in the late nineties, the bubble will burst and the 'foam of the crop' will rise to the top."


Linus Hall of Yazoo in Nashville adds, "If you look at how much capacity will be coming online from breweries located in the Southeast in just a few years, it's almost equivalent to what Sam Adams sells nationally right now. It's going to be an interesting next three or four years, but I think that brewers who have a strong local following will be fine."


It's All About Perspective


The Southeast may be in a hyper-growth mode when it comes to new breweries, but the region as a whole remains in catch-up mode with most of the nation in regard to breweries per capita. "We're minting passionate new fans of craft beer on an hourly basis, and the market is still so immature," says Nick Purdy, president of Wild Heaven Craft Beers in Georgia. "In the same way you don't know what a six-year-old kid will grow up to be, the future of the Southeast's craft beer market is mostly uncharted territory."



Jonathan Baker (pictured above, right) of Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta shares, "The Southeast has a unique culture with unique demographics, and we'd be lying to ourselves if we thought we knew how this exciting influx of new beers and breweries is going to impact the industry long-term. That said, we're one of these new entrants, so we obviously think there is still room and demand for southeastern beer, and we're excited for the future!"


Considered by many as a "founding father" of southern microbrewers, Highland Brewing's Oscar Wong still holds tremendous enthusiasm and optimism for the future of his pioneering North Carolina craft brewery. "The Southeast's late, but dramatic, arrival to the craft beer party will result in more competition and better beers with a uniquely southern twist," he states. "The region, the country and the world will see a resurgence of southern spirit in great beer. The South shall rise again!"


- Featured Beery Links & Events

  • 04/13--06/07/2013 - GEORGIA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL. Brewtopia subscribers get 20% off admission price by visiting and entering promo code: brew. Open Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day
  • 04/20/2013 - BARLEY & MASH OFF IPA Homebrew Competition at Marlay House in Decatur. Contact for specifics.
  • 04/07/2013 - CLASSIC CITY BREW FEST. Foundry Park Inn & Melting Point, Athens, GA. Tickets are on sale NOW!
  • 04/13/2013 - TERRAPIN ANNIVERSARY CARNIVAL, Athens, GA. See more.
  • 04/19-21/2013 - SWEETWATER 420 FEST and the new SweetWater Experience - Chandler Park, Atlanta, GA.
  • BREWTOPIA EVENTS' FULL INTERACTIVE BEER CALENDAR is always just a click away - featuring the best beer happenings around the Southeast and beyond.


- Brewsletter Sponsor

JailHouse Mugshot IPA


Mugshot IPA features an arresting lineup of Warrior, Chinook, Cascade and Sterling hops and a balanced blend of malt flavors that finish nice and dry. Forward hop bitterness lingers without overwhelming the palate.


Malt - U.S. malted 2-row barley; Munich, caramel, and special roast; demerera sugar


Hops - Warrior, Chinook, Cascade and Sterling


O.G. - 14°P | ABV - 6.7% | IBU - 50


Suggested Food Pairings: Sharp Cheddar cheeses including spicy hot infused cheeses; Pork BBQ; Fried Dill Pickles; Pizza; Curry.


Cajun Cooking & Craft Beer in Florida

Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park, Florida is owned and operated by our friend Paul Unwin (pictured to the right). An energetic supporter of Florida craft brews, Paul hails from England and loves flavorful food alongside his beer. Cajun Cafe's draft board is filled with only the best ales and lagers from Florida, and the food menu is loaded with tasty treats such as Paul's signature crab cakes, crawfish cornbread, jambalaya, poboy sandwiches and deep fried meatloaf. Join Paul's email list to stay up-to-date on his extremely popular craft beer festivals held at the restaurant. Owen will be attending Paul's sour beer festival coming up on June 15.


- Follow Brewtopia Events on Facebook

CLICK HERE and hit the Brewtopia Events "like" button on Facebook to see live photos and news posts as we sip, quaff and sniff craft beer around the world.



  • Live photos and details from Athens' amazing Classic City Brew Fest coming up on Sunday, April 7. Find out which cask ales are chosen as crowd favorites.
  • Owen Ogletree and Nick Allen travel to the April 2013 member's conference of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in Norwich, UK. We'll post photos from Norwich's best real ale pubs and breweries.
Owen Ogletree is an Athens, GA beer writer, beer traveler, nationally certified beer judge, and founder/director of, the Classic City Brew Fest, and the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting. Phone: (706) 254-BREW.
Brewtopia Events LLC • 265 Newton Bridge Rd. • Athens, GA 30607
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