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Owen Ogletree's Brewtopia Brewsletter
May 28, 2018
Owen is founder/editor of Brewtopia.Info, columnist for Southern Brew News and Beer Connoisseur Magazine, lecturer at Knoxville's Brewing & Distilling Center, founder/director of the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting and Classic City Brew Fest, a BJCP National Beer Judge and Great American Beer Festival judge.
In this issue:
- Beer and Cheese Throw Down
- Thornbridge Brewery Reflections
- Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen
- Tucker Brewing Set to Open
- Craft Beer Reviews
- Try This Beer
- Featured Events
- Brewtopia Events on Facebook & Twitter
Follow our craft beer adventures...
- Beer and Cheese Throw Down
Photos by Ashton Smith
Owen Ogletree gathered local craft beer lovers Ian Meents, Dean Graves, Gail Graves, Ashton Smith, Jeff Rapp, Kim Swantek, Mark Hall, Thel Melton, Melissa Melton, Pete Dasher and Georgia's Beer Wench to sample six cheeses - each paired with two outstanding Georgia beers (with a couple of guest beers from other states thrown in for fun). 
In this blind tasting, participants were told the style of each beer but not the specific brand name. Everyone made a few notes and then voted on which beer in each pair made the best accompaniment to each cheese. The results are listed here...
Gose with coriander and grapefruit peel
The mild, tart flavors worked well with the cheese. Coriander and salt complemented the cheese. Mild citrus, salt and spice.
Golden Sour Ale Blend aged in wine bbls, Amarillo dry-hops
A marvelous beer with complex, pleasant flavors. Needs a heavier cheese. The beer is a bit too acidic for the chevre, and the oak tannins seem to wipe out the chevre flavors. 
American-style IPA
Great citrus aroma and flavor with a pleasant bitter finish. The salty, sharp cheese seems to cover the elegant hop notes of the beer. Mineral notes in beer go well with mineral quality of the cheese. 
American-style Double IPA
Rich malt and hops are a good match for the cheese. Biscuity notes go well. Floral, spicy hops are beautiful with the dry, spicy cheese. 

British-style Strong Bitter
Gorgeous example of the classic style with delicious malt. Caramel and biscuit notes go well with the nutty cheese. 
Scottish-style Wee Heavy
The rich malt and smoky notes conflict with the nuttiness of the cheese. This tasty beer needs a cheese with somewhat stronger, malt-like flavors.
Trappist-style Tripel with coriander
A fine beer with strong coriander spice in the finish. Great malt and Belgian fermentation character. Works quite well with the nutty, buttery, thick cheese.
Rye Amber Ale aged on French oak
The somewhat mild malt and rye flavors of this beer don't stand up as well to the rich cheese. Complexity of the cheese overpowers the beer a bit.
American-style IPA with passion-fruit, orange, guava
This beer's fruity quality is quite pleasant but might be too much for the cheese. The complexity seems to cover the funkiness and creaminess of the cheese.
Farmhouse saison - mixed fermentation, oak bbl-aged
Tropical fruit, beautiful acidity, quite lambic-like. A light, slightly sweet malt note balances the subtle, yet complex, acidity. It's a nice contrast to the cheese. 
A delicious porter with lovely dark malt complexity. This well-made ale goes down really well. The roasted malt notes cut the complexity of the blue cheese, but the beer's flavors are a bit light to stand up to the bold stilton.
Imperial Stout - bourbon bbl-aged
The richness of this malty brew pairs well with the funky cheese. Nice vanilla barrel flavors complement the cheese. Most people thought the strength of the beer matched the cheese.  
- Thornbridge Brewery Reflections
By Ian Meents
My first Thornbridge beer was about three years ago in a London craft beer bar.  I was traveling with my friend Owen Ogletree, and we stumbled on a Thornbridge tap takeover where they had about a dozen or so beers on.  We were fortunate enough to be able to try all of them that evening, and I was blown away with the variety of styles.  Since that night I’ve been able to try more than thirty of their brews, and I’ve yet to be disappointed by one.
Thornbridge is driven by innovation, passion, and knowledge. All three are evident when you speak with someone from the brewery, drink their beer, or get to tour the facilities.  This April Owen and I had the opportunity to visit both the original brewery at Thornbridge Hall in Bakewell and their newer, larger facility nearby. Thornbridge Hall is a massive and gorgeous old country home which is used mainly as an event space but nestled in a green shed behind the main hall is the small original brewery which is now used for research and development.  Just around the corner in the twelve acres of green gardens you can find the iconic statue that’s on all their beer labels and pump clips.
Thornbridge's Original Brewery at Thornbridge Hall 
When the need for more space became evident, Thornbridge moved the bulk of brewing to their new facility nearby.  In this new space they have one of the most comprehensive brew labs in the UK. Their drive for consistency and perfection is evident in the care they take in making sure every beer in the market tastes exactly the same as if you were to try it in the brewery itself. This attention to detail is something that truly makes Thornbridge stand out in the UK market. Next door they have their new barrel room where they’re aging award winning styles like fruited Flanders Reds. We got to try their Gold Medal Cherry Flanders Red, and if it is representative of the other beers aging in that room, I’m excited to try as many of them as I can!
Thornbridge's Impressive Barrel Room 
My personal Thornbridge favorite on this trip was the Coco Cocoa – a coconut chocolate porter at 5.5%, but there are so many well-done styles that it was hard to pick a favorite. Whether you like clean lagers like Lukas, fruited IPA’s like Pineapple Halcyon, or dark porters like Cocoa Wonderland, Thornbridge has them all in a mix of keg and cask to suit your taste. Don’t miss out on this excellent brewery.
- Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen
Coming off its first anniversary on March 27, Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen is known for its smokehouse that creates scrumptious meals to pair with the brewpub's lineup of music-inspired beers. After dinner, enjoy another pint in the downstairs game room that offers skee-ball, bocce ball, pinball and several classic video games.
With the warmer weather, co-owner and brewer Brian Whitley is tapping a stellar lineup of beers, with new offerings that include Space Truckin' kolsch, Danger $$$ Berliner Weisse, Kaleidoscope Eyes Session IPA with oats and Waimea and Vic Secret dry-hops, and a rotating series of East Coast-style IPAs. "Piedmont tries hard to offer food and drink to fit a wide range of palates," says Brian Whitley. "If your travels take you through Macon, then you owe it to yourself to make a pit stop to visit us."
Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen
450 3rd Street
Macon, GA
- Tucker Brewing Set to Open
Just minutes from Decatur and Atlanta, the city of Tucker will celebrate its first brewery on June 2 when Tucker Brewing Company officially opens its doors from 1-9 pm. With a slogan of "German-style beers, Southern Roots," Tucker Brewing houses an impressive, 10,000 square feet tasting room and outdoor beer garden, and the brewery will host food trucks and crank up live music on its 600 square feet stage for the grand opening.
"We can't get open fast enough," says co-owner Ashley Hubbard. "The outpouring of community support has been incredible, and the people here are really behind us."
- Craft Beer Reviews
SweetWater Twisted Fish is a 5.3% ABV pilsner made with a classic Czech yeast and beautiful Crystal, Citra and Mandarina Bavaria hops. Try it alongside grilled bratwurst this summer. SweetWater notes that one dollar from every case sold will be donated to fund projects that benefit sustainable fisheries and recreational anglers.
Creature Comforts Legend Has It Pils ranks as a dry-hopped pilsner brewed in cooperation with Interboro NYC and Run the Jewels. Expect a light malt canvas highlighted with intense, mouth-watering hop notes from generous hop additions and dry-hopping with Mandarina Bavaria, Grungheist and Mosaic cryo hops. 
Stone VirtuAle IPA is a West-Coast IPA with huge citrus and tropical fruit notes from Citra and Mosaic hops. At 7.7% ABV, this potent brew is packed with flavors of citrus, flowers, malt and berries. Pair with jerk pork, shrimp po-boys or Nashville hot chicken.
La Trappe Quadruple ranks as a world-class example of a Trappist strong dark ale. With aroma and flavor characteristics of toffee, rich malt, plums, figs, vanilla, honey and light cocoa, this warming brew is perfect for sipping from a snifter alongside bites of fruit pies or brie cheese.
Monks Meadery Peachin' to the Choir comes in as a peach tea session mead made for the Georgia Renaissance Festival. With additions of SerendipiTea Persian Nectar Organic Peach Tea, black tea and peaches, this low alcohol mead makes for a refreshing summer drink while viewing the jousting matches. Check it out at the Renaissance Fair that runs through June 3. 
BeeCraft Captiva Caps is a 13% ABV mead showcasing lovely citrus and grapefruit notes balanced by a mild warmth from hand-selected habanero peppers. Sip it from a chalice along with bites of chicken quesadillas. 
Winner of the 2016 Domra’s Cup, where it took first place in category.
Urban Tree Vintage Gala. From Atlanta's own Urban Tree comes this complex cider made from 2015 harvest Gala apples aged in Nicaraguan rum barrels. With a hint of South Georgian cane syrup, this selection offers notes of semi-sweet apples, spicy rum hints, and a pleasing tannin and spice complexity.
Terrapin Watermelon Gose. Did you love salted watermelon when you were a kid? Terrapin brings an adult twist to these flavors with its salty, tart, wheat beer enhanced with watermelon juice. What could be more refreshing with grilled shrimp or a feta salad?
- Try This Beer
Cherry Street
Cherry Limeade Berliner
From our friends at Cherry Street in Cumming, Georgia comes this summery, 4.0% ABV Berliner Weisse that makes for a perfect summer quencher. With mild lactic tartness and a pleasant wheat character, this fruity ale showcases bright flavors of cherries and limes. Try it alongside a sharp goat cheese with water crackers.
- Featured Events
  • 06/15-17/2018 - Wrecking Bar's 7th Anniversary rolls around on Father's Day weekend. The Atlanta brewpub will pour around 30 special beers and award prizes to the first people through the door each day. 
  • 07/21/2018 - Max Lager's hosts its third annual Old 320 Beer Fest that will feature loads of unique beers, delicious Max bites and live music from GR8ful Dude & Friends. Be sure to enter the raffle for a chance to win a spot on Brewtopia's October European beer trip to Belgium and Western Germany.
  • 11/04/2018 - GEORGIA BITES & BREWS. Owen Ogletree hosts this fantastic evening of craft beer and food pairings at the lovely Graduate Athens and Foundry music hall in Athens, GA. Save the date!
- Brewtopia Events on Facebook & Twitter
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. Also be sure to "friend" Owen Ogletree on Facebook.
Follow Brewtopia Events on Twitter.
  • Owen Ogletree and The Beer Wench make their way to the wilds of New Zealand to check out Lord of the Rings scenery and experience the country's best craft beers. Watch for posts and pictures soon! Beer travel makes for the best travel!
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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