Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The 2015 Classic City Brew Fest was, well, Classic!


 
Here are some gangster photos to prove it!

Whaddup Everyone!

As usual, the Classic City Brew Fest held in Athens, Georgia was an incredible time. Not only is this one of my top three beer fests in Georgia, but with it being the 20th anniversary this past Sunday, it made it that much more grand. I mean come on, more than 400 beers to sip, 28 rare casks, live music and most importantly, great people buzzing throughout the Graduate Hotel grounds, this was one of the most memorable ones I have had the pleasure of covering. A major shout out goes to Owen Ogletree, the man with the plan to make this happen.
To show more love besides this written shout out, here are some of the dope pictures I, along with my brother Lamont, took. From kicking it with some of the individuals responsible for Georgia’s beer scene being increasingly gangster (Owen, Matt Simpson, Phil Farrell, brewery reps, distributors, aficionados, cool ass people, etc.), to standout brews that wowed me, enjoy these flicks!
To all of the folks in ATL, Athens and surrounding communities, much love!
Let’s keep sippin’ and supporting the craft! Stay tuned for our visit to the Trappeze Pub soon too!

Your homey,

Ale

Now on to the snaps...












Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cruisin’ For A Brewsin’: Operation Amsterdam

My homey "Ster" servin' up some U.S. goodness at her
Amsterdam-based Beer Temple beer bar.

Let's go to Europe!
Hey Craft Beer Lovers!

I am trippin’ literally! On the real, I flew into Amsterdam to start off a beer cruise labeled AMAWaterways’“Tulip Time”—their first beer-influenced excursion—which I am covering for you, my homies! In fact, this trip is the one I chose as a gangster selection in my annual Ale Sharpton Holiday Gift Guide hereAnyway, on my first day, I hit the pavement hard once I got to the ship to unload my luggage and then hit the streets.  
One of the destinations on the cruise’s itinerary was to check out the rich history of the Heineken Experience, a museum-ish venue exhibiting how the Heineken family’s brewing empire came together. And yes, the beer tastes totally different. No skunk. No haunting aftertaste. No nothin’ but a cleaner, refreshing sip served the traditional way or damn cold as the pics illustrate! Speaking of which, I am going photo-heavy while I am here because the Internet is hella shaky when hittin’ the seas.
Kicking it with my homey Anna who lives in Amsterdam, she answered my demand to see the “java” hype at a “coffee shop” before hitting up the 30-tap, American-craft-beer-stacked Beer Temple pub—we’re talkin’ about 30 taps of U.S. goodness ranging from the Prairie Artisan Ales to Dark horse Lagunitas and Dark Horse. Hell, Temple’s super cool manager popularly recognized as “Ster” said I could post my sticker on her Temple’s door next to Terrapin Beer Co.’s, my Athens, Georgia neighbor down the street from my condo in Atlanta! Ultimately, this bar is a must when you visit my second beloved “A-Town” and helps make your adjustment from the hoppy IPAs and robust imperial stouts that you are accustomed to in the States if you live in my country, to the Pilsners, Belgian brews, and lagers overall that dominate the taps here.
Anyway, I love taking you with me wherever I go because anyone reading this is fam! Enjoy the photos and be sure to hit up my Instagram as well!

Yes, let's cut to the chase. This is a listing of what "roasts" are available in one of Amsterdam's infamous coffee shops. You go in, they hand you...errr..visitors papers, and you...errr...visitors pick what they want. They have pre-rolled spliffs too and space cakes. People are in there chillin', playing cards, drinking tea and simply enjoying the finest weed legally.
Oh yeah! Jumped the gun. This is our AmaWaterways ship called the Amalyra. Five levels of chillin', eating, and sippin'! The staff was ridiculously hospitable and pampering. I loved it.
Crate diggin' at Record Mania.
An American beer bar? Well, sorta. But this is in Amsterdam! All hail Beer Temple!
My homey and resident of Amsterdam showed is a helluva time! These are buttons from her design firm. 
They get their biking on in Amsterdam! just watch where the hell you are going when crossing the street. They will eff you up!
Old Amsterdam makes some awesome cheese! These were my steez, sharp and free! At least the samples were.
I rode one of these trains. I gave Grolsch some love since my boy designs their bottles in Amsterdam too.
Folks spinnin' in the Heineken Experiences's basement.
This is a lil' refreshment in-between hitting the streets in Amsterdam. This brew is called Gauloise at 6.3% ABV. I wasn't mad at it.
Look for more city coverage soon, my homies. I come back to Amsterdam to hit up some more amazing spots, but for now, we are off to the ext one. And like I said, peep my Instagram too! No pics are repeated.
Cheers! Oh wait, Proost!
Ale



Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ale on BeerPop! Radio Part 1


My dudes Aaron Rolka and Dan Fontaine showed hella love during this one!
Photos by my brother Lamont aka Monzter.
This interview was a fun one!

Whaddup!!!

A week ago, I got invited to sit in on the always entertaining BeerPop! podcast hosted by my homies Aaron Rolka and Dan Fontaine to talk about how I got to where I am now, our mutual love for beer, shit literally being on beer labels, and even superheroes to name a few subjects! The link here: Ale Sharpton on BeerPop! Part 2 will be on IPAs featuring my dog Willie The Kid coming soon.
This episode is hella entertaining (although I do speak my sailor's tongue quite a bit throughout the interview), as I shout out a couple of the best beer bars in Atlanta just a block away from our recording, the Argosy and Midway; some of the pioneers of the game including Matt Simpson, the Beer Sommelier, and legendary 2011 Beerdrinker of the Year, Phil Farrell; plus other some other fun subjects to name a few. The setting was outside during a majestic day in East Atlanta, and of course, the beer was flowing. We poured the Against The Grain Rico Sauvin at 8 percent ABV pimpin' Nelson Sauvin hops out of Louisville, Kentucky here:

And then we discussed their absolutely bugged out Brown Note label that is literally on some shit here:


Upon further review, once I blew it up and looked more closely at this artwork, crap is not shooting out of his ass as I originally thought. It just looks like that. The skid marks are still there front and center though!
Ultimately, cheers to originality. Especially if the beer is awesome like these Against The Grain homies do.
Thanks again Aaron and Dan for having me on! Stay tuned for more radio appearances soon including the epic one with ABL Radio's Day One Radio with Willie The Kid and IAMCLASSICHIPHOP hosted by Star. Evidently, I love being on the mic! 
I owe it all to y'all! 

Cheers!
Ale

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March Madness, Ale Style!

Kickin' it at the Secret Stash Bash on March 7th with the homies! From left to right, Gary aka G-Unit (IG, @craftybrewer3000), Willie The Kid (@TheWillieTheKid), Lee aka L-Boogie (@TheThirstyGiant), Kenny Anderson (@Chibbs_1) and Tyler aka T-Diddy (@GreenFlashTyler) all got their sip on!
(Photo by my bro Lamont)
This month continues to be nuts regarding beer!

Cheers Y’all!

I think March Madness will have a totally new meaning in my life after all the events and happenings I have taken on so far along with what’s on deck. 
My Girl Scout Joint! 
Photo by @AtlFoodWriter
From hosting my Girl Scout Cookie Beer Pairing with Hop City and Scout Mob, to making two satellite radio appearances on ABL’s Day 1 Radio at 52:30 (hear it here) and BeerPopShow Podcast; my awesome beer dinner with Food 101; schooling basketball legend Kenny Anderson on beer during the Secret Stash Bash; four article deadlines; contributing to EBONY Magazine writing about ales; and hosting the Blood, Sweat and Beer documentary during the Atlanta Film Festival last Sunday (which was EXCELLENT), I trust you see what I mean! Oh, and I still did my March Madness brackets although they suck this year.
Speaking of the Blood, Sweat and Beer film, I had a blast showing some southern hospitality to the directors, editors, funders, and filmmakers—Alexis and Chip—leading up to their Georgia debut last Sunday at the historic Plaza Theatre in the Highlands. 
Alexis and Chip killed it!
(Photo by Lamont Byron)
After introducing the viewing, I had the pleasure of seeing this film with about 200 others and can honestly say that I was BLOWN AWAY! It was not only a humorous, informative, and entertaining approach to what it takes to start a brewery, but it honestly pulled at the heart strings while making us thirsty at the same time! I started the Q&A afterwards by simply asking the audience, “Who would have thought beer could bring you through so many emotions?” This one hits home.
I strongly suggest you see this film by going to the official Blood, Sweat, and Beer website here to find out how to get it or get a viewing schedule. Even if you don’t like beer (which is almost blasphemous to even suggest), everyone will enjoy this production, I promise!
Stay tuned for my listing of events coming up in the very near future. I need to take a breather! (Yeah, right. Like that’s gonna happen.)

Much Sippin’ Love!

Ale

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An Interview with Blood, Sweat and Beer filmmakers!

Plus a major update on the afterparty 's new venue following the viewing!

Whaddup!!!
Okay, with only a few hours left before the Atlanta Film Fest, Taste Of Atlanta, and yours truly premiere the documentary Blood, Sweat and Beer this Sunday, March 22, at noon (see all the details here), I have two new MAJOR updates:
  • After the screening of the Blood, Sweat and Beer documentary at the historic Plaza Theatre, the afterparty will now be hosted a block away at the Highland Inn Ballroom from 1:30 to 4 pm. in order to make the venue closer and get rid of the need for transportation. This is because we don’t want the threat of rain to hate on our steez and, of course, we've got your back!
  • I had the chance to link up with Alexis and Chip—the dynamic directors and filming crew of the Blood, Sweat, and Beer documentary— here in Atlanta last night, and hooked up an interview to give everyone a more detailed inside scoop of the film. They just arrived from Maryland, so we didn’t waste any time grabbing a cold one (or three) and talk about the happenings during the production of this awesome project. Here is Alexis and Chip breaking down some of my questions:

Ale: What influenced you to do this project?
Alexis: Chip and I both love craft beer! We travel a lot—especially during the screening our first documentary The Dream Share Project (www.thedreamshareproject.com) at colleges across the U.S.—and our favorite thing to do after an event is find local breweries or fun beer bars to check out. We noticed such fast and exciting growth in the craft beer world, we thought there had to be some good stories out there in the industry.

I can dig that! What was the most difficult hurdle in making this film?
Alexis: This production was created and self-funded by Chip and I! We did everything from set up interviews, to travel, to film, to edit, to pick out music...it was all us, which seems a little crazy in retrospect. Last November, we were lucky enough to have a bunch of wonderful people donate to a Kickstarter we did, which helped raise the funds we needed for finishing the movie off including sound mixing, color correction, etc.

Wow, you really were grinding to make this a reality. What did you learn the most regarding the brewing industry?
The brewing industry is a very collaborative one; people love to work together to make good brews and support one another. That kind of camaraderie isn't something you necessarily see in other industries.

Amen to that. What was your most memorable experience during the filming?
Alexis: One of my favorite experiences was being at the DC Homebrewers Club, filming their meeting at Bluejacket, when all of a sudden the homebrewers started freaking out! Charlie Papazian (Association of Brewers and GABF Founder) had wandered into Bluejacket and their meeting! We had literally just emailed him that day to set up an interview in Colorado in the next two weeks, and when we introduced ourselves he was like "It's you guys! You just emailed me!" That was pretty weird, yet awesome at the same time.

That is crazy! What was your favorite beer (both of you) during the making of the movie?
Alexis: Tough question! I can't pick a fave, but there was some awesome stuff I drank, including Cigar City Cafe Con Leche, Firestone-Walker Velvet Merlin, all of the insane sours I tried at Cascade Brewing in Portland, Oregon, Eagle Rock Revolution extra pale ale, Green Bench's Saison De Banc Vert, Backshore Brewing S’mores Stout, the Brew Gent's Chai Wheat...too many to name!
Chip: I also loved the Cigar City Jai Ali, Dogfish 90-minute (my go-to beer), Mountain Sun Girl Scout Cookie Stout, everything at Hair of the Dog in Portland, Oregon, all the Bruery bottles we were lucky enough to score, Backshore Brewing Fist Pumpkin Ale, Brew Gent's Imperial Red…like Alexis said, too many! A lot were actually consumed during the editing too.

Now those are some crazy brews. Wowzaz! So what's next for you?
Alexis: Our next project is ongoing! We are planning a 25-plus city screening tour to bring Blood, Sweat, and Beer across the U.S.! 

Here is how we can follow this necessary documentary across the country. Follow…
Twitter: @bloodsweatbrew
Instagram: @bloodsweatbeermovie


Cheers!
Ale