March 8, 2013

Atlanta Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Fest Recap

Chef Christopher Davis of NC's
Little Red Pig Championship BBQ
Cooking Team
While James was enjoying the Panama Micro Brew Fest, my girlfriend and I traveled down to Atlanta for the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival at Atlantic Station. It was unusually cold, so cold that it actually snowed! (in Atlanta? in March? Yup.) As a touring festival with upcoming dates throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, here's a taste of what you can expect from upcoming editions (minus the cold, I hope).


We started things off with a new local brewery, Monday Night Brewing from Atlanta, GA, and tried their Draft Kilt Scotch Ale (well-balanced bitterness, hint of smoke) and the Fu Manbrew Belgian-Style Wit (light, crisp, with a touch of ginger). Both solid beers.

Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale and Fu Manbrew Wit

We also enjoyed SweetWater's IPA and LowRYEder IPA, Ommegang's Three Philosophers Quadruple, New Holland's Kolsch, and several others.

Probably our favorite beer experience at the festival was in the tasting tent. We attended guided tastings for both Finch's Beer Co., out of Chicago, and Abita, from Louisiana.

finch's beer co chicagoFinch's lineup included:
  • Threadless IPA: dank, citrusy, and floral at 90 IBUs
  • Secret Stash Stout: dark like motor oil, but with flavors of vanilla, smoke, chocolate, coffee
  • Fascist Pig: a 8% ABV American Red Ale, with caramel in the front and rye in the back
  • Cutthroat Pale Ale: balanced with a touch of sweet orange peel
From Abita we sampled:
  • Spring IPA: Amarillo hops contributed strong citrus flavor and aroma
  • Andy Gator: an 8% ABV Dopplebock, complex and potent
  • Restoration Ale: hopped and dry hopped with Cascade, sales from Restoration Ale raised some $2.5 mil for New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina
  • Abita Light: Not bad for a light lager
abita beer tasting


I definitely focused on the beer, but two bourbons stood out for me:
  • Templeton Rye: based on a Prohibition-era recipe, Iowa's Templeton Rye provides "a smooth finish and a clean getaway."
  • Four Roses Single Barrel: Four Roses' premium line won a Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

The place to be at the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival was the VIP tent: due to all the exclusive vendors cooking their finest 'cues, this was the warmest place at the festival! Among the offerings were:
  • Bacon Waffles: didn't try 'em, but those who did said they were "Amazing - I mean, they put bacon in a waffle. How could they go wrong?"
  • Housemade Bacon & Brunswick Stew from Meehan's Pub: stellar, with tangy and delicious BBQ flavor
  • Honey Cured Berkshire Pork Shoulder: 100% acorn fed from a local farm, served with Pickled Green Tomato Relish:

  • Ground Pork and Bacon Dirty Rice, topped with Cane Syrup-Glazed Pork: Excellent beer festival grub:

Want to go to the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival in Charlotte, Nashville, or Richmond? Check out the Craft Beer Events Calendar for upcoming dates!

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