2006 | REGIONAL | SOUTHEAST
By Bobby Bush
460 W. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
1301 Atlanta Ave.
Orlando, FL 32806
2 Independent Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Carolina Beer & Beverage
110 Barley Park Ln.
Mooresville, NC 28115
Atlanta Brewing Co.
1219 Williams St.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Thomas Creek Brewing Co.
2054 Piedmont Hwy.
Greenville, SC 29605
French Broad Brewery
101-D Fairview Rd.
Asheville, NC 28803
Dixie Brewing Co.
(reopening August 2007)
2537 Tulane Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70119
2120 Madison Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
191 N. Foster St.
Dothan, AL 36303
Brewer Jon Connolly and the folks at Carolina Brewery in
Chapel Hill have scheduled an all–North Carolina beer
dinner for August 3. In addition to a selection of brews from
host brewpub Highland Brewing (Asheville) and The Duck-Rabbit
Craft Brewery (Farmville), a four-course dinner will feature
a menu of North Carolina–raised vegetables and meat.
Carolina chef Andrew Forester, a CIA grad, has prepared an
interesting meal pairing food and beer. Highland owner Oscar
Wong, Duck-Rabbit owner/brewer Paul Philippon and Connolly
will all make short presentations during the all-inclusive
dinner. Call 919-942-1800 for more information.
Carolina Brewery’s next strong ale should be up soon.
An 8% abv doppelbock, it will join Connolly’s Firecracker
Pale Ale, an American pale, as a summertime seasonal.
After months of uncertainty trailed by a long bout of moving
pains, Orlando Brewing has resurfaced in its new location.
Director of Brewing Operations Ed Canty fired up the brew-kettle
in mid-March, followed by the early April opening of the microbrewery’s
taproom, which is open seven days a week and offers bar snacks
and 20 different beers. Canty’s KISS beers, made from
“simple” recipes incorporating only one type of
hops, embody the Orlando Brewing all-organic line: Blonde,
Pale, Mild and Red ales. Currently augmenting the regular
foursome in the taproom are Old Pelican, an English pale ale,
and Black Water Dry Porter, a brown porter style.
Canty recently staged a special tapping party to introduce
his newest recipe. Brewed to coincide with the AHA’s
National Homebrewers Conference, Doble Imperial IPA was created
to honor John Doble, the revered Tampa Bay Brewing brewer
who died in a tragic fire several years ago. This high-gravity
ale packs 136 bittering units, and 10 barrels of it were produced.
In his first attempt at partigyle brewing, Canty used the
second runnings to produce BVC, a 123-IBU brew intended as
a treat for the brewery’s many volunteer workers that
Orlando has dubbed its Brewing Volunteer Corps. The supple
brew will also be served at a conference beer dinner hosted
by beer writer Randy Mosher.
An industrial park micro, Orlando Brewing's taproom also
offers a nice selection of guest beers, including Sierra Nevada
Bigfoot, Anchor Liberty, Chimay Tripel, Harpoon IPA, Lindemans
Framboise, Abita Turbodog and more. Orlando commissioned its
bottling line by packaging Laughing Gator Russian Imperial
Stout, which was brewed by a multitude of Florida homebrewers
in 10-gallon batches as their gift to homebrewing conference
When all the dust settles from Orlando’s forced relocation,
made necessary by a new road routed through the middle of
the old brewery, the company’s annual capacity will
more than double. Unlike most Florida breweries, Orlando is
licensed to sell kegs and bottled beer to go.
To comply with Florida’s screwy laws, recently remodeled
Cellar Grille is shedding its brewery. Separately owned and
operated, the new business will be called Titan Brewing Company
and will become a distributing microbrewery providing beer
to Cellar Grille and other Jacksonville-area bars and restaurants.
Eric Lumen remains behind the 20-barrel brewhouse, just as
he did for the facility’s original owners, Charlotte-based
Southend Brewery. Lumen specializes in American-style ales,
though he keeps several European brews in rotation, including
a few lagers. Plans for the new Titan lineup include four
regular brews: Sunshine Blonde, Mulligan Red, Knuckledragger
Oatmeal Stout and one seasonal, which for now is a snappy
State law requires that all of Titan’s production be
sold through a distributor. Even beers destined for Cellar
Grille, which resides literally on the other side of the dividing
wall, must leave the premises, dwell in a warehouse for a
night and then return on the next delivery.
That inconvenience allows Titan’s owners to better
utilize the brewery’s capacity (20 barrels is too large
for most brewpubs) by selling to other entities, including
a new Cellar Grille under construction and another on the
Carolina Beer & Beverage (CBB) has a new brew on tap.
The Mooresville, N.C., microbrewery recently introduced Strawberry
Blonde to rave reviews. According to company President John
Stritch, the amber-hued ale's caramel, malty taste causes
the natural berry tart flavor to “pop out.” “Men
like it too,” he states unapologetically. CBB has a
new tour center that seats over 100 people and has expanded
its tour schedule to thrice each week. The ’40s bar
overlooks the brewery’s new canning machine. First out
in tall, slender 12-ounce cans will be Carolina Blonde, the
company’s light but flavorful flagship brew. Cottonwood
Irish Red will follow in more traditionally shaped 16-ounce
Brewer Dave McClure attributes the recent
and rapid growth of Atlanta Brewing Company to the arrival
of new investors about two years ago. Reshuffling responsibility
within the 12-year-old micro’s organization created
a more efficient system, allowing McClure and President Greg
Kelly to concentrate on their strengths: brewing and selling
great beer, respectively.
Though beers like Red Brick Ale and Peachtree Pale Ale are
still distributed only in Georgia, Atlanta Brewing is on a
3,800-barrel pace this year, compared to about 2,200 barrels
produced in 2005.
A Massachusetts-born homebrewer, McClure had no prior professional
brewing experience when he joined Atlanta Brewing six years
ago. While plans are being made to introduce Atlanta beers
to Alabama and Tennessee consumers, the Georgia Department
of Transportation is scheming to build a bridge on the site.
Sooner or later the company will have to relocate. When they
move, Atlanta’s owners hope to replace the brewhouse
with a new 18,000-barrel brewery. In recognition of its growing
popularity, Atlanta Brewing has added another day, the Sabbath,
to its weekly tour and tasting schedule. Tasting begins at
5:00 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays followed by brewery
tours at 6:15.
Thomas Creek Brewery has added another contract-brew to its
fold. Marietta, Ga.’s Woodstock Beer Brands is marketing
two new tie-dyed beers brewed by the Greenville, S.C., micro.
Woodstock Pilsner is a traditional light-bodied German-style
lager targeted for mainstream drinkers, while Woodstock IPA
is actually a double IPA packing 8.5% abv. Founded in 1997
by brewer Tom Davis, Thomas Creek is a family-owned and operated
microbrewery that has a nice line of its own self-branded
beers, including chewy Multi-Grain Ale, rich Doppelbock, hoppy
IPA, lilting Vanilla Cream Ale, crisp Pilsner and others.
Kegged and bottled Thomas Creek beers are available throughout
Tennessee and both Carolinas.
Even beers destined for the other side
of the dividing wall must leave the premises, dwell in a warehouse
for a night and return on the next delivery.
Asheville, N.C.’s French Broad Brewing claims to be
the “first microbrewery to convert to waste vegetable
oil as [its] primary fuel source.” According to brewer/owner
Jonas Rembert, the boiler and a French Broad promotional vehicle,
Vice President Jason Smith’s military Blazer, have been
converted to burn alternative fuel provided by Corn A Copia,
a local green fuel company. When Rembert found that he “could
save money and do the right thing socially and environmentally,”
the company signed up immediately. “It started as a
business decision and consequently spurred the evolution of
our progressive values,” Rembert said, as well as a
new company motto: “Global Beer. Asheville Flavor.”
French Broad has nine employees, including new brewer Bobby
Krusen, who previously brewed for New Knoxville Brewing. (Bobby’s
brother, Al, brews for Knoxville’s Downtown Grill &
Brewery.) French Broad recently increased production capacity
by 70 percent with the addition of two new fermenters and
a bright tank. Summer seasonal Laurel Country White, along
with six other beers, is available at French Broad’s
popular taproom, in kegs and growlers to go and at many local
bars and restaurants.
Severely damaged by the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, Dixie
Brewing is not expected to be back in business for another
year. Owners Joe and Kendra Bruno, who took over the then-struggling
company in 1985, had built volume at the almost 100-year-old
brewery back up to 50,000 barrels annually when the levees
broke. Dixie Beer is recognized universally as the signature
beer of Louisiana and New Orleans, and the Brunos must invest
millions to replace destroyed equipment — much of it
antiquated — and stolen property (the brewery had been
ransacked) to bring Dixie Beer, Blackened Voodoo and Jazz
Amber back to their rightful home. The new Dixie Brewing will
be a modern, automated facility centered around its unique
cypress conditioning tanks. Dixie beers may make an early
return by way of a contract-brewer.
In April, Boscos Brewing Company head brewer and co-founder
Chuck Skypeck was awarded the Brewers Association Recognition
Award. This honor is the industry's highest individual award
for contributions to craft brewing. Steve Bradt, head brewer
at Free State Brewing Company and board member of the Brewers
Association, recognized Skypeck's tireless advocacy for the
Brewers Association and the industry. "We all owe him
a lot for the tremendous work that he put into the merger
that created the Brewers Association." Presented every
year to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm
and support contributes to the brewpub and microbrewery movement,
the award was given to Skypeck at the Brewers Association
annual Craft Brewers Conference held in Seattle.
Memphis-based Boscos owns and operates brewpubs in Nashville,
Memphis and Little Rock, Ark. Last year the company, which
was “founded as a comfortable neighborhood gathering
place that offers great food, accompanied by our own special
craft-brewed beers,” announced a new franchise program
designed to spread Boscos’ good cheer and, eventually,
beer from the company’s own microbrewery, which is still
in the planning stage.
In a state known for the word “no” — as
in “No off-premise sales,” “No Sunday sales”
and “No beer over 6% alcohol” — Rick Lewellyn
opened Dothan Brewing Company in Dothan, Ala., on April 1.
No joke. Brewer Wayne Womble, alum of Buckhead Brewing in
the Atlanta area, has impressed locals with his craft. He
keeps five beers on tap in the former JC Penney building-turned-brewpub.
Though the menu features German cuisine, including homemade
bratwurst, Womble brews a worldwide variety of beer. A new
batch of unfiltered hefeweizen is the summer seasonal, accompanied
by regulars Blonde, Amber, Urban Legend Pale Ale and Johnny
McBrown, a nut brown ale.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Athens, Ga., contract brewer Terrapin Beer recently introduced
a new bottled beer. Terrapin American Imperial Pilsner, which
has been available in kegs for a year, joins other fine turtle-esque
brews, such as Rye Pale Ale, Cream Ale, Big Hoppy Monster
and Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Stout, on shelves and bars
in Georgia and the Carolinas.
Front Street Brewing, a Wilmington, N.C., brewpub, has closed.
“The first authentic hofbräuhaus in America,”
Hofbräuhaus Newport was ranked in the “Top 10 Brewpubs
in 2005” by the American Brewers Association. The Newport,
Ky., brewpub ranked sixth and was the only Southern establishment
recognized in the top 10, which was dominated by California,
with three brewpubs. Colorado and Washington each had two
brewpubs on the list.
Bobby Bush is just a good ol’ Southern
boy who loves his beer rich and tasty and despises all things
NASCAR. Comments and sarcasm are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.