Southern Roundup August-September

R.J. Rockers in Spartanburg, SC has been expanding their plant with the addition of 6 new tanks and a grain silo.  The additions to the facility have been coming together all summer and should be fully installed and operational by August.  Founder and Brewer Mark Johnsen has been hard at work putting it all together in order to grow the 30 BBL brewery to a new capacity of 15,000 BBLS.  Look for their Fall Seasonal Gruntled Pumpkin Ale 7% in local markets and taprooms.  Pumpkin meat is added to the boil continuously as well as traditional pumpkin pie holiday spices.  The delicious brew will be available in 12oz. bottles and on draft.  As always look for their Son-of-a-Peach and the impressive Impeachment 10% version later towards the end of the year.


Holy City Brewing in Charleston, SC turned One year old July 21st.  They celebrated with a huge Carnival Day at the brewery and tasting room with music, food, and carnival acts.  This past year brewer Chris Brown has released some pretty special stuff including The Notorious P.I.G., a porter brewed with 40 pounds of bacon, HC-100 10% a Double IPA brewed with 100 pounds of hops to celebrate their 100th batch, and many others.  This summer Chris has created some great recipes including Smoke Break 8.5% a Smoky Wheat Ale, and Washout Wheat  5.3%, a true German Hefeweizen that is very thirst quenching and Impact IPA 7.7% that was named by the Geology department at the College of Charleston, where brewer Chris is an alumnus.  The newest release is Old Man Helles 4.8%, a German lager which was the first in a small batch series of lagers the brewery released.


Top of the Hill in Chapel Hill, NC has seen some changes in the brewery with Chris Atkins and Aaron Caracci taking over the brewing duties from original kettle master John Withey, who has retired,  and George Dusek, who is the Head Distiller at the new onsite TOPO Spirits Distillery.  Chris completed the International Brewing Science and Technology course through the Seibel Institute in Chicago, and the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany in 2010 and joined the team last May.  Aaron began working as a Brewer at Top of the Hill in 2009.  He completed the concise brewing course at the Seibel Institute in Chicago.  Aaron trained under John Withey.  They have a new Double IPA on tap through August at the pub called Intimindator DIPA that gives homage to the racing legends of the area!  Also released this summer is a series of special cask offerings each month – the first was a cask version of the Double Chocolate Stout that was aged over their house Colombian French Roast coffee.


A new brewery in planning stages that is looking to open later in 2012, but can be found at festivals where you can get a sneak-taste of what is to come, is Haw River Farmhouse Ales.  They plan to operate in Saxapahaw, NC and will be owned by Ben Woodward and his fiancée, Dawnya Bohager.  They plan to offer a great lineup of beers that defiantly say Belgian but all have a twist of Southern to them.  Look for them at Twin City Taps on August 11 in Winston-Salem, NC.


Starpoint Brewing Carrboro NC should be available in Chapel Hill West End and Carrboro by print time.  Starpoint has a 3 BBL Premier Stainless system with two 6 BBL fermenters and four 6 BBL brite tanks.  The owner Tim Harper will handle the brewing duties.  Tim discovered great beers in Europe while working as a production manager for The Connell’s but found the beer that he considered to be above all others when he stumbled across Pliny the Elder.  After returning to North Carolina Tim discovered home brewing and found that his new passion would take him down the road to opening Starpoint.  Tim will offer three distinctive beers self-described as “Mornin’ Wood Double India Pale Ale 8.2%, brewed with 5 different malts and 4 different whole cone American hop varieties; Surfin’ Buddha India Pale Ale 6.5%, with a similar malt and hop profile to MWDIPA this beer continues the flavor profile with a lower initial specific gravity but retains the same full body and color; and Booghi Sattva American Pale Ale 5%, that focuses on whole cone Cascade hops in the recipe to add earthy, spicy hues to the flavor.”


White Street Brewing will be open in historic downtown Wake Forrest, NC.  Owners Dino and Tina Radosta are excited to open after having purchased the buildings in 2008.

The brewery was unloaded back in May and the team is now ready to open to the public after overcoming issues with a fitting for the steam boiler and the glycol system.


The Tipping Point Tavern in Waynesville, NC is planning to add a three BBL system to its location so that it can offer house-made hand-crafted brews to its patrons.  Scott Peterson will be handling the brewing duties for owner Jon Bowman.  Scott has spent time with Wynkoop and Ska Brewing in Colorado before moving East.  Tipping Point will release three beers, an Amber, Pale Ale, and Wheat.


Aviator Brewing Fuquay, NC plans to have a new canning line in operation by September 1st so be on the lookout for their beer in this new package!


Green Man Brewing in Asheville, NC is expanding next door to the current location and they began demolition in July.  The new 30 BBL Premier Stainless brew house will operational in late fall.  They are adding four 60 BBL fermenters and several 30 BBL tanks as well.  This will allow for expanding the distribution area of their beers and allow brewer John Stuart to make larger batches of the seasonal brews so more of us can enjoy them!  The current 14 BBL system will still be used as demand dictates.  Contact Next Generation Beer Company for distribution in your area.  Look for a Peach Lambic to be released early fall that has 120 lbs. of farm fresh peaches added to 60 gallons of wheat beer that has been fermenting in “the magic barrel”.


Jailhouse Brewing released Prison Camp Pils as its summer seasonal and the beer has been moving quickly in the Atlanta area.  Make sure to find this well balanced lager when in the limited distribution area before it is all gone!



Terrapin Beer Co. Athens, GA, has announced the date for their third annual Hop Harvest Festival. The festival will take place on Saturday, October 6th, from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m.  This year’s celebration will have 16 casks and the release of the 2012 So Fresh & So Green, GreenSo Fresh & So Green, Green is Terrapin’s fresh hop (or “wet -hop”) limited-release beer. This very special beer is brewed with freshly-harvested hop cones flown overnight from the Yakima Valley in Washington brewed the day after those cones are picked off the vine!  Terrapin will also be busy working on 16 casks of ale, each dry-hopped with a different variety of hops to be served at the festival in two separate cask tents.  In response to the record attendance of recent Terrapin events, pre-sold glass vouchers will be available for the 2012 Hop Harvest Festival again this year. Glass vouchers (redeemable the day of the event) will be for sale at the brewery’s gift shop and online starting August 18th. A limited number of glasses will also be available the day of the event but folks are advised to purchase ahead as the event will likely sell out.


5 Seasons North in Atlanta has been pouring their Summer Peach Ale, reportedly made with “loads of fresh, local, organic peaches from Watsonia Farms – the only large organic grower of peaches.” This beer and the many other great styles that rotate in the 5 Seasons arsenal are a great reason to head out to the north side of Atlanta to enjoy a pint.  Crawford Moran has been brewing in Atlanta for years (remember Dogwood Brewing) and was recently awarded the Artisan Brewer Award by Star Chefs.


Celebrating a one-year anniversary is The Wrecking Bar Brewpub opened by Bob and Kristine Sandage.  The brewery was named Best Brewpub in Atlanta 2011 so congratulations go out to the entire team on one great year of operation!


Red Brick Brewing Company celebrated 17 years of operation in July.  Red Brick is the oldest operating craft brewery in Atlanta.  They released a special 17th Anniversary Ale in their Brick Mason series of beers and was aged in oak bourbon barrels before release.


Canoe Restaurant joins forces with SweetWater Brewery and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper® for the third year to conclude the summer’s “Save the Hooch” campaign and celebrate the end of summer. Attendees will commemorate the eco-friendly campaign by coming together on the banks of the Chattahoochee at Canoe on August 4 from 1 – 4 p.m. for the End of Summer BBQ party.  Camp Twin Lakes and SweetWater are giving back this August at “Crank It Up”, a kick-off party for their third annual Spin for Kids campaign. The party will be held August 7 from 7-9 p.m. at the brewery in Atlanta. Proceeds from the tickets and live auction will go directly towards Spin for Kids’ fundraising goals.


Making its debut to SweetWater’s annual lineup is LowRYEder 6.2%, a Rye IPA. The brew hit draft taps earlier this summer but will be hitting shelves in bottles for the first time in Tackleboxes and in six-packs in early September. LowRYEder is brewed with 25% Rye Malt, 2 Row, Malted Rye, Caramelized Rye, Flaked Rye, and Munich malt and hopped with Columbus, Mt. Hood, Centennial in the kettle and dry Hopped with Mt. Hood, and Centennial.  Motor Boat will return to the Catch and Release seasonal lineup this August. The brew is SweetWater’s version of an Extra Special Bitter.  It is unfiltered and dry hopped with Cascade.



Adam Matthews is the new man in the brew house at Moon River in Savannah, GA.  Next time you are in coastal GA make sure to stop by and give him a warm welcome!


Cahaba Brewing Company has opened in Birmingham AL to rave reviews.  Congrats go out to Taylor DeBoer, Andy Gwaltney and Eric Meyer.  They are operating a 3.5 BBL brew house with four 7 BBL fermenters and two brite tanks purchased from Straight to Ale in Huntsville.  They have a tasting room where their brews can be enjoyed so make plans when traveling through the Magic City to stop by and tell the trio hello.  They offer an array of distinctive beers including Liquidambar, their flagship beer, a lightly hopped American amber ale.  CBC describes Liquidambar as” a crisp, malty beer with a beautiful caramel color.  This brew is finished with a healthy handful of palisade hops that impart an incredible balance between malt and hops.”  Also offering Ryezome Rye Stout,and Oka Uba IPA weighing in at 57 IBU’s.


Straight to Ale Brewing Huntsville, AL has released  Monkeys Uncle IIPA 8% with 95 IBU’s with the new Zythos hop blend, which gives it some great citrus and piney hop character.


Knoxville TN brewery formally known as Marble City Brewing has reopened with a new name – Saw Works Brewing Company.  Brewer Dave Ohmer is brewing a Pale Ale as the companies flagship beer as well as an English-style Brown Ale on the 25 BBL Peter Austin designed system.  The building that houses SWB was once occupied by Wallace Saw Works, one of Knoxville’s largest saw works companies and their name pays homage to that fact.  SWB is developing a partnership with a local farm called Century Harvest Farms that is committed to responsible, sustainable agriculture.  CHF will be taking brewing byproducts and spent grains to use as hog feed, and also developing them into composting material.


Mike Halker has opened Due South Brewing Boynton Beach, FL.  They operate a 15 BBL brew house as well as a tap-room that is open daily except on Mondays.  The beers are available through Brown Distributing from Juipter, FL to Key West.  The focus of course brewing fresh craft beer and the brewery offers a wide variety of styles from Cream Ales to IPAs, Stouts to Saison, Wheat to Porter.



Terrapin Beer Co. Release BFM Collaboration

Athens, GA – September  2012


One of the most anticipated beers in Terrapin cellar was finally released from its conditioning tank and bottled last week at Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens GA. The beer, a Barley Ryne that had been aging on oak and bourbon wood for almost a year, is the product of a 2011 collaboration between Terrapin and Swiss brewery Brasseries Des Franches-Montagnes (BFM).

In 2011, Terrapin brew master Brian “Spike” Buckowski traveled to the Swiss Alps to visit and brew with Jérôme Rebetez, brew master of BFM. The resulting 10% ABV Barley Ryne, simply called spike & jérôme’s Collaboration Ale, was released in the US earlier this year to the great joy of all who were lucky enough to score one of the 11.4 oz flip-top bottles.

But the story does not end there. The collaboration had been such a success that later in September of 2011, while Jerome was traveling in the US, the two recreated the collaborative Barley Ryne brew day at the Terrapin Beer Co. brewery in Athens, GA. After almost a year in matured bourbon barrels the resulting limited-edition ale has finally been released under the name jérôme & spike’s Collaboration Ale 2011.

As the label says, these beers will age well and our money is on a side-by-side tasting in 2016… you choose which country.

ABV: 10.0276%     IBU’s: 63        O.G.: 23
Hops: Bravo, Columbus, U.S. Golding, Amarillo
Malt: 2-Row, Rye, Munich, Carapils, CaraAroma,Caramunich III, Melanoidin

jérôme & spike’s Collaboration Ale 2011 has been released in 22oz bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs in Terrapin’s nine-state distribution range including: GA, FL, TN, AL, NC, SC, VA PA and NJ.

Matt Manthe has taken over brewing duties at Brewzzi

Matt Manthe has taken over the brewing duties at Brewzzi in the Boca Raton, FLA location and Reiny Knieriemen at the West Palm Beach spot at City Place.  Matt previously brewed in South Carolina at Thomas Creek Brewing as the Head Brewer under owner Tom Davis after graduating with a degree in microbiology from Clemson University and then attended the intensive Certified Brewing and Malting Science program VLB Berlin in Germany.  Brewzzi has some exciting things happening in South FLA this Fall.  For starters they are pouring beers at the Lynn University Presidential Debate on October 22nd.  In addition to Brewzzi’s staple lineup of German lagers that include a Blonde Helles, Viennafest, and a Swartzbier called Black Duke the team has some interesting styles coming on line in 750 ML bottles available only for purchase and consumption in the Boca Raton brewpub (FLA does not allow for on site purchase of beer to be taken off premise and consumed).   The first is an American Sour/Wild Ale 6% dry hopped with Cascade hops and fermented with two strains of Brettanomyces, as well as Pediococcus and Lactobacillus, fermented at 65 F. This beer is full of sour character and incredible aroma, a classic sour Belgian ale brewed with an American twist.  Second is a Bier de Mars 7.2% fermented with the house Copenhagen lager yeast at warmer temperatures  (58F) to develop more ale-like flavors.  The beer is brewed to a deep orange color with wheat, rye, oats, Munich and Cara Vienna malts and hopped with Striesselspalt from France.  The third offering is an 8.7% Farmhouse Ale brewed with a French Saisson yeast, and French malts – wheat, Caravienna and Pilsner.  Striesselspalt is used in the hop additions and the beer is carbonated to a very high level.  Three bottles will be available each done with a different fruit (Dragonfruit and Key Limes; Nectarines; and Kiwi fruit) Make sure to stop by Brewzzi each 3rd Wednesday of the month for a new Firkin release in Boca.  The restaurant does a food paring with the beers and the portion size is a perfect match.  Brewzzi at City Place in West Palm Beach does the same event the First Wednesday of each month.