Southern Brew News August/September 2015 : Page 1

Outdoor seating area at Folklore Brewery and Meadery. P HOTO BY N ANCY W ILSTACH Story and Photos by Owen Ogletree Savannah, Georgia in 1985: No brewpubs, no breweries, no craft beer bars. With this pictur-esque and historic coastal city's Celtic heritage, many visitors often remarked that Savannah would be an ideal spot for a few traditional pubs. Alas, about the only option 30 years ago was Kevin Barry's Irish pub on touristy River Street that sold Guinness alongside a limited variety of bland lagers. Savannah, Georgia in 2015: The city houses an award-winning brewpub, three craft micro-breweries and some of the finest craft beer bars Brothers Chris and Kevin Haborak set in the state. Still crave a Celtic theme? Savannah the tone and keep the fermenters full at now boasts English-style pubs and a Scottish tav-ern. Even the patrons Coastal Empire. at Kevin Barry's can now enjoy a variety Housed in what was of craft beers to sip once Savannah's oldest during live Irish hotel on busy Bay Street music. near the center of down-Moon River town, Moon River brew-Brewing's owner and pub makes the perfect brewmaster John first stop for any visiting Pinkerton explains, craft beer lover. "In terms "Since 1999 when of our beer, I'm most our brewpub got proud of our core phi-started, Savannah losophy of diversity and has come a long balance," says Pinkerton. way in terms of the "I don't want to be boxed availability of great into one kind of beer style craft beer. The fact or theme. I want to make that Moon River is a broad spectrum of fla-located here in this Service Brewing CEO Kevin Ryan vorful beers, so we try to magical, mysterious keep at least ten different cuddles with brewery cat Black Hawk. city is a big part of See Savannah p.3 our appeal." By Bill Plott Like many craft beer operations, Folklore Brewery and Meadery in Dothan, AL was a long time coming. Owner and brewer Jeremy Pate began thinking about it in 2008 when he lost his job with the brewery closing at the Olde Auburn Ale House. “In 2009 I decided I was going to do mead. I had had it with a lot of the hoopla of the brew-ing industry,” said Pate. “But then I realized that while mead was important to me, beer was where I needed to be. Almost all beer drinkers will drink mead, too. In early 2010, started to get serious about it. I got the name locked-down.” But it was still another three years until the permitting and financing hurdles were crossed.“We had a soft opening in September 2013, giving away beer around town. Then we had our grand opening on Halloween 2013,” Pate allowed. Now, Folklore has 35-40 taps in Dothan bars and restaurants. The brewery also has two taps in Auburn and expects to be in Troy, Montgomery and Birmingham, soon. Those mar-kets are also in line for the four Folklore brands recently released in 22-ounce bombers. A flight at Folklore is not for the weak-hearted or the imbiber without a designated driv-er. On our visit, the tray contained 12 four-ounce samples! Two of them had been run through a Randall for a little more hop character. In no particular order, here’s the flight: Wiregrass Wheat, 5.5%; Front Porch Pale Ale, 6%; Snipe Hunt IPA, 7.5%; Guava Wheat, 5.7%; Barrelhead Rye Pale Ale, 6%; Old Langhorn Sign!, 8%, in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa; Cherry Wheat, 5.6%; The Dragon Wheat, 5.5%; Shadowcaster Porter, 7.5%; Grateful Red, 6%; Mom’s Rattler, a Lemonade Wheat Shandy, 3%; and Red Rattler Cherry Limeade, 3%. “Girls, pilots and bikers like the Rattlers. The German word is Radler, which means pedal-pushers,” Pate told us. The Grateful Red, with a logo that brings to mind images of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead band, is one of the brewery’s most popular beers Mom’s Rattle is a recipe created by his mother, Jerrilyn Pate, and is reflective of the total See Folklore p.2 Alabama/Mississippi ...4 Florida ......................5 Louisiana ...................6 Tennessee ..................7 Georgia ................... 11 The Carolinas .......... 14

A Savannah Craft Beer Soujourn

Owen Ogletree

Savannah, Georgia in 1985: No brewpubs, no breweries, no craft beer bars. With this picturesque and historic coastal city's Celtic heritage, many visitors often remarked that Savannah would be an ideal spot for a few traditional pubs. Alas, about the only option 30 years ago was Kevin Barry's Irish pub on touristy River Street that sold Guinness alongside a limited variety of bland lagers.

Savannah, Georgia in 2015: The city houses an award-winning brewpub, three craft microbreweries and some of the finest craft beer bars in the state. Still crave a Celtic theme? Savannah now boasts English-style pubs and a Scottish tavern. Even the patrons at Kevin Barry's can now enjoy a variety of craft beers to sip during live Irish music.

Moon River Brewing's owner and brewmaster John Pinkerton explains, "Since 1999 when our brewpub got started, Savannah has come a long way in terms of the availability of great craft beer. The fact that Moon River is located here in this magical, mysterious city is a big part of our appeal."

Housed in what was once Savannah's oldest hotel on busy Bay Street near the center of downtown, Moon River brewpub makes the perfect first stop for any visiting craft beer lover. "In terms of our beer, I'm most proud of our core philosophy of diversity and balance," says Pinkerton. "I don't want to be boxed into one kind of beer style or theme. I want to make a broad spectrum of flavorful beers, so we try to keep at least ten different beers on at a time. We always have exciting seasonals like our upcoming Savannah Berliner that's barrel-aged with Brettanomyces."

Crafting New Breweries

Southbound Brewing began production in Savannah in 2013 in a location just a couple of miles west of downtown. Southbound's flagship Hoplin' IPA is the top tipple during tours, but brew master Smith Mathews also offers pilot mini-batches that are only available in Southbound's tasting room. "This experimentation has been extremely fun and exciting, with some of the special beers being straight-up hits," remarks Mathews. "Many times we'll revisit these recipes and make a big batch. Seeing a huge interest in our wild and Brettanomyces beers, we decided to do one on the large system. It'll be called Loving Cup - a Rolling Stones music reference. It's dry-hopped with Simcoe, and we're doing it as a collaboration with local radio station Rock 106.1."

Southbound's marketing director Carly Wiggins adds, "All our beer names are musicoriented and based on a band, a song, an album or singer. It's a fun part of our business when people understand the references. Visitors who make it to our tasting room to tour the brewery and sample our beers usually comment on what wonderful people we have working here. Our philosophy at Southbound is to make great, approachable beers and just enjoy life."

Community Spirit, Local Flare

Savannah's Service Brewing celebrates its first birthday in September with the release of SBC 1 - an 8% ABV American strong ale with blueberry juice, vanilla, coca nibs and local honey. Service's extraordinary production brewery and vast, gorgeous tasting room are just a half mile walk from downtown Savannah, and craft beer locals and visitors flock there to taste the beer range, chat with the friendly staff and pet brewery cats Chinook and Black Hawk. Service Brewing's CEO Kevin Ryan relates, "We have a phenomenal space - extremely thoughtful in design - in a building that's over 100 years old. We even got a preservation award this year from the Historic Savannah Foundation."

Along with making an excellent assortment of beers, a goal at Service Brewing is honoring those who serve in the military. "We are a veteran-owned brewery," notes Kevin Ryan. "Out of 24 investors, 20 of these are vets of the army, navy or marines. Our head brewer and assistant brewer served in the army, and so did I. In our first year, we've raised over $15,000 for charities that support military, police and fire services."

Located a few miles from downtown in a small industrial park, Coastal Empire Beer Company usually offers four exciting specialty beers in the tasting room, along with the regular lineup of Savannah Brown, Tybee Island Blonde and Coastal Pale. Look for a vanilla-forward, barrel-aged brown ale at the brewery in August, along with the delightful Praline Amber Ale that's mashed with pecan flour from Mascot Pecan Company in Glennville, Georgia. Check the website for newly expanded tasting room hours.

Brothers Kevin and Chris Haborak own Coastal Empire. Kevin serves as brewer, while Chris heads up sales and marketing. The brothers grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and named their beers after coastal themes and Savannah landmarks. Chris' personal so far has been Kevin's Dawn Patrol mole stout. "Kevin took the black malt out and replaced it with dehusked chocolate malt," explains Chris. "I had my doubts, but when I tasted the end product, I knew we had something amazing." Dawn Patrol went on to take a bronze medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival in the herb/spiced category.

Pubs Aplenty

Savannah has also gained a reputation as a food destination with Top Chef’s Hugh Acheson's new bar and restaurant The Florence generating a big buzz. The Florence features an adjoining coffee shop, large bar and dining area and a small seating section overlooking the kitchen. Acheson points out, "The Florence is a beautiful place to go for a panoply of reasons. Whether you want a great multi-course meal with stellar wine or a simply perfect pizza with a local craft brew, the Florence has you covered. The surrounding arts district is booming, and the space is stunning."

Visitors will not be at a loss for superb craft beer pubs in Savannah. Located next to Moon River Brewing, Churchill's Pub serves up hearty UK pub grub to munch with a tantalizing range of draft and bottled beers. The historic décor at Molly MacPherson's Scottish pub is quite impressive, as are the beer and single malt menus. Enjoy craft beer and authentic Greek cuisine at the time-honored Crystal Beer Parlor, then walk four blocks to The Distillery pub for the best craft beer selection in the city. Don't miss other pub standouts that include the Belgian and German-themed Bier Haus, hipster-favorite World of Beer, and the quaint Abe's On Lincoln.

Savannah's craft beer week culminates with the popular Savannah Craft Brew Fest on Saturday, September 5 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center across the river from downtown. Take the fun Savannah Belles Ferry across to the fest from the landing on River Street to enjoy two-ounce, unlimited sampling of craft beers from around the world combined with food, beer seminars, live music and a cornhole tournament.

Need a few "non-beery" reasons to visit Savannah? Join a ghost walk to tour historic squares filled with live oaks dripping with Spanish moss. Gaze at the impressive talent on display at the museum of art of the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). Drive out to the unpretentious beaches of Tybee Island or take a hike through the acres of hauntingly beautiful grave markers of Bonaventure Cemetery. Savannah truly ranks as a must-see destination for lovers of history, charming architecture, distinctive pubs and flavorful, home-grown beers.

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/A+Savannah+Craft+Beer+Soujourn/2242742/268787/article.html.

A Long Time Coming Dream

Bill Plott

Like many craft beer operations, Folklore Brewery and Meadery in Dothan, AL was a long time coming. Owner and brewer Jeremy Pate began thinking about it in 2008 when he lost his job with the brewery closing at the Olde Auburn Ale House.

“In 2009 I decided I was going to do mead. I had had it with a lot of the hoopla of the brewing industry,” said Pate. “But then I realized that while mead was important to me, beer was where I needed to be. Almost all beer drinkers will drink mead, too. In early 2010, started to get serious about it. I got the name locked-down.”

But it was still another three years until the permitting and financing hurdles were crossed.“We had a soft opening in September 2013, giving away beer around town. Then we had our grand opening on Halloween 2013,” Pate allowed.

Now, Folklore has 35-40 taps in Dothan bars and restaurants. The brewery also has two taps in Auburn and expects to be in Troy, Montgomery and Birmingham, soon. Those markets are also in line for the four Folklore brands recently released in 22-ounce bombers.

A flight at Folklore is not for the weakhearted or the imbiber without a designated driver. On our visit, the tray contained 12 four-ounce samples! Two of them had been run through a Randall for a little more hop character.

In no particular order, here’s the flight: Wiregrass Wheat, 5.5%; Front Porch Pale Ale, 6%; Snipe Hunt IPA, 7.5%; Guava Wheat, 5.7%; Barrelhead Rye Pale Ale, 6%; Old Langhorn Sign!, 8%, in collaboration with Cigar City Brewing of Tampa; Cherry Wheat, 5.6%; The Dragon Wheat, 5.5%; Shadowcaster Porter, 7.5%; Grateful Red, 6%; Mom’s Rattler, a Lemonade Wheat Shandy, 3%; and Red Rattler Cherry Limeade, 3%.

“Girls, pilots and bikers like the Rattlers. The German word is Radler, which means pedalpushers,” Pate told us.

The Grateful Red, with a logo that brings to mind images of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead band, is one of the brewery’s most popular beers

Mom’s Rattle is a recipe created by his mother, Jerrilyn Pate, and is reflective of the total family commitment to Folklore. Also involved is his father, James Pate, and his uncle and aunt, Kenny and Cindy Crabtree.

“Uncle Kenny is unpaid and disabled but you wouldn’t know it. He makes all of our tap handles from scratch, starting with a piece of 2x4,” Pate said. “He cleared the parking area on 1950 Ford tractor that belonged to my greatgrandpaw.”

As the 35-40 taps around town indicate, local folks have embraced the brewery. Volunteers turn out to help on bottling days.

The current operation is a 10-barrel system with three batches brewed back-to-back for a 30-barrel output on each style. A new fermentation unit is expected this spring. The building itself has grown from 2,400 square feet to 3,800 square feet. In the planning stage is a 10,000-square-foot plant on property next door.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating. The patio site caters to pickin-and-grinnin’. There is also programmed live music. Someone is usually cooking brats or some similar fare out there on weekends. Children are welcome until dark. Pate said he doesn’t think their location, on his old family farm out in the country, is a safe environment for toddlers at night.

But during the pleasant sunny afternoons on the patio, kids can enjoy watching Pate’s rescue dog, Buddy, retrieve balls thrown by patrons.

“It is out in the country, but people like it,” said Pate. “They can get out and get away from everything out here.”

Mead is coming eventually. Pate has gotten his state clearance is now awaiting his federal winemaker's notice. The latter is necessary because mead, although a honey-based fermentation, falls under wine’s government jurisdiction.

One of the peculiarities of the law is the meadery and the brewery can’t be in the same place. So, Pate is sealing off a corner of the Butler building. It will have an outside door that opens on a different street than the brewery. And he will have to lease that space from himself to keep everything above board and in compliance with all of the legal requirements.

“The Meadery space is a modest 288 square feet but will serve for small batch development until the new brewery and meadery expansion that is slated to begin in 2016,” said Pate.

If things stay on track, he is looking at a fall or winter opening.

Meanwhile Folklore is developing a separate catering company that will feature a lot of beer dishes. It is called Fly By Night Grill and they are starting to work on some signature dishes Yes, a long time coming, but Jeremy Pate beams at every patron coming through the door “This is a dream come true. I worked for other people my whole life,” he said.

Read the full article at http://sbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/A+Long+Time+Coming+Dream/2242743/268787/article.html.

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