It’s Fall Already?!

As daily temperatures finally stay below 80 degrees and my stomach begins to crave anything made in a slow cooker, I am able to say it – It is fall. Who cares what date your calendar and the Google Doodle of the Day said that fall began; living in the south it’s not truly fall until you can drive with no a/c on in the car and not get the back-sweats. For me that was last week.

Now you all know that Starbucks has been pushing those freaking Pumpkin Spice Lattes since Labor Day weekend but I have refused all things pumpkin until now.  While people were chomping at the bit to wipe their butts with pumpkin spice toilet paper I was looking forward to pumpkin beers! But before I list the fall brews I am most looking forward to partake of this season, allow me to share with you a few of my favorites from this summer.

L’Amoureuse by Brasserie Trois Dames – This beer can be found year round but the light fruitiness makes it a great warm weather drink. The label is also pretty wonderful. Available in Atlanta from Liberator Distributing


Duet and Hoppy Birthday from Alpine Brewing – I got acquainted with these brews at the Old 320 Beer Festival at Max Lager’s Brewery. They are wonderfully balanced and will appeal to light hops fans (Duet) or true hop heads (Hoppy Birthday).

Tart Ten Sour Dubble Ale – This one by the Victory Brewing Company had me at dubble.

Biere de Garde – Wild Heaven makes this 7.5% glass licking delicacy that is aged in Bordeaux barrels. It was a “special brew” at the Old 320 Beer Festival and I know of no plans to sell it en masse. I shed a tear everyday thinking about it.

And now the cool weather beers I look forward to enjoying this autumn…

The Carrot Conspiracy by Jailbreak Brewing – Ingredients include raisins, roasted carrots, brown sugar and spices. It sounds like carrot cake to me which means I need to at least have a sample of this one. i always fear sickly sweet. Hoping for the best on this one.

Southern Tier’s Pumpking – This is a winner with me every fall. Not too sweet and not to heavy it’s my go-to pumpkin beer.

Southern Tier’s Warlock  – This Imperial Stout is brewed with… you guessed it – pumpkins. It has a slightly bitter bite to start with a smooth finish. A great next step for those who enjoy pumpkin brews and looking for something a little different.

The Maharaja by Avery Brewing – This is not strictly a “fall” beer but this Imperial IPA packs a punch. It’s actually brewed January through July but the powerful flavors are just the thing I like when the weather turns cooler. Sadly the more powerful iteration of this beer,  Bombay Berzerker by Clownshoes Brewing, is no longer in production.

New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Reserve Coconut Rum Barrel Stout – Yes that is a long name and I’m sure it’s going to be freaking worthy of it. Dragon’s Milk has always been one of my favorites and this year’s special release (out this month) is touted as that awesomeness “on a tropical vacation.” Sign me up!

Ballast Point’s Dead Ringer Octoberfest – There has to be an Octoberfest on the list and what better brewery to get it from than Ballast Point. Their Pineapple Sculpin kicked butt this summer and I look forward to trying this caramel toffee goodness.

What are you looking forward to drinking this fall? This weekend in our fair town of Decatur, Georgia the annual Decatur Beer Festival is happening. Several of my favorite local breweries will be there so look forward to me adding more tasty new beers to my must drink list.

 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Beer – The Decatur Beer Festival

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The Decatur Beer Festival was earlier this month and as usual it did not fail. The beers were magnificent but the organizers also arranged for a flawless fall day to set the mood. A brilliant blue sky and find amber ale go together beautifully.

This continues to be one of my favorite beer festivals for the amount of Georgia Brewers who attend and the small amount of tickets that they sell. There is nothing worse than standing in long lines. You aren’t able to talk to reps about their take on the brews that they offer  and feeling claustrophobic and beer buzzed is never a good combo. If you like to have a bit of breathing room with your beer, be sure to come to this festival next fall.

I flat out refuse to drink pumpkin beers in August or for most of September so I look forward to tasting them here.  I got to try the Harpoon UFO Pumpkin  and I found it flavorful, well balanced with a true pumpkin flavor. Often fall beers taste like someone poured pumpkin extract into a Sam Adams…blech! Congrats Harpoon, you guys got it right. While it can’t hold a candle to my favorite, its pretty freaking tasty.

My favorite of the festival was the Lonerider Tombstone Reserve Oak Aged Rye  Stout. They succeeded in making a malty, chocolatey Bourbon aged drink that does not overload you with the smoke. This was originally released in 2014 but they realized how great it was and did it again.

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Creature Comforts came with  their Tropicalia, but what I am really looking forward to is their Koko Buni Milk Porter with toasted coconut- Yes you read that correctly. How pretty does that sound? They have impressed me in the past with their Cucumber and Lime Tritonia and Bibo pilsner. I’m sure the Koko will not disappoint.

Reformation Brewery’s Cadence makes driving outside of the perimeter (if you aren’t a Georgian and don’t know what that means look here) to visit them not seem so bad. That being said, I think I will still just find them at one of our local beer shops. The color, flavor, and aroma of this beer is makes for a cozy drinking experience.

Service Brewing Company – The only thing better than a good beer is a good beer with a great story. Service Brewing is from Savannah, Georgia and they are owned and operated by veterans. They do great Pale and India Pale Ales but their Teufel Hunden was the winner for me! I will be on the look out for this Savannah beer closer to home.

Florida Beer Company’s  Swamp Ape American Double IPA was another favorite of mine. This was my first time trying beer from the Melbourne Florida brewery and I loved it. A big 10% with big hop flavor.

After so many samples it was time to eat. We finished off the day with too many grit tots, Ahi tuna poke, and chicken and waffles from the Pinewood Tippling Room. I slept well that night my friends. I slept very well.

What are you drinking this fall?

Grindhouse Burgera

Welcome to Decatur! Let’s Eat!

Grindhouse Burgera

Grindhouse Killer Burgers photo courtesy of Bing at Flickr Commons.

 

I am sure that some folks might say that the last thing Decatur needs is another restaurant. I am also sure that that some folks would never be my friends because of their fault filled bovine opinions.  Decatur is known for its fine gastric faire and the amount of offerings grows bigger by the day. Sadly that can also mean that my waistline will suffer the same fate if I keep eating at all of these places. Oh well, who cares if  become a prisoner of elastic waist pants and high blood pressure! Bring on the noms. Several changes are coming to the Decatur dining scene in the next few months and I am excited!  New restaurants are coming, old spots are moving to new locations, and established restaurants are acquiring second locations to try out new concepts. Here are a few of the newest foodie changes to come to the east side.

Kale ME Crazy
358 W Ponce de Leon Decatur
I highly recommend you try the Beet Up Cold Pressed Juice. Even my kid loves this stuff. Beets and quinoa and wheatgrass oh my.

Revival
129 Church St, Decatur
Who doesn’t want a toasted deviled ham tea sandwich? Welcome to Decatur Kevin Gillespie!

Las Brasas
614 Church St, Decatur
This Decatur institution has moved to a new bigger location at the corner of Church Street and Commerce Drive and will be opening soon. Their chicken can’t be beat and now they have a full bar. #foodcoma

Grindhouse Killer Burgers
433 North McDonough Street, Decatur
This will be the fourth location of this hamburger heaven in Atlanta. They had me at Vidalia onion rings and pimento cheese. I’m fairly sure I just gained a pound talking about them. While this place is still under construction it is never to early to dream of their burgers.

Twain’s
Suburban Plaza Shopping Center
2619 N Decatur Rd, Decatur
These guys always hit the spot with their combination of fun and food at their downtown Decatur location. Now they are taking to the next level with their purchase of the vacant Suburban Plaza bowling alley. Apparently they are yearning to make pizza and what better place to serve it up than in a bowling alley? Stay tuned to their website for the opening date.

My Parent’s Basement Comic Books and Craft Beer
22 N Avondale Rd, Avondale Estates
Technically this gem isn’t in Decatur but Avondale Estates. They open this Wednesday, August 12th at 11:00AM.  I don’t need to say anything else because their name says it all.  Just take my money!

If you see me at any of these fine establishments stop and say howdy. Happy eating!

Photo courtesy of Flickr Lindsay_NYC

A Beginners Guide to Your DeKalb Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Flickr Lindsay_NYC

This pic is courtesy of Flickr. Photography is NOT ALLOWED in YDFM.

If you live in the Atlanta area you have heard of Your DeKalb Farmers Market (YDFM). The fresh food, the array of spices, the low prices, and the international staff. What you may not know is that there are rules to shopping there. Things you need to know before you even consider going that will make your experience, as well as the experience of the other shoppers, pleasant.

If you are a seasoned veteran please feel free to fill me in on points I may have forgotten to include. If you are a noob, PRINT THIS LIST OUT AND MAKE IT YOUR BIBLE! Just because it is your first time, doesn’t mean you have to act like it.

Ready? Here we go……

  1. No, there are no shopping carts inside. Yes, they are all in the parking lot and you will have to go and get one yourself. DEAL WITH IT!
  2. Yes, it is freezing cold inside. Make sure you bring a sweater/jacket, even if it is in the middle of July. It is the world’s largest icebox. DEAL WITH IT!
  3. Stay focused and don’t let yourself get starry eyed. I understand you are in shock by how cheap the spices are, but you are blocking the isle standing there with your mouth hanging open. MOVE!
  4. Yes the party counter and hot buffet are CASH ONLY! There are two ATMs inside so hit them up before you get in line. Pulling out your debit card while in one of these lines is like wearing a shirt that says YDFM VIRGIN.
  5. People from all over the world work and shop there. Please don’t make comments about other languages that people speak or what they might be wearing. There are languages other than English that are spoken on this planet.
  6. There is a strict “no standing on the toilet” policy in the bathrooms. This behavior may be customary where you hail from, or you may wonder, Why would I stand on the seat? Either way mind the signs and keep your feets off the seats!
  7. They do not take credit cards. Never have and possibly never will. Cash, check or debit cards only.
  8. Photography is not allowed!
  9. The place has a smell like no other. I was once asked by a noob, “What is that smell?” My response, “Everything all at once.” You can’t have live seafood, freshly packaged spices, a full bakery, and every fruit and veggie that has ever grown in one place without the aroma being potent. DEAL WITH IT!
  10. If you are getting coffee at the pastry counter please dress up your cup with a quickness. There are other people who would like to add cream, sugar, Splenda, and lids. You aren’t the only one trying to warm up with a hot cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee!
  11. Park, shop and dump. If you are using a full sized cart, pull it over to the side and out of the center of the aisle when you are picking out foods. If you are in the fruit/veggie section it is often better to park it and maneuver the aisles sans cart. When you have full hands, return to your cart and dump.

By keeping these rules in mind you can make sure that your time at YDFM is enjoyable.  This will also ensure that your fellow shoppers have a pleasant shopping experience. Happy shopping!!