There’s a Festival for That!


From April until October there is at least one festival every weekend in and around the Atlanta area.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that as soon as the calendar points towards warm weather people in this town throw on a pair of shorts and flip flops and commence to festivaling (yes I just made that word up.) Everything from flowers (Jonquil, Dogwood, Yellow Daisy) to edibles (Ice Cream, Tacos, Beer) is put on a pedestal and showcased. If you are lucky enough to live in the area or will be visiting at anytime during this celebratory season, I invite you to check out a few of top Atlanta festivals for the Summer of 2016. Here in Decatur we celebrate quite a bit and so you will notice a few hometown parties on the list. Start blocking off some weekends.

  1. The Decatur Beer Festival was chosen as one of the 10 Best Beer Festivals in America by USA Today’s 10Best team. A small number of tickets are sold which means the lines aren’t long and you are able to enjoy everything that is offered. I haven’t seen their 2016 festival date yet but stay tuned to their website and follow them on social media for announcements.
  2. Georgia Renaissance Festival, April 16-June 5 – Celebrate spring with cosplay, jumbo turkey legs and jousting. This festival is celebrating its 31st year and has a huge following of fans. Look for not only RenFest staff, but attendees to be dressed in period gear and getting lost in the fantasy of the Renaissance.
  3. Atlanta Taco Festival, May 1 – This is the first year of this festival benefitting Chris Kids. What better way to support such a great organization than with binge eating tacos. When I saw the map with ALL OF THE TACO VENDORS I squealed. The husband said, “That’s too many tacos.” Who did I marry?
  4. East Atlanta Beer Festival, May 21 – Featuring more than 200 beers this is one of my favorite craft beer festivals in town. Each year that I’ve attended there have been quality beer and (very important)knowledgable volunteers. There are few things better than talking beer with the person who is pouring your beer. I’ve already purchased out tickets and I highly recommend splurging for VIP.
  5. SweetWater 420 Fest, April 22-24 – This festival celebrates the environment through art music and beer. Started 12 years ago as an Earth Day gathering, organizers urge you to be green in your travel plan to the party. The Olympic Park location is easily reached by MARTA, bike, or on foot if you live close enough. Lyft is also an event sponsor if you are a car service fan.
  6. Inman Park Festival, April 30 – May 1- This is my favorite of all of the community festivals that happens in Atlanta. As a seasoned veteran allow me to offer some advice:
    1. Take MARTA/Uber/Lyft, parking can be pricey.
    2. Bring cash to avoid the ATM lines.
    3. Be prepared to spend money. Great art at even better prices.
    4. Don’t miss the parade!
  7. Atlanta Gay Pride, October 8-9 –  Midtown Atlanta becomes a big glowing heart of love every October during Pride weekend. The highlight for me is the PFLAG float during the parade. Seeing those great grandmas holding signs saying how much they love their LGBTQ great grandchildren makes my heart swell overtime.
  8. Decatur Book Festival – September 2-4 – This book nerd celebration brings in readers and writers from all genres and is the largest independent book festival in the country. Build your schedule carefully so you don’t miss any of your favorites.

Don’t celebrate too hard!

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


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.


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?

Decatur Beerfest Glass

Celebrate Autumn with Ale and Mead

Chalkboard sign of beers

It’s nearly November and that means that choices of fall ales is in full effect. A few weeks ago I had the joy of attending the Decatur Beerfest and was able to sample some great new beers and get reacquainted with some old ones. Here is my list of some of my favorites that I have had recently. They are a collection of beers from around the country and I think it includes something for everyone…

Creature Comforts Tropicalia, Georgia Brewery

Creature Comforts Tritonia with Cucumber and Lime, Georgia Brewery

Wild Heaven Civilization, Georgia Brewery

Southern Tier Pumpking, New York Brewery

Left Hand Oktoberfest Marzen Lager, Colorado Brewery

B. Nektar Necromangocon, Michigan Meadery (Yes MEAD!)

Second Self Thai Wheat, Georgia Brewery

Good luck and Godspeed finding them in your neck of the woods.