Visit Your Region of the US Without Leaving Your Home Town

“Hi,” Susan said, pleasantly swaying gently from side to side.

“What the… what have you been up to?” I ask her, perplexed at how she came to this state.  She scowls and points a finger accusingly, “This is YOUR fault!  YOU told me to take pictures of Southeast breweries for our blog and I did.  But it wouldn’t have been polite to not drink what they offered, so I did!”Alcohol Tourism - Lazy Magnolia

We were at the 18th annual Classic City Brewfest and our third.  Athens’ Classic City Brewfest is organized by Owen Ogletree, and the event benefits Athens Area Humane Society.  At the brewfest, brewpubs and breweries from all over- including most of the Southeast- present their beers for tasting and enjoyment by Athens locals and visitors.  Brewfests are a fantastic opportunity to experience a bit of local flavor from your part of the US without having to leave your town.  In addition to beer, CCBF featured several ciders and one mead from Redstone Meadery.Alcohol Tourism - Moon River

Brewers regularly bring their most interesting and experimental concoctions to brewfests.  At this year’s CCBF, Moon River brewing from Savannah had a lavender stout in the cask ale pavilion.  Moon River representatives said lavender was added to the cask, and was still soaking as it was being dispensed.  Jailhouse Brewing from Hampton GA had a barrel-aged version of their Breakout Stout, which was not commercially available.  In experiencing all of these beers, local flavor of each brewery’s community could be felt.

Susan had tried many- or most- of the beers from the Southeast.  Her conclusion is they were largely pleasant, but with a potential for vengence.  This reminds me of how I feel about southerners.  She learned that pacing with water is essential at a brewfest, and tomorrow may not go well if you sample all the amazing deliciousness the Southeast has to offer.

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20 thoughts on “Visit Your Region of the US Without Leaving Your Home Town

  1. I agree with Susan! That would be very difficult to deny. I once did a tour of the Mount Gay Rum Factory in Barbados; now this is rum we’re talking, the fumes alone were enough to inebriate me and made my eyes water, compound that with taste tests of 154 proof and all kinds of fun ensues!

      • We’re already planning our pretzel necklace and other critical items for the 10th Annual Troeg’s Brewer’s Fest we’re going to in Harrisburg in June. My friend lives a block away from the several streets that are closed down for the festival, so luckily we’ll have a good non-crowded rest point if needed. I’m excited – I’ve been to wine and beer festivals here in Central PA before, but this one is legendary to the point that it sells out every year for two different sessions, even at $50/person.

      • Woah, that sounds awesome! We don’t go to many brewfests because they are often very loud and crowded. It sounds like the outdoor setting for Troeg’s would keep the noise, at least, to a minimum! Although I think sunscreen would be essential for an outdoor event like that!

      • Well, we picked the evening session (you have to register for one of the two sessions) so we’re hoping the sunburn is at a minimum. We are excited, it will be a fun evening! But I have a feeling I will end up like Susan, more than a little tipsy looking for photos and material or the blog :)

  2. My hubby and I are going to Mississippi for our anniversary next month and I am dying to,visit Lazy Magnolia Brewery. I really like their beers. The lavender beer sounds very interesting, I love anything lavender. Yummy!

    • Lazy Magnolia does produce some fine beers- which are your favourite? If you’ll be in Kiln, it’s not too far to Abita Brewing in Louisiana! Susan _loves_ lavender-based drinks- Erik has done quite a few homebrews (mostly stouts) with lavender in them for her.

      • Southern Pecan! That is my fave. I would love to visit Abita. I am originally from New Orleans and we visit there every year, but we have never made the drive over to the brewery. Not sure why.
        I will have to talk to my hubby about adding some lavender to his homebrew one day for me, what a great idea!

  3. I love brewfests…There is a pretty good one here in Vancouver that I attend yearly. There are some great micro-brews out here on the westcoast. But that lavender stout from Moon River sounds good!

      • The beer scene is very much like Washington and Oregon, however, we don’t brew as many IPA’s. Lots of microbrew, lots of organic, lots of local. Lots of good beer! How is it in the southern US?

      • That sounds awesome! Things in the southeast are looking up- Asheville is only a couple of hours away, and Georgia has been really booming the past few years. Hopefully the trend will continue and it won’t just be a bubble!

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