Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.

Sailfish Brewing Co.

Florida Craft Brewery: Sailfish Brewing Company

Established: April 4th, 2013 Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.

Location: 407 N. 2nd Street, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Known For: The head brewer, Al Beltran, has a background as a chef and it shows in his creations. He uses that background to help mold different flavors together in his beers. One example of this is the Lionfish Pale Ale (my favorite offering of the day), which is brewed with jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.

Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.Current Beer Menu: On top of the Lionfish Pale Ale there were seven other offerings from Sailfish and two guest taps available. After the Lionfish Pale Ale, my other two favorites were the Mutton Snapper Belgian which had a nice hop profile and the Sunrise City IPA, which is brewed with Florida Orange Blossom Honey and Florida Oranges. The remaining five offerings were Mullet Run Mild (English Mild Ale), Belgian Pale Ale (Session), Turbo Mutton Snapper Belgian (added plantains, star, anise, and turbinado sugar), Schooly Red (amber), and Sesión de Lupolo (session IPA). The guest taps consisted of Beach Blonde from 3 Daughters Brewing and Llama Mama Milk Stout from Darwin Brewing. Kombucha, craft soda and hop water are also available. You can see the semi-current tap list here.

Price Range: Flights consist of four 4oz pours for $7.00. Everything on the menu was available for either $5.00 or $6.00 and the menu typicallyFlorida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co. doesn’t go any higher than $7.00. Both 32oz and 64oz growlers are available. A 32oz growler is $13.00 and the refill will run you $8.00. The 64oz growler is $26.00 and the refill will run you $16.00.

Wine Menu: Both red and white wines are available at $6.00 to $7.00 a glass for those looking to change it up a bit or who are accompanying their craft beer loving partner.

Food Menu: Sailfish allows you to bring food from home or for it to be delivered by one of the local eateries. They also offer locally harvested Mahi Mahi (Dolphin) fish dip, crackers, and hot sauce from Long Street Fish Company for $12.00. Food Trucks are also available on weekend evenings.

Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.Ambiance: When I first laid eyes on Sailfish Brewing I wondered to myself how they fit a taproom and brewery into the two small buildings in front of me. When you walk in the door you find the bar to your left with additional seating up a stair or two to your right. You can definitely feel that you’re walking into a house that has been around a long time. The bar is L-shaped and the bar top looks to be made of copper. Paintings of ocean life adorn the walls, which are the color of the deep blue sea. Music from the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Bob Marley, Sublime, and Iration played overhead. Kids of both the two and four-legged variety are welcome at Sailfish which is always a plus. This may have been the smallest tap room I have ever been in.Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.

Bar Seating: There are seven available seats at the bar and fourteen more spread around the space. Two leather chairs close out the available seating inside the taproom. The beer garden has a number of chairs and tables on the deck and picnic tables spread throughout the large outdoor space.

Staff: Caitlin was the bartender the day I visited. She is the tap room manager and has been with Sailfish since the day they opened their doors. She’s a homebrewer and seemed to really know the ins and outs of each beer. It was a pleasure spending a couple of hours talking to her about beer and the brewery.

Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.Merch: Men and women’s t-shirts are $20, hats are $30, glasses are $8.00, a growler koozie will run you $10, a regular koozie can be had for $3.00, stickers are $2.00, and a Dri-Fit t-shirt will run you $30.00.

Membership offered: Sailfish has a yearly membership called the Mug Club. Between the months of October and November, fifty memberships are put up for sale at $50.00 apiece. Current members have the first right of refusal. The membership gets you 20oz pours instead of 16oz, the special club only kegs, the ability to growler a beer when others can’t, $1.00 off of all beers on Friday, and a beer mug for you to personalize.

Best days or time of year to go: You’ll have a better chance getting a bar seat during the summer when the snowbirds have gone home. I visitedFlorida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co. on a Friday and there seemed to be a steady stream of people starting around 3:00pm.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 4:00pm – 11:00pm, Friday: 2:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, and Sunday: 12:00pm – 6:00pm

Happy Hour: Only Mug Club members get the benefit of a happy hour.

Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.Fun Fact:

-The taproom is in a house that is the third oldest house in Fort Pierce. How old may you ask? 200 years old!

-The property was originally a pineapple plantation.

-The pink Eucalyptus tree on the property is said to be the oldest in the United States.

-Sailfish opened their doors brewing on 1½ barrel system and currently brews on a 3 barrel system.

-A 17,000 sqft space was purchased a few blocks south of the current taproom. It now holds a twenty barrel system. The first beer was brewed using the new system on June 23, 2016.Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.

-Their imperial stout, Goliath #10, is resting in Heaven Hills bourbon barrels for release sometime later this year.

Overall Rating (1-5): I’m giving Sailfish Brewing a 4.25. They do everything well with a couple of standouts. The tap room is small and welcoming and having someone as knowledgeable behind the bar as Caitlin is an absolute plus.

What was missing: My usual gripe has risen once again. Unfortunately, they had nothing dark Florida Craft Brewery Review: Sailfish Brewing Co.on tap outside of the guest tap. Stouts and porters are not just for the winter months! I’m starting to think I’m the odd man out when it comes to thinking this way.

In closing, Sailfish is certainly worth checking out if you’re in the area. I for one would like to go back and try their barrel aged imperial stout when it’s released. See you there!

Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about the Sailfish Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

 

Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Beer Co.

Georgia Craft Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Established: April 9th, 2002

Location: 265 Newton Bridge Rd, Athens, GA 30607

Known For: The Hopsecutioner IPA, Hi-5 IPA, and RecreationAle (Pale Ale) are Terrapin’s number one sellers and combined account for 40% of all sales.

Current Beer Menu: During my visit, Terrapin had sixteen beers on tap. With so many beers on tap, they easily covered a large spectrum of styles including Farmhouse, Pilsner, Golden Ale, Pale Ale, IPA, Double IPA, Milk Stout, Coffee Stout, and Oatmeal Stout. Since we get distribution from Terrapin in South Florida I targeted a few beers that I haven’t had before. I started with the Tangerine Lemon Hopsecutioner which was an interesting treatment of Hopsecutioner. It was quite good with a bit more lemon than tangerine coming through. Next, a couple of cans of Terrapin’s newest offering, Watermelon Gose, were pulled out. If you have ever had Anderson Valley’s Briney Mellon this beer blows that one away. Juicy watermelon with a salty kick is the best way to describe it. Talk about delicious! If you haven’t seen this on your neighborhood shelves yet you should be seeing it soon. Krunkles Down Under was my next choice. It is an IPA that only uses Hops from the South Pacific. Motueka, Pacific Jade, Green Bullet, Topaz, Waimea, and Rakau are the hops used during the brewing process Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyand Galaxy and Ella are used during the dry hop process. Together they produce the taste of passion fruit and guava. Finally, I targeted the three Single Origin coffee stouts that were on tap out of the four that were produced. Each version was brewed with the same base stout using a coffee sourced from a different location in the world. Hawaii, Sumatra, and Ethiopia were the three available with Guatemala being the fourth that wasn’t. I enjoyed the Kona coffee used in the Hawaiian version more than the other two.

Price Range: Brewery tours are $12.00, include a 12oz souvenir pint glass, and 36 ounces of beer. The price is subject to change based on special events being held at the brewery. The tour encompasses most of the production facility from the canning and bottling lines to the brewing equipment. The state of Georgia doesn’t allow for more than 36 ounces of beer to be poured per person. Georgia certainly isn’t doing their breweriesGeorgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company any favors by limiting brewery patrons not only the amount of beer they can drink in-house, but also what they can take home from the brewery in cans, bottles, or growlers. Breweries are hoping that 2017 brings positive change to their present situation.

Wine Menu: Wine is not allowed to be sold in the brewery.

Food Menu: Food is not served at the brewery, but there are picnic tables on premises for food brought from home or purchased from the food truck. The food truck(s) are available Friday and Saturday night, which also seems to be a rarity based on my experiences with both Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanySouthern and Creature Comforts.

Ambiance: When you walk in the front door of the building you’re greeted by merch. Lots of merch. Terrapin doesn’t play in this regard. If it can be thought up Terrapin is selling it. After a moment of waiting in line, I was greeted by a very friendly woman who checked my ID, took payment, and directed me to the tasting room. The room is large or maybe just feels that way since there really isn’t anything taking up space on the main floor. The walls of the tasting room are a light sky blue adorned with wood paneling. The soulful sounds of Tre Powell, this time, accompanied by his band mates, filled the air with music. There was a very laid back feel to the space. After feeling this at three different Georgia breweries I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be Southern ‘thang’. Also, Terrapin is both kid and dog-friendly, which is Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyalways nice to see.

Bar Seating: The few bar stools that were available were across the room from the bar. I experienced three Georgia breweries and not one of them had seats at the bar. It’s odd and I don’t quite understand it except that maybe they want the bar area relatively clear in order to serve people easier.

Staff: Stephan, tour guide extraordinaire and Lead Brewery Ambassador, led a pretty detailed tour and was more than happy to take questions afterward. He introduced me to Matthew McKenna, who is one of Terrapin’s brewers. He was eager to talk shop with me and a few other patrons. I have him to Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companythank for introducing me to the Watermelon Gose. I was lucky enough to meet Brian “Spike” Buckowski, Brewmaster and Co-founder, who was kind enough to take a picture with me and spent a few moments shooting the shit as well.

Merch: If you want it Terrapin probably has it. They have a large amount of items in the ‘gift shop’ including men and women’s t-shirts ranging from $10.00 to $22.00, glasses/mugs/tumblers ranging in price from $4.00 to $25.00, and if your pup is a big fan of Terrapin you can pick up a dog bowl, leash, or collar for between $6.00 and $20.00. You can Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companycheck out what else Terrapin has available here. Orders of over $100.00 will get you free shipping.

Membership offered: Terrapin doesn’t currently offer any type of membership or bottle club.

Best days or time of year to go: If you are looking for the smallest crowds at Terrapin, Southern, and Creature Comforts than focus on the times of year that the kids from the University of Georgia are Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Companyout of school and back home. Typically the busiest days during the week are Friday and Saturday nights. Each Wednesday a unique cask is put on tap.

Regular Hours: Wednesday – Thursday: 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday: 1:00pm – 7:30pm, and Sunday: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Happy Hour: Due to Georgia’s antiquated beer laws happy hour is not a possibility.

Fun Fact:Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

  • The Terrapin name comes from the Grateful Dead’s ninth studio album named Terrapin Station.
  • Terrapin brews 25 to 30 beers a year plus any collaborations they are involved in.
  • The canning line produces 200 cans per minute.
  • Terrapin has brewed over 70 unique beers since 2002.
  • 50% of the beer Terrapin produces is sold in Georgia.
  • The collaboration Terrapin did with Cigar City Brewing named Vapricot is presently aging in white wine barrels.
  • Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanyA batch of Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout is brewed in June specifically for export to Sweden. Moo-Hoo is the only beer Sweden receives from Terrapin.
  • Terrapin distributes to 11 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica.
  • Richard Biffle designs the labels that feature the turtle in them. He is best known for designing the Grateful Dead album covers.
  • Chris Pinkerton designs the labels that feature artwork not based around the turtle such as the label for Mosaic. He is best known for his work with Ben & Jerry’s, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Garth Brooks, the Grateful Dead, Guns N’ Roses,  Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, and many more.Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer Company

Overall Rating (1-5): I’m giving the Terrapin Beer Company a 4.5. Every member of the staff was beyond friendly. I enjoyed everything I had on tap and there was a very welcoming feel. I will certainly be back the next time I’m in the area. I hope by then the laws have changed for the betterment of Georgia’s blossoming craft beer scene.

What was missing: I honestly can’t come up with anything that was missing. My usual complaint about there being no stout available wasn’t in question with the abundance of the style on tap. Yay beer!

Georgia Craft Brewery Review of Terrapin Beer CompanyThis is my third and final review of our trip to Athens, Georgia. I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you.

Is there something else you would like to know about the Terrapin Beer Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Boynton Beach, craft beer, florida craft beer, devour brewing

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Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

My wife and I both work from home and spend a lot of time in our home office. Because of this, we produce a decent amount of paper that not only needs to be recycled but also shredded. One typical afternoon I picked our son up from school and brought him into the office to see his mama. I walked out and came back to find that our son had discovered the bag of shredded paper and had begun to make it ‘snow’ in the office. It was a hilarious sight to behold. My wife sitting there with a huge smile on her face while our son threw shredded paper anywhere he could think; himself, my wife, the dog. Absolutely everything took a hit. The only downfall was the clean-up, but it did give me the idea for an easy sensory bin.

Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Here’s what we used:

  • Plastic Bin – Wal-Mart
  • Hand Digger – You can find something very similar here.
  • Plastic Shovel & Rake
  • Tweezers – You can find them here.
  • Lots of shredded paper

We chose a rainy Florida afternoon to officially try out the shredded paper sensory bin. After piling the paper and tools into the bin we placed them on the floor of our son’s room. It didn’t take long before the fun began.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinOur munchkin started slowly using the tools to dig around in the paper. That quickly turned into an excited toddler tornado.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe started by putting the tools down and throwing shredded paper into the air.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe ran over to my wife and threw shredded paper on her while we tried to slow him down with calls of, “keep the shreddings in one place,” to no avail.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe threw paper on me, his toys, and himself. Anything that he thought needed a little extra something got a couple of handfuls of shredded paper.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe closed out the craziness by dumping the rest of it on his own head. It was certainly a sight to see.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe had such an absolute blast making the biggest mess he could muster.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinThe whole ordeal only encompassed 15-30 minutes, but boy was it worth it to see him have such a great time!

Shredded Paper Sensory BinThe clean up fell to me as my wife and son quickly cleared out of the disaster area to get ready for dinner. A quick run through with the broom and vacuum made quick work of the paper. A clean up I will gladly endure every single time!

Have you tried something like this with your kids? What was the outcome? Please share in the comments below.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Georgia Craft Brewery: Creature Comforts Brewing Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Established: April of 2014

Location: 271 W. Hancock Avenue, Athens, Georgia

Known For: Tropicália is Creature’s IPA and most popular offering. It is currently ranked at #3 on the top 250 beer list for Georgia at beeradvocate.com. The only two beers beating out Tropicália are also Creature Comforts offerings, See the Stars (bourbon barrel Russian Imperial Stout) and Cosmik Debris (Double IPA). I had the opportunity to try Cosmik on tap at a restaurant and it was otherworldly. Tropicália is 6.6% abv and offers up the Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.aroma and taste of tropical fruits like pineapple and passion fruit. Currently, Creature’s distribution area reaches west to Atlanta.

Current Beer Menu: Creature had five beers on tap at the time of my visit. The aforementioned Tropicália, Athena (a 4.5% abv Berliner Weiss), Reclaimed Rye (a 5.5% abv Rye aged a week on French Oak spirals), Bibo (a 4.9% abv Pilsner), and Tritonia (a 4.5% abv cucumber and lime gose). Tropicália and Athena would have taken top honors from me, but Tritonia was absolutely delicious. I have started enjoying the gose style more and more and Tritonia is an interesting take on the style. There is no hiding the cucumber or lime. Add that to the slight saltiness of the gose and it goes together perfectly. I am a fan of rye beers, so Reclaimed Rye was also a beer I could appreciate. Bibo is a refreshing Pilsner on point for the style.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Price Range: $14.00 gets you access and a tour of the facility, a glass, and six 6oz pours of beer. In regards to alcohol, Georgia seems to still be stuck in the 1930’s. It makes entirely no sense to me, but here’s how it works. You walk in and buy a tour. As part of the tour, you are given a glass (we had a choice of two) and a bracelet that has six tabs, each of which represents a 6oz pour. Once you enter you can begin drinking right away while you wait for your tour to begin. Breweries in Georgia are looking towards Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.2017 as an opportunity for change with the alcohol laws.

Wine Menu: Wine is not available for sale within breweries in Georgia.

Food Menu: Creature offers neither food nor access to food trucks. I imagine Athens will be seeing changes in the near future on this as well. One can only hope anyway.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Ambiance: Creature Comforts building has a very industrial feel to it. Originally built-in the 1940’s as a Chevy dealership the building later changed hands and became home to Snow Tires. In 2012 Creature bought the building and completely rehabbed the interior. A number of signs still hang in recognition of the building’s history. Like most of Georgia, Creature had a laid back feel to it. In one area of the building, there were giant Dragonflies hanging from the rafters that were donated by a local artist. Live music was provided by Tre Powell. Boy can that man sing! What seems to be a third of the building is laid out as the tasting room while the Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.rest of the building consists of the tanks, barrel room, and walk-in cooler.

Bar Seating: The seating consisted of a small area with bar stools and two large picnic tables that easily seat ten apiece.

Staff: Erin was my bartender and quite knowledgeable in regards to the beer. Graham was the tour guide and answered all questions without even a second thought. He even provided me with a behind the scenes look at both the barrel room and grain room. The tour itself was your typical brewery tour with a bit of the history of the building and brewery, the layout of their distribution footprint (Athens and Atlanta), and what goes intoGeorgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co. making their beer.

Merch: Creature has a wide assortment of t-shirts for $20.00, hats also for $20.00, glasses starting at $4.00, koozies for $2.00, and stickers for a $1.00. Most of the merch can be found both in-house and at their online store. Creature also has a ‘Get Comfortable’ line of merchandise in which they donate 100% of the proceeds to local non-profits that fight hunger, poverty, and homelessness through their Get Comfortable program. Those items can be found here. Also, 100% of the proceeds gained from the tours Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.on Wednesdays are donated to the program. If you bring in a donation item Creature will give a $2.00 discount off of the tour price. The 2015-2016 campaign has raised $65,000 in the last five months.

Membership offered: Creature doesn’t offer any sort of membership and there is nothing planned for the immediate future.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Best days or time of year to go: Any time that the University of Georgia isn’t in session. Once the college kids go home a large portion of the crowd does as well.

Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Friday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, and Saturday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.Happy Hour: Because of the current laws there is no happy hour available.

Fun Fact:

-The name ‘Creature Comforts’ originated as Co-founder David Stein’s homebrews.

-Bibo was the name of Einstein’s parrot and also translates as “I drink” in Latin

-The first run of Bibo ever produced was a drain pour due to a bad batch of Czech Saaz hops.

-Reclaimed Rye was named after the wood that was ‘reclaimed’ from the buildings ceiling during the renovation of the facility. That wood was refinished and can now be seen used as bar tops, tables, and on the wall as paneling.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

-Creature won an award for outstanding rehabilitation by the Athens Heritage Foundation due to their meticulous rehab of their 13,000 sqft space.

-They are both kid and pet-friendly as long as your four-legged friend is on a leash.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.-Adding five 120 barrel tanks earlier this year Creature hopes to reach 18,000 barrels by the end of 2016 and are hoping to hit maximum capacity of 28,000 barrels after adding another tank later this year.

Overall Rating (1-5): I’m rating Creature Comforts a 4.5. Every member of the staff I came into contact with was beyond friendly. The brewery itself was open and inviting and the beer was very good.

What was missing: I personally think a brewery should always have at least one darker style of beer on tap. Unfortunately, Creature didn’t. Of course, no points are lost for that because it’s just a personal preference.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

When you’re in Athens or passing through Atlanta and have some time to kill add Creature Comforts to your brewery list to visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Is there something else you would like to know about Creature Comforts Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company

The Southern Brewing Company

My wife and I headed up to Athens, Georgia a few weeks back for the wedding of our good friends. After doing a little research, I came to find out that Athens is home to three great breweries. I also found out that Georgia has really odd beer laws. Basically, you go to the brewery, buy a tour, and with that tour comes 36 ounces of beer to be consumed on-site. Georgia certainly isn’t doing their craft beer scene any favors, but that isn’t stopping the breweries from producing great beer. This is the first of the three reviews from my Georgia trip.

Georgia Craft Brewery: The Southern Brewing Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company

Established: May 14th, 2015

Location: 231 Collins Industrial Blvd, Athens, GA 30601

Known For: I heard through the grapevine that The Southern Brewing Company was doing things with yeast that other Georgia brewers weren’t. Of course, I had to find out more. Southern is developing their own yeast strains and actually has a yeast lab on the property, which is typically unheard of for such a young brewery. One of the strains was developed from a Wild Native Azalea bush directly from Southern’s property. The Wild Azalea also just so happens to be the state wildflower. Unfortunately, the beer produced from the yeast strain and named after the flower wasn’t available on my visit. Another yeast strain developed by Southern was taken from the state flower, which is called the Cherokee Rose. Luckily there was a keg of Cherokee Rose in the cooler which was moved up in the line so I could try what all the talk was about. Cherokee Rose is an easy drinking summer beer with a mild tartness and bananas for days. The only thing that would have made it better was a slab of my wife’s delicious, put-it-up-against-anyone’s, banana bread.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company Current Beer Menu: Finally a brewery that understands me and has their Imperial Stout on tap during the summer. Chocolate and hints of coffee were dancing around me like fireflies on a hot Georgia night. It made a great base beer for what was aged in bourbon barrels and came out drinking damn near like a masterpiece. The BBA version wasn’t on tap, but Southern hospitality certainly was alive and well in Athens, Georgia. The Southeastern Berliner uses the aforementioned Wild Azalea yeast and was very good with citrus on the nose. With thirteen different beers to choose from, I certainly wasn’t going to walk away disappointed with all of my options. There was everything from a Kolsch to a Sour Stout on tap. With every beer I tried I kept thinking to myself, “are these guys really only a year old?” There are certainly big things ahead for The Southern Brewing Company.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing CompanyPrice Range: $10.00 gets you access to the facility, a glass, and six 6oz pours of beer. You can’t just walk into a brewery and order a beer. Nope! You have to buy a tour and are only allowed 36oz’s of Southern’s finest nectar. It makes entirely no sense to me. You would think the government would be all about small business booming like they are everywhere else across the country. Everyone that I spoke to was hopeful there would be some change for the better coming in 2017, but until then the great craft beer drinkers of Georgia are stuck with the ass-backward laws.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing CompanyWine Menu: Wine is not allowed to be served at the brewery.

Food Menu: Food trucks are permitted, but they aren’t necessarily allowed to be scheduled. If a food truck happens to show up, consider yourself lucky. From what I was told food trucks haven’t been embraced in Georgia like they have in Florida.

Ambiance: You walk into Southern and immediately pay for a tour. After a few feet the 12,000 sqft building opens up with brewing equipment to the left, ‘Barrel Land’ at the far end of the building, and the taps to the far right. Two large warehouse doors are open on either side of the building one of which opens to the great expanse of land that Southern has at their disposal. There is a different feel to this brewery than I am used to. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I want to tie it to being in the Deep South. There’s just something the South has that can’t be found anywhere else.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company

Bar Seating: There are plastic Adirondack chairs spread throughout the brewery. There was no actual seating at the bar, which seemed to be consistent in each of the breweries I visited. There was a large area behind the brewery where a small stage had been set up with a number of tarp coverings and more Adirondack chairs.

Staff: Ian, the tour guide, was kind enough to give me a private tour since my time was Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Companylimited. After showing me around, he introduced me to one of the brewers, Mark Mooney. Before getting hired on at Southern, Mark attended the Siebel Institute of Technology Brewing School in Chicago, followed by a four-month internship with Jailhouse Brewing in Hampton, Georgia. After a short time of shooting the shit and tasting a few beers, I had to make my way back to the hotel and quickly get ready for the night’s festivities, which included the wedding rehearsal dinner. Mark agreed to meet me the next day to show me around what he affectionately referred to as ‘Barrel Land’. The following day I met up with Mark at the brewery. We had a great hour-long conversation. He listed what was in the barrels and asked what I was interested in trying. I decided on a Flanders Red that was aging in red wine barrels with a pound and a half of local strawberries per gallon. The aroma of strawberries was certainly there. It wasn’t as sour as I expected it to be, but it definitely was tasty with the strawberries and a hint of red wine coming through. Southern doesn’t want their sours Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Companyto peel away your palate like some in the industry have a tendency to do. My next target was the Wild Ale that was aging in the sixty barrel oak Foeder. Southern is the first in Georgia to incorporate a Foeder into their brewing repertoire. The Wild was another delicious beer, some of which will go into barrels with the rest going into kegs. Before calling it a day Mark pulled a bit of their Double IPA out of a tank for me to try. Another style and another beer that was pretty damn impressive. Unfortunately, due to a combination of the breweries hours and the wedding timeline my short window of time had come to an end. I had to order an Uber and head back to the hotel to change for the wedding. Everyone I came into contact with at Southern made me feel as if I was a regular and not just another tourist.  You’ve heard the term ‘Southern hospitality’ thrown around, but you really don’t know what it means until you’ve experienced it.

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing CompanyMerch: Southern has a large assortment of shirts ranging in price from $20.00 to $30.00, hats for $12.00, and glassware from $2.00 to $6.00. All of these plus patches, stickers, bottle openers, etc. can be found in their online store or when you visit the brewery.

Membership offered: Sign ups begin on June 12th for Southern’s inaugural Barrel Society bottle club. For $250.00 you get a club shirt, glass, two members-only events, and ten to twelve barrel aged beers from across the spectrum of styles. From the beers I had the opportunity to try I would have to imagine the offerings would consist of saisons, imperial stouts, Berliners, and/or sours. There will only be space for 100 members. I would certainly be signing up if I was a local.

Best days or time of year to go: Saturday is the busiest of the three days they are open. Saturdays are the time to be there from the looks of the turnout. There was a party atmosphere with a band playing out Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Companyback, but it also had a very family-friendly feel with kids running about. If you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere both Thursday and Friday would be your best bet.

Regular Hours: Thursday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Friday: 4:30pm – 9:00pm, & Saturday: 2:30pm – 7:30pm

Happy Hour: With the way the laws are set up there is no happy hour.

Fun Facts:

Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company-In their first year, Southern produced 24 beers on their production system.

-The walk-in cooler was owned by a mortuary, SweetWater Brewing, and then the Terrapin Beer Co. before being purchased by Southern Brewing.

-Everything that comes into the brewery is reused, including the pallets which were used to create the new serving bar.

-Southern is the only brewery in Georgia to completely build their own building.

-There are plans in the works for a building that would house their sour program and for a 1,500 seat amphitheater. With 14 acres of property, the possibilities are endless for Southern. They seem to be aiming to become a must visit destination in the future for not only craft beer drinkers, but also music loving folk.

-All spent grain goes to a local pig farmer who in turn provides a pig, fed by that grain, for a pig roast at Southern.Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Company

-They are hoping to begin canning in August or September of this year.

-Southern had four amphorae made, using Georgia clay, to age their beer. Amphora are ceramic barrels that date back 9,000 years to the Neolithic age. They offer an earthy mineral character to the beer and were first used by the Brasserie Cantillon in Belgium.

Overall Rating (1-5): I am grading Southern a well-deserved 4.75. If I was a local this is one of those breweries I would visit weekly. Consider yourself lucky Athens. The Southern Brewing Company will be doing big things in the future!

What was missing: Nothing at all. Not only was there a porter on tap, but also an imperial stout! Color Georgia Craft Brewery Review: The Southern Brewing Companyme happy! If not for all the wedding stuff (Congratulations again Catlin & Cameron!) I would have spent much more time enjoying not only the beer but the company of the staff as well.

Thankfully the wedding brought us to Athens. Otherwise, I doubt I would have ever discovered The Southern Brewing Company. Split between two days I was on-site for probably three hours. I don’t know when I’ll be in Athens again, but I will most definitely be visiting Southern one way or another in the future. If you’re heading to Atlanta do yourself a favor and head east to Athens and enjoy what Southern has to offer.

Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about The Southern Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.

Cheers!

 

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Frozen Dinosaur Dig & Sensory Play

As you know, I’m a proud daddy & love spending time with my toddler son. My wife & I enjoy coming up with new and creative ideas to entertain him. Right now he’s very much into dinosaurs. Every time he sees a dinosaur toy (or anything) he says “Grrr” and Dine-”O”! It’s just the cutest thing how excited he gets over them. Over the weekend, we put together this cool (pun intended), frozen dinosaur dig & sensory play for the munchkin. I found a similar project from Parenting Chaos where they used balloons to freeze small toy dinosaurs and thought I would try it with leftover Easter eggs. My munchkin also had a T-Rex sand mold lying around in his beach toys, so I wanted to incorporate that as well.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Here’s what we used:

  • Plastic Bin (16 7/8” L x 11 1/2” W x 5 7/8” H) – Wal-Mart
  • Smaller Tupperware Bin – Our Kitchen Cupboard 😉
  • Small Plastic Dinosaur Toys – Found at Dollar Tree. You can also get Vinyl Mini Dinosaurs (72 count) to help teach sorting & counting or these cute guys here.
  • T-Rex Sand Mold – From Dollar Tree but you can also get a cool 3-pack here.
  • Rocks (or something else heavy to hold the sand mold down in the bin)
  • Plastic Easter Eggs – Originally Purchased at Wal-Mart for Easter.
  • Larger Dinosaur Toys – From Dollar Tree but you can get something similar here.
  • Ice
  • Water

*Please use caution & supervise your children closely when playing with small toys. If they are at the age where they put everything in their mouth, the small toys could be a choking hazard.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Start by placing the T-Rex dinosaur mold upside down in the plastic bin. Place the “skeleton” pieces to position him in his final state. May he rest in peace. Place the rocks or any other heavy objects that you don’t mind getting wet on top of the pieces to hold them in place. This way the pieces don’t move around too much. Gently pour just enough water to slightly cover the pieces because you are going to want to be able to remove the rocks before the final freeze. Put in the freezer and wait. Once the first layer of water has frozen, remove the rocks carefully and cover the area with ice until the bin is about half-full. I’m a half-full kind of guy! Pour ice water to fill the bin and return to the freezer for the final freeze. Be careful to do this quickly & make sure to use ice water so the ice doesn’t start melting.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory PlayCooper & Kid Cooper Kit Subscription Box for Dads And KidsThe dinosaur eggs were much easier to do. Fill a medium Tupperware with water. Open each dinosaur egg under water and place a small plastic dinosaur in the egg. You may need to “tuck-in” a tail or two to get them to fit. Close the egg underwater and continue until all the eggs are filled. The eggs we used had holes in them so we decided to freeze them in the Tupperware full of water so we wound up with a block of frozen dinosaur eggs.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

On a very hot Florida afternoon, the wife & I decided to break out the frozen dinosaur ice excavation bins we made for the kiddo. We placed the plastic bins upside-down on the grass and they quickly separated from the ice. My son stood in amazement at this awesome new finding, wondering what the heck it was. I told him that he needed to help get the dinosaurs out of the ice. He repeated “Dino?” with excitement. I brought the hose over to help speed up the melting time. My son loved playing with the hose and spraying the larger dinosaurs off the block of ice. It was a prehistoric slip and slide. We made a game of that for a while. We talked about how the ice is cold and is made of frozen water. My son would say “Brrr” every time we used the word “cold”. We showed him how the water melted the ice and he got into that as well. Then we referred to the bigger dino’s as the mama’s and dada’s and the smaller dinosaurs as the babies. He repeated after us and would call them mama, dada, & Baby accordingly. We continued to “hatch” the babies from the eggs while explaining how eggs hatch in nature. Of course, our 20-month-old didn’t exactly grasp everything we were talking about, but he sure had a fun time repeating after us and going through the motions of dino retrieval.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

We had so much fun watching and playing with our munchkin during this activity. I highly recommend it for toddlers. You could get creative with it and freeze other types of toys or add food coloring to the water. If your kids are older, you could make a competition out of who can melt the ice faster. The possibilities are endless!

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

If your kids are 8 or older & maybe want something a little bit more challenging, have fun with the Smithsonian Diggin’ Up Dinosaurs T-Rex where you can dig up and assemble the T-Rex bones.

Have you tried something like this with your kids? What was the outcome? Please share in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

~ James