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Articles by JR

Belgium or bust…..

February 6, 2015 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

Next week I will leave for a beer journey to the fantastic beer country of Belgium! I’m going along with a group of brewers, beer writers, brewery reps, and beer fanatics headed up by estimable Owen Ogletree. Owen has been putting on these fantastic beer journeys for many years now and they are always amazing. Last year we traveled to Munich, Vienna, Pilsen and Prague with many stops along the way. Standing in the lagering cellars of Pilnser Urquell drinking the fabulous pilsner beer truly from the source…right out of the wooden conditioning tanks, is something I’ll cherish the rest of my life. Simply an amazing experience.

This year we are headed to Belgium. We’ll be staying in Brussels, but taking day trips all over the country with stops at places like De Cam Café, Bierbrasserie Cambrinus, Du Bocq Brewery, Achouffe Brewery, Brouwers Verzet (the brewery where Three Tavern’s brewer, Joran brewed), Duvel Brewery, Westmalle Trappisten, Brasserie Dubuisson, and the incredible Cantillion just to name a few. I’m beyond excited!

Last year’s trip inspired me to come home and brew Max Black Lager, which as it turns out, is a dead ringer for U’Flecku’s nearly 500 year old black beer (though it has changed through the years) and Wry King Max Imperial Rye Pilsner, which is one of my favorites now. Who knows what this year will inspire? Whatever it is, it’s going to be good!


Max Insanity!

April 3, 2013 |  by  |  1 Comment

It’s time for the Final Four and this year it has come back to Atlanta! The Final Four was last in Atlanta in 2007 and from the looks of things; this year’s version is going to be bigger and better. Not only will there be two sure-to-be exciting semifinal game and one ultimate showdown to decide the National Champion, but thanks to the NCAA, Coca Cola, AT&T and Capital One there will be three day concert series in Centennial Olympic Park with and unbelievable line up including the likes of Zac Brown Band, Muse, Ludacris, Flo Rida, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Sting and the Dave Matthews Band!!!! How much do you have to pay to get all this great sports and music entertainment?  Notta. Zilch. Nothing. IT’S ALL FREE!! The concert series starts at 3 PM Friday afternoon, 12:00pm Saturday and 2:00 PM Sunday. The semifinal games are on Saturday starting at 6:05 PM. The two winners will play each other on Monday.

Max Lager’s will be fan base for the West Division Champs, Wichita State. The Shockers really lived up to their nickname in the tournament and will face Louisville on Saturday. Come on downtown and enjoy this exciting weekend of basketball, music and Max Lager’s beer!! We’ll be opening for lunch at 10:30 AM on Saturday and 12:30 PM on Sunday….oh, did I mention the Cubbies are in town too? What a weekend!



And the winner is…

December 28, 2012 |  by  |  2 Comments

The first annual Max Lager’s Challenge is in the books! What a great event it was too! My thanks go out to all the home brewers, judges, stewards and employees who helped make this a really great day. Special thanks goes out to Bob Carlton of Brew Depot and Les Wright for their immense help in organizing the event. Also, thanks to Jim Gizlebach of Brewer’s Supply Group for providing prizes for the raffle.

I must say the day went off without a hitch! Judging started promptly at 9:30 am. The first four flights were judged before lunch. Read more

Rocky Mountain Way

October 24, 2012 |  by  |  1 Comment

Well, another year of the Great American Beer Festival is in the books! Every year it just gets bigger and better. This year they made even more space in the enormous Colorado Convention Center, enough for 578 breweries pouring more than 2700 beers! Beervana! 4338 beers from 666 breweries were judged in the competition and 254 medals were awarded. Alas, no new hardware for me this year, but as we used to say in Boston around the end of baseball season, there’s always next year

Highlights of this year’s trip included a side trip up to Ft. Collins to visit the beautiful (and delicious) Odell’s Brewing Company and the wonderful Funkwerks Brewery, who as it turns out won the Small Brewing Company of the year award. Quite a feat considering it’s only their second year in business. Other highlights include (but are not limited to) Pliny the Elder, “life size” Janga, the fantastic volunteers at our booth (every one was jealous cause we got the cutest girls!), Great Divide Brewing, hanging out with my fellow Georgia brewers yelling “BROCK!” when he’d go missing and of course meeting and talking to so many great beer fans. It never ceases to amaze me how many people I meet at the GABF who are from Atlanta, grew up here, or visit here regularly.

So my hat’s off to the Brewer’s Association for putting on another spectacular event and to all the winners of the 2012 GABF. Congrats and see you next year!

The Lager Challenge!!!

September 25, 2012 |  by  |  1 Comment

I’m proud and excited to announce Max Lager’s first annual Lager Challenge Homebrew competition! We’ll be accepting homebrewed entries in all lager style categories including hybrid styles such as Kolsch and California Common. We’re also accepting entries in our exclusive Experimental Lager category and Holiday Beer category…huh, Holiday beer? Well, yeah the judging is going happen on December 15th and it’s just the right time of year for that type of thing! At the end of judging on the 15th will come the awards ceremony accompanied by a beer dinner and the tapping of some special casks.  And to add to the excitement, a Homebrewer’s Dream RAFFLE will take place, sponsored by Brewer’s Supply Group, where we’ll be giving a bunch of great homebrew goodies (and some great brewpub paraphernalia too).  It’s going to be lots of fun! If you’re a homebrewer you probably understood most of this and we want your entry! (really hard for me not to quote The Office after a statement like that). If you’re not, you can still come for the fun! Come by that evening for the awards ceremony and enjoy a great beer dinner and some special cask beer!

Entry info is coming soon so ladies and gentlemen… START YOUR BREWING!


August 29, 2012 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

Yes it’s that time of year again…no not Fall (almost)… DRAGONCON!! It’s my personal favorite convention of the year. Every year we get flooded with Imperial Stormtroopers, Wookies, Jedi, Batmen, Supermen and women, X-Men, Doctor Whos, Star Fleet officers, Aliens of all types and well…the list goes on and on. What fun! And what beer drinkers! Yes it seems the SciFi/fantasy crowd is also a beer geek crowd. It’s no surprise…I mean I’m a ScFi/fantasy geek myself and we all know where I stand on beer. This year I’m tapping two casks for the big weekend. One Hopsplosion!! IPA dry hopped with Citra hops (yum) and IMOS (Imperial Mocha Oatmeal Stout) that’s a whole lot of delicious cask beer! Come down early, I imagine they will run out fast. I’ll be tapping them around 12:00 pm at about the end of the DragonCon Parade Saturday in the upstairs bar. Parade starts at 10:00am, so come down for the fun and stay for a beer or two!

JR’s going to Jail!

July 25, 2012 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

No, I don’t need a lawyer! I’m brewing a collaborative beer with my good buddy Glenn Golden, brew master and owner of Jailhouse Brewing in Hampton, GA. Joining us is another good buddy of mine, Chris Collier. Chris is former brew master and owner of Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, NC. The beer? “Partners In Crime”. We’re basing the recipe and brewing techniques on the Berliner Weiss style beer, a lower alcohol sessionable beer that is slightly soured (intentionally) by use of a lactic fermentation in addition to the standard yeast fermentation. This is a pretty exciting project as we’ll get to really stretch our brewer skills by using some unconventional techniques.  I’ll keep you posted on how it goes and when it’ll be released.




April 12, 2012 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

OK,  so my plan was to brew Mai Bock for my next spring seasonal. Demon D’Or came on early this year so there was room for a nice high gravity Bock beer. Then spring decided it would show up in, what? February? What’s up with that? Not that I’m complaining, but we here in Atlanta all know what an early spring means….lots of pollen…no, well yes, but…A LONG HOT SUMMER. Oh yes we are all dreading the repercussions of such a mild “Winter”.

So as I stood poised over my stacks of Pilsner, Vienna and Melanoidin malts, ready to dump them cautiously through the grain mill, I had a thought. “Do I really want another big, heavy, high gravity beer right now?”  I mean, at one point I had four on at once recently. Delicious sure, but I was sweating just thinking about picking up the 1000 odd pounds of malt that go into the Mai Bock. What would really taste good as the heat rises would be something lighter, subtler. My brewer’s mind raced, but not for long. All this malt in front of me could easily be re-arranged into a Helles style beer…yes a Munich Helles! Delicious! Refreshing! Lower alcohol so I can drink more, thus even more “refreshment”! At least that’s the excuse I’m using to drink more : )

So I quickly made some recalculations and proceeded to make WHAT THE?! Munich Helles- Style Lager and man did it come out great! It’s got a beautiful deep golden color, a slight sweetness that is dried out by subtle toasted malt notes. Clean, complex and just super yum…did I just say “super yum”? I’ve got to lay off the Rachel Ray….

A Tale of Two Belgian Strongs

February 25, 2012 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

So this winter I thought I’d be clever and put on two Belgian-style strong ales at the same time. I mean, what is better on a cold winter day than a glass of an intriguingly complex Belgian-style beer? Each sip brings forth new discoveries of flavors and a little more comfort from the cold outside…. only yesterday I played golf in shorts…and what was that??? A bead of sweat as I stood over my birdie putt?? I missed it BTW (damn). Apparently, Winter decided to…well…take the Winter off, or at least go on vacation.

Winter’s lack of wrath notwithstanding, Quadratic Liquation Belgian-Style Dark Strong Ale and Demon D’Or Belgian-Style Golden Strong are both pouring at Max Lager’s and it’s really cool to taste and compare the similarities and the vast differences between these cousins.

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SweetHeart promotion

January 26, 2012 |  by  |  Be the first to Comment

You’ll love the flavors of our new Valentine’s cocktails. These romantic gems will be available for a limited time starting, Monday, January 30th, 2012.

Max Lager's ValentinesLady Godiva Martini – $8

A Rich, Decadent, and Satisfying dessert cocktail

360 chocolate vodka
dark creme de cacao
1/2 and 1/2 cream
chocolate syrup
chocolate syrup garnish

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