Creative Loafing spoke to Brewmaster JR, longtime member of the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild, about the changes in the Atlanta craft brew scene since he entered the professional Georgia brewing scene in 1996. To learn more about Atlanta’s first Strong Beer Fest on December 7, click here.
Max Lager’s and its Fire and Spice onion rings were featured in today’s Thrillist Atlanta newsletter in the “Atlanta’s Bossest Bar Snacks” story by Sebastian Davis. You can see what other bar snacks made the list here.
Thanks for thinking of us, Thrillist!
Another great year at the Great American Beer Festival for Max Lager’s is in the books. The hordes of beer loving people have all gone back to their usual lives probably already planning on being back next year. I can’t think of a city better for hosting the massive event than Denver. There’s craft beer everywhere! You can’t turn a corner without running into a brewery, brewpub or beer bar. Even “normal” restaurants proudly feature local craft beer.
It’s easy to completely immerse yourself in beer culture as soon as you arrive in Denver. The Boulder Beer Company has a pub right there in the airport between the gate and baggage claim. The entire city embraces not only the festival, but beer culture itself. Everywhere you go, smiling friendly faces ask “Are you here for the GABF?…Have fun!” and they mean it.
Even though the last few hours of the festival on Saturday night notoriously becomes…umm…a drunk fest as opposed to a beer fest, the majority of the nearly 20 hours of festival time is filled with beer lovers who truly want to find something new and exciting. This year the hot trend was sour beers, especially Berliner Weisse. We brought our Air Lift Berliner Weisse and it was a big hit. But even more surprising (to the drinkers at least) was the Hopless Dancer Gruit we brought. It’s an unhopped beer flavored with herbs. Many would start to turn their nose up at the idea, but I’d say “It’s a beer festival…you’re supposed to try new things. It’s only 1 ounce of beer. If you don’t like it, get something else.” The usual reaction to tasting it…”WOW! That’s awesome!” More often than not they kept coming back for more.
Besides the festival itself, this year we chose an excursion to the recently flooded city of Boulder. I’m happy to report that life is returning to normal there. A friend from Boulder Beer invited us to a pig roast (you had me at pork), which was fantastic. Later we hit up Avery Brewing and were shown great hospitality and even greater barrel-aged beers.
All in all, it was a fun but exhausting trip. It’s good to be home, but I too am already thinking about next year…
Composed of just four words, Max Lagers’ charitable philosophy is broad in scope, yet specific with purpose: “Drink Beer. Do Good.”
To drink beer is… well, none of us should have a problem understanding that. It’s the latter aspect of our fundraising mission that suggests a moment of reflection: What defines good?
Our stance on good extends beyond brewing delicious beer and plating well-prepared meals at Max Lager’s. And while we dedicate much of our efforts to perfecting the elements of service, it’s the essence of serving, rather, that inspires our purpose of providing for downtown Atlanta.
And sometimes that purpose extends beyond Atlanta… in the direction of a cause worthy of immeasurable care and need.
As most of our reactions were in hearing news of the tornado that ripped through Moore, OK, we were shocked and saddened for the victims forced to suffer the deadly storm. In efforts to aid and ensure relief arrives to the Moore community, we donated 50 cents of every Max Lager’s pint sold to the American Red Cross from May 23-May 30. With your help, we sold 1,232 Max Beers that week and allowing us to contribute to a cause much greater than ‘Good’.
From all of us at Max Lager’s and Brewed to Serve Restaurant Group, Inc.,
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!
Join us as we celebrate 15 years in the heart of downtown with 15 days of revelry, featuring 1998 pricing, retro menu items, beer specials, a birthday beer bash and more beginning Tuesday, March 5 .
Don’t miss our big birthday bash on Saturday, March 9 with live music by Jango Monkey, cask specials, a tapping of 3X5 Gran Cru, complimentary appetizers and birthday cupcakes, and a special beer dinner menu.
What’s a growler you say? A growler is a 64 oz. jug that is the industry standard for brewpubs and breweries to sell “to go”.
Recently, the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, with the support of Representatives Tom Taylor and Ron Stephens, introduced the “Fill the Growler Bill”-HB 314. HB 314 is all about expansion of the market, job creation, giving the consumers what they want, increased awareness of Craft Beer, and the growth of the Craft Brewing industry in the State of Georgia. What the bill will do is allow Breweries and Brewpubs to sell up to 288 oz. (that’s equivalent to one case) of beer per person per day for off premise consumption. What’s that mean for you? It means you can go to your favorite pub, have a great meal, and take home some great beer to enjoy back at home. You’d also be able to take a tour of one of Georgia’s great packaging breweries and take home, say, a mixed case of your favorite brews as fresh as you could ever get them. Sounding pretty good huh?
The Fill the Growler Bill gives Georgia Breweries and Brewpubs an invaluable tool for brand building. The brands that have grown up in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys would not be what they are today if not for California’s allowance of direct retail sales at the wineries. When we visit a winery we buy into that brand based on the tour, the tasting, the meal we enjoy at the winery’s restaurant and the wine we purchase to take home and share with family and friends. But, we don’t fly back to California every time we want to buy another bottle of that wine. We go to our local grocery or liquor store; ask for it and they purchase that wine from the local wholesaler. The existing structure alone cannot accomplish the goals of providing the best craft beer experience that customers crave and deserve. Nobody knows more about the craft beer served in a Brewpub or made in a Brewery than the Brew Master. Growler sales by Breweries and Brewpubs permit the best-informed interaction with the Consumer. There is nothing available in the retail market as fresh as the product that can be served directly by a brewery or a brewpub. The ability for the consumer to bring home a growler of the beer they enjoyed with dinner or after a tour helps to complete the craft beer experience; the consumer might not be able to find the same fresh tapped craft beer from a retailer.
Other states have been supportive of their Craft Beer industries (and the entrepreneurs behind them) and the result has been the creation of new high skilled jobs and a larger tax base. It is always better to grow the tax base than seek to impose higher taxes on a smaller base. Here’s a list of states that allow off premise sales for breweries and brewpubs: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming…that’s 40 out of 50 plus the nation’s capital! More than just a few!
Support of our Craft Beer industry is a bid for an improvement in culture and living conditions in the State of Georgia. Craft Beer enthusiasts tend to be smart, highly educated people who appreciate higher end consumables. These are highly desirable citizens. It would be difficult if not impossible to quantify, but a thriving Craft Beer culture in the State of Georgia could be an important factor in attracting new talent and opportunity to our State. Better to create that environment here than to allow competitive states to take all the opportunity.
Tourism is an essential part of Georgia’s current and future economy and Brewery Tourism is a growing phenomenon across our nation. Encouragement of Georgia’s nascent Craft Beer industry is a vote in support of our tourism industry and for economic development. A healthy Craft Beer industry in Georgia will promote international investment as international investors realize that the citizens of Georgia are as smart and forward-thinking as citizens of their own country.
So the time is now! We need your support! We know you want it because we hear it every day, but now you need to tell the people that can make the change- your House and Senate Representatives. Call them, email them, fax them, heck send the Pony Express! Below are links to help you find out who represents you and how to contact them. Don’t delay! You can drop a quick email saying you support the bill. Exercise your citizenship! Also check out the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild web site.
NOTE: We have just learned that an identical bill has been introduced in the Senate- SB174 introduced by Senator Josh McKoon. So hit your Senators up too!
Find your representative:
Read the bill and contact your representative:
Join the Guild! :
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
Homebrewers Alert – 36 entries received in the last 10 days. Homebrewers get your entry in now! $7 per entry. Great day for beer geeks and beer gods and goddesses. All of you interested in joining this interesting cast of characters, sign up for the Beer Dinner and Cask tappings, and be there to witness the GRAND PRIZE PRESENTATION at 7pm. Look for our online registration beginning December 1st. Special thanks to our Sponsors – Brew Depot (beernecessities.com) and Brewer’s Supply Group (brewerssupplygroup.com).
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!