What a journey this has been.
When I received an e-mail from Southern Craft Magazine’s COO Didi Rainey asking if I would be interested in being the guest editor for this Summer Issue, I was definitely down with the idea. As a beer connoisseur and journalist, I’ve written, edited, and photographed for several magazines and websites globally over my 25-year career in the industry, but my role here to rep the South was a gift-wrapped breath of fresh air. And honestly, my autonomy to choose the majority of subject matter that would appear in this issue sealed the deal. If you know me, you will confirm my passion for showing love to dining; travel; entrepreneurialism; fashion; and, yes, beer. But it’s the people behind the ales and lagers who I truly love giving print to. Seasoned with a summer theme, this issue delivers some captivating page-turning thanks to the help of the talented scribes and photographers who answered my call and jumped on board. The focus for this issue lies heavily in Georgia—but because this is Southern Craft, there are also features showcasing people and places beyond the Peach State’s border.
Throughout these pages, we highlight the celebration of Athens’ Creature Comforts truly incredible first five years; Nashville’s burgeoning Slim & Husky’s franchise putting an amazing spin on pizza, art, beer and inclusion now in Atlanta; two popular brewpubs—Hopstix and Good Word—who do their state proud in keeping the marriage of brew and food sexy; hit up Ghost Town Distillery in Savannah; explore lifestyle gems in Alpharetta; delve into the creative mind of a chocolatier who pairs her edible brilliance with “whales” from Decatur’s Brick Store Pub’s world-renowned cellar; and shoot on over to Virginia to get our sip on at some of their best taprooms and breweries like Lickinghole Creek. (Yes, you read that right.)
If beer isn’t your thing, we’ve got thirst quenching Alternatives; and our Travel Necessities offer a great guide of travel goodies that you should strongly consider. For our cover feature, we sipped Creature’s Tropicália with Nancy Palmer, the award-winning executive director of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, as photographer Patrick Heagney took shots on the terrace of Atlanta’s Loews Hotel. Read on as Palmer discusses the present and future trends, laws, and issues in the craft beer scene that we all need to be up on.
Trust, there’s a lot more this publication has in store for you, so get to page flipping.
Ale Sharpton aka Dennis Malcolm Byron
Southern Craft Magazine