Craft Beer in the Scenic City

After Atlantis visited the 18th annual Southern Brewer’s Fest last August, it was hard to believe that Chattanooga’s love for beer could be topped. But as we walked around the first annual Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival (CCBF), hosted by the Tennessee Pavilion, we realized the Scenic City had outdone itself once again.

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This event blew the Southern Brew Fest out of the water. The atmosphere alone was right up our alley considering that for over a year now we’ve been selling brewing supplies, making our own homebrew, and growing a personal enthusiasm for craft beer. Put on by Rhizome Productions, the CCBF was quite possibly the best thing ever for a lover of craft beer.

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Instead of setting up a booth and promoting our store, we chose to mingle and sample with other brew-heads, talking about our own love of beer and answering questions about making beer at home. The best thing about this festival, besides the fact that there were over thirty vendors offering two to four types of beer, was the overwhelming attendance and support of local brewers.

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One third of the beer makers present were native to Tennessee, while half of those were based right here in the Choo Choo City. Chattanooga’s own Barley Mob brew club, Moccasin Bend, Chattanooga Brewing Co., McHale’s, Terminal, and Big River all made an appearance to represent the true spirit of craft beer we share here in Chatt-town.

The new festival brought great innovations to the benefit of enthusiasts by setting up a one time fee and supplying free drinking water. The cost of your ticket would give you entrance to the event, a sample glass, and endless refills to try every single last one of the beers offered. That’s right, if you could manage to drink two gallons of beer in a matter four hours then you would be more than welcome to sample over sixty different kinds of beer. Unfortunately, we could only put down about ten types, but it was fun nonetheless.

Meeting fellow brewers, talking to the pros, and trying more kinds of beer than ever before made the CCBF a most enjoyable experience. We look forward to the Second Annual Craft Beer Festival and hope that next year there will be even more good beers to choose from. Thanks to Rhizome Productions and all our hometown brewers for making the CCBF such a fun and friendly event!

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1 Day Sale! 15%-50% off Saturday, November 17th

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Canna Lovers, Get all your Canna Nutrient and Coco questions answered at the Atlanta West Midtown location by a Canna Nutrients Rep, along with prize giveaways, and complimentary snacks and refreshments!

Web Shoppers, order Online and receive 15% off orders placed 11/17.

Use hydroponic promo code ILOVEHYDRO at checkout.

A Hops How To: Varieties of Hops for Beer Brewing

Hop Cones on Vine

Hop Cones Growing on the Bine

Hops or Humulus is a group of flowering plants in the Cannabacea family, which incidentally includes the genus Cannabis (hemp) and Celtis (Hackberries).  The hops plant produces male and female flowers on separate plants, which means they are dioecious.  The female flowers, or cones, are used for several culinary purposes but most notably they are used in the brewing of beer .

The hops plant is usually referred to as a vine, but in actuality it is a bine because it uses stiff hairs on its rigid stem instead of tendrils to climb.  It is a perennial plant, re-growing annually from an underground rhizome.  The hops bine can grow over 20 inches in a single week and climb to heights of over 50 feet, spiraling clockwise as it climbs.  If you are a gardener you will be happy to know growing hops is fairly easy and rewarding.

Young Hops Bine Climbing Support

Young Hops Bine Climbing Support

The hop cones impart a spicy floral aroma and a bitter flavor when used in beer brewing.  Beer bitterness is expressed as IBUs or International Bitterness Units; a measure of the intensity of the bitterness in a given beer.  As a point of reference here are some common beer styles and their IBU range.   Alpha acids are the precursors to beer bitterness.  The hops used to add bitterness to a beer are added during the boil so the heat from the boiling wort has time break down the acid.

Another way to use hops in brewing is dry hopping; the process of adding hops to the primary fermenter, the maturation tank, or the casked beer to increase the aroma and hoppy character of the finished beer.  Not all hops are the same, and aside from when and where you add them, there are many different varieties of hops to choose from.  The type of hops chosen can impart more than a subtle difference to the flavor and aroma of your home brew beer, so choose your palette wisely.

Atlantis Visits 18th Annual Southern Brewers’ Festival

Chattanooga, Tennessee is often thought of as having spectacular views, endless outdoor activities, and a growing number of hip, progressive people. What is not so well known about the scenic city is its long lost love of fermentation. That’s right, BEER

This little town has managed to brew up an Annual Southern Brewers Festival proving time and again just how serious it is about finely crafted fermented beverages. This year’s local line up inlcuded The Terminal Brewhouse, McHale’s Brew Pub, Moccasin Bend Brewing Company, Big River Grill, Chattanooga Brewing Company, and special guests The Barley Mob.

There’s not much that compliments an ice cold locally crafted beer like super awesome music on an open-air stage in front of the River City skyline.

Walking around the festival grounds I saw the most convincing Brett Michaels look alike ever.  And who could forget this cool fellow dressed up like the Beer Drinker’s Mascot. He looks prepared with that hard hat…
Safety First!

After recently making the acquaintance of one particular Mobster, I had my heart set on finding the Barley Mob booth and trying their Honey Peach Ale. This curiously delicious concoction, as I’m told, is not your average Pale Ale, nor is it a Mead or Wine, and yet it seems to have the best qualities of all three. The drinkability of a craft ale, the sweetness of a honey mead and the potency of a fine wine.  I should have known when the description stated “ABV (Alcohol By Volume) uncalculated ” that I was dealing with a whole different breed of beverage. Thank you Mr. Beecher!

Some brewers took in excess of ten kegs to return home with less than two. I think it  goes without saying, the festival was a hit! Tasty brews, good music, and all the sunshine one could ask for.  I can’t wait for next year’s celebration of brewing. I can only imagine what sorts of new recipes our local crafts people cook up next. Until then, why not give beer brewing a try? Happy brewing!

Water Quality and Beer Breewing: Can Your Water Ruin Your Brew?

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Water makes up seventy percent of the Earth’s surface, sixty-five percent of your body, and about 90% of the beer you brew. Did you know that the water you use to brew your beer has a huge impact on the quality and type of beer you produce?

Historically a correlation was observed between the liquor composition of an area and the type of beer that the region could best brew. The Pale Ales of Burton-on-Trent and Edinburgh, Porters of London, Stouts of Dublin and Lagers of Pilsen are classic examples.   Read more about water quality and brewing.