On Thursday, Atlanta’s bars and restaurants were ordered to close in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. In hopes of maintaining a revenue stream for these many establishments, Atlanta has temporarily lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol to-go.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an order allowing the city’s restaurants to offer beer and wine to-go, strictly for”off-premise” consumption. The order is only valid for 60 days.
Unfortunately, this emergency order only covers closed beer and wine, not open containers or liquor drinks. (Sorry, no margarita pitchers to-go, or we’d be first in line.)
Across Atlanta as well as the state, breweries, bars, and restaurants have furloughed hundreds of employees. The establishments that remain open have transitioned to a 100% take out option. The addition of closed container beer and wine will hopefully increase the establishment’s revenue streams during the shutdown.
Texas and New York have made similar exemptions during this crisis.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Thursday he will not issue a state quarantine or force businesses to close.
Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Co. is expanding its business model this week to include hard seltzer. Introducing Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer.
It’s no secret that hard seltzer continues its sales domination into 2020. As major brewing companies jump in the game, America’s craft breweries continue to expand the portfolio. Great Divide has decided it was time.
Within the week, 12 packs of Whitewater will start hitting shelves everywhere Great Divide is sold. Initially, four flavors are available at launch – Mango + Ginger, Pomegranate + Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Wild Berry.
After months of in-house ingredient mixology, Great Divide Innovation brewer and team found the perfect blend of crispness and fruit.
“The timeline to dial in the production side of Whitewater, from fermentation through flavorings, was a meticulous process that our teams deliberated over. With it being such a neutral product like a pilsner, there is nothing to mask any unwanted flavors and no room for error. The end result speaks for itself: an incredibly clean and smooth beverage with potent, natural flavors shining,” says Rau.
Great Divide Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans. Additionally, Mango + Ginger in 19.2 ounces in late March.
Style: Hard Seltzer (w/ various fruit flavors)
Availability: 12oz Cans, 19.2oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: Late March 2020
Nationally, breweries around the United States are either being ordered to close their taprooms or making the choice to temporarily close in the wake of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. Most of these breweries are keeping on a limited amount of staff to cover beer and food to-go options
In the southeast, very few breweries and brewpubs have announced closures due to Covid-19 spread.
Atlanta, the most densely populated city in Georgia with a strong list of breweries, restaurants, and bars is expected to announce widespread citywide mandated closures across the city and Dekalb County.
Jason Santamaria, co-owner of Second Self Beer has been weighing the options for his brewery for days now. “We are already closing the brewery for St. Paddy’s Day, so we don’t inadvertently draw a large crowd,” he says. As of today, the brewery has shifted production to one shift, and closed the taproom, only offering curbside beer to-go.
Nick Purdy of Wild Heaven, which has a taproom in Avondale Estates, Georgia and a brewery/taproom on Atlanta’s Westside has been taking precautions but knew a government announcement was coming. Ahead of the city’s formal announcement, Purdy tells Beer Street Journal, “While we’ve been open with careful protocols, it’s not surprising that a temporary closing of gathering places would make sense. Wild Heaven has been preparing a new pickup option for our West End location, with food, beer, and coffee available. In Avondale, we’ll offer Beer-To-Go.”
Bold Monk Brewing, a beautiful new brewpub on Atlanta’s Westside, along with sister brewpub Max Lager’s and White Oak Kitchen have closed their doors for the time being and furloughed 170 staff members. Owner John Roberts told us that he’s working on a beer and food take out plan.
Decatur, Georgia’s Three Taverns Brewery has shuttered their beer parlour only offering to-go beer, as well as Monday Night Brewing (both locations), and Atlanta Brewing. Northeast in Athens, Terrapin Beer Company and Creature Comforts have both closed their taprooms as well.
Famed beer bar Brick Store Pub has closed, evaluating a reopening day by day. The owners have set up GoFundMe account to help the staff that isn’t working right now: https://www.gofundme.com/f/brick-store-pub-staff.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has not issued a mandate that the state’s bars and restaurants should close, as of Monday evening.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an executive order that limits occupancy of restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, clubs, and other public gathering spots to no more than 50 people.
Atlanta is home to thousands of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, and nearly 20 craft breweries.
Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time is like drinking a piece of your childhood. If you haven’t tried this beer, another opportunity is rolling around this week.
Brewed with raspberries and aged on peanuts, this beer takes you back to a simpler time. A time before bills, complicated relationships, acne breakouts, and hangovers. As anyone that has made a PB&J sandwich, the ratio of peanut butter to jelly is paramount. Catawba knows this too and it shows in this alcoholic sandwich of a beer.
Does it really taste like the sandwich? Pretty much. Brewing with peanut butter and a jelly sugar blob isn’t the greatest of ideas. To get around serving up a greasy glass of nasty, Catawba created a base roasty brown ale, aged for weeks on fresh raspberries and peanuts. When this beer is colder, it tastes like peanut butter. Warmer, more sticky jelly notes to surface. Because Peanut Butter Jelly Time is a brown ale instead of a stout, it’s more approachable to those that might be turned off by dark beer. It should be served in a lunchbox between math class and recess.
Last year, the brewery canned a variant – Strawberry Rhubarb which returns again this year in cans only to be found in the taproom.
New for 2020, are two new additional brewery only variants – PBJT! Peach and PBJT! Red Currant.
Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time! is available in 16-ounce cans in the taproom starting March 6th, available in Catawbas’s five-state distribution area in the following days.
PIC: Beer Street Journal. 2020 can art is seen below.
Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing is officially in the hard seltzer game as of this week, with the launch of Narwater Hard Seltzer.
The creation is pretty self-explanatory. The “spiked” carbonated hard water comes in an array of fruited additions. The case of Monday Night’s Narwater Craft Hard Seltzer, the launch brings three – Mango Guava!, Grapefruit Pineapple! and Blueberry Raspberry! Each 12-ounce serving is 95 calories, 2 grams of sugar, 4.7% alcohol by volume, and gluten-free.
We are assuming the “Narwater” name is a play on Narwhal, a horned sea creature that Monday Night has doted on in the past. (Like Bryan Adams and Dinosaurs.)
Each seltzer is made with real fruit, using natural fermentation, not ethanol diluted with water.
Narwater Craft Selter is available in 12-ounce cans and draft year-round starting late February 2020.
Style: Hard Seltzer
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Distribution: GA, AL, TN
Debut: Late February 2020
Let’s drop right into this. Left Hand Peanut Butter Milk Stout has finally hit shelves, and it’s perfect.
Yeah, I’ve bolded that because it bears emphasis. We live in a time in beer history that might be best summarized in one word – adjuncts. Here at this publication, we’ve mentioned a wide range of beers that have everything from candy, cakes, and fruit, to scorpions, crickets, and grasshoppers. Some beer additions should be sprayed for by an exterminator, and not wind up in your mash tun. But hey, you do you.
It’s the wild west of adjuncts out there. Some of these creations are so sweet you actually have a sugar crash later, while others end up being little shelve grenades in aluminum. Trying the next hyped brewery science experiment can wear out your taste buds, your wallet, and even your faith in beer brewing at large.
Still, there are some great pastry/milkshake/candy/cookie/skittles/chicken wing/hamburger/dragonfruit/marshmallow/baklava/cheesecake/jelly/pizza/tomato/herb beers out there, so I do what anybody else would do. Find them all and drink them all.
When it comes to well-established breweries like Left Hand, I hold them to a higher standard when it comes to a beer like this, and with good reason. They know what the hell they are doing, as evidenced by their Milk Stout. As good as that beer is, brewers want to play and fans demand variety. According to Left Hand, a peanut butter variant was the top request. However, it was never going to be as easy as just tossing peanut butter (in any form) into their milk stout and shipping it.
The best evidence of this? Peanut Butter Milk Stout was slated for November. “Despite getting close to how we envisioned this beer, we hadn’t nailed it yet,” says national sales director Jason Ingram, “Our brewing team worked hard until they got it right and it makes a difference,” he adds. Ingram is right because it was love at first sip for us.
Left Hand held themselves to a very high standard for the seasonal, and you the beer drinker, is the winner for their efforts. Peanut Butter Milk Stout is crafted. Meaningful. And worth the money.
Now you can taste the result of their hard work across the brewery’s distribution footprint this month. This beer is adjunct hope in dark beer form, in and increasingly muddy, sludgy world of pastry beers. 2020 is tasting good already.
6% ABV, 25 IBUs
PIC: Beer Street Journal
As of today, the World Health Organization has declared a global public health emergency over the Coronavirus outbreak. If you haven’t noticed by now, the deadly virus shares a name with a certain global beer brand. Judging by Google search trends, there has been a major spike in searches for the “Corona beer virus.” It can be presumed that some believe Corona has some responsibility for the outbreak.
The two are not remotely related.
We stumbled across this interesting fact when a friend sent us a meme of a Corona bottle, with a bunch of Heineken bottles huddled behind a surgical mask. The debate that ensued shortly after dealt with the fact that no one is dumb enough to think the Coronavirus (aka 2019-nCov) is caused by, or even cured by- beer. Specifically Corona beer.
A quick trip over to Google Trends proved otherwise. As you can see from the screenshot below, the interest in “Corona Beer Virus” spikes around mid-January. Hawaii and Washington D.C. tops the charts with the most searches, followed by Nebraska, Connecticut, and Kansas. Let’s just assume it’s folks doing a little diligence before cracking open a bottle after work.
Since it’s not named after the beer, then why is it called the Coronavirus? The word corona means “crown” or “halo” in Latin. Views of the viruses using electron microscopy show projections on its round surface giving the illusion of a crown. Other Coronaviruses include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).