Author: Tom Ward

Georgia on my mind

With the College Football Championship set for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta Monday night, I thought I’d get in the spirit with some Georgia beers for at-home tailgating. Georgia’s largest brewery is the SweetWater Brewing Co. Its brews are ubiquitous in our area, easily found in both bars and grocery store aisles, but because all SweetWater beers are unpasteurized, they are only available here in the Southeast. Best known for its 420 Extra Pale Ale, a really nice lighter ale — not too hoppy, with some fruit flavors in the finish — SweetWater is Georgia’s second-oldest brewery, founded...

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Dark holiday brews for the dark days of winter

Seasonal brews have become commonplace, and perhaps overdone, by brewers both large and small. Ostensibly a take on the German Oktoberfest tradition, there are now special pumpkin stouts in the fall, light spring saisons and lemon shandys in the summer. As winter begins to fill the air here on the Gulf Coast — we’ve already had a rare snowfall this season — there is a new host of winter styles brewers near and far want you to try. So I tried several. Now that the “war on Christmas” has been won and we can once again celebrate the birth...

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Election special: the candidates’ hometown beers

With the special election next Tuesday, almost every aspect of Alabama’s U.S. Senate race has been dissected by now. But although the campaign has received national attention, one important question has so far been overlooked: What does each candidate like to drink? So I reached out to both Doug Jones and Roy Moore to ask them what might be the deciding issue of this race: What is their favorite Alabama beer? Unfortunately, neither candidate got back to me on this important question. We can probably assume Jones, as a lifelong Democrat, favors a chardonnay or Chablis, and that Moore,...

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Behold: Serda Brewing’s taproom opens Nov. 25

Our long municipal nightmare is almost over. After many promises, stops and starts, and delays, Mobile is about to have its own brewery again! Serda Brewing is ready to open its taproom in the refurbished Goodyear Tire store at 600 Government St. this Saturday, Nov. 25. A week later, on Friday, Dec. 1, there will be a grand opening ceremony, with a ribbon-cutting, local dignitaries and live music. In between, the brewery will be open its regular hours: Monday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 10 p.m. For the first week,...

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Celebrating the many shades of ambers

Most of you have tried, or at least seen, amber styles of beer. They have become ubiquitous, with many micro- and macro-brewers producing their own various versions. A number of breweries, such as Colorado’s New Belgium, put out a year-round amber ale while many other brewers put out seasonal ambers, often in the fall as an homage to their supposed roots in the German “Oktoberfest” brews, which had an amber color and malty flavor. Some of the most popular ambers are Mexican imports — Modelo Negra and Dos Equis Amber. While we often think of Mexican beers as being...

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Olde Towne Daphne pub crawl

If you’re looking to try some different places with excellent choices for craft beer, head over to Olde Towne Daphne on Scenic 98. Centered, as it has been for as long as anyone can remember, around Manci’s Antique Club, Olde Towne Daphne has a couple of Italian restaurants, a cigar bar, a wine and tapas bar, and a traditional pub, all within about two blocks. If you want to hoof it about a half a mile, there’s also the Southern Napa Wine Store which, in addition to carrying a fantastic selection of wines, also stocks craft beers and, of...

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‘Goat Castle’ gives insight into Old South’s final throes

During the depths of the Great Depression, a shocking murder in the Deep South held a nation transfixed. In “Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South,” historian Karen L. Cox of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte recounts an infamous Natchez, Mississippi, murder, investigation and trial while giving deep insights into issues of race, class and justice in the Jim Crow South. With a historian’s eye and a novelist’s prose, Cox weaves a story of Faulknerian protagonists — a reclusive, wealthy heiress, the scion a cotton fortune; her cousin/beau, also a member of...

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It’s come to this: ‘generic’ craft beer

As the popularity of craft beer has grown over the past few years, it is not surprising that the world’s beverage mega-conglomerates have taken notice and sought to get in on the action as well. While craft beer was once identified with small, independent, regional microbreweries, the term now encompasses a wide-ranging number of beers that seem to include almost anything that is not a traditional macro-brewed American lager. Everyone, it appears, wants to be crafty. Some of the traditional macro-breweries entered the craft brewing arena by producing their own craft styles under a separate label, such as MillerCoors’...

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