I have to admit something to you. I set this past weekend up on purpose. My beautiful bride is an alumnus of Mercer University in Macon (Go Bears!) I chose the Mercer-ETSU game for this week’s post in a very thinly veiled attempt to have the opportunity to highlight the breweries and beer in Macon. And then the Buccaneers tore off and ruined my plans by winning a close one 21-18. And so I will keep my promises and highlight the beer scene in Johnson City, Tennessee … right after I give Macon a little love first.

Macon – 90x more cherry trees than DC!

The reason I was so excited to highlight Macon is because there are three breweries right in the heart of downtown, and not too far from each other. I’ve personally been to all three of them and can vouch for the quality of beer from each. The Ocmulgee Brewpub is known every bit as much for their food as they are for their beer … and that’s a compliment to both sides of the house. Do yourself a favor and get the Float Daze Amber and Oxbow Stout. And then bring me some too.  Piedmont Brewery has a pretty solid vibe going on (upstairs and down) and, just like Ocmulgee, has a stellar food menu. What’s really noteworthy about their beer is the wide variety they have. They usually have about a dozen beers on tap, and across a very wide spectrum of flavors. I would happily drive way out of my way to get back and have their Nocturne Oatmeal Stout! Delish …

Greatest name for a sports franchise. Ever

And finally, a visit to Macon isn’t complete without hitting the Macon Beer Company. Nintendo 64 + cornhole tournaments + live music + fantastic beer = yes, please. With a name like Macon, the naming conventions are virtually endless:

  • Macon Money. Super hoppy IPA
  • Macon Progress. their flagship pale ale
  • Macon Out. A blonde that’s very crisp and light
  • Macon History. Coffee + chocolate + yum
  • Macon Love. An homage to the city’s awesome Cherry Blossom Festival (way better than the one in DC), it’s a light and sweet rye that’s brewed with, you guessed it, cherries.
But now, we head to Johnson City, TN! Congrats to the Buccaneers, and I am thrilled to research the town and find SIX breweries (including one coming soon.) In other words, Johnson City has three more breweries than Macon; and ETSU had three more points than Mercer on Saturday.  Hmmmmm …
JRH Brewing is less than a mile from the ETSU campus and certainly HAS to be a student favorite. The story behind the brewery and the ‘big red wall’ is ideal for that student who is working so hard to achieve dreams and persevere to a brighter future. This is one of those stories that you hope leads to major success for the brewery down the road. You WANT this place to be a hit. And so, Buccaneers fans … make sure you visit John and try some of these winners …
  • Edgework Irish Red. SO glad to see breweries bringing this style back. It’s one of my favorites
  • Henri’s Stout. Also available in nitro form, which is a giant yes for me. Silky and smooth!
  • Tannery Knobs IPA. Because everyone has to have an IPA these days, right?
For next week, we’ll travel to the ACC to find out what happens when a swarm of yellow jackets takes on a weather phenomenon. Georgia Tech hosts the Miami Hurricanes in a battle of two great beer towns. This should be a good one no matter who wins!
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

by Russ Webb

Gooooo Dawgs! Wait, I probably shouldn’t show bias on the post.

(Take two) This week’s Tuesday Brewsday post featured the biggest SEC matchup of the weekend – The University of Georgia Bulldogs versus the University of Florida Gators. This annual matchup takes place as what is billed as “the world’s largest outdoor cocktail party” in the somewhat neutral site of Jacksonville, Florida. This year’s game had both teams in the top 10 and entering with 6-1 records, and was a nail-biter at the half with UGA up 13-7. Florida briefly took the lead in the third quarter, but UGA then took control and cruised to a 36-17 victory. So, we head off to Athens, Georgia to explore the brewery scene!

Athens has been long known as a music town, with acts such as the B-52s and REM getting their start in this college town about  75 miles northwest of Atlanta. The music scene is still very much alive, but the brewery bug has bitten Athens in a big way and today we are going to feature FOUR breweries located there.

Terrapin – The first brewery to emerge from Athens and probably the most widely known is Terrapin. Their first beer appeared in April 2002 in Athens and not long after they won their first medal at the GABF. Their Hopsecutioner IPA has been a favorite of many for a long time and their Atlanta Braves version of it (Chopsecutioner) debuted at the new Terrapin Tap House at SunTrust Park. Their beer selection is varied from their solid Recreation Ale to the hard to find (but much loved) Liquid Bliss, a peanut butter porter. Terrapin now is part of the Miller-Coors family and has increased distribution to much of the Eastern half of the USA.

Creature Comforts – When the craft beer buzz in Georgia started to reach fever pitch, a lot of that hype was created by the good people of CC. Founded by folks with a passion for homebrewing and craft beer, Creature Comforts is more than just a brewery…they have created a brand. Their original location was opened in an old 1940’s era tire store and the transformation to a brewery and tap room is nothing short of incredible. People love the vibe of the place, but the beer is what has kept their popularity on the rise. Everyone likes to talk about Tropicalia, their traditional IPA, but their other year-round beers include Bibo (pilsner), Reclaimed Rye (rye amber) and Athena (berliner weisse). While all of these beers are phenomenal, where CC has made its mark is on their limited releases…and there are many. People line up for hours to get their hands on limited numbers of fourpacks, and then proudly post online about their acquisition. If you are in Athens, visiting them is an absolute must.

The Southern Brewing Company – Opening in 2015, SBC launched during the craft beer revolution in Georgia and has brewed more than 50 unique beers over that time. Truly one of the most welcoming breweries you could ever visit, a trip to SBC feels like you are visiting friends who happen to brew beer. What makes SBC unique is their passion for crafting wild beers from yeast that they cultivate themselves. Wild Azalea, their saison, is a delicious year-round offering and Midnight Train, their porter, is rich and delicious. Their Southern Woodpile program is amazing and the resulting beers are unlike anything else I’ve ever had. Look for a review here soon of one of them.

Akademia Brewing – The newest player in the Athens beer scene is Akademia, whose motto of AVT BIBAS AVT ABEAS! literally translates as “Either Drink or Go Away”. They are a full-service brewpub launched in 2017 to rave reviews, and their beer is sold in more than just their location. From a traditional German Kolsch to a Pumpkin Sour Stout, Akademia’s brews have something for everyone’s palate. If you go, make sure to try the Same Thing We Always Do, a nitro English mild that is made with vanilla beans and hazelnuts and simply delicious.

I think we have given you a lot of reasons to visit Athens, Georgia now…and who knows, you may just bump into me at one of these places.

For week 10, we take our second trip to the Southern Conference. This week, two teams that are very evenly matched will lock horns at Five Star Stadium in Macon, GA. The ETSU Buccaneers, fresh off their wild OT win over Western Carolina, travel to central Georgia (home to some great breweries) to take on the 4-4 Bears. We’ll see you next Tuesday!

Not big fans of each other, apparently

Well, it’s a good thing that rivalries aren’t dead. It started with some not-so-good-natured pushing and shoving, followed by a nice logo stomp at midfield … really not much more than some “mine is bigger than yours” testosterone-induced garbage. And then Michigan State decided that positive yardage was WAY overrated. Michigan only allowed 94 total yards on the day, and cruised to a relatively simple 21-7 win. Off to Ann Arbor we go!

Michigan has a stupid good beer scene. Seriously. Michigan currently boasts nearly 500 breweries across the mitten, good for 4th most in the nation. With unbelievable places like Bell’s and Founders, Michigan is absolutely a great place for planning your next beer-cation. With that many breweries, it’s no surprise that many of them are located in a city with a huge university. You can read a lot about the Ann Arbor beer scene in this post from The Full Pint. Here’s an excerpt …

“Ann Arbor’s downtown is about as charming as it gets. But perhaps the best thing about this little craft beer hub, is that just about everything is within walking distance. Stumble out of one brewery, and you’ll pretty much land at the doorstep of the next.”

Today, we’ll focus on a lesser-known stop on that stumble trip through downtown: Pileated Brewing Company. Pronounced EITHER Pie-lee-ate-ed or Pill-ee-ate-ed, the brewery just asks you to not say ‘pleated,’ noting that they “are not pants.” 👖

I will admit that I chose this brewery because of a striking similarity that I have with their leadership. Pileated, if you don’t already know, means red-capped. The About Us section of this website states that the two owners “are both former redheads. We say former because time and genetics have not been kind to our once pileated heads.” Ummmm, I won’t hashtag it, but I will say Me, too! This place was meant for me! But enough about that … on to the beer!

With almost any brewery these days, they offer some standard fare: NE IPAs, IPAs, pale, stout, saison, etc. But what I think sets them apart from so many places are the details that go into making these three:

  • Belgian Tripel – they import the Hallertau Mittelfruh hops directly from Germany; and the yeast strain is from the Achouffe region in Belgium. They’re using the legit ingredients to make this one the real deal.
  • Kettle-Soured Red Bearded Father (Belgian Single) – Again using the Achouffe region yeast, Pileated makes this oft-overlooked style (that really was the original Abbey-style beer.) Also known as an Enkel, or Patersbier, this style is known as the lawnmower beer of the monk world. Delicious and very light.
  • Octoberfest Steam Pilsner – the concept of a steam beer first gained popularity in the US in the mid-1800s. Without getting too technical, it’s basically a lager that is brewed like an ale. What results is a very light beer that is super fresh and effervescent. Pileated again brings in the German hops to give it a pilsner-y feel and taste.
This place looks and seems like a must on your next trip to the Mitten. For next week, we’re going to give the Dawgs another shot. The game formerly known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party takes place Saturday at 3:30. With all apologies to Kentucky, these two top 10 teams meet in what is essentially the SEC East Championship game. Gainesville or Athens … where will be next week? Comment below with your score prediction. Closest to the correct final score wins a prize of my choosing.
It’s Georgia vs. Florida week!!
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Louisiana State University – Tin Roof Brewing Company, Baton Rouge, LA
by Russ Webb

Okay, I’m not gonna lie…this one is painful to write. As a Georgia fan, it hurts to feature a brewery after my beloved Bulldogs took a beating from LSU, but Mike needs a week off for sure…so here we go!

… rusted

This game wasn’t even close as the LSU Tigers manhandled UGA from the initial kickoff controlling both lines of scrimmage. Since the gentlemen in red & black couldn’t muster a comeback, off we head to the banks of the Mississippi River to highlight a brewery in the Louisiana state capital for this week’s  #TuesdayBrewsday.

I consulted a buddy of mine (and rabid Tiger fan) about which brewery to feature and he answered “Tin Roof” before I could even finish the question. He said it’s the only brewery in town with a “Louisiana feel” (insert your own punchline here), and their beer was consistently good across the seasons.

The Gold Medal winner!

Tin Roof is Baton Rouge’s largest craft brewery and has been brewing for consumer consumption since 2010. Founded by a lawyer and a banker (again, insert joke here), Tin Roof has created quite a following and their Gold Medal from GABF shows that they must know what they are doing. (Side note, this is the only beer in Louisiana history to win a Gold at GABF.) They proudly state that the tap room is “not just for drinking our beer” and they host regular events ranging from yoga to trivia. Their space is also a popular rental for events as it has a great outdoor patio, a private meeting room or you can rent the entire place.

The beer? It’s a pretty great selection from that aforementioned Gold Medal winner, Voodoo – an American Pale Ale, to Manchado, a Mexican Coffee Stout with cinnamon, orange peel, chocolate and kilned coffee malt. (I need that beer in my life)

Some of the other brews they currently are featuring:

  • ÜBER FROOT – A blackberry Berliner Weisse
  • JUKE JOINT IPA – Medium hoppy American IPA
  • EVEN MORE FOMO – Wheatwine/IPA – At 11%, this one drinks like an Imperial IPA
  • BRANDY BARREL-AGED OLD ALE – A 10% Old Ale with notes of caramel & vanilla

They have more on offer and their selection seems to rotate with the seasons and single batch special brews, so it sounds like multiple trips are in order.

Beer yoga is a thing

For next week, we have decided to hit the road towards the middle of the only state shaped like an oven mitt for the match that will settle who takes home the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The Spartans of Michigan State will take on the Wolverines of Michigan and the winner gets that trophy…AND gets to be featured on Tuesday Brewsday! 

Well, that was exhilarating! The ‘Horns jumped out to a massive lead, OU brought it a bit closer, but still found themselves in a 21-point hole in the 4th quarter. A furious comeback left the game tied with almost no time left. Texas hurried down the field, setting the stage for a freshman kicker named Dicker (can’t make this stuff up) to step in and drill a 40-yard field goal to win the game. This was an awesome game … and now means that we turn our attention to Austin, Texas for the #TuesdayBresday feature of the week.

In the first #TuesdayBrewsday feature, we hinted that we could feature a ‘beer, brewery, or pub’ near the campus of each week’s victorious team. So far, we have featured nothing but breweries. That streak ends today. I’ve had the great pleasure to travel to Austin on several occasions. Literally every single trip has included a trip to one of my favorite beer bars … The Ginger Man. ***Note: I’m glad I’m not there anytime soon. Due to lots of changes in Austin, they’re moving to a new location that won’t be ready until 2019.  So sad!

Actual image of me walking through Austin

The Austin location is the 3rd location in the franchise (after Houston and Dallas) but is certainly my favorite. Combine equal parts next-level beer selection with the “Keep Austin Weird” vibe to create a vibrant and intoxicating (see what I did there?) atmosphere that draws me in like cheap metal to the world’s strongest magnet.

Here are some highlights from the menu in the Bee Cave location, just about 20 minutes from Austin (Oh, Bee Cave … said in your best Austin Powers voice):


  • Kasteel Cuvee du Chateau
  • Chimay White
  • Maredsous #8 Brune
  • Gulden Draak 9000
  • And tons of rotators … so there’s always something new.
Yeah … they have swag, too


  • Einbecker Lager
  • Ayinger Celebrator
  • Kostritzer Schwarzbier
  • Deschutes Obsidian Stout
  • Julius Echter Hefe
  • Bavik Petrus
  • Piraat
  • Rochefort 10
  • Westmalle Dubble
  • … you got the picture
It’s kinda hard to describe, but this place has a very special feel to it. Anyone out there been? Help me out and describe what it’s like in the comments below. And I’ll see you there on my next trip to Austin (or anywhere else in Texas … or even in New York City!) Pro tip … Ginger Man Austin is a great place to go either before or after you go see the Spazmatics at the Cedar Street Courtyard. If you were alive in the 80s, this is an absolute must!!
Tune in again next Tuesday to see what we feature from either Baton Rouge, LA or Athens, GA. That’s right #13 LSU hosts the #2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Thanks for reading … and make sure to share this with your UT friends!
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Ohio State – Four String Brewing Company. (About a dozen breweries just south of campus.)

Penn State jumped out to a huge lead. And then OSU fought back to take a lead. And then Penn State surged to another big lead. And then OSU came back again. This was a phenomenal matchup between two heavyweights, and the Buckeyes eventually came out on top. And that means that we’re heading to Columbus, Ohio to highlight a brewery for this week’s #TuesdayBrewsday.

Now, to be fair, I can only highlight one place. And it’s easier to find one highlight in some cities than it is in Columbus. There are about a dozen breweries just south of the OSU campus. (Insert joke here about needing to drink to survive living near Cleveland.) Out of all the choices, we’ve decided to focus on a place that advertises a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. World, I introduce you to Four String Brewing Company.

Some places may advertise that they have a certain vibe or feel, but they don’t deliver on what they espouse. And then there’s Four String … and there is so much to this name. Pop quiz: how many strings are on a bass guitar? If you said four, gold star for you. Pop quiz, part 2: how many ingredients are the bass of every beer? Again, gold stars if you said four (water, hops, barley, yeast.) The owner/founder has been a bass guitarist for several Columbus-area bands. Bass guitarist … four ingredients … four strings on a bass … Four Strings Brewing Company. I love it!

And oh yeah, they have beer too. A pilsner, a few versions of IPAs, a wheat, a vanilla porter (yes sweet taproom, and yeah – their tap handles look like the neck of a bass guitar. This place has coolness oozing out of every corner. Kudos to you, Four String. (And they do contract brewing too. Is it time to create a BabyGot-Beer???)
please). Variety, quality, rock-star mentality, close to campus,

For next week, we’re kinda required to go to the Red River Rivalry, right? #19 Texas visits #7 Oklahoma Saturday at noon on Fox. We’ll be back next week in either Austin or Norman! Let us know which game we should highlight for week 7.

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Back again for our 4th installment, this time highlighting a great game from the FCS’ Southern Conference. The Chattanooga Mocs (I guess they’re not the Moccasins anymore?) jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead and held on for dear life, escaping with a 27-20 conference win over the Samford Bulldogs.

That win means we head just across the border into Tennessee for this week’s Tuesday Brewsday feature. OddStory Brewing Company is a relatively new brewery, begun by a man and his father who share a love of beer. They admittedly began this new venture with essentially no knowledge of how to brew beer … but they certainly have learned. Brewery school + internship at Harpoon + experimentation + a love for the craft = really good beer and in a very wide variety. They also have the intro to what sounds like a very cool story about the history of the city which led to the name of the brewery.

“Under the streets of Chattanooga lies the odd level of a city long ago claimed by the wild and untamed waters of the Tennessee River. Inspired by this mysterious piece of Chattanooga’s history, along with a love for the conversational aspect of beer drinking, OBC came to life and planted its roots on MLK Blvd.”

… and that’s it. I can’t find out more about the story. I’d LOVE to know more though. I guess that means I need to take a trip soon. And while there, I can enjoy some of these (pay attention to the super wide variety):

  • Flagship beers:
    • Golden Blackbird Belgian Blonde
    • Cloud Walker Pale Ale
    • Woven Stone Vienna Lager
    • Monkey’s Heart IPA
  • Seasonals currently on tap:
    • Silent Siren Berliner Weisse
    • Boysenberry Cobbler Sour
    • Steel Jungle Imperial Cherry Limeade Gose (especially notable for having the lowest IBU I’ve ever seen … 2)
    • Barrel-Aged Madman’s Modern Old Ale
    • Ancient Grain Saison
    • Dream Fever Tripel
    • Godfather Death Quadrupel. I love this name.
Intrigue … really cool space downtown … massive variety in the lineup. Color me there.
For next week, we have a titanic matchup coming from the Big-10+1+1+2. An Ohio State University will travel to Happy Valley for what will likely be a White Out game against the Penn State Nittany Lions.  Tune in next Tuesday for our fifth weekly adventure!
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

Scoreless first quarter. And the upset-minded Broncos from Boise scored first to put everyone on edge.

And then that happened. Oklahoma State went on a 34-7 run and then added some more in the 4th quarter for a relatively easy win over a quality opponent. Pokes 44, Broncos 21. And of course that means that we head to Stillwater, Oklahoma for this week’s Tuesday Brewsday brewery feature.

Shout out to Russ who found this gem to be featured this week. Crafting brews for T. Boone Pickens and all of his closest friends in North Central Oklahoma since 2015, Iron Monk Brewing Company offers a nice, wide variety of year-round and seasonal brews. What I appreciate most about them is their sense of humor, apparent throughout the website.

I’m in. Who’s with me?

If you know me, you know that I love when a brewery offers suggested pairings for their beers. Iron Monk offers that, but often with a fun twist:

  • Stilly Wheat (Belgian witbier) is said to pair well with “pizza, greasy cheeseburgers, and OSU* tailgate parties.”
    *Editor’s note – Oklahoma State, for all of you Buckeyes out there. Had it been an Ohio State reference, I would have listed it as tOSU.
  • The Milk Stout (cleverly named “Milk Stout”) apparently works well with bonfires and warm blankets.
  • The Chocolate Habanero Stout is perfect for Valentine’s Day. (They do not know my lovely bride. Habanero anything would NOT be a good choice. Ever.) For me tho … this would be my jam. This sounds amazing!
  • And my personal favorite, Velvet Antler. This amber (which sounds amazingly crushable at only 4%**) pairs well with “beef stroganoff, pool halls, vinyl records, and Pink Floyd tribute shows.”
  • Extra credit on the comedy aspect: I just love the naming convention on their sour, Bright D. Weizensour. Well played. 
** I wonder how many calories a pint of Velvet Amber would be. Hmmmmm … An estimate is at the end of the post.
Pale, amber, wheat, sour, stout, spicy, and an Imperial IPA weighing in at 10.1% and IBUs over 100 … this place has it all. Food trucks Wednesday-Saturday, live music on the weekends. I think I know where the post-game celebration was this past Saturday!
We’ll be back next Tuesday, highlighting another brewery. This week, we’re going to bring in some FCS schools to duke it out. At 7pm Saturday night, the Samford Bulldogs travel to Finley Stadium to take on the Chattanooga Mocs. Birmingham or Chattanooga? So many great places to choose from …
Oh, and a pint of Velvet Antler would have roughly 160 calories. Remember the formula?
(ABV) x (# ounces) x 2.5
Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington

It’s time for our second weekly installment of Tuesday Brewsday, this time based on the USC-Stanford matchup from this past Saturday. Since USC decided that scoring was optional, Stanford cruised to what amounts to a snooze-fest 17-3 victory. So, let’s head to Palo Alto for this week’s featured beer scene.

There are several breweries in the greater area, including one of our favorites (21st Amendment.) But I’d like to stay a little closer to campus – so we’re going to focus on Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company. At first glance, they have a nice selection and really solid variety. I mean, their year-round beers include a Hefe, Scotch ale, amber, rye IPA, blonde, and a kölsch. (And seriously, the Full Boar Scotch Ale sounds stupid good.) This blogger personally loves seeing diversification like this, instead of a brewery going all in on IPAs, sours, or any one style. Show some creativity and diversity – offer something for a broader spectrum of tastes!

And that’s not even to mention the seasonals that are available right now. Barrel of Monkeys Barleywine … a Bourbon Cherry Stout … and a Coconut Porter. So, I’m ready to give the thumbs-up on this place until I saw …  this barrel-aged series. Yes, please. I am a sucker for some barrel-aged beers, but these descriptions? I’m just straight copying their language … and I want all of these. All of them:

This. I need this in my life.
  • VSAA (Very Special Amber Ale). Our amber ale aged in cognac barrels with Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla
  • Cherry Lambic. Belgian-style lambic with West Coast cherries aged over one year in cabernet barrels
  • Imperial Stout. Imperial stout aged for six months in bourbon barrels
  • Bière Brut. Sparkling Ale aged for sixteen months in cabernet barrels
  • S.O.S. (Scotch Ale.) A blend of our Full Boar Scotch Ale aged for nine months in Scotch Whisky barrels
  • Divine Provisions. Amber ale aged with cherries in bourbon barrels. Collaboration brew with John Fearless Craft Hops & Provisions.

And everything I read says that it’s all about the vibe. Friday nights feature happy hour specials, food trucks, and live music. Sounds like a triple threat winner to me! To top it off (top it off … more beer in the glass … see what I did there?) I keep reading comment after comment about the staff being friendly and open to talking about their beer. I LOVE that in a brewery! And no, before you say it, it’s NOT true everywhere you go. To wit, we were recently in Chicago visiting a well-known brewery with several friends. While agonizing over the menu, trying to choose 4 beers for the flight from an extensive menu, our ‘kind’ server said, “Why are you spending so much time? It’s just beer.” It’s just beer? No – it’s not. Shame on you! It’s much more than that. But that diatribe is for another post.

For now, I’ll say that your next trip to the greater Palo Alto area should include a stop at Devil’s Canyon … hopefully on a Friday night. And if they have any special barrel-aged releases, be sure to grab one for your favorite beer blogger. And one for me too.

Tune back in next week as we find beer near the winner as the #17 Boise State Broncos travel to Stillwater to take on the #24 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Cheers!

Mike Pennington by Mike Pennington