One Photo: Old Fourth Distillery, Atlanta

Can I gush for a second? I love that¬†Old Fourth Distillery has brought distilling back to¬†Atlanta. I love the space they’ve built out. And, gosh darnit, I love this photo from my recent visit¬†with them for a¬†Happy Hour interview for Creative Loafing Atlanta. I’m working on a deeper dive into what O4D is¬†up to, and their healthy respect for Atlanta’s distilling history.

Let it be known – the collection of Atlanta distilling artifacts at¬†their distillery is remarkable and easily inspires curiosity of our city’s pre-Prohibition drinking ways. More to come…

Old Fourth Distillery

Four ATL cocktail recipes you need right now

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 4.41.53 PMTime to pimp my work over on Creative Loafing Atlanta – where you can now find recipes for four quite-excellent, surely-iconic Atlanta cocktails… plus a bit of background from the fine barkeeps who created the drinks.¬†These four fine drinks are:

Greg Best’s Southern Cola

Julian Goglia’s Goonies Never Say Die!

Jerry Slater’s Bufala Negra

T. Fable Jeon’s Unsung Hiro

Get the full store HERE—–>¬†(that means click) AND MORE in Creative Loafing‘s Cocktail Issue.¬†

 

 

The Warhorse and all the coffee in Atlanta

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee
Inside the Warhorse

The Atlanta coffee scene is in hyperdrive, especially on the west side. There, in the course of roughly half¬†a mile, you can already hit five dedicated coffee shops (Chattahoochee Coffee Company, Star Provisions, Octane, Urban Grind, and the Warhorse Coffee Joint), plus Amelie’s and ¬†West Egg, who both pay careful attention to their coffee programs. A new Revelator Coffee will be opening right across from Star Provisions¬†later this year (next to Cooks & Soldiers), as will Brash Coffee¬†just over the footbridge. Hot damn, that’s a lot of coffee –¬†nine spots¬†in a half mile stretch? But maybe that’s a good thing – the more good coffee, the more good coffee drinkers?

The west side is not unique in this regard. Nearby, Atlantic Station is set to get a branch of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee.¬†Buckhead now has an Octane outpost in the Atlanta Tech Village, and the new¬†Corso¬†in Buckhead Atlanta (after being a good-coffee desert for years).¬†Ponce City Market, already blessed with Dancing Goats, is also set for¬†a coffee counter from Hugh Acheson, dubbed Spiller Park. Even downtown is making waves, with¬†a new Condesa Coffee outpost, Jittery Joe’s inside the Ritz Carlton, and the recently announced Western & Atlantic (a “members only” coffee shop that will be part of the Switchyards development, in partnership with the folks from Octane) soon to join √Čbr√¨k Coffee Room¬†as good-coffee destinations.

Can Atlanta actually support all these new coffee shops? I certainly hope so, but surely there’s a point where the saturation becomes too much and supply exceeds demand. Then again, maybe not, since Starbucks pioneered the idea of putting in so many locations that they actually increased demand by their mere presence. We shall see.

Meanwhile… on a recent Saturday, I managed to gulp down two coffees, a cortado, and an ice coffee over the course of a few caffeinated hours spanning several shops on the west side. My favorite of the day was the cold-brewed ice coffee. I’m hesitant to tell you this for two reasons. First, I really don’t want to tip off this very special place to the masses (not really a problem – since masses are not heading to Thirsty South to find out where to get their coffee). Second, when I found out where the beans came from to make the ice coffee, my eyes grew wide with¬†surprise.¬†The beans were sourced from a little boutique coffee seller named… Kroger. It wasn’t the source of the beans, though, that made the coffee great¬†– it was the setting. (And, yes, the cold brewed Kroger ice coffee was also delicious).

To find that extra special ¬†ice coffee, my wife and I¬†had to wind our way through the old buildings and walkways of the Goat Farm¬†to locate¬†the Warhorse Coffee Joint. There, David Stewart greeted us kindly,¬†then kept us company before we headed off to snap a few iPhone photos of the ever-picturesque Goat Farm surroundings. While the beans for the ice coffee were¬†a supermarket special, most of the Warhorse’s¬†coffee comes in green, then gets roasted in small batches. But like I said, it’s less about the specifics of the coffee (no espresso served) than it is the feel of the place. This is not a coffee business. This is not really a coffee shop. This is a place, a space, where people happen to meet, and coffee happens to be served, and all sorts of strange and unusual things just might happen. The Warhorse is not in competition with nearby Chattahoochee Coffee Company or Star Provisions – it’s not in any competition at all.

And back to the Warhorse’s setting… to say the Goat Farm Arts Center¬†is special is an understatement. It is¬†one of the driving forces behind Atlanta’s independent arts scene. And it’s just plain cool and soaked in history. As is the Warhorse. The feel of the place is a bit¬†like that of the wondrous library of a crazy uncle – piano at the ready, books a plenty, strange artifacts and contraptions all around, intriguingly mis-matched vintage furniture. ¬†The coffee and tea are on the house. Really. But you’ll gladly tip generously, I’m sure of it. The Warhorse is the kind of place that makes you want to sit and think, to linger, and linger on. Then wander, and wander on. It’s the kind of place that makes you happy to be in Atlanta.

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The Goat Farm Warhorse Coffee

The coffee stand at Star Provisions

Star Provisions Coffee

A cold and cloudy Saturday morning, 9:47AM, and¬†I was looking for duck fat. The main shop at Star Provisions hadn’t yet opened, so I was left out in the cold.¬†Luckily, the little coffee stand tucked off in the corner opens at 8, so I ducked in to grab a cortado. The guy behind the counter, in the vest and the apron and the jaunty cap (is that twill?) said good morning¬†with some sort of foreign accent. Maybe Italy. Maybe not.*

No matter, he made me a perfect cortado, beans roasted by Jittery Joe’s from Athens. I couldn’t help but snap some photos with my iPhone – those Star Provisions folks know how to dress up a place, something like Southern Martha Stewart if Martha Stewart were a whole lot¬†nicer. Bless her heart.

Did I mention it was a damn good cortado?

* UPDATE: It is confirmed. The barista is Enrico. And he is Italian. Grazie Star Provisions.

Star Provisions Atlanta CoffeeStar Provisions Atlanta CoffeeStar Provisions Atlanta CoffeeStar Provisions Atlanta Coffee Star Provisions Atlanta Coffee Star Provisions Atlanta Coffee Star Provisions Atlanta Coffee

Star Provisions Coffee
1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
Hours: 8am – 6pm Monday – Thursday, 8am – 8pm Friday & Saturday

Taproom Coffee, Atlanta

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Here’s the short story – there are three things you need to know about Taproom Coffee in Kirkwood: Jonathan Pascual. Counter Culture Coffee. Craft Beer. That’s it. Go.

Jonathan Pascual Taproom CoffeeOf course, there’s a long version to that story as well. Starting with Jonathan Pascual. He’s the guy who probably most famously helped kick off the rockin’ coffee program at Empire State South a few years back. Earlier this year, he started up Taproom Coffee, and there’s a good chance his smiling face will be there to greet you when you walk in the door. To give you a feel for what Taproom is all about for Jonathan, here are his words from the Kickstarter campaign that helped fund the endeavour:

The Dream: I always wanted to own and run my own place. But I didn’t feel like it should be just another coffee shop. Connecting to people in relationships is very important to me. And no matter how friendly I think I am, sometimes I feel like I just need a little something to grease the wheels of connection. I’ve come to realize that two things frequently (and easily) bring people together: coffee and beer. My dream is that through the medium of these two beverages, Taproom Coffee could provide a comfortable, approachable environment where we facilitate connections. Great coffee, great beer, great memories.

Counter Culture CoffeeSounds good, right? And how ’bout the beans? Jonathan turns to Counter Culture Coffee for the wide range of coffees available as espresso, or pour over, or by the bag to go. They do good stuff. Their mission is to “source, roast, and deliver the most exquisite, freshest coffee in the world,” and even if they’re not quite the very most exquisite in the world, they’re close enough. And just look at all those single origin lots and exotic sources and fancy names and pretty packages – Banko Gotiti, Ollke Birre, Elias Benata, Haru, Idido, Finca Nueva Armenia, Ngunguru… it’s probably a bit overwhelming, and definitely a lot colorful, but¬†Jonathan can help guide you through the flavors and merits of each and every one.

Counter Culture CoffeeI picked up a bag of Aleme Wako (the farmer), Biloya (the village), sundried single ¬†lot, from Kochere (the district), Ethiopia (the country), Africa (the continent), Earth (enough said). I can’t personally fill you in on all the intricacies of how it was grown and harvested and roasted¬†– it probably deserves its own Wikipedia page (OK, this is close enough) – but I can tell you it makes a mean cup of coffee in the morning.

And now the beer? Jonathan’s pride and joy is his “Beerspresso Machine” – an old 4-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine that he gutted in his garage and had converted into a glimpse of beer nirvana. You’ll find a nice mix of local and not-so-local craft beers on tap: the current list includes Eventide Nitro Dry Irish Stout, Monday Night Nerd Alert, Creature Comforts Reclaimed Rye, Smuttynose Noonan Black IPA… on to La Trappe and St. Bernardus and Sierra Nevada.¬†Now the question is just whether you want beer or coffee. Or maybe one of each. Or maybe two.

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IMG_9084Jonathan Pascual Taproom Coffee