Hannah Hayes goes on a beer run and meets a bubbly crew of craft brew aficionados spurring the city’s stature among quaffers.
Photography by Amy Adair
If you’ve noticed seemingly ordinary men and women asking “What IPA is on tap?” or demanding our president release his homebrew recipe, you’re witnessing a beverage renaissance. While the Golden Ages of Greece, Dutch Art, the American automobile, music videos, Palm Pilots and “fierce” have come and gone, the dawning of the age of better beer is upon us.
While it might sound like another load of hipster malarkey, you don’t need ironic facial hair to get in on the craft craze, nor do you need to live in Portland or Brooklyn.
Savannah’s own craft beer scene continues to blow up, what with the Savannah Brewers League, craft-only bar The Distillery, brew pub Moon River Brewing Company and the annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest—that weeklong extravaganza of barley and hops that just ended this Labor Day weekend. To keep up going yearlong, we now have Brew / Drink / Run, a local blog devoted solely to craft beer and how to burn off all those damn calories embedded in each frosty glass.
“I started to realize that a lot of my peer group seemed to be developing these new passions at the same time, and one of them was homebrewing,” says Lee Heidel, a local web developer and founder of the web site. “With that, we all had friends who were also starting to run, and I was looking for an online project that could unite this overlapping group of friends.”
B / D / R has four main contributors: Lee; Keith Dion, Green Truck’s knowledgeable bartender; UNF professor and artist Raymond Gaddy; and Andrew Valles, retired military and chief runner of the bunch. From reviews of the latest porter from Cigar City Brewing to posts on running shoes and “beer-cations,” the guys at B / D / R are helping connect Savannah to the movement for good beer. Most recently, they interviewed Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales – think the Bruce Springsteen of all that is craft beer.
While B / D / R is a great resource for craft connoisseurs, it’s just as great for any pilsner proselytes who might be a little intimidated by the abundant choices and styles the craft industry has to offer.
“Search out a bar with craft beer, and be honest with the bartender about what you drink and how you’d like to try something different,” Keith advises.
Although finding a bar with Terrapin or Allagash on tap isn’t difficult nowadays, Lee adds, “The spread of craft beer into the mainstream speaks volumes to the growth ofSavannah. Even the run up to the brewfest with all the different events at bars and restaurants has grown.”
If you don’t get a chance to talk shop with the B /D / R guys at the Brew Fest, check out their new podcast featuring taste tests, running tips and other beer banter here.