Members of the Atlanta Bar-B-Q Club aren’t just connected their shared tastes. These meat-lovers want to know everything about the craft and care put into savory barbecue meals. They satisfy this hunger for knowledge by gathering at a local barbecue joint for monthly “meatings,” communal feasts where barbecue experts give cooking tips. Between the monthly events, members also enjoy discounts at restaurants, including Jim ‘N Nicks and Pit Boss, all easily located thanks to the club-provided map of participating eateries and compass that always points towards the nearest plate of ribs. Members can attend invite-only parties hosted by fellow club members or chefs, tag along on field trips to the National BBQ Festival and other nearby cooking events, or judge dishes at the club’s own barbecue contest.
That Pottery Place Studio’s shelves brim with hundreds of unfinished ceramic pieces, each ready to blossom with a completely unique bouquet of colors and designs. Animal-painted plates sit propped alongside decorative birdbaths, planters, coffee mugs, and owl figurines designed to scare pigeons away from the china hutch. Guests can throw their creativity at these 3D canvases using the studio’s stencils, brushes, sponges, and dozens of glazes. Staff members make the rounds sharing tips on technique and helping sort through idea books with painters during open studio time.
Marcia Langford Perez's brother Gene once owned a small farm in north Florida. Here, each season, he would plant a few vines of rare grapes. When it came time to harvest, he chose his brother Philip as the vintner. This family affair quickly pulled in Marcia and her husband Gerald, who joined in tending the vineyards and making wine. After Gene passed away, Marcia decided to honor his legacy: she opened Wine Workshop and Brew Center, a polished craft store and urban winery dedicated to the art of independent brewing and winemaking.
Today, Marcia and her staff explore the ins and outs of winemaking during in-store classes and slumber parties in the fermentation tanks. They help visitors choose their grape or juice, blend the yeast, and?after a few weeks?collect, bottle, and label the finished wine. They also teach beer brewing in a series of weekly workshops, highlighting the partial-boil process and the uses of hops, yeast, and specialty malts. For those who want to try brewing on their own, the store also supplies ingredients and equipment such as fermentation containers, extract kits, base and specialty grains, and full wine kits from popular producers.