Dan Vallish has been homebrewing beer as a hobby for more than 20 years. During that time, he often envisioned the perfect place to shop for his supplies. It would have all the specialty grains one could want, an onsite milling facility, and fresh yeast and hops. Ultimately, he made that vision a reality, founding Barley & Vine to be a one-stop shop for beer lovers and beer brewers, complete with a 27-tap growler bar with 26 craft beers and a cider on tap at all times.
Of course, Dan offers more than just disparate beer-brewing supplies. He teaches classes on the subject, or provides cloning kits for beginners, which contain all the ingredients to mimic Irish stouts or American pale ales. He also provides winemaking kits, which produce 6 gallons of fermented libations at a time. He even offers instructions and supplies to make cheese, so that his customers can pair their homemade beverages with the perfect snack.
Once you’ve bellied up to the cozy tasting room’s bar like an urbane, sophisticated cowboy, you’ll be treated to a few flavorful wafts and quaffs of Montaluce's finest 2008 and 2009 red and white wines, fermented from the carefully maintained fruits of its 35-acre vineyard. The 2008 chardonnay massages the nose with aromas of green apples, pear, and lemon zest mixed with smoke, walnut, and honeysuckle. And the 2008 risata (Italian for laughter) will put your palate into hysterics with notes of cherries, raspberries, cranberry, savory herbs, and just the faintest hint of Joker venom. Otherwise, go snorkeling for the dark chocolate notes buried in the oaky, deep violet, kraken-filled deeps of the cabernet sauvignon. Much like wine itself, your experience at Montaluce will be different depending on the exact point in time you partake of it. Gracious guests who arrive for their wine flight Tuesday through Saturday will be treated to a complimentary guided winery tour at 2 p.m. Likewise, Sunday sippers can tune their taste buds to live musical performances on the veranda from noon to 5 p.m.
Since its founding in 1983 in the foothills of Lookout Mountain, Georgia Winery has produced more than 20 fruit-forward small-batch wines. All of them begin life on the winery's 15 acres of vineyards as five varieties of muscadine vines bedded in organic fertilizer. At harvest time, these organic grapes are transferred to a facility where a blend of old-fashioned and new techniques slowly conjures each wine into being. Here, the juices are fermented for up to nine months at low temperatures?a process that preserves the fruit flavors?and then bottled by hand. Guests can get an up-close look at this unique process during winery tours or sample the end product at guided tastings by the sleek, modern bar. Meanwhile, a gift shop stocks each style of wine alongside gourmet foods and chocolates.
"We take the pretentiousness out of the wine experience," promise Gerry Whitson and Marisa Harrer. And the owners of Unparalleled Taste mean it. Instead of upselling overhyped brands, their mission is to simply introduce patrons to good wines.
They do this through intimate wine tastings at in-home private parties, where they pass around wine samples and educate sippers about what they are tasting. Whitson and Harrer also lend their expertise to brides and grooms, helping them select libations for the big day.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
By virtue of its name, Wine & Beer conveys to customers exactly what it sells; but that name doesn?t tell the whole story. Inside, the shop stocks its shelves with red, white, and sparkling wines from small winery's around the globe, as well as more than 100 different kinds of beer. Rather than creating a stack of flash cards during their initial visit, customers can become more familiar with the shop?s inventory simply by attending one of its staff-led tastings. They can also join the Wine & Beer club for exclusive chances to try new arrivals.