The Brick Store Pub Turns 20

OK.  I’m just going to say a couple of things really quick, so I don’t get too emotional.  🙂

  1. The Brick Store Pub is turning 20 this weekend and holding a big party with 20 custom-made beers to celebrate with their closest 100s of fans.  If you have one of the Golden Tickets, I’ll see you there.
  2. The Brick Store is one of the top “Beer Destinations” IN THE WORLD.  According to Rate Beer, it’s #9 in the world and #1 in the U.S.
  3. The Brick Store’s influence on the beer scene in Georgia is hard to understate.  You can read all about it in this great Atlanta Magazine article in celebration of their 20th year.
  4. The Brick Store has been an integral player in Decatur’s growth over the last two decades and many visitors’ introduction to our city.  (I speak from first-hand experience on this one)

Congratulations BSP!  Here’s to the next 20!

Brick Store Founders Opening Brewpub in Duluth


The Brick Store boys are getting into the brewing business!

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported late last week that Brick Store Pub founders, Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher and Tom Moore, plan to open a 7,500 brewpub called “Good Word Brew Pub” in a large redevelopment project named “Parson’s Alley” in downtown Duluth.

I followed up with co-owner Dave Blanchard yesterday about whether the Good Word beers might ever make their way to Decatur.  It seems a bit early to predict anything like that, but he left the door open to the possibility. ” I suspect we will, but too early to tell. Hopefully we are so busy there that we just supply the brewpub.”, he replied.

The ABC article also notes that the owners of Decatur’s Taiyo Ramen + Drinks (formerly “Makan”) also plans to open a Korean steakhouse and oyster bar at Parsons Alley.

With Eddie Owen having opened the Red Clay Theater in Duluth a few years back, and now this move by the the BSP owners, it makes you wonder “Is Duluth is the new Decatur?”

Photo courtesy of ABC

Both Decatur Beer Festival and Brick Store Make “10 Best” Beer Lists


UPDATE: Hey!  Also Atlanta ranked #10 for Best Beer Scene in the country.

Both the Decatur Beer Festival and Decatur’s Brick Store Pub picked up suds-erific honors today with the release of USA Today’s 10Best lists for “Best Beer Festival” and “Best Beer Bar” winners, as picked by readers.

The Decatur Beer Fest ranked #10 on the beer festival list, which fell out like this…

  1. Great American Beer Festival – Denver
  2. Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival – Atlantic City
  3. Great Taste of the Midwest – Madison, Wis.
  4. Field of Beers – Jupiter, Fla.
  5. BrewMasters Craft Beer Festival – Galveston, Texas
  6. North American Belgian Beer Festival – Westland, Mich.
  7. Tailspin Ale Fest – Louisville
  8. Belgium Comes to Cooperstown – Cooperstown, N.Y.
  9. Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers – Chicago
  10. Decatur Craft Beer Festival – Decatur, Ga.

And the Brick Store ranked #9 on the beer bar list…

  1. Mekong Restaurant – Richmond, Va.
  2. HopCat – Grand Rapids, Mich.
  3. Cloverleaf Tavern – Caldwell, N.J.
  4. The J. Clyde – Birmingham, Ala.
  5. The Birch – Norfolk, Va.
  6. The Bier Stein – Eugene, Ore.
  7. Thirsty Monk – Asheville, N.C.
  8. Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar – Chicago
  9. Brick Store Pub – Decatur, Ga.
  10. Max’s Taphouse – Baltimore

Cheers all!

Photo courtesy of DBA

4 Decatur Bars Among Eater’s “Essential” List

pinewood fireworks

Eater just published a map-listicle(?) of the 18 “essential” bars in and around Atlanta.

The list runs the gamut from iconic dive bars like Clermont Lounge and Northside Tavern, to hipster hangs like Holeman & Finch and The Porter, to Atlanta classics like Manuel’s and Atkins Park.

Decatur rounds out the final 4 spots on the list with the following Decatur establishments:

  • The Pinewood
  • Brick Store Pub
  • Leon’s Full Service
  • Kimball House

And not to be the guy who closes his posts with a question in a desperate attempt to drum up conversation, BUT.. “Looking at the breadth of the full list, would you have included other Decatur watering holes on this list??”

Photo courtesy of Pinewood Facebook page

Brick Store Giving $3,000 Towards Georgia “Beer Jobs Bill” Fight

Creative Loafing reports this morning that the Brick Store Pub, along with the Porter Beer Bar, are making sizable contributions this year to help the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild get the “Beer Jobs Bill” passed during the January Legislative session.  Here’s a snippet…

Decatur’s Brick Store Pub feels the same way. In fact, Brick Store co-founder Dave Blanchard tells Creative Loafing that BSP is going to donate $3,000 to the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. The funds come from a handful of private fundraising events held at BSP in recent years.

“We feel a responsibility to continue to push and be industry leaders in all bettering of beer,” Blanchard says. “Whether it’s trying to promote an obscure brand we are excited about or pushing for better beer laws.”

…Blanchard says the Beer Jobs Bill is the most important piece of beer legislation since that landmark ABV bill in 2004. Aside from increasing revenue for Georgia businesses, he says it will attract breweries from other states, and above all, elevate Georgia’s beer culture.

What’s the goal of the so-called “Beer Jobs Bill”?  The GA Beer Jobs website explains…

The Beer Jobs Bill will allow consumers to purchase a pint at a brewery and take beer home from breweries and brewpubs – these changes will help drive jobs, tourism, and economic growth that will allow our state to be more competitive in the national craft beer marketplace. And it will do this in a way that allows our breweries, distributors, and retailers to all benefit from the economic growth it will unleash.

As the map to the right – from the beer jobs website – shows, Georgia is one of only 4 states where breweries can’t sell beer on the premises.  Other states where direct brew sales are illegal?  North Dakota, Mississippi and West Virginia.

Photo courtesy of the Brick Store Pub website

Atlanta Magazine: Decatur Has 4 of Top 10 Bars in Atlanta

UPDATE: OK, so apparently this issue is a couple months old.  Still sorta interesting though!

Kimball House, Brick Store Pub, Paper Plane and Leon’s all placed among the Top 10 bars in Atlanta, according to Atlanta Magazine.

Here’s their full Top 10 list, with the Decatur spots bolded.

  1. Wrecking Bar
  2. Kimball House
  3. Brick Store Pub
  4. Paper Plane
  5. Porter Beer Bar
  6. Manuel’s
  7. The Sound Table
  8. Blind Willie’s
  9. Mary’s
  10. Leon’s Full Service

Decatur’s Mac Magee (#18) and Pinewood (#27) also delivered a strong showing.

As to how they determined the rank, here’s the lowdown…

Each bar could score a maximum of 100 points—up to ten each for setting, food, activities, the mix of people, and service. Up to thirty points for quality and depth of drinks (this is a bars package after all). And finally, up to twenty points for the “X factor”—that ineffable quality that may defy easy description but nevertheless makes the place special. (Clermont, we’re looking at you.)

What do we think?  Seem about right or do you feel an inebriated rant coming on? 🙂

Robin Williams Signed Skateboard Deck Up For Auction To Benefit Skateraid


I noticed the Aladdin’s Genie skaterboard deck when I took this picture of Skateraid’s deck display at the Brick Store a week or so ago, but I didn’t realize that it was an actual Robin Williams signed deck.  I figured maybe it was just a nice quotation.  But apparently it was one of the last things Williams signed before he passed away in August.  (I’ve zoomed in on the deck from my original pic above, which explains the poor resolution.)

The AJC wrote about the deck last Friday, but it’s behind their paywall.  No worries, the Skateraid synopsis just as good…

This one-of-a-kind depiction of Aladdin’s genie, handpainted by artist Cody Gallo on a skateboard deck, was autographed by Robin Williams just a few months before he passed away. A lifelong supporter of children suffering from cancer, this autograph represents one of the actor’s final charitable acts. The piece is currently up for auction along with over 100 pieces of skateboard deck art.

“Aladdin’s Genie” is one of the highlights of the 10th annual SkaterAid festival and art auction benefiting the Brain Tumor Foundation for Children (now the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Georgia Chapter). Gallo and his family have supported and volunteered for SkaterAid since 2005, when the passing of Gallo’s childhood friend inspired the community to create the Decatur, Georgia fundraiser.

Gallo eventually left Decatur to pursue a filmmaking career in Hollywood, where he landed a job on the set of The Crazy Ones starring legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams. Although far from Decatur, Gallo felt drawn to contribute to the SkaterAid art auction for the first time this year. His proximity to Williams famous creative energy and nostalgia for a favorite movie from his childhood inspired Gallo to choose the whimsical genie from Aladdin as the subject of his piece.

Gallo showed the piece to Williams, saying that funds generated from the sale of “Aladdin’s Genie” would be used to help kids and their familes fight childhood cancer. He explained that the SkaterAid festival and art auction have helped raise $165,000 to date for families affected by this deadly disease. When Gallo expressed his hope that this tenth year would be SkaterAid’ most successful yet, Williams immediately offered to autograph the piece.

You can bid on the deck HERE.  Auction price is currently at $2,000.

Don’t forget that Skateraid’s final festival is September 28th from 2-7pm.  Check out all the decks up for auction HERE!

h/t: WENN