Dispatch from the Brewery Beat
Reblog from my athensjazz411.com: All I really wanted to do was check out the sounds of JazzChronic, a local fusion group I’d heard only on their site. The gig was tour day at local micro-brewer Terrapin Beer Co. So I asked the van’s navigator, Gertrude, to set a course for 265 Newton Bridge Road, and Pat and I were off to industrial Athens. Terrapin, it turns out, is housed in a big beige building on the left soon after you turn left onto Newton Bridge from Chase Street. The first surprise — should it have been a surprise? — was that they needed someone out front to direct the cars to parking spots, like Six Flags or something. Did anyone say beer? We stood in line with a score or so of twenty-somethings ready to party. We could hear JazzChronic through the wooden fence separating the parking lot from the good-time crowd. For some reason, the ID checker — who “checks everybody” — didn’t check us. Huh. Anyway, we paid the eight bucks apiece for some fancy souvenir glasses and some beer tickets, then headed into the big room — high ceiling, no frills, beer bar at the far end, and really big shiny tanks huddled over to the right. We took the tour. (You should take it, too. The story of the company is well worth a listen.) It turns out that one of my former students is training to be a summer tour guide! And Doug from basketball was there. And one of Pat’s co-workers from Food Services was there. Anyway, we ordered the Golden Ale, which is very nice. And award-winning. Then we headed outside to a large expanse of lawn full of youngsters having fun in the sun. Some guys were serving up delicious barbecue sandwiches at a long fold-up table, and JazzChronic was serving up some high-energy amplified funk-rock-jazz (in that order) from an outdoor stage on the right. We had a blast! JazzChronic will never be featured on XM’s “real” jazz channel. Jazz is only a piece of what they do. They’re all about the beat. So the Terrapin gig seems just right for their sound. The beer tours, by the way, continue today from 5:30 to 7:30.