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Camp Guide From sports to nature, science, art and more, we’ve listed a variety of camps that will cater to all of your child’s interests — and even teach them a new skill or two!



2019 Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest Guide Suwanee Beer Fest returns to Town Center Park this St. Patrick’s Day weekend and will be serving up more than 300 American craft beer samples, St. Paddy’s festivities, live music, food, vendors and more!



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2019 Cutest Pup in Suwanee Contest Winner

With nearly 50 entries in this year’s Suwanee Magazine Cutest Pup Contest, there were quite a few adorable pups to choose from. But the people have spoken, and Tundra has officially been crowned our 2019 winner!






Business Spotlight:

Aileron Investment Advisors



Restaurant Spotlight:

Bare Bones Steakhouse

Downtown Buford’s premier steakhouse is a 40-year dream fulfilled for owners Buddy and Gale Maughon.

Suwanee’s Aileron Investment Advisors, a comprehensive financial planning firm run by father-daughter team Bill and Cindi Porter, has the tools you need to invest in your future.

78 Making Our Community a Better Place to Live

Local students discuss what they feel would make our community a better place to live, work, and play.

15 Investment Strategies Aileron Investment Advisors discuss advantages and disadvantages of HSAs.

16 VDG Brand-Aid

Veugeler Design Group highlights the process businesses go through when re-evaluating their branding as they consider giving it a good face-lift.

28 Get Fit Challenge Update

Find out how the Get Fit Challenge contestants are progressing and what challenges they’ve faced in their journey so far.

35 Family Matters


in every issue:

Meet the Spudnicks!

Suwanee’s most fashionable pups have graced stages nationwide to help raise money for less fortunate animals.

74 Hope Springs Distillery

Gwinnett County’s first distillery since Prohibition creates small-batch spirits with lots of love.

8 Editor’s Letter 84 The Buzz 90 Sugar Hill City Buzz 92 People & Places 96 Event Calendar

Some easy ways to set healthy screen time limits with your kids.



a note from our managing editor

Spring Has Sprung in Suwanee!

Alicia Carter

Managing Editor

lthough we’re just now entering the early days of spring, summer vacation is already top of mind for many — especially our kiddos, who are probably already counting down the days until school’s out for summer. If we parents have learned anything over the years, it’s that preparation is key, otherwise you’ll be scrambling to secure last-minute plans to keep the kids occupied once the school days are numbered. That’s why our annual Summer Camp Guide is one of the most anticipated of the year. Flip to p. 18 to find a local camp that’s perfect for your young child or busy teenager — from sweet princess camps to crash-courses in coding, as well as those dedicated to the arts, science, sports and more, we’ve compiled a list of camps that will cater to all of your child’s interests, and even teach them a new skill or two! Once the kids are taken care of, it’s time to turn our attention to the adults. Along with our guide to summer camps, this issue also focuses on all things Suwanee Beer Fest — which makes its return to Town Center Park this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Consider our guide on p. 44 the ultimate resource for everything you need to know about the beloved annual craft beer festival. In addition to all the tried-and-true favorites, such as samples of more than 300 American craft beers, St. Paddy’s festivities, live music, and other activities that pair well with beer (cornhole SUMMER CAMP COVER: and Giant Jenga, Members of Suwanee Sports anyone?), the Academy MySport After School fest continues its Program photographed at


BEER FEST GUIDE COVER: Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest Cover photos by Karl Lamb.

Suwanee Sports Academy on February 12th by Karl Lamb.



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legacy of introducing a number of new breweries to festival-goers. And this year is extra special because Suwanee’s new hometown brewery, StillFire Brewing, will make its debut, and Suwanee Beer Fest attendees will be some of the first to taste its handcrafted brews. StillFire is a dream realized for the creators of Suwanee Beer Fest and Suwanee Magazine, and was created in the spirit of saying thank you to the community who has supported them over the years. Read more about StillFire’s story and its highly anticipated opening date on p. 58. We also caught up with the Get Fit Challenge contestants now that we’re more than halfway through the competition to learn more about the progress they’ve made so far. We’ve been fortunate to partner with amazing local trainers and community members to help the Get Fitters reach their health and weight loss goals, and you can read more about their adventures in hot yoga as well as an informative shopping trip at The Fresh Market in Suwanee on p. 28. Follow along on their journey inbetween issues by reading their bi-weekly blog posts online at suwaneemagazine. com. This issue also highlights a number of local businesses that we love. We took a trip to downtown Buford to revisit Bare Bones Steakhouse, p. 69, whose owner, Buddy Maughon, takes the time each morning to hand-cut the steaks to be served later that day in the restaurant. We then traveled to Lilburn to visit Hope Springs Distillery, Gwinnett County’s first distillery since Prohibition, to tastetest the vodka, gin, and absinthe they produce onsite. Read more on p. 74. Finally, we’re excited to announce the winner of our Cutest Pup Contest — one of our most popular contests of the year — on p. 39. We know you’ll fall in love with the winner just like we did.

- Alicia

ANGELA VEUGELER President / Editor-in-Chief RANDALL VEUGELER Vice President and Publisher ALICIA CARTER Managing Editor TAMMY LUNEY Ad Manager



PUBLISHED BY VEUGELER DESIGN GROUP 554 W. Main Street, Suite 200, Buford, GA 30518

For SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES or BACK ISSUE ORDERS, call 678-482-2270. For ADVERTISING INQUIRES, call 678-482-2270, or email

Suwanee Magazine is published bi-monthly by Veugeler Design Group. Opinions expressed by the contributing writers and editors are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or Suwanee Magazine. The publisher will not accept responsibility for submitted materials that are lost or stolen. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. However, the publisher cannot assume responsibility for errors or ommissions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. ©2019 Veugeler Design Group. The editors welcome unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Please email submissions to Alicia Carter at



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suwanee business community news and info.




Suwanee’s Aileron Investment Advisors, a comprehensive financial planning firm run by father-daughter team Bill and Cindi Porter, has the tools you need to invest in your future. BY ALICIA CARTER



AILERON INVESTMENT ADVISORS alking into the Aileron Investment Advisors office is like walking into a good friend’s home. The space is warm and inviting; the conference area’s dark wood accents are lit up by a fire crackling in the fireplace on a particularly cold and windy day. The offices of Bill and Cindi Porter bookend the meeting area, decorated with neatly stacked copies of the books Bill has published over the years, including the most recent, 24 Investment Strategies, which was coauthored by Cindi. The fatherdaughter team offer their clients what they’ve coined as comprehensive financial planning. “We look at someone’s entire financial picture, which I think is what really distinguishes us from other firms,” Cindi says. Cindi Porter (pictured left) cowrote 24 Investment Strategies with her father, Bill Porter.



Suwanee Magazine





Marilyn Maloof (left) says that Cindi is intuitive. “She can read people very well. I feel very secure with Bill and Cindi.”

questions and soak up as much of his knowledge as possible. After a few years, Cindi, now a Certified Financial Planner, began to take on clients. “For the first few years I was in more of a client service role. After I had been entrenched in the business for over five years, I began developing my own clientele.”


Aileron is an alternative to those large institutions that often lack the personalized attention a smaller firm can provide. “I would say that we look to be, for a lot of people, the quarterback, so that there is one person who is making sure all of the puzzle pieces are fitting together,” Cindi says. Those puzzle pieces include 401Ks, tax returns, insurance, properties, and other aspects of a person’s financial identity that are crucial to navigating the waters of investment opportunities. Aileron then takes that information and forms a plan for services such as comprehensive retirement planning, investments such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, as well as life insurance and annuities.


 Dr. Bill Porter, CLU, ChFC, got his start in financial planning in 1971, the same year that Cindi was born. Other than the first year of his career, in which he worked within a company, he has always been independent. This independence afforded Bill and his wife the

opportunity to move to Germany, where they lived for 12 years. When it was time to return stateside, Bill, who is originally from Miami, chose Atlanta to be close to his grandchild. At the time, Cindi was teaching special education in Lawrenceville, and was contemplating taking a year off to have her second child. Bill encouraged Cindi to use that time to obtain necessary licensing and certifications needed in financial planning; to see if it might be something she would enjoy as a career. Cindi was hesitant at first. She had enjoyed being a teacher and did not have any prior experience in the financial industry. Plus, she knew a family business could be tricky. “It felt like someone asking me to be a rocket scientist,” Cindi says. “But I took him up on the offer and quickly found that we enjoyed working together and that I really enjoyed this type of work, I found it gratifying. Bill and Cindi began working together in 2001, and during that time Cindi spent her days shadowing Bill, taking advantage of the unique opportunity to ask

 When Bill returned from Germany in 2001, the company was starting anew, and the primary focus was on retirees and pre-retirees. However, over time Cindi began to notice an interesting pattern as her clientele, while completely unintentional, had grown to be predominantly female. “A large percentage of my clients are single women, whether they are widows, divorcees, or women who have never been married,” Cindi says. “I frequently have widows referred to me. I have found that many feel uncomfortable using the same planner that their husband used. I am often told, ‘I don’t even know what questions to ask, let alone understand what’s being discussed, it’s uncomfortable’. Whereas in our office they have a comfort level of knowing, ‘I don’t have to know it all.’” Those clients don’t have to know it all because Cindi takes very good care of them. “I find that when I sit down with women of all ages, there is a comfort level, not necessarily because I am a woman, but because of the level of care and personal attention,” she says, which again harkens back to the individualized and


extremely thorough service Aileron provides. “I’m not hanging curtains in someone’s home; there’s no room for error. A large number of our clients are retirees. There is no new income coming in — it is what they have accumulated over their working career, again, there is no room for error.”


 If you’re interested in working with a financial planner, Cindi suggests looking for a referral. “A good source can be a friend or family member who has been working with a planner for any length of time,” she says. “The majority of our clients are referred to us by other clients.” She also recommends the CFP® website as another good place to start. “The CFP® website is a great way to search in your area — or even if you were trying to find a financial planner for, say, your mom who lives in Orlando, you could go on to look for a planner in that area. The website provides information on what each planner specializes in so you can be sure it’s a good match.” If you are serious about working with a financial planner who has years of experience, you may want to visit Aileron Investment Advisors. Through comprehensive financial planning, and individualized service, Aileron Investment Advisors has been helping people in Suwanee invest in their future for many years. ■

Securities and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/ SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. MAS and Aileron Investment Advisors are not affiliated entities. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. Insurance and annuity product guarantees are backed by the financial strength and claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.



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My company offers a Health Savings Account, should I be contributing? An HSA is a way to help save for medical expenses and reduce your taxable income. The average healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to pay $363,946 ($537,334 future value) in lifetime Medicare and supplemental insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs.1 Planning for medical expenses, whether now or in retirement is an important part of any financial plan.

ADVANTAGES Triple tax advantage I. Pre-Tax contributions (contributions are tax deductible if made outside an employer plan) II. Interest, dividends and capital gains accumulate tax-free III. You pay no tax on withdrawals for approved medical expenses Investment options You may grow the account using mutual funds, stocks and other investment tools; these have varying degrees of risk, always consult with your financial advisor.

Others can contribute to your HSA Your employer, a relative, etc. No limits on carry-overs If you have money left in your HSA at the end of the year, it rolls over to the next year. It is convenient Most HSAs issue a debit card, so you can pay for your medical expenses right away. Withdrawals After age 65, withdrawals for nonmedical expenses are subject to income tax only, no penalty.

DISADVANTAGES A high-deductible health insurance plan This may be an advantage because the premiums will be lower, however, if you or your family have high medical expenses you will have to satisfy the higher deductible. Contribution limits 2019 limit is $3,500 per person, for a family, the limit is $7,000 (age 55 and over can contribute an additional $1,000)2

Withdrawals Before age 65, account owners face a 20 percent penalty for withdrawals for nonqualified medical expenses as well as being subject to income tax. Talk with your trusted advisor to explore if funding an HSA would make financial sense for you.

2018 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report. 2


Securities and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC (MAS), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. MAS and Aileron Investment Advisors are not affiliated entities. Neither the firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions.

Send your investment questions to: submissions@








very once in a while it’s time for a company to re-evaluate its branding and consider giving it a good face-lift. It could be a simple brand refresh such as changing the logo from all-caps to title-case, or more complex such as a complete redesign. No matter the solution for an updated look, it’s very important and even a necessity for a brand to evolve. However, it’s not something a company should jump into without a lot of thought and planning. One of the most iconic examples of brand evolution is the Google logo. Over the years we have seen the Google logo transform from a serif typeface with 3-D effects to a more sleek and modern design. Staying true to its original design foundation, Google has made subtle changes to expand its look and stay current.

Why Rebrand? Before you make that big leap into rebranding, ask yourself why you are rebranding. Start by dissecting your company from the inside out. Don’t just focus on the look of the logo, but instead review your mission statement and your company internally. Are your values still the same? Have your products or services changed? Are your goals clearly outlined and communicated? Once you have a strong handle on what the internal reasons are for a rebrand you can then start looking at the external factors.


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Consider External Factors Technology, social media, change in consumer needs, cultural climate and competition are a few external factors that a business needs to take into consideration when updating its brand. Technology and social media have changed the way we look at branding and advertising. People can now get their information and reach a vast audience much faster with simply the click of a button. In the midst of all these changes, it’s crucial to stay relevant and not get lost in all the noise. You also don’t want to lose out to your competition. There will always be competition, but during the rebranding process, remember to stay true to your mission statement and focus on what makes your company unique and stand out. Throughout this process you may develop and use new ways of marketing and innovative designs that give you that extra edge.


VDG Designer Spotlight: Shay Harbaugh Reconsider Your Target Audience Paying attention to the cultural climate around you and listening to your customers also play a role in restructuring your brand identity. Your audience and your relationship with your customers can change. Take the time to research and identify your customers’ needs. It’s during this research that you may want to change your target audience and focus on a different demographic.

Be Consistent A strong brand is consistent and cohesive. That consistency helps build integrity and trust with your clients and customers. Which is why rebranding is something you shouldn’t just jump into. Don’t keep your rebranding a secret — during the rebranding process make sure you are transparent with your existing customers. Be sure to have a strong strategy in place so there will be less cause for concern. This will help maintain a strong relationship with your current customers.

Change is hard and not everyone accepts it. There will always be questions and that’s why it’s important to know that not all rebrands are successful. This is why it’s imperative to reflect on why your business might need to rebrand. Don’t just make a change because you are tired of the look, but instead take the time to research and really think about the long-term effects. The ultimate goal of rebranding is to not stay “hip and trendy” or change things up because you’re bored, but instead to keep your current customers, attract new ones, increase your business and grow your revenue. If you are considering a rebrand make sure to work with a talented marketing team who sees your vision and understands your business' needs and goals. 

Veugeler Design Group’s beloved Junior Art Director — and mama-tobe! — Shay Harbaugh, who originally hails from Caruthersville, Missouri, received her BFA from Murray State University in Kentucky. Shay moved to Atlanta in 2010 and joined the VDG team two years later, where she brings creative and innovative ideas to each project, coordinates team building events, and manages the team’s Instagram account, among many other tasks. “Working at VDG has given me so many opportunities to grow and challenge myself as a designer,” she says. “Our design team is like a well-oiled machine, and we all work very well together and help support one another. It’s overall just a fun and exciting work environment, and I like the sense of family and community.”

Why did you pursue a career in design? I’ve always had an interest in art. I would take private art lessons, and from a young age, I would always try to create something every day. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I discovered graphic design. It was the first time the class had ever been offered and I fell in love. Something just clicked and I knew that design was something I wanted to pursue.

What are your favorite types of projects to work on? I feel like I don’t have a favorite project. It’s more about being challenged, and each new project brings a different challenge. I think every project gives me the opportunity to learn something new and keeps me on my toes.

Is there a memorable project you’ve worked on for VDG? One of the most memorable things I worked on was a huge rebranding project a few years ago. The organization wanted not only a completely new look, but a new name as well. I was part of a small team that helped with a

focus group to work on the new name. Once the name was finalized we started the logo design and rebranding process. I was chosen to create a presentation and present the final logo options to the clients. This project was very early on in my career at VDG. To be trusted with not only the creation of the name and logo but to be put in charge of the presentation was very humbling and exciting.

What inspires you? What inspires me the most is my fear of failure and my passion for design. I do believe there are things you can learn from failure, but that fear drives me not only in my career but creatively. My passion for design is a driving force to learn new things and constantly grow and take creative risks. I’m also inspired by the amazing design communities out there such as AIGA and MODA. I love attending workshops and lectures because I take away so much. After attending an event I always feel refreshed and ready to tackle any design challenge. ■



Consider our annual Summer Camp Guide as your handy local resource for keeping the kids happy and occupied during summer vacation. From sports camps to nature, science, art camps and more, we’ve listed a variety of camps that will cater to all of your child’s interests — and even teach them a new skill or two! So here’s to summer — and to making memories that’ll last a lifetime. 18


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770.243.2275 I

770.945.3424 I


YOUR CHILD WILL FLIP OVER GGA SUMMER CAMP Open to boys and girls ages 4 to 13. Camp will run Tuesday, May 28th through Friday, August 2nd (closed the week of July 4th). The GGA camp experience includes structured gymnastics instruction and recreational games and activities. Half-day and full-day sessions are available.

Summertime at GAC holds so much potential! From day camp to specialty camps, GAC offers something for every camper from the age of 5 to 18. Join us June 3 - July 26. 1575 Indian Trail Rd., Norcross, GA 30093. To find out more and register visit



Super Kids Social Camp: Campers will engage in activities and games to help increase pragmatic/social skills including turn taking, initiating conversations, topic maintenance, asking/answering questions, providing information, and the art of conversation. Let's Explore! Lego Camp: Campers will use Legos and their imaginations while following directions, sequencing, socializing, and so much more. Ages 5-10 years. Zen Friends Dance & Yoga Camp: Campers will get their energy out learning dance moves and engaging in activities with music, followed by a relaxing yoga experience to calm them down. Ages 4-10 years. Please visit our website for camp dates. $100/child. Limited spots available.

SUMMER CAMP ROCKS AT ADRENALINE CLIMBING! Age-appropriate outdoor adventures! Ages 7-13. Each one-week program is jam-packed with field trips.

800.484.2664 I NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SUMMER TECH PROGRAM Full and half-day tech programs available for ages 7-16. Since 2014 over 8,000 students have experienced Kids 4 Coding summer tech camps where kids can learn to code games, build and code robots, drones, websites, mobile apps and more! Instructors are computer science & engineering majors recruited from top universities like GA Tech and UGA. Program managers are state-certified teachers.


Rates as $ low as


PRINCESS CAMPS & MUSICAL THEATER She’ll twirl, giggle, sing, dance, and sparkle in our Enchanted Princess Adventures camps. PLUS: Lights! Costumes! Action! Create costumes and sets and perform scenes from Madagascar, Little Mermaid, or Hair, Grease, and Hair Spray in our Musical Theater Performance Workshops.


678.541.5254 I

ULTIMATE SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCE Legacy MMA Adventure Summer Camp is the fun your child’s been looking for this summer and the peace of mind you’ve been seeking. Your child will get to participate in sports, arts & crafts, optional martial arts, group games, and unique and exciting field trips every day of the week! These trips include skating, movie theaters, arcades, laser tag, SkyZone, World of Coca Cola, Fernbank, and LegoLand... just to name a few. Rates as low as $99/week. Two convenient locations in Buford and Suwanee. Register now at or call for more info! 19



IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A VETERINARIAN, TIGER TAILS HAS THE WORKSHOP FOR YOU! Visit the Future Veterinarians Workshop to interact in an animal hospital setting and learn more about animal science. Dive in, dig deeper and learn more about what it takes to become a Veterinarian. For more information please email


MYSPORT SUMMER CAMPS! Join the Suwanee Sports Academy for our MySport summer camps! Each week kids have an opportunity to experience a variety of sports and activities in a fun and safe environment - with nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor air-conditioned space to play!



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770.667.9443 I

X-TREME SCIENCE & STEM CAMP Grouped by ages for grades 1-6, campers will explore: robotics, chemical reactions, fossils, rockets, virtual reality, engineering games, stop motion animation, forensics, real eyeballs, optical illusions, space, geysers, tech lab, and more!


FUN! IMAGINATION! CREATIVITY! Math and science bootcamp with reading that will get kids to the next level! Kids will explore science escapades, LegoTM robotics, creative ink and art and design enhancing their math, science and reading skills. Field trips, t-shirts and more! May 28 - July 26 for ages 5 to 13. 9am-4pm daily with before and after care available. Weekly cost: $199 (full day) and $139 (half day).



TO MARS AND BEYOND VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Join Ephipany Lutheran Church June 24-June 28 from 9am-noon for “To Mars and Beyond” VBS. Explore where God’s Power can take you! VBS is for children ages 3-5th grade. T-shirt, games, crafts, snacks, science, music and more. Register at

678.714.7454 I

GWINNETT'S BEST INDOOR MULTI-SPORTS CAMP! Youth Indoor multi-sports camp kicks off on May 29th. Your child maybe a superstar soccer player or a recreational whiffleballer, we cover all ability levels and wrap it up in an action packed, fun-filled day. Cost - $175 (field trip included) Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm *Extended hours $25 more (7:30am-6:30pm) Ages: 5-13.

800.968.4332 678.493.5651 I


Unmask your child’s creativity this summer in the all-new Camp Invention program, Supercharged™, where children transform their wild imaginations into epic creations. Campers in grades K-6 will code robots and use collaboration and creative problem solving during hands-on, STEM activities. Visit or call 800-968-4332 to register. Use promo code INNOVATE25L to save $25 (expires 3/22) or PLAY15LISTING to save $15 (expires 5/10). ®

ATLANTA'S BEST SUMMER SCIENCE & ART CAMPS Club SciKidz- Atlanta's best summer science and art camps, offers over 60 STEM and STEAM camps including: Veterinary Medicine, Coding, Food Truck Culinary Science, Video Gaming, Robotics, Drones, 3d Printing, Minecraft, Special Effects, Stop Motion Animation, Harry Potter, American Girl, Oceanography, Geology, and many more! Give the gift of a science camp!

678-878-2818 678.908.0023 I


Summer enrichment and hands-on activities by certified teachers! 3555 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road #402.

404.934.0976 I



Offering summer, multi-sport, morning camps, as well as summer evening leagues, i9 Sports focuses on FUN! i9 Sports will exceed your expectations by providing convenient, organized, safe sporting opportunities in a friendly atmosphere that teaches sportsmanship and increases self-esteem. Camps, Leagues, & Clinics offered throughout Gwinnett County! Save $10, Promo Code: SUWMAG19.

Unleash your 6-12 year old child’s creative imagination this summer at one of the North Gwinnett Arts Association’s week long art workshops. Children will learn a variety of artforms using clay, natural materials, paints, sketching and much more. Not your average workshop, children will be challenged to explore their inner artist in a gallery classroom setting, concluding with an exhibition reception in the NGAA Main Gallery. For more information please visit our website at

706.862.2231 I

HORSE LOVERS’ PARADISE SINCE 1954 A’top Lookout Mountain ages 8-17, 1-8 weeks, 600 acres, English, Western Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. CHA instructors teach beginner to advanced riders. Spend 4-6 hours daily with your OWN camp horse. The Jones family are third generation horse lovers, camp administrators, and equine educators making girls’ dreams come true! 23



Join Eye Candy Art Studio for their summer Art Camp for a fun exploration through different art mediums, such as clay sculpture, glass fusion, tie-dye, canvas & pottery painting, and much more! Located in Historic Downtown Duluth. Perfect for ages 6+, $190/week or $45/day. Monday-Friday 10am-2pm. Free Eye Candy shirt with full week enrollment.


CAMP IMAGINATION STATION The Hudgens Center offers a specialized summer camp program for children 4-8 years. Camp Imagination Station offers fun and enriching activities, including: Weekly Field Trips, Water Play, Atelier – Art Studio, Dramatic Play Village, STEAM Warehouse, and Multi-Media Lab. Camp is held May through July. Weekly enrollments are accepted. Call them today!

770.847.7710 I

FROM CODING TO MINECRAFT TO ROBLOX & ROBOTICS, CODE NINJAS HAS SOMETHING FOR YOU! Code Ninjas has added 6 new summer camps for kids 7-14. The current camp line includes Minecraft, Roblox, Game building, Website building, Beginning Javascript, and Competitive Hacking camp. Full day and half day camps available. Locations in Hamilton Mill and Suwanee.

770.536.1900 I 999 Chestnut St. SE #11, Gainesville INK has been a mainstay in the community for 16 years, as a venue for children, their families and educators to play, learn, imagine and grow in a safe “neighborhood” environment. Through play, children are motivated to learn and develop life skills that will shape the adults they will become. Children of all ages, abilities and experiences can develop their full potential through exciting, hands-on learning. New exhibits include a revamped bank experience presented by Pinnacle Bank and a nod to manufacturing and HR with ZF Industries. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm, and Sunday 1:00-5:00 pm. Admission is $9.00 (including tax) per person Monday – Saturday & $6.00 (plus tax) per person on Sundays. 24


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your health,

wellness and happiness









he past two months have been busy for our Get Fit Challenge contestants. In addition to working out multiple times a week with their trainers, they have also committed to group activities, such as a nutrition class and shopping trip with resident whole food health coach Stephanie Wolfe, as well as a hot yoga class at Alkaline Wellness Center. Now that we’ve passed the midway point, it’s time to check in with the contestants to track their progress. Not only are we blown away by the dedication each contestant has shown, we are also impressed by their weight loss — so far, the contestants have lost a combined total of more than 60 pounds and 6% body fat! We’re excited by the progress they’ve made so far and we can’t wait to see the final numbers when the challenge ends in March.



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Brian Mutzberg works out in a high-intensity class at Crux Fitness.




on track with my meal plan. I have never been on as strict a plan as I am currently on.


My biggest accomplishment follows along with my biggest challenge in that I have been able to stay on the strict meal plan. I have never been able to keep a journal of my foods or keep to a specific plan in the past. I have always modified my diet to fit my lifestyle and what I wanted the diet to be. Now I see that I have to modify my lifestyle to work with the meal plan in order for it to have the greatest impact.









STARTING BODY FAT PERCENTAGE:....... 50.2% Jennifer, who works out at No Excuses CrossFit, can already deadlift 250 pounds!




my body past the point of giving up, right when I think I can't do anymore my adrenaline kicks in and keeps me pushing.


Showing my daughter the exercises and also lifting a max of 250 pounds on a deadlift! Never thought that was possible!

“Every sore muscle and drop of sweat is well worth the feeling I get when I notice my clothing getting loose. I’m looking forward to needing a new wardrobe!”  BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Trying to balance everything. I have gained a lot of

With the help of Physique Refinements, Michelle has already lost more than 20 pounds.

respect for people who have made living healthy their way of life. For several years I bought my breakfast at a fast food restaurant on the way to work and stopped again to pick up dinner several nights a week because it was so quick and easy. Now I am prepping almost all of my meals. When I went shopping I grabbed whatever I felt like eating without reading the labels. Now my trips take much longer and I am finding out that lots of things that I thought were “diet” foods weren’t really good choices. Changing my thoughts about food, finding quality foods to eat, and finding delicious ways to prepare these foods has been time-consuming and truly daunting at times. Couple that with fitting in a new workout routine into my already hectic week... it can be overwhelming.

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Wearing a pair of jeans that I haven’t been able to wear in a couple years. I have already had so many “wins,” but this one felt the best. I didn’t think that they would actually fit; I just tried them on to try to help me judge my progress. I was amazed when I put them on and they easily fit! That was a great morning! Every sore muscle and drop of sweat is well worth the feeling I get when I notice my clothing getting loose. I’m looking forward to needing a new wardrobe!




Suwanee Magazine



NOV / DEC 18



On January 8, the Get Fit team gathered at Suwanee Magazine HQ for a nutrition class led by whole food health coach Stephanie Wolfe, Gwinnett County’s only National BoardCertified Health and Wellness Coach. Stephanie met with the contestants to talk about how they can adjust their approach to nutrition in order to live the healthiest life possible. “You are what you eat, so don’t be cheap, easy, or fake!” she says. Stephanie led the contestants through a class designed to teach them how to make responsible decisions related to their diet, such as cutting out all processed foods and incorporating more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. She explained how to read labels as well as correct portion sizes. Each contestant left with the knowledge to take control of their diets, because even though working out is essential, abs truly are made in the kitchen.


Stephanie met the Get Fit contestants at The Fresh Market Suwanee on Jan. 22 to help show them what foods to look for when grocery shopping for the week. She guided the group around the perimeter of the supermarket as well as the aisles, giving tips to the contestants on healthy foods to try and why it’s so important to look for certain ingredients in foods. Stephanie shared about foods that are wonderful fuel

for your body and the healthiest ingredients to look for, as well as the types of foods and ingredients that are best avoided. She also gave suggestions on tasty, nutritious recipes. The Fresh Market Suwanee generously donated $100 gift cards to each contestant so that they could stock their kitchens with healthy foods.


We decided to take a break from lifting weights for a 75-minute hot yoga class at Alkaline Wellness Center in Suwanee on Feb. 5. The “Hot 75” class features 40 postures created to get you toned, flexible, and healthy by working your entire body. When the Suwanee Magazine team and Get Fit contestants arrived at Alkaline Wellness, we weren’t sure what to expect. Although some of us had tried yoga in the past, none of us had experienced a hot yoga class. When we walked into the studio, the instructor had already prepared mats for each of the contestants. And at that time, the temperature in the room was manageable. But as the class began and we started moving through the different postures, they turned up the heat, and soon the room was 105 degrees! We were told we’d sweat, but we weren’t prepared for the amount of sweat that came out of our bodies as we literally sweated out toxins hiding deep inside. The class was difficult, but we got an amazing workout and truly felt great by the end (and many of us commented on how well we slept that night). Thank you to Alkaline Wellness for letting us crash the class — we’ll be back!

Nutrition 101 By Stephanie Wolfe

Feeding your body well doesn’t have to be such a challenge. That’s why I offer “Smart Shopping” trips to answer the most frequently misunderstood concepts. I even provide recipes to get my clients off to a healthy start as they go home from the grocery store. I love to teach folks how easy it can be to avoid nutritionrelated diseases, improve learning and behavior, control weight, increase energy levels, prepare healthy snacks, and make great meals that your body will love as much as your taste buds do! I love food, and there is no reason not to love it, as long as you understand what is in it and where to find the best sources of fuel for the body systems you depend on every day. So many people let the aisles and aisles of choices at the grocery store intimidate them. They stare at the produce and think it will take hours to prep or don’t even know what they would use it for, or they are mesmerized by the wall of yogurt or eggs wondering what is best! The Get Fitters can now shop with confidence after discovering some of the secrets to identifying healthy foods and what to do with them. I believe they went home from the store more set up for success. My motto is “Work with me if you’d rather Die of Old Age!”


Living foods are what I call “Go Foods.” To fit this category they need to be: 1) Grown, not manufactured. 2) Colorful like the colors in the rainbow. 3) Can be eaten raw. (Not that you must eat them raw, but you must be able to eat them raw.) These living foods help you to live long and strong. Natural immune boosters, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytonutrients are just a few of the good reasons to eat living foods.


These are the opposite of Living Food. I call them “Slow Down” foods and you want to focus on quality and quantity here. Also, the front of any box, bag, jar or can is nothing but advertisement so turn off the marketing manipulation and look at the ingredients first (the nutrition info second, but most do not realize the myths hidden here). You are looking for 10 ingredients or less, no High Fructose Corn Syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients or colors — ingredients you can pronounce and would eat alone. Be sure you know that there are more than 30 names for sugar — this way the manufacturer doesn’t have to claim sugar as the first ingredient, therefore highest content in the container.

Check out my classes at Sugar Hill E Center or at

STEPHANIE WOLFE Stephanie Wolfe, NBC-HWC, is Gwinnett County’s only National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She holds credentials from the National Board of Medical Examiners, and is a Master Certified Health Coach with Dr. William Sears, MD. Her advanced training, professional resources and personal experience have proven successful in assisting her clients to correct health issues, reach weight goals, and optimize wellness at any age or fitness level.



Erikka Chambers is already down 1.3% body fat.


STARTING BODY FAT PERCENTAGE:....... 49.5% Stephanie Evans is making herself a priority in what she calls “Project Stephanie.”




Accepting the fact that I am worth the time and commitment to become the best version of Stephanie. This includes feeling guilty with making myself a top priority on my own priority list.

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Being honest with myself and identifying how I got to this point of being an unhealthy weight and working hard to make permanent changes. And not giving up on really hard days or tough moments.


Terry Gross is working hard to make his health a priority with the help of No Excuses CrossFit.






Eating enough protein along with eating several small meals throughout the day. I was used to eating three meals a day. I was not really a snacker so this change was challenging.

 BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Sticking to workouts four times a week. If I have plans after work on a day that falls between Monday-Thursday, I make up the workout on Friday.





Follow along with the Get Fit Challenge online at, Suwanee Magazine’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and via #suwaneegetfit.


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19


Juggling life with everything going on right now. I know that normal exercise is crucial to get and stay fit and have a good, healthy lifestyle, but busyness gets in the way of that sometimes. Trying to schedule days in the gym and move my family to another town and keep everything up to par at work is a tough thing to juggle. Scheduling issues have been the biggest challenge for me. I was not planning on moving when signing up for this challenge, but it is called a challenge and that is exactly what it is doing for me right now in life!


gym and getting over being sore from not using muscles I haven't used in a while. Being a little sore after the gym is a good thing (I think?!) and knowing that it was from a great workout rather than it being too long since you have been in the gym is a little sweeter. Making something a habit is a very difficult thing sometimes, but making the gym a habit is a great feeling both mentally and physically!



By Laura Lebovitz, LMFT, Grow Counseling

Setting Healthy Screen Time Limits If you’re struggling to find the right balance, here are some easy ways to set healthy limits with your kids. ne of the biggest struggles parents face now is how to set healthy limits around their kid’s screen time. In the past, you only had to monitor how much your kids watched TV. Now smartphones and other handheld devices make the screen time possibilities practically limitless. It can be easy for parents to feel overwhelmed around screen time and like they need to cut out screens entirely. However, screen time can be really beneficial for kids within certain limits. Studies have shown that electronic devices give kids easier access to academics, help them feel closer to their peers, and even improve hand-eye coordination.

Know the guidelines

Establish a good nighttime routine

The American Association of Pediatrics recommends that two-year-olds to five-year-olds should have no more than one hour of screen time a day. After five years, it is okay for kids to spend two hours a day with screens. Teens are not mature enough to be able to handle free reign with their electronics, so the AAP recommends close monitoring for overuse and dependence. Have open, honest conversations with your teens about what sites they are using and do some research on your own to make sure that you are okay with that media. Once you set these limits, try to stick to them as much as possible and encourage others in your kid’s lives to do so as well! There are also many programs, like Circle With Disney, that can help you monitor and control your kid’s Internet use. You can even check with your phone or Internet provider to see what type of monitoring services they offer.

Screen time before and around bedtime has been shown to interfere with sleep quality. Restrict the use of all screens at least 30 minutes before it is time to go to sleep. If your kids have a hard time accepting screen time limits around bed, you may even need to make a rule about leaving all devices with you before bedtime. Then you can rest easy knowing they are setting themselves up for good sleep!

Be a good technology role model It is so important for kids to understand when it’s appropriate to use their phone. Teach respectful phone and online manners just like you would for any other behavior. Look at your own screen time use and make sure you are setting a good example. Schedule family time that doesn’t involve electronics, such as no phones at the dinner table, going for a hike, or even entirely screen-free days!

Co-play or co-watch Too much screen time has been shown to have a negative impact on kids’ social development. While kids and teens report feeling closer to their friends due to screen time, an overuse of screens is linked to symptoms of depression and loneliness. Co-playing or co-watching with parents has been found to help mitigate that negative impact. Try to create a good balance of playing, spending time with friends, exercise, learning, and time as a family.

LAURA LEBOVITZ, LMFT Laura is a licensed marriage and family therapist who works in the Suwanee area at GROW Counseling. She received her Masters of Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine. She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and families dealing with a variety of concerns. She specializes in working with anxiety, autism, self-harm, life transitions like divorce, and building healthy relationships within families.


DOES CONSTIPATION INCREASE YOUR COLORECTAL CANCER RISK? Despite the fact that it’s something almost everyone can relate to, constipation isn’t exactly a fun topic. It must be all the straining, bloating and discomfort that has us all wary — and rightfully so. After all, if you don’t like the way constipation makes you feel, chances are it isn’t doing your digestive tract any favors. In fact, it may actually be upping your risk of developing colorectal cancer. So, should you be worried the next time you’re feeling a little backed-up? “Not exactly,” says Debra Miller, MD, an oncologist at GMC’s Center for Cancer Care-Hamilton Mill. “The constipation-colorectal cancer connection is complicated.”

DOES CONSTIPATION INCREASE YOUR CANCER RISK?  When it comes to colorectal cancer, there are a lot of lifestyle factors that can increase your risk, but the jury is still out on whether or not constipation is one of them. “While constipation may not directly cause colorectal cancer, there may still be a connection,” explains Dr. Miller. According to several recent studies, this is why: ■

Chronic constipation may cause the amount of bile acids and other compounds to become more concentrated, so it’s best if your bowels move regularly.

Over time, your digestive tract is exposed to higher amounts of these compounds for longer periods of time.

WHAT ABOUT LAXATIVES?  “When constipation strikes, many of us have a one-track mind — it’s all about finding relief ASAP,” says Dr. Miller. Enter laxative options galore — some of the many go-to laxatives include: bulking agents, lubricant, emollient, stimulant and osmotic laxatives.

But are all they all created equal? The short answer is no. “On the one hand you have bulking agents, also known as fiber-based laxatives, which increase water content and bulk up stool, the same way that fruits and veggies do,” Dr. Miller says. “In fact, it is believed that these laxatives may actually reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.” “However, if you use lubricant laxatives, emollient laxatives or stimulant laxatives, you could be increasing your risk of electrolyte imbalances, laxative dependence, chronic constipation and possibly colorectal cancer,” adds Dr. Miller.

ARE THERE HEALTHY WAYS TO RELIEVE CONSTIPATION? “I can actually do you one better,” says Dr. Miller. “I’ll tell you the top tips to prevent constipation, as well as help prevent colorectal cancer.” As it turns out, many of the same factors that decrease your risk of constipation also decrease your risk of colorectal cancer. “To keep your digestive tract happy, healthy and cancerfree, remember to get routine exercise, eat red meat and dairy in moderation, drink plenty of water and fill your diet with fiber-rich foods.”

Make sure you don’t get stuck. With the wrong

care that is. With an extensive array of resources available to you through Gwinnett Medical Center, you can learn more about colorectal cancer and screen for it — all in the comfort of your own home. ■

Get started with colorectal cancer prevention today by ordering your free screening kit online by visiting or by calling 678-312-5000 and select option 1.



Suwanee Magazine



And the winner is… Tundra! With nearly 50 entries in this year’s Suwanee Magazine Cutest Pup Contest, there were quite a few adorable pups to choose from. But the people have spoken, and Tundra has officially been crowned our 2019 winner!


 Tundra is a Samoyed from Suwanee who is skilled in many ways, and is even able to navigate an obstacle course. Tundra’s owner, Stacy, says: “My daughter, Skylar, wants to train military dogs or police dogs when she gets older. So, she is practicing with our puppy Tundra. He can jump over obstacles and goes through hoops and tunnels. North Gwinnett Middle School had their first ever talent show and Skylar and Tundra performed in it. He is very much part of the family and loves both of our children. Skylar and Tundra have a special bond because of the training. There are many days that they are inseparable. He tags along when she goes to a friend's house and when we go to karate or dance he waits patiently outside the door for her. Nothing can come between a girl and her pup.”

CE: 1ST PLA ra



Skylar and Brodie Mullin pose with their beloved dog Tundra at Suwanee Magazine HQ.

2ND PLACE: Lilli

 Lilli, a Goldendoodle from Suwanee, loves to travel and has been all over Georgia and Alabama. She’s a people person and never meets a stranger!


Cat•the•Dog  Cat•the•Dog, a Sharpei from Lawrenceville, loves to watch TV!

Thank you to our sponsors who donated amazing gift baskets for our winners!





Hashbrown, Tater Tot, and Sweet Potato are living the sweet life in Suwanee. The three soft-coated Wheaten Terriers, also known as "The Spudnicks" after their owner, Sandy Thompson’s propensity for potato puns, are the area's premier canine fashionistas. In fact, they have their very own dedicated closet at the Thompson home filled with doggie couture, sunglasses, bows, and other readyto-wear delights. And while these well-dressed pups have been making waves on red carpets across the country since 2011, they are best known here in Suwanee for being strong advocates who dedicate their time to raising Sweet Potato money for charity and underprivileged animals — and for being pretty darn cute, too.

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Sweet Potato is the newest member of The Spudnicks clan and is rarely seen without a stylish bow in her hair.

Suwanee Magazine’s 2018 Cutest Pup winner, Hashbrown, poses for the camera.

Tater Tot is the oldest of the three Spudnicks, and was the inspiration for beginning the group’s charity work.

t all started in 2004 when Sandy met an adorable Wheaten Terrier at Riverside Pizza, the local restaurant she owns with her husband, Al. After instantly falling in love with their “wheatie greeting,” Sandy was placed on a waiting list and two years later was able to adopt their first Wheaten Terrier, their beloved French Fry (who sadly passed away in 2017). But the puppy love didn’t stop there, and soon Tater Tot, Hashbrown, and Sweet Potato were welcomed into the family. The Thompsons aren’t the only ones who’ve fallen in love with the Spudnick crew. Classy Doggie Designs owner Linda Higgins noticed the family after she found Tater Tot through her Facebook’s Cutest Puppy Contest in 2011. As a designer for the El Paseo Fashion Week the following year, Linda invited Sandy and the Spudnicks to travel to California to take part in a doggie couture fashion show for charity. Since then, French Fry, Hashbrown, Tater Tot, and Sweet Potato have graced fashion show stages nationwide to help raise money for numerous organizations, including Nashville’s Agape No-Kill Rescue, Marietta’s Cobb County Animal Shelter, Palm Desert’s Humane Society of the Desert, the Gwinnett Women and Child Abuse Shelter, the North Gwinnett Center for the Arts, and the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House. “Designers request our dogs because, like humans, not every model is a size two and not every dog is five pounds,” Sandy says. “Their medium-build size showcases their designs on stage, and the audience loves them. You never know if they


Sweet Potato

will give a front row guest a big wet kiss or jump off stage to greet someone they want to play with.” The group has also participated in multiple contests here in the local community. Tater Tot won Paw Vogue’s 2013 Fashionista Award and Red Bandana’s Cover Calendar Contest in which she helped raise $1,600 for Friends of DeKalb Animals. French Fry and Tater Tot were chosen by Wheaten Rescue Group as the Cutest Wheaten Terriers in 2014, and in 2015 Tater Tot was deemed Kissable’s Best Kiss. And you may recognize their adorable faces because French Fry, Tater Tot, and Hashbrown have all previously graced the pages of Suwanee Magazine as winners of our Cutest Pup Contest in 2014, 2016, and 2018, respectively. In keeping with their charitable nature, they have donated all of their winnings to the Georgia SPCA. It’s no wonder they’ve captivated audiences time and again. With their high energy, playful spirit, and charitable hearts, we have no doubt The Spudnicks will continue to rock their inner-fashionistas to raise funds for charitable organizations for many years to come.

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MAR / APR 19

The Closet! The trio not only rock doggie couture on the runway but also stay welldressed on casual days. When Suwanee Magazine recently visited Sandy and The Spudnicks, they were dressed impeccably. From head to paw they proudly sported coordinating denim shirts and overalls. Tater Tot and Sweet Potato wore pink and black zebra skirts and had their fur tied up with adorable black-andwhite polka-dot bows. When asked for doggie fashion advice, Sandy says the best way to turn your dog into a fashion-forward trendsetter is to start as a puppy so they become adjusted to wearing clothes, hair bows, and other accessories at a young age. “Most people mention their dogs hate wearing clothes or that they aren’t behaved enough to pose for pictures or walk a runway,” Sandy says. “In reality, all it takes is a little positive affirmation and a whole lot of love.” ■


True fashionistas, The Spudnicks' closet is filled with doggie couture.

From sunglasses to hair bows, the pups are prepared for every occasion.




Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19


Turn the page for your handy guide to everything Suwanee Beer Fest — a festival made for beer lovers by beer lovers. Cheers! 45



eer lovers assemble! Solis Suwanee Town Center presents The Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest, the Southeast’s premier festival celebrating all things craft beer. The festival returns to Suwanee Town Center Park on Saturday, March 16th. Falling on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the annual event is known as much for serving up unlimited samples of more than 300 American craft beers as it is for throwing the best St. Patrick’s Day party in metro Atlanta — from the sweet sounds of bagpipe players and Irish Dancers to revelers decked out in all things green, the luck of the beer-loving Irish will be on full display. And while it’s one of the most anticipated days of the year for the people of Suwanee and the surrounding area, the award-winning festival also attracts hop heads from across the country who are on the hunt for a new favorite brew. More than 100 national breweries will be represented at the festival, along with an exclusive Georgia Beer Garden featuring more than 30 Georgia breweries. Celebrated for highlighting exciting new breweries, Suwanee Beer Fest 2019 will mark the debut of Suwanee’s new hometown brewery, StillFire Brewing, which will open its doors to the public near Town Center Park this Fall (learn more on p. 58).


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19



Creek’s first brewery opened its doors in December of 2018 and has become a popular hangout destination for the local community. The father-son venture focuses on IPAs, Saisons/ Farmhouse Ales, and Stouts.


Chattabrewchee is located in West Point, Georgia, and is the only brewery in the United States that is owned by an active-duty female in the military. The self-serve brewery is the only one within a 500mile radius, and its award-winning beers have received medals at the state level multiple times.


was founded in early 2018 by four entrepreneurs who have a passion for community and local craft beer. The team believes that craft beer brings people together, and with two engineers on the founding team, their beer is truly good beer, engineered.


Peachtree City’s first brewery, Line Creek Brewing was born out of a few local guys’ love of quality craft beer and the desire to see it brewed, served, and distributed within their community. From the


most avid craft beer fan to the casual consumer, Line Creek has a line-up of beers that will appeal to everyone.


Set to open its doors in Suwanee later this year, Monkey Wrench Brewing will be located five miles south of Town Center and will have access to the greenway allowing customers to walk, bike, or drive over to the new taproom and beer garden. Be some of the first to try their beers in the Taco Mac tent at the fest.


Albany’s first craft brewery, Pretoria Fields is made up of a collective of farmers, brewers and passionate craft beer lovers. Their beers are made with locally grown organic barley, wheat and rye as well as hops and various fruits that come from Albany farmlands. Beer Fest attendees are sure to enjoy a taste of South Georgia in every sip.


Construction begins soon for Suwanee's new hometown brewery to be located near Town Center Park. Born from a love for community and killer beer, the 20-barrel brewery and taproom is scheduled to open this fall. Stop by their tent for a preview of what will soon be on tap!

fter Slow Pour Brewing Company’s big win last year, Suwanee Beer Fest organizers are once again giving the power to the people with their annual Georgia Brew Battle. Local attending breweries will pit their most popular beers against each other to compete for the title of Georgia’s Best Beer. Each person attending the festival will be given the opportunity to cast their votes for their favorite Georgia brew. Once you’ve made your way through the Georgia Beer Garden and have tried samples from more than 30 Georgia breweries, simply place your token that was given to you upon entry in the bucket of your favorite brew. All tokens must be in by 4 p.m. sharp, so the Beer Fest team can tally up the votes. The winner will be announced before the end of the festival and will take home the highly coveted Golden Cup Trophy. May the best brew win!


ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVITIES  What better way to kick-off St. Patrick’s Day weekend than with unlimited samples of craft beer?! This year, there will be tons of holiday fun to be had, complete with costumes, kilts, Irish dancers, live music, and more. For those feeling extra festive, there will also be an Irish beer tent that will serve up nothing but green beer!

COSTUME CONTEST: For those of you coming decked out in your St. Paddy’s gear, enter yourself and your friends into the 2019 Suwanee Beer Fest Costume Contest. In order to participate, sign up at the St. Paddy's Day stage by 2:30 p.m. the day of the event. The contests will begin at 3:00 p.m. and be based on the following categories: best beard, best costume (male and female), best kilt, and best-dressed couple. Winners will be announced at the Social Lounge Stage and will receive prizes from Marlow's Tavern, The Fresh Market, S&S Ace Hardware, J.R. Revelry, and Taco Mac. BAGPIPE PLAYER:

Everyone’s favorite bagpipe player will return to welcome festival attendees to the park with the sweet sounds of bagpipes. Get into the festive spirit as you make your way to your beer destination.

DRAKE SCHOOL OF IRISH DANCE: What’s a St. Patrick’s Day party without a little Irish dance? Head over to the Social Lounge Stage at 3:45 p.m. to enjoy a live performance by The Drake School of Irish Dance. The Drake school is one of the most prestigious Irish Dance Schools in the United States, and its dancers hold competitive achievements including Regional and National Championships and are World Medal holders.


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19

FUN AND GAMES  This year’s festival will see the return of Giant Jenga and Peachstate Cornhole (both activities pair GREAT with beer). Plus, festival attendees can also partake in some friendly Xtreme Airball competition — think a large inflatable bubble suit designed to knock around your closest friends. A portion of the festival will be dedicated to all of the fun, so be sure to grab your drinking buddies for some friendly competition.




The Pony League Band When it’s time to put down your beer and put on your dancing shoes, head over to the main stage where Suwanee natives, The Pony League Band, will be performing. The group has a knack for distilling real life moments into shimmering compositions stacked with a lush blend of piano and guitars, a skill they’ve put on display across the country. The group’s notable performances include a recent concert on a moving plane for Southwest Airlines, and more recently at Red Rocks Amphitheater opening for The Fray. Pony League draws a wealth of inspiration from their home state, though Billboard says their "warm, retroacoustic sound feels more like California than Georgia.“ A fitting description of a band that’s been likened to Jackson Browne and Dawes. ”We’re an Americana band in that our songs are reflections of our surroundings and experiences,” says lead guitarist, Charlie Mills. The group is excited to return to their hometown of Suwanee and will be sure to get the Beer Fest crowd up on their feet and dancing!






olis Suwanee is excited to be a presenting sponsor of the 9th Annual Suwanee American Craft Beer Festival. When residents make Solis Suwanee home, they immediately become an exclusive part of an undeniably special community. Now accepting applications for 2019, the high-end luxury apartments are located in the heart of Suwanee Town Center. The 12-acre site features 240 apartments, 71 for-sale townhomes, as well as 12,000 square feet of retail space. Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, or staying the course, Solis Town Center offers a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts.


Community Amenities:

Apartment Features:

■ 24-hour access to the on-site multipurpose fitness center, with a cardio studio, strength center, yoga/spin room and high-intensity training room ■ Rooftop terrace and clubhouse featuring a catering kitchen ■ Electric car charging stations ■ Cyber Cafe with gourmet coffee bar ■ Saltwater resort-style pool with cabanas and hammock garden ■ Outdoor kitchen and entertainment area, featuring a Big Green Egg, chef’s kitchen and bar ■ Bike storage and repair station ■ Landscaped courtyards with fire pit, grilling stations and bocce ball ■ Dog spa ■ Business center with reservable suites and conference room ■ Luxer One Package System including refrigerated storage ■ Air conditioned corridors ■ Access controlled building

■ Quartz countertops ■ Luxury plank flooring throughout ■ Stainless steel appliances (side-by-side) ■ Modern cabinets with glass fronts and under-cabinet lighting ■ Kitchen pantries with ample storage ■ Full-size washer and dryer in every unit ■ Tile tub/shower surround and frameless shower doors ■ LED light fixtures ■ Walk-in closets with a premium closet upgrade available ■ Ceiling fans in each bedroom ■ High-speed fiber internet and cable packages ■ Keyless unit entry locks

For more information visit 50


Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19

THE 2019 VIP EXPERIENCE  This year’s VIP tent is designed with the true beer aficionado in mind. There will be an exclusive selection of more than 30 beers, and organizers have released a sneak peek of some of the VIP beers that will be offered, including: StillFire Brewing’s Tropical Coconut Stout and Bourbon Scotch Ale, Left Nut Brewing’s Magnifique Belgian Quad, Slow Pour’s Lime Coconut Gose, Against the Grain’s Watermelon Chiquen, and Highland Brewing’s Imperium. After drinking all that beer, VIP attendees can take a break to pad their belly with a delicious catered meal. Marlow’s Tavern, known for being the “best of the best” in American Tavern fare, has designed a menu exclusively for the VIP tent. Marlow’s has offered a sneak peek at a few of the VIP menu items: Shrimp and Grits, Herb Marinated Chicken, Artisan pretzels and Beer Cheese Fondue, and Chocolate Cake with Jack Daniel’s Pecan Sauce. Dimensional Design, a local design and branding firm, returns this year as a sponsor and has once again partnered with event organizers to create a one-of-a-kind VIP experience. With an hour early entry, a meal catered by Marlow’s Tavern, exclusive beers and high-end finishings, the VIP experience is sure to set a standard for beer festivals everywhere.


Honesty. Dependability. A-Action Bail Bonds has the ability to write State and Federal Bonds throughout the United States. Open 24 hours with their office conveniently located near jail facilities. Financing is available with low down payments. In-house electronic ankle monitoring is also available. Your business is important to them.

770.237.BAIL(2245) I BulletROOF works hard to get you everything you deserve in your insurance claim, but it doesn’t stop there. Our experienced team will work with you to educate you on the products that meet the needs of you and your home. BulletROOF is determined to provide you with high-quality customer satisfaction and service. We will do everything we can to exceed your expectations.

855.766.3866 I Cali Boutique Bus brings fashion to you by booking home parties to showcase the latest styles. Even better, this mobile boutique loves to participate in raising money for schools through fashion-based fundraisers!

678.334.3556 I Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s (CRK) mission is to advocate and secure the protection and stewardship of the Chattahoochee River, its tributaries and watershed, in order to restore and preserve their ecological health for the people and wildlife that depend on the river system. CRK has been keeping watch over our waters for 25 years.


678.696.8866 I

As you stroll through the park, take a break between sips to shop and take advantage of the exclusive beer fest deals, giveaways and offerings from these local businesses who will be on-site.

Cutco, established in 1949, is the largest manufacturer of kitchen cutlery in the United States and Canada. Cutco’s product line includes kitchen knives and utensils, shears, flatware, cookware and sporting knives. Feel inspired while you browse through clothing and jewelry at the Daily Grit tent. Everything is handmade and handpicked from Bali.

678.667.2242 I Instagram: Daily Grit, LLC

Emerge is a non-profit entertainment group that uses music and art to raise funds and awareness for addiction recovery.

470.236.9372 I

Epic Travel is a full service travel agency, specializing in world experiences. We are located in Buford and ready to book your next vacation!

470.326.5633 I Come by and see them at the T-Mobile in Suwanee, where customers always come first! They are located at 991 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. They give out free stuff every T-Mobile Tuesday! Come have fun with the UnCarrier and the Magenta crew!

Experience Our Service Difference: At Expedia® CruiseShipCenters,® navigators of spectacular vacation experiences. As part of the number one brand in travel, this is their promise to you: Advice you can trust; the best choice; Expedia Extras; more than cruises; always there to assist with your travel needs.

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Tired of cleaning your gutters? Never worry about gutter cleaning again with HomeCraft. Sign Up For Updates. Request A Free Estimate. BBB Accredited Business. Highlights: Using Patented & Raised-Screen Technology, Large Gutter Guard Company, Free Consultation Available.

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Explore Gwinnett, the county’s tourism office, is responsible for marketing Gwinnett County as a destination. They provide information on hotels, local events, attractions, restaurants and more. Explore Gwinnett is the go-to resource for anyone looking for what to do or where to stay in Gwinnett.

888.494.6638 I Faith and Water, LLC. is here to help better the air and your health. They also offer the opportunity to come work with them. They create wellness, freedom, and help people get commas in their bank account.

Hello Fresh is a healthy meal-kit delivery service that suits most diets. They deliver farm to front door with sample six-step recipes around 30 minutes.

678.981.9850 I

Rick Tapia is the founder and creator of J.R. Revelry Bourbon Whiskey, an award winning 90 proof bourbon that provides a unique, smooth taste for new and existing craft whiskey enthusiasts and connoisseurs. J.R. Revelry was created by Rick as a result of his passion for American Whiskey.

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K1 Speed is America’s premier indoor go-karting operator with 32 locations nationwide. Their Atlanta location uses state-of-theart electric go-karts that travel to speeds of up to 45 mph! No reservation is necessary, simply arrive and drive. Perfect for an outing with friends and family, birthday parties, company parties, and more.

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Rally back with All-Natural Rally Patch! Your all-natural answer to hangover prevention!

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Renewal by Andersen is the full-service Window and Door Replacement Division of Andersen Corporation, the most trusted family of window brands in America. RbA is committed to giving you the best customer experience through the combination of the best people in the industry, a superior process, and exclusive product.

678.381.8951 I The Tastiest Crunch in the South! Stop by the Southern Recipe tent to taste their world famous pork rinds, made fresh in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

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All-natural, handcrafted jerky and hot sauce made with ingredients that belong in a kitchen, not in a lab!

866.958.2444 I Check out Killer Ink Tattoos! Award-winning Best of Gwinnett for the last three years! If you haven’t already seen their new shop, stop by 1620 Buford Highway in Buford and visit their amazing staff.

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They make fresh, hand cut beef and chicken jerky. Their flavors include Yazoo Jalapeno made with Yazoo Pale Ale amd Nashville Hot Chicken Jerky.

615.359.4541 I Level Minds CBD Your CBD Lifestyle Solutions. They pride themselves on supplying the highest quality USA made Hemp CBD products to the market. They specialize in gummies, tincture, topicals, honey sticks bath bombs and much more! "Pure medicine no fillers"

770.676.8004 I

Sugarloaf Walk is a mixed-use development with 302 luxury apartments, 22 live/work spaces, stylish, modern 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. The complex includes a club room, fitness center, yoga studio and much more.

770.476.4801 I Feast your eyes on a 2-hour live tournament while you feast on a 4-course meal fit for royalty! Pure Spanish horses, authentic sword fights, jousting, and more!

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Tastefully Simple. Their name says it all. Craft seasoning blends, sauces and our signature beer bread make dinner at your house easy and delicious. Stop by their booth and try a flight of their famous beer bread. Montford Misfits is a creative design team that specializes in craft beer maps and custom artwork. They work hard and play harder! Do what you love, and love what you do…that’s their motto!

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At Topgolf, their goal is to help you create unforgettable experiences with friends and family. Each venue features fun and competitive golf games for everyone, climate controlled “bays”, an impressive food and drink menu and private spaces for groups. With their HDTVs and awesome music selection, every visit feels like a party!

404.475.4000 I Peach State Cornhole offers social and competitive leagues throughout greater Atlanta. Don't miss your chance to connect and compete for a chance to win great prizes!  Sign up for their spring league today at

At Vapeware they are passionate about introducing others to the modern alternatives to smoking.

678.465.8088 I For nearly 25 years, Quality Orthodontic Care – a completely private, locally-owned and operated practice today and every day – has provided patients of all ages with beautiful, healthy smiles. But that’s not where their signature service ends…actually, that’s just where it begins…With options for metal and clear braces, and as Greater Atlanta’s only Diamond+ Invisalign provider they are providers of the highest quality of care, not a factory, and patients are family, not numbers. At Quality Orthodontic Care, skilled doctors, personable staff, comfortable environment, timely schedule, and the most advanced orthodontic treatment for children, teens, and adults means they have just one priority: You.

Xtreme AirBalls provides great family fun in a competitive but exciting way! They have 25 AirBalls for all different ages and sizes to get into, knock around, roll around, play contact soccer & other fun games! They are available to book for many different events and parties! You’ll have Xtreme fun!

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DRINKING RESPONSIBLY ď ľ The Beer Fest team wants you to drink responsibly and is committed to providing everyone with a fun and safe experience. Because of this, organizers have partnered with local businesses to make sure your festival experience is a safe one.

TANNERY ROW ALE HOUSE: From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. the day of the festival, Tannery Row Ale House will be offering FREE shuttles to and from Town Center Park. After the festival, attendees can take the shuttle back to Tannery Row for an exclusive after party! Keep the fun going with a Creature Comforts tap takeover while also enjoying live music from Grand Paradies, a Styx cover band. LYFT: Festival attendees can also use the promo code SUWANEEBEER19 for 20% off their ride or up to $5 off to or from the event. Just download the app and enter your information along with the promo code.



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Suites Suwanee is offering an exclusive rate of $89.99 for festival attendees! All you have to do is mention Suwanee Beer Fest when booking.

2019 HOME BREW COMPETITION  The 2019 Suwanee Beer Fest Homebrew Competition will see more than 300 unique home-brewed beers entered this year, with categories such as IPA, Stout, Light Lager, Pilsner, Light Hybrid and Specialty beer. Homebrewed beers in this competition are judged based on a strict set of criteria, including mouthfeel, aroma, appearance, flavor, and overall impression. Final judging for this BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) begins on Saturday, March 9th, with the winners moving on to compete for Best in Show on the day of the festival. The “Best in Show” winner will be crowned on stage at the festival. For those who are interested in learning more about home brewing and want to consider entering the competition next year, Brew-Depot offers Homebrewing and Winemaking classes for those who want to give it a try. BEER & WINE BREWING SUPPLIES




THE FRESH MARKET SUWANEE TEAMS UP WITH AKADEMIA BREWING SPECIALTY GROCERY STORE, THE FRESH MARKET PARTNERS WITH LOCAL BREWERY TO DEVELOP SPECIALTY BEER FOR SUWANEE BEER FEST STORY BY LIZZY KIDNEY  The Fresh Market Suwanee is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Suwanee Beer Fest. From its array of local products, delicious and wholesome food options, to its sensational staff and exceptional customer service, The Fresh Market has become an iconic business in the Suwanee community. Patrons travel near and far to find items that make everyday eating extraordinary — from small-batch, artisanal pastas to unique baking ingredients and crackers for entertaining. The specialty grocery store also offers an unparalleled selection of USDA Prime beef, plus exceptional seafood, chef-inspired entrées, and easy onthe-go meals. Making its return to Suwanee Beer Fest, the store’s continued support of local festivals is no surprise given the importance the company places on being an active member of the community. Festival attendees can make their way to The Fresh Market tent where delicious samplings of some of the store’s favorite products such as specialty cheese, sausage, and crackers will be available. The Fresh Market prides itself on sourcing and partnering with - Nicole Chabot, Public Relations Coordinator, The Fresh Market local businesses to deliver better, fresher products while also making a positive impact on the local economy. In honor of this, the store is once again working with a local brewery to make The Fresh Market experience one you do not want to miss!

“Akademia Brewing Company is a Georgia favorite. We’re excited to showcase how The Fresh Market’s products can complement their various styles of craft beer to bring festivalgoers a top-notch experience.”


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This year, the store has teamed up with Akademia, a brewery out of Athens, Georgia, to bring their newly canned beers to our community. Firmly established in 2017, Akademia Brewing Co. has become the hub for residents of Athens and surrounding neighborhoods. Offering eats, drinks, and a friendly space to gather, Athens' only Brew Pub is a hidden gem on the west side. Brewed with experience and education in mind, Akademia's beers are the culmination of brewing history. The Akademia team has also partnered with The Fresh Market to release an exclusive beer just for festival attendees. The specialty brew will feature the use of The Fresh Market’s Sumo Mandarins; a new, special fruit in their produce department that is only available a few months every year. The collaboration will be available to try only on the day of the event. “Akademia Brewing Company is a Georgia favorite,” says Nicole Chabot, The Fresh Market’s Public Relations Coordinator. “We’re excited to showcase how The Fresh Market’s products can complement their various styles of craft beer to bring festival-goers a top-notch experience.” The Fresh Market experience features a great lineup of beer from Akademia like the Hoprodisiac, The IQ IPA, SKAL, and Galaxias, delicious food samples, a comfortable lounge for attendees to rest their feet, and is placed right in the middle of all the action! Be sure to visit them in the Social Lounge for a unique, delicious festival experience. Try it at Beer Fest and love it? Beginning this April, four varieties of Akademia beers will be available for purchase at The Fresh Market in Suwanee and in Athens.

 The Fresh Market Suwanee is located at 1500 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., or visit them at







hat started as a vision from Randall and Angela Veugeler, founders of Suwanee Beer Fest and Suwanee Magazine, and John Bisges, UGA grad and local business leader and his wife, Lori, a real estate executive, will soon develop into StillFire Brewing, a new 20-barrel brewery and taproom set to begin construction this May near Town Center Park. The couples both had a passion for craft beer, and each separately had toyed with the idea of

The 8,400 sq. ft brewery will feature an outdoor patio and an adjoining green space where customers can bring their families and dogs to play cornhole and other games and enjoy live music.


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opening their own brewery. But, it wasn’t until John visited Randall and Angela at their marketing agency in downtown Buford three years ago that the possibility of opening a brewery began to feel like a reality. “John mentioned how our office building resembled a brewery and we got to talking about our shared passion and the need for a brewery in Suwanee,” Randall said. The seed for StillFire was planted and the team set about finding a location for their new venture.

The Veugelers have overseen eight successful Suwanee American Craft Beer Festivals at Town Center Park (with the ninth annual event taking place March 16, 2019), so they knew that being located close to Town Center Park was a must. This May the group will begin construction with a planned opening this Fall!

 Suwanee Magazine recently caught up with Randall and John to learn more about the community-focused brewery, how it fits into the local craft beer scene, and what StillFire brews we can expect to preview at this year’s Suwanee Beer Fest.

Suwanee Magazine: What made you decide to open a brewery in Suwanee? Randall Veugeler: Because we were tired of all the other cities in Georgia having all the fun. Suwanee is awesome and we want everyone to know it. That’s why my wife and I decided to produce Suwanee Magazine, put on Suwanee Beer Fest here and why we are building our brewery here. StillFire will be owned and operated by people who genuinely love the Suwanee area. We live here. Our friends live here. Our kids go to school here. Every year at the beer fest, people tell me that it is their favorite day of the year, and it became obvious to us that the community with the largest craft beer fest in Georgia needed a year-round craft brewing experience. We want to build a place that will make Suwanee proud. This is for the people that have supported Suwanee Magazine and our festivals for all of these years. This is our thank you to the community we love and are proud to call home.

SM: What are your plans for construction and when can Suwanee residents expect you to be open? John Bisges: We will begin construction on May 1st. The plan is to build a high-end industrial-style taproom that will feature an always-changing selection of 18 original craft beers on tap. The city has an open container policy in the park so beer will also be available


to carry out by the glass or six-pack at our to-go window. We will have an outdoor patio and an adjoining green space where customers can bring their children and dogs to play cornhole and other games and enjoy live music. We will serve non-alcoholic craft root beer for the kids. We are setting aside a kitchen area for future expansion but in the meantime customers can order food from on-site food trucks or area restaurants and get it delivered to the brewery. There will be a space available for event rentals and brewery tours offered during specific hours. We expect to be open to the public in early fall - just in time for Georgia football!


SM: Why the name StillFire?

Randall: My partner, John and I both had the same dream of one day owning a brewery after college, but then life happened - we both got married, had kids and started businesses and went on with our lives. When we met and started talking we discovered we both still had that fire to open a brewery. Us meeting and sharing our dream with each other was the spark we both needed to get off our butts and - Randall Veugeler, Co-Founder do something about it. When we were thinking about the name, we came back to the idea that we still had that fire after all those years. We thought StillFire was a cool name but that it also had a message that resonated with our plans for the brewery. We want StillFire to be a place that can spark conversations that can lead others to find what they are truly passionate about and to find the courage to act on those passions. That spark is symbolized in our logo and in our tagline “Find YOUR Fire.”

SM: Can you tell us a little bit about your brewers? John: Our brewmaster, Phil Farrell, has been brewing for more than 20 years and has brewed or assisted in a batch at several breweries including Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Full Sail, Wrecking Bar and 5 Seasons to name a few. As a Grand Master beer judge, he judges beer at all of the world’s most prestigious contests, including the Great American Beer Festival, the Great British Beer Festival, and the World


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Concept drawing for the new StillFire taproom


Beer Cup. In fact, he is one of the top 10 ranked Beer Judge Certification Program judges in the world, and is currently serving as their Vice President. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the American Homebrewers Association. In 2011 he won the Wynkoop Beer Drinker of the Year title for his knowledge of everything beer earning himself beer for life at Wynkoop Brewing in Colorado. He is also the only homebrewer to win a gold medal at the US Open, beating all the commercial breweries in his category. With credentials like that, we knew his beer was going to be good but he has consistently blown us away during the past year as he has been developing new and exciting recipes to offer at


StillFire. Our head brewer, Walt Wooden (or “Walt Gyver” as we call him), is no slouch, either. He has been home brewing since 1990 and has several incredible beers he is eager to share with the community. Trust us, everyone is going to find their new favorite beer(s) at StillFire Brewing.

beers have been brewed by Phil. I knew he was always being approached about joining a brewery but for some reason he had turned everyone down. I took a long shot and called and told him about our plans. He said he was retiring from his job as a pilot in the Randall: I met Phil near future and was through Suwanee Beer Brewmaster, Phil Farrell looking for a different Fest. He has been one of opportunity so the stars the judges for Suwanee Beer Fest’s had aligned and it was the perfect annual homebrew contest for the timing for the call. I never thought past 7 years. I have tried hundreds of in my wildest dreams we could have commercial beers over the years of someone of his caliber on board. putting on the festival but my favorite We are honored to have him as our





brewmaster and excited to share his talents with the community. He and our head brewer Walt (whose beers I have been enjoying for 10+ years) make a perfect team - both are creative visionaries who love experimenting and love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they try one of their beers.

StillFire Brewing had some of their recipes contract brewed to serve at this year's festival to give the community a taste of what's to come:


SM: How do you think StillFire will fit into the local craft beer scene?

 Remember when you drank a beer because you could settle in and drink the same thing all night? Back then, balance and complexity were not bad words. This Pale Ale has a very pleasing orange citrus, floral and pine aroma. The flavor doesn’t disappoint. A delicious balance of malt and spicy rye as well as lemon, orange, and grapefruit citrus reward you from start to a very pleasing finish. As you ponder the next sip, a slight caramel reminder tells you there is more where that came from.

John: Our distribution of canned beers through retail locations and kegs at local restaurants will be extremely limited at first and I don't see us expanding our footprint outside of Gwinnett initially. The primary focus of our brewery will be building a place that can become more than just a resident watering hole, but instead, a treasured local institution. We want Suwanee to be a thriving community. We see the taproom as a place where people from all walks of life can come by, enjoy a pint and spend time with friends or make new ones.


 Everything you like about The Haze Craze in one glass. A huge aroma of citrus, passion fruit, guava, and even lime carry over into an explosion of juicy deliciousness. The aromas and flavors overlay a delicious malt base amplified by the creamy and silky texture that only an addition of oats can deliver. This is still an evolving style, and unlike more traditional IPAs, the bitterness is intentionally subdued and smooth, rather than firm or even biting. If classic IPAs have let you down, this new twist will surprise and delight you.

Randall: The thing I love most about Suwanee Beer Fest is how the town comes together to share in the experience. I see grandparents, parents and their adult kids all having a great time together. One of the reasons we are excited about our location is that we will be near the new Solis apartments and the Heartis senior-living center that is opening soon. We love the idea of young and old getting together. We plan to create a warm and welcoming



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15 IBU

 A delicious twist on a classic Belgian treat. The Witbier was something that had been forgotten for over a decade until Pierre Celis revived it in a small village east of Brussels, Belgium. This beer is a nod to the classic, starting with the original revival base of white wheat, Pilsner malt and oats. Curacao orange peel and coriander are lightly added for complexity, and a Belgian yeast completes the profile for a fragrant, delicate, refreshing summer beer. Our twist is the addition of Blood Orange in just the right amount to amplify and add to the delicious orange character in a very pleasant way. No garnish required.

StillFire Brewing will feature innovative beers like barrel-aged stouts, imperial IPAs, sours and other beers with robust flavor profiles for the die-hard beer aficionado

SUWAN SONG SAISON 6.0% ABV 25 IBU  Inspiration often takes you to places you didn’t know you wanted to go. While experimenting with a recipe for the new dry, Brut IPA style of beer, Phil found some things he liked that he could use to improve the classic Belgian farmhouse ale—Saison. This Saison has the dry, crisp drinkability of the best examples with pleasant fruit and spicy notes from the special yeast, however, it is augmented with tropical notes from a hop that wasn’t available just 5 years ago. This complex yet refreshing beer is the perfect beer to quench your thirst for something different on a hot afternoon.

VIP MIDNIGHT VOYAGE CUBAN COFFEE STOUT BEER! 7.9% ABV 35 IBU  If you wander into Little Havana on your next trip to Miami and order a coffee, they serve it only one way: black, sweet and strong enough to clear out all of your cobwebs. This stout is roasty with coffee and chocolate flavors and aromas, but not harsh like some strong stouts. The mouthfeel is enhanced by a creamy silkiness that comes from oats and milk sugar. The flavors are intense, like an espresso, yet are balanced by just the right amount of sweetness to make you crave more. An eye-opener of the first order. The perfect beer to remind you hops aren’t everything.



atmosphere with large community tables that can help people of all ages feel connected to one another. As for the beers, they will be incredible. We will feature well-made, drinkable beers for the customer who wants a social experience with friends and more speciality and innovative beers like barrelaged stouts, imperial IPAs, sours and other beers with robust flavor profiles for the die-hard beer aficionado. We will never stop pushing ourselves to stay creative.

SM: Why do you describe the brewery as “communityfocused”? Randall: Giving back to the community is very important to us. We are very proud of the fact that our festivals have donated over $100,000 to Suwanee non-profits like Annandale Village and Cooper’s Crew. At the brewery we will continue this practice. Giving back to the community is a priority for us. We believe that is how community ties are built and strengthened. ■

30 IBU

 This delicious Scotch Ale is taken to another level by the time it spends on bourbon-soaked toasted white oak. Everything you could ever ask for in a beer, hops not included. You will spend so much time enjoying the aroma of vanilla, caramel, bourbon, sherry, and dark fruit you might forget to take a sip. The sweet, complex malt will explode on your palate, present a wide array of flavors, and warm your soul. Every sip is a thrill ride. Your experience will confirm that the inspiration was spot on: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.

FOLLOW THE STILLFIRE BREWING JOURNEY UNTIL OPENING AT: Online: Facebook: @stillfirebrewing Twitter: @StillFireBrew Instagram: @stillfirebrewing




TACO MAC SUPPORTS LOCAL BREWERIES IN THE GEORGIA BEER GARDEN Taco Mac Suwanee is dedicated to supporting local breweries in the area and has partnered with Slow Pour and Left Nut to pour samples of their most popular beers in the Georgia Beer Garden. But the fun doesn’t stop there, the tent will also feature the debut of local Suwanee brewery Monkey Wrench Brewing. If you work up an appetite after drinking all that beer, make your way to the food court where Taco Mac will also be serving a variety of flavored wings.

“What would you give up to pursue your passion?” That query, and a bit of humor, was the basis and foundation that launched Left Nut Brewing Company. Located in Gainesville, Georgia, the brewery occupies the historic Chicopee Mill building constructed in 1927 as a textile mill by Johnson & Johnson. While enjoying award-winning beers, visitors are surrounded by the original brick, 12-foot-high glass factory windows, and beautiful heart pine ceilings which provide a warm and cozy atmosphere — despite the industrial, gleaming stainless tanks and brewhouse which are fully exposed to the taproom. Left Nut distributes across all major markets in Georgia and is now expanding to South Carolina through 2019. Here’s a few of the samples they will be pouring at Suwanee Beer Fest: Leaping Lena, Shade Tail Nutty, Sweet Mangolia, and the Hooch Shootin’ IPA.


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Located in downtown Lawrenceville, Slow Pour Brewing was proud to be the first brewery in Gwinnett County. Since opening in 2017, the brewery has continued to grow in popularity. Whether it’s from their Peachin’ to the Choir Blonde Ale that is infused with a salted peach puree hand-crafted by Lawrenceville’s Local Republic and Strange Taco chef, Scott Smith, to their spent grain that local farmers use as compost or cattle feed and then sell food back to restaurants in the area, they are committed to being an integral part of the local community. “We want people to feel completely comfortable here and make themselves at home,” says owner John Reynolds. “Bring food in, grab a beer, sit back, relax, play some games and stay awhile.” The reigning Georgia Brew Battle champs return to reclaim their title at the 9th Annual Suwanee Beer Fest. Here’s a few of the samples they will be pouring: Southernality IPA and the Lager Jammin Vienna Lager.

Making their debut at Suwanee Beer Fest, Monkey Wrench Brewing is set to open its doors in Suwanee later this year. The new Suwanee brewery will be located just five miles south of Town Center and will have access to the greenway allowing customers to walk, bike, or drive over to the new taproom and beer garden. “Brewing has been a serious passion of mine for over 20 years and there’s no stopping now,” says Wayne Baxter, Founder & Brewmaster. “Our goal is to make amazing beer in a fun gathering place for the community. The team at MWB is working hard and motivated to create a quality product that your friends and family can enjoy and share over and over again. We are excited to share our Monkey Wrench Brews with you soon!" Here’s a few of the samples they will be debuting at the festival: The MWB Hop Western Imperial Style IPA and The MWB Lucky Monkey Belgian Trappist Ale.

FOOD VENDORS Bust’n Butts BBQ, LLC is owned and operated by David and Tammie Bailey. They entered their first competition in 2013, placing second in ribs and fourth overall. That success sparked their desire to continue perfecting their homemade rubs and BBQ sauces with the ultimate goal of delivering a good quality product that the public would enjoy and remember.

770-289-4667 • Cattywampus Grill preserves the integrity of Southern recipes while adding in hints of flavor and innovative combinations that take your taste buds for a deliciously thrilling ride. When it comes to Southern food and Atlanta catering, their flavors and services are a ray of Georgia sunshine.

470-809-2646 • Winner of the 2017 and 2018 Best of Gwinnett Awards for its traditional, yet modern Irish recipes including gourmet ice cream, sandwiches, soups and more.

678-765-9633 Stop by and check out their Gyros, Philly Cheesesteaks, ½ lb Burgers, Italian Sausage Hoagies, Hot Dogs, Tea, Lemonade, Soda and Water!

770-378-2646 Serving you for over 30 years. Enjoy their classics from burritos, tacos, fajitas, and our world-famous margaritas. Remember it's not Tex-Mex it’s Mex-Mex. Grubbin' Out is a food truck that serves delicious sliders topped with many choices. Their sliders are available in turkey, veggie and beef!

404-781-8714 Marco’s Pizza specializes in Italian-American cuisine and everyone’s favorite: pizza!

678-699-8513 Even though they've expanded their menu to offer everyone’s favorites, they still serve the Southeast’s original and award-winning Buffalo Wings, offer the best selection of craft beers on draft and bring you the friendliest Southern hospitality we fell in love with so many years ago.

678-730-0941 • “Nueva Texicana” is the style, which is a unique and exciting take on traditional Tex-Mex cuisine. In addition to serving only the best tasting tacos, Tex’s Tacos also features delicious quesadillas, loaded lime fries, and a whole lot more. The menu is carefully comprised of fresh, high-quality ingredients and packed with flavor.

678-379-8397 •


SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR 2019 SPONSORS! The Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest would not be where it is today without the support of its amazing sponsors. A huge THANK YOU to the wonderful businesses that contribute greatly to this event’s success. Please support event sponsors and stop by their tents while at the festival — many of them are giving away free samples and hosting awesome contests and giveaways!

What matters most at Solis Suwanee Town Center is knowing that you have it all — and that you’re an exclusive part of an undeniably special community. Feeling a heightened sense of home in every last detail. Connecting with your surroundings as never before. Knowing they will stop at nothing to serve you. Here, they're elevating home and life in every way imaginable. Experience it — only at Solis Suwanee Town Center. Offering Studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom exclusive apartment homes.

An integrated design and branding firm focused on an array of marketing tools such as trade show exhibits, retail displays, marketing, and corporate interiors, signage, and graphics. They create brand-focused designs and take them from the creative brief through design, fabrication, and implementation. They are responsible for the inviting atmosphere in VIP & The Fresh Market tent as well as the cool signage, giant beer glass photo op and more!

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678-376-1550 I

Georgia’s #1 home brewing store since 1997. Huge product selection in 3600 sq. ft. store and at Same day shipping on most orders. Brewing classes available in dedicated brewing facility.




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Big Peach Running Co. carries a wide range of footwear, apparel, and accessories from the leading manufacturers to meet all of your needs. Their entire staff embraces the lifestyle they promote and ensures that every aspect of your fitness routine is properly addressed!

White Claw®, The Purest Hard Seltzer in the World®, brings the simplicity that is pure seltzer water, along with a spike of alcohol and a hint of natural fruit, to create a refreshing hard seltzer with 5% ALC/VOL. At only 100 calories, White Claw® is low carb, gluten-free and made with all-natural flavors. Available in Black Cherry, Ruby Grapefruit, Natural Lime, Raspberry and Mango flavors, each White Claw® Hard Seltzer delivers a splash of crisp, refreshment. White Claw® can be purchased in individual 6-packs, 12pack variety packs and single 19.2 ounce cans.

678-869-5012 I The Fresh Market is Suwanee’s neighborhood food market & premium quality local produce store. From their array of local products, delicious and wholesome food options, to their sensational staff and exceptional customer service, The Fresh Market has become an iconic business in the Suwanee community. Stop by their tent for delicious food & craft beer samples.

678.714.0976 I Built on bonds of friendship, Guinness has been around for over 200 years after being established in Dublin, Ireland. Beers, bonds, and brewers complete the makeup of such a rich history. 66


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Beverage SuperStore offers an extensive selection of spirits, beer and wine, including rare, boutique and small production wines, as well as a large selection of local craft beer. Their certified, experienced and knowledgeable staff have been voted Gwinnett Daily Post Readers’ Choice Awards the last five years and voted Best of Gwinnett Gwinnett Magazine six years running.

Veugeler Design Group

From website development to social media management to copywriting, package design, billboard design, brochures, print ads and more – this award-winning firm offers premium graphic design for all your marketing needs. Call today for a free marketing consultation or quote on your next project.

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 While there is a lot of fun to be had at Suwanee Beer Fest, the event organizers are also dedicated to giving back to the community by donating a large portion of proceeds to local charities. This year’s benefiting organization is Cooper’s Crew, a Suwanee-based organization created in honor of Cooper O’Brien, who lost his battle to a rare form of cancer called Clear Cell Sarcoma at the young age of 14. Volunteers from Cooper's Crew have generously donated their time to volunteer at the festival and are excited about giving back to a cause they hold dear to their hearts. So while you’re sipping samples of your new favorite craft brew or participating in an Xtreme AirBalls&match with your closest friends, remember that by being at the festival you are helping to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer, while also celebrating Cooper’s legacy. For more information on Cooper’s Crew, visit




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local food. craft beer. wine trends.





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At 80-years-old, Master Meat Cutter Buddy Maughon takes great pride in preparing the meat each day at Bare Bones Steakhouse. With the help of his son, Buddy hand-cuts each of the steaks to be served later that day. From ribeyes, filets, and strips to massive tomahawks and porterhouses, Buddy’s passion and precision are ingrained with each cut of ď ° Owner Buddy Maughon has made his 40-year dream of his knife. owning a steakhouse a reality. Prime filet with crab legs



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 Since opening in 2015, Bare Bones has spoiled its patrons with its prime-grade cuts of meat.

It was a 40-year dream of mine to open a steakhouse,” Buddy says. “I wake up every morning and still can’t believe it. The community has been so supportive and has helped exceed all of my expectations.” Buddy, along with the help of his wife, Gaye, was able to make his dream of running a steakhouse a reality when they opened Bare Bones in 2015. When asked what inspired the restaurant’s name, Buddy says he wanted all of his customers to leave with the bones on their steaks bare. And since

opening, Bare Bones has spoiled patrons with its prime-grade cuts of meat, considered by many to be some of the best steaks in town — steaks so delicious it’d be a shame to leave anything on the bone. Located in the Bona Allen building in downtown Buford, a former harness and saddle factory dating back to 1873, Bare Bones is filled with nods to the building’s rich history, showcasing artifacts, photos, newspaper clippings, and even original saddles produced at the factory. The restaurant’s historic vibe is further highlighted in the large wooden beams, exposed brick, and restored hardwood floors throughout the space. The casual atmosphere provides restaurant patrons with what the owners describe as the “common man steakhouse.” And although the surrounding community continues to grow, the restaurant maintains a charming smalltown feel.


Tomahawk and filets on the grill

Shrimp and grits

Southern favorites. The team prepares all of the menu items by hand, including the sauces, like the house-made catsup, red wine demi-glace, and B1 steak sauce. Although menu items change depending on seasonal ingredients, there are a few favorites that have been mainstays since the restaurant opened. One of the most popular is the onion rings appetizer. The rings

In addition to creating an inviting gathering spot, the Maughons have worked hard to build a family-oriented business — the couple brought on their son Michael as general manager and Gaye’s sister, Raye, as head of operations. “Thanks to our family and incredible employees we feel comfortable taking a step back,” Gaye says. “Our kitchen staff runs so smoothly for a restaurant this size, and the employees are truly unbelievable.” Bare Bones’ menu boasts delicious classics while also putting its own twist on



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 The onion rings appetizer is topped with Georgia honey and SarVecchio Parmesan cheese and chili flakes

are piled high on the plate, finished with a drizzle of local Georgia honey and SarVecchio Parmesan cheese. Chili flakes give the onion tower an unexpected but welcome kick. Another crowd favorite is the house-made pimento cheese, a must for any Southern menu, served with homemade crackers. It’s the USDA prime steaks, however, that keep customers filling the seats. From the New York strip to the Tomahawk, all of Buddy’s hand-cut steaks are cooked to perfection on the wood-fire grill. For those who want to add a little something extra, restaurant patrons can request for their steaks to be bleu cheese encrusted, blackened, or topped with roasted mushroom, grilled shrimp, or Cajun shrimp alfredo. For the non-meat lovers in the group, we recommend the kale Caesar salad with massaged green kale, garlic oil, lemon juice, bread crumbs, grana cheese, red pepper flakes, and Caesar dressing. Another popular salad on the menu is the Iceberg Wedge, featuring bacon and bleu cheese topped with spiced Georgia pecans, grape tomatoes, and chives. Since opening, the menu has expanded to include items such as Surf and Turf; shrimp and grits with Cajun seasoned shrimp; Chilean sea bass; and lamb chops

with rosemary glaze and mashed potatoes. If the appetizers, steaks, and sides don’t fill you up, the dessert menu certainly will with decadent standouts such as the Bananas Foster with spiced pecans, Italian meringue, brown sugar, and a spiced rum butter sauce. The Crème Brûlée shines with fresh strawberries, house-made whipped cream, and chocolate sable. To top off your meal, Bare Bones’ bar boasts one of the widest selections of bourbon, beer, wine, and cocktails in the area. The BB Tini features chilled vodka infused with fresh peaches and pineapples. Another boozy favorite is Mikey’s Barrel-Aged Old Fashioned, made with Buffalo Trace bourbon, oranges, cherries, bitters, soda, and simple syrup. While the food is truly the focus at Bare Bones, Buddy and Gaye know they wouldn’t be the success they are without the community’s support. “We truly owe our corporate and community customers a huge thank you,” Buddy says. “They are a big reason why we love what we do.” In return, Gaye and Buddy are dedicated to giving back to their beloved community. “We try to support the local schools and the sports teams here in Buford,” Gaye says. “We are big supporters of the local museum, Annandale Village, and we also sponsor the Gwinnett Gladiators and the Georgia Swarm.” With the historic atmosphere and delicious menu, along with Buddy and Gaye’s palatable love for what they do and the community they inhabit, there’s no doubt that Bare Bones Steakhouse will continue to be a favorite dining spot for years to come. ■ Bare Bones Steakhouse 115 E. Main St., Buford. Call 470-266-1890 for reservations (recommended).

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL Hope Springs Distillery, Gwinnett County’s first distillery since Prohibition, creates smallbatch spirits with lots of love STORY BY ALICIA CARTER



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ope Springs Distillery is a labor of love for Paul Allen and Betsey Dahlberg. After finding themselves unemployed later in life, they turned a 20-year hobby of brewing beer, wine, and mead into a career in distillation. Tucked away in downtown Lilburn, the small craft distillery — the first and only in Gwinnett County since Prohibition — has been turning out batches of vodka and gin since 2017. Jaz Jarzewiak joined


We recently had the chance to sit down with Betsey and Paul, who talked about the process of opening the distillery, their love for the history of their community, and why they don’t plan to expand any time soon. Why did you decide to open a distillery?

Left to right: Jaz Jarzewiak, Betsey Dahlberg and Paul Allen

the team a few months later and added absinthe to their curated list of products, which includes Top Hat vodka and Garner Creek gin. The names of the spirits they produce are nods to the local community, the inspiration behind much of what the Hope Springs team creates. “It’s a tribute to this place,” Betsey says. “The county has been great to us. The city has been great to us. It’s so much better in a small town where everybody looks out for each other.”

Betsey: Paul and I both found ourselves unemployed in our 60s during the Recession, and it became clear nobody was going to hire us, so we had to have a business so we could hire ourselves. We had made beer and wine at home for many years, and we started reading about all these craft distilleries popping up, and I said, “Paul, let’s do that! We know how to do that!” So we decided that’s what we would do. And then we got into it and we realized we didn’t know how to do that. So we had to take some classes. But the more we learned about it, the more we decided it was going to be a fun thing to do, and our goal was to have a place to go every day to do things we would enjoy, and hopefully make enough money to support ourselves. We have done most of that. We are not yet to the point where we are making lots of money, but we’re getting there.

When did Hope Springs Distillery officially open?

even when we had product on the market, we weren’t open to the public until April of 2018 when we got the tasting room. Paul: The process is incredible. You have to have a building ready to go. You have to have special locks. You have to have a layout of the equipment that you don’t have yet. You have to have your still on order — lead time is, depending on the brand, one to two years. Then you start applying to see if you can use this pile of money that you just spent. You apply to the federal government to see if you if you can get a distilled spirits permit. They passed a law sometime during that period that allowed us to sell directly out of the tasting room.


Betsey: It was Senate Bill 85, and it went into effect September 1, 2017, which we all celebrated.

Why did you

choose to Betsey: It all runs together in open in Lilburn? - Betsey Dahlberg your mind after a Betsey: We needed while, but we were to be in one of the incorporated in 2014. We’ve been in incorporated areas that allow liquor this building since 2015. We didn’t sales, because we knew all along actually start the build-out until the the possibility would come up that next year. We got our license in we would be able to sell directly, so 2016, the still in 2017. We finally got we needed to be in a place where product out in 2017. I can’t tell you that would be allowed. Plus, all of exactly when we “opened” because the places that we visited before we


went into business — we went to a lot of different distilleries, and the best ones were all in a small town. And we thought, “That works for us.” So we looked at several places in Gwinnett County, and Lilburn was the place that said, “Yes! We would love to have you here! Please come, we’ll find you some space.“ So that’s why we’re in Lilburn.

Where did you get the Hope Springs name? Betsey: My parents came to Atlanta in the early ’40s. My father always wanted to be a farmer, and they bought 50 acres in Stone Mountain. My mother wasn’t really sure they were going to be able to make a go of it, so she said, “Well hope springs eternal.” And that’s how the farm was named. When we decided to open the distillery, Paul asked what we should name it, and I said, “Hope Springs!”

How did you come up with the name Top Hat vodka? Betsey: We knew our first product was going to be vodka and we were looking for a name for it. We could’ve just named everything Hope Springs, but I really wanted to name things that would give a clue that it was local. So we were looking for something that had a connection to Lilburn. We saw a photograph [of Lilburn Trigg Myers, the city of Lilburn’s namesake, in a top hat]. The gentleman at the antique store is kind of the unofficial Lilburn historian, and he had this scrapbook that had this picture in it and we thought, “We have to have it! That’s got to be the label!” We had visited a liquor store a year before that and we were looking for another local distillery’s products and it was hard to find because their labels are not — they don’t jump out at you that this is a local product. The manager of the liquor store said to us, “You need to put a name on it that will tell people — you don’t want to hit them over the head with it, but something that will tell them it was made here.” So that’s why we were looking for something with a local connection. When we saw that picture I said, “That would be perfect.



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We’ll name it Top Hat vodka and we’ll put this picture [of Lilburn Trigg Myers] on it.”

What cocktail would you recommend creating with the vodka or gin that you produce? Betsey: The vodka you could mix with just about anything, because it’s supposed to have no taste. Our vodka does have a little bit of a taste. It’s a clean and smooth taste. Here in the distillery and tasting room I can only make drinks that have alcohol I have produced, so most of my drinks here are made with some kind of fruit or vegetable and either the vodka or the gin. The absinthe we usually just dilute with water to serve it here.

Do you have plans to expand? Betsey: We are going to create other spirits, but we don’t ever intend to get really big. We want to keep this a small craft distillery. Another reason for that,

Hope Springs Distillery is equipped with a hybrid still that allows them to make vodka, gin and absinthe onsite. Left: The city of Lilburn’s namesake, Lilburn Trigg Myers’ photo graces the Top Hat vodka label.

people were asking me why we think our product is better than something produced on a larger scale, and I said, “Almost any of the spirits you buy from any craft distillery in the country are going to be better than anything commercially made because those people are making what they want to drink. So they’re paying attention to what the taste is and not just trying to make it inoffensive to a large number of people. So that’s one reason to stay small — we want to keep the quality of our products high. ■

Hope Springs Distillery is located at 4839 Railroad Ave. N.W. in Lilburn. Tours and the Tasting Room hours are Friday and Saturday, 2-5 p.m. or by appointment.

news from the suwanee schools universe

t Suwanee Magazine, we love encouraging students of all ages to write about things they are passionate about. This issue, our team asked local students to discuss what they feel would make our community a better place to live, work, and play.



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BY: Ava Belflower 7th Grade NORTH GWINNETT MIDDLE SCHOOL  Suwanee is a pretty awesome city. We’ve got lantern festivals, porch jams and Suwanee Fest! What more do we need? Well...not every town in the world is perfect. Changes can always be made. Everyone loves to be outside, but even outside needs an update. Art, art, everywhere! Who wouldn’t want to go for a long walk if it was mixed with art along the path? Blue, yellow and red lining the trail mixed with flowers would add a skip to everyone’s step. Sculptures ranging from big to little or groups of paintings with local images by the police and fire departments, would brighten the day for our local heroes and those who may need a little comfort. Now everyone might not be interested in simply looking at the art. An imaginative feature would be cool. Let’s add an interactive sculpture or mosaic of pictures that can be shuffled. This would spark the imagination of children and inspire them to make their own art. The end result would be a community who comes together to play. Let’s make it happen!

Make A Difference By Going Green BY: Sarah Punjani 11th Grade PEACHTREE RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL  Although I am a newcomer to the Duluth/ Suwanee area (I hail from Lawrenceville/ Grayson), I have noticed a similar issue which needs to be addressed: recycling. I can blatantly state that I’m not any sort of conservationist or naturalist. I too take prolonged showers where I spend time singing appallingly. I too have never gone out of my way to make compost piles like the ones which are shown in Good Housekeeping. I too forget quite often to recycle; however, we can make the difference in our community and go green. Perhaps you do not have a recycling bin in the first place. Well, the answer to your problems can be

solved if you visit the city of Duluth website, where it states that “Recycling is offered to Duluth residents at no charge.” If you email an email address listed on the website, you can obtain a recycling bin for no cost at all; however, if you live in Suwanee, you may want to consider calling your local waste management service and inquire about the issue with them. If you do have a recycling can and are not recycling, you should consider placing someone in your household with the authority to collect recycling items. In our house, I have placed myself as the designated “recycling person,” and I collect as much recyclable material as possible until trash day. If you live the solo life and do not recycle, just simply ponder about the future and try imagining a revolting world where garbage and filth are encapsulating you. See, didn’t that work? We all know the benefits of recycling: it saves space in landfills, it conserves natural resources, it prevents pollution, etc. In the end, the process of recycling will not only help our city now, but it will positively impact the future of our city, as well as help out the rest of Mother Nature. ■




11th Grade NORTH GWINNETT HIGH SCHOOL  From the green parks to the top notch schools to the abundance of ice cream shops, there are countless things that make Suwanee what it is: truly amazing. Run by an outstanding group of people, many who I have gotten to know personally, Suwanee has become one of the best places to live in America. But as it is with everything, there is always room to grow. My project of choice? Dillard’s BBQ.



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This small barbeque restaurant across from Suwanee Town Center was once a great place to stop for pulled pork sandwiches on a quiet afternoon, but since its closing, it has become something of an eyesore in our beautiful city. Wedged between the natural magnificence of the park and the artistic masterpiece of the town mural, the building’s dilapidated appearance stands in stark contrast, but its location offers so much potential. A quaint sit down restaurant that looks out to the park would be a wonderful addition. Or a pottery shop or a city garden or a simple picnic area. You name it, you could put it there. The current building is overshadowing the potential of the lot, and is not a true representation of the nature of Suwanee, so with all the new advancements going on around town, this space needs an upgrade. We must not tackle every other part of Suwanee and leave its very heart underdeveloped. Out with the old and in with the new. Take this worn-down building and turn it into something that could make a change for the whole city. Make something magical. Make something Suwanee. ■

news and


events from in and around suwanee.


Suwanee Business Alliance’s 2019 Richard Trice Golf Tournament SAVE THE DATE: Join Suwanee Business Alliance on Tuesday, April 30, at 8 a.m. for their only fundraiser for the year at the Richard Trice Golf Tournament at Bear’s Best Golf course!  MORE DETAILS PG. 84

Former Suwanee Mayor, Richard Trice


SBA Board member John Ferroni & Bert Cochran at the 2018 tournament




■ The 2019 Richard Trice Golf Tournament takes place Tuesday, April 30, at 8 a.m. and is all about having fun, challenging yourself or your team to win, eating, drinking, networking, and raising money for local charities and families in need. Players, sponsors and volunteers are all needed. SBA president Julie Perdue would like to thank NAPA Auto Partsfor being the Presenting Sponsor, as well as Georgia Landscape Design and IAS for being Platinum Sponsors this year. The “best ball” format basically means that one person in your foursome needs to be able to hit the ball onto the fairway — so don’t be intimidated if you’re not

an awesome golfer. This may be your best day! There will be a Professional Long Drive Hitter hitting tee shots. He can hit 400 yards, which is more than most pro golfers! Breakfast and lunch are provided, along with prizes and a silent auction. SBA’s goal is to beat last year and raise more than $10k for charity! For all the details and to sign up your team today, visit

Think You Have The Best Mother in Suwanee? ■ Do you think your mom deserves a day of pampering, shopping, and relaxation? Being a mother is simultaneously the most rewarding and difficult role in life, and we hope that every mom feels celebrated this Mother’s Day. Submit a short essay and tell us why your mother, daughter, sister, wife, grandmother, or friend is the best mother in Suwanee! We will be accepting entries at now through April 1st. The most deserving mothers will be chosen based on the content of the essay that tells why your nominee/mother should be selected. The winner will be notified shortly after the entry deadline and will be featured in the May/June issue of Suwanee Magazine. To be eligible, mothers do not necessarily have to live within the city limits of Suwanee to win, but she must live in the vicinity of Suwanee or in a surrounding area. This includes: Lawrenceville, Buford, Sugar Hill, Duluth, and Johns Creek.

CONTEST WINNERS RECEIVE: ■ A Makeover from a local salon ■ Gift cards to shop at local stores ■ Featured in the May/June issue of Suwanee Magazine



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Monique Hicks of Vitality Med Spa with one of the 2017 Winners Jan Welch

2019 Cooper O’Brien Sportsmanship and Courage Award Recipients Honored

INTERACTIVE NEIGHBORHOOD FOR KIDS REOPENS AFTER FLOOD ■ Following a disastrous flood back in September, Gainesville’s Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) held its grand reopening in February. Noting the hard work of the INK staff, numerous community volunteers, and professional contractors, they were able to complete the repairs and renovations as well as carefully restore favorite exhibits along with freshly designed new exhibits. INK has been a mainstay for 16 years as a venue for children, their families and educators to play, learn, imagine and grow in a safe “neighborhood” environment. This kid-size environment encourages children to “learn and develop life skills that will shape the adults they will become. Children of all ages, abilities and experiences can develop their full potential through exciting, hands-on learning.” New exhibits include a revamped bank experience presented by Pinnacle Bank and a nod to manufacturing and HR with ZF Industries. INK is located at 999 Chestnut St. in Gainesville. For more information, visit

Kevin, Parker and Donna O'Brien pictured with NGMS 7th grader Mikey Carlson and 6th grader Shelby Snyder.

■ North Gwinnett Middle School (NGMS) students Mikey Carlson and Shelby Snyder received the 2019 Cooper O’Brien Sportsmanship Award, which is awarded to athletes who demonstrate noble characteristics on and off the court. The award honors Cooper O’Brien, who lost his battle to a rare form of cancer called Clear Cell Sarcoma in 2014 after graduating 8th grade at NGMS. Carlson and Snyder are part of North Gwinnett Basketball Association (NGBA) and according to their coaches, parents, and Kevin O’Brien, both Carlson and Snyder are great teammates and give 100% at practice and games. Snyder is also

an NGBA all-star. She plays soccer Cooper O'Brien on a travel team, is on student council, and loves music. She is very compassionate towards others. Mikey Carlson is very passionate and a sports enthusiast. He loves school and being with his friends, has a great heart and is always willing to help others. There are more than 700 student athletes eligible for this award, and according to Kevin O’Brien, “Mikey and Shelby showed the kind of sportsmanship and respect for others, which is what makes them the 2019 Cooper O'Brien Sportsmanship award recipients.”


Gwinnett 200 Features Documentaries About The History Of Gwinnett


■ Although Gwinnett County’s yearlong bicentennial celebration wrapped up on December 15th, history buffs and Gwinnett County residents can still learn the backstory of Georgia’s second mostpopulous county. The Gwinnett County Government has developed six documentaries about the county’s past. The videos trace Gwinnett’s origin and cover other aspects of the county’s history, including its military contributions, the development of its African-American community, the achievements of its business community, and where the county is at now. You can watch the six videos online on the official bicentennial website at

Greater Atlanta Christian School Concert Choir to Debut at Carnegie Hall ■ On March 23, the Concert Choir at Greater Atlantic Christian (GAC) School will travel more than 850 miles to make its first-ever appearance on New York’s legendary concert stage, Carnegie Hall, as part of MidAmerica Productions’ 36th annual concert season. The GAC School Concert Choir will play an integral part of a larger group performing Morten Lauridsen’s contemporary classic, Lux Aeterna, one of the most enduring choral works of the last quarter century. The performance will be under the baton of conductor John Ratledge, with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. “This is something we’ve been working towards for a long time,” said Dr. Marcus Miller, Director of the Concert Choir. “Students can thrive in the arts at GAC, but it’s important we show them that their artistic aspirations can take them anywhere, including to the greatest concert stage in America.” Greater Atlanta Christian School Concert Choir will share the stage, as part of a chorus of more than 135, with Middletown Concert Chorale (Middletown, N.Y.), Hillcrest High School Ensemble (Tuscaloosa, AL), Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church (Tuscaloosa, AL), and Wagner College Choir (Staten Island, N.Y.).



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Theater Festival Brings Awards For Suwanee Performing Arts ■ Last October, The Community Arts Players of Suwanee (CAPS), a division of Suwanee Performing Arts, produced a touching production of Once on This Island, Jr. Under the inspired direction of Emily Hogan, innovative choreography by Jenna Dorece, and masterful musical direction by Teri Khan, the musical was first performed at North Gwinnett High School. CAPS members knew this cast was special and decided to take 23 of the original cast members and create a condensed version of the show to perform at the Junior Theater Festival on the weekend of January 18th. The Junior Theater Festival took place at the Cobb Galleria and focused on bringing performing groups from all over the world together. The festival gives them the opportunity to celebrate musical theater by allowing them to meet people from all over the world, take workshops, see new MTI Broadway Junior shows, and experience the world of musical theater. Out of 600+ performing groups and more than 6,000 actors and actresses in attendance, the Once on this Island Jr. cast won the award for Outstanding Ensemble Work. Actor Greg Chalmers, who played Daniel in the performance, was recognized for Best Male Performer. Daniel Miller and Saanvi Diskaklar were also recognized as All-Star Performers.




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■ U.S. News and World Report, the global authority in health care rankings, once again identified Suwanee’s Salude as one of the best skilled nursing facilities in the United States. U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 facilities nationwide, in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. Of the 359 skilled nursing facilities listed in Georgia, only 17 receive U.S. News’ top honor. “We are proud and honored to be recognized by U.S. News as one of the Best Skilled Nursing

the buzz

Gwinnett Co. Department of Water Resources Wins Award for Water Research

■ The WateReuse Association selected a Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources project as a winner in the 2018 WateReuse Awards for Excellence under the transformational innovation category. The research project evaluated the feasibility and economics of using ozone/biological filtration treatments to produce drinking water directly from reclaimed water, compared to a more expensive reverse-osmosis process. The project involved two different demonstrations operated simultaneously for nine months. While both demonstrations replicated the current full-scale drinking water treatment process, one study treated lake water only while the other treated blends of lake water with advanced treated reclaimed water from the F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center. The pilot study demonstrated that drinking water standards could be achieved with a blend of the advanced treated reclaimed water from F. Wayne Hill Water Resources Center and combined with water from Lake Lanier.

facilities in Georgia and the United States. While our patients’ experience and clinical outcomes are most important to our mission, we are certainly ecstatic to be recognized with this top honor,” said Salude’s CEO Dr. Alan L. Wang. “The Best Nursing home ratings are designed to help potential residents and their families navigate this important decision.” Salude is an upscale transitional care and rehabilitation facility focused on providing specialized short-term care in a state-of-theart environment. Focusing on quality health care and the “Art of Recovery” to improve the health care experience, Salude delivers inpatient and outpatient services for those recovering from post-acute and post-surgical conditions including orthopedic, respiratory and cardiac, and other complex short-term rehabilitation needs.


z z u B City S U G A R


Life just keeps getting sweeter in the city of Sugar Hill. The community’s already award-winning E Center, an 180,000-square-foot mixed-use development owned and operated by the city’s Downtown Development Authority, has been debuting premier businesses and entertainment experiences since the Eagle Theatre opened its doors in fall of 2018. With 40,000 square feet of leasable commercial space, the project has attracted businesses and entrepreneurs interested in locating in the project that proudly serves as “the Center of Everything.” The E Center’s first business, Blue Landworks, a civil engineering firm, opened its doors earlier this fall and Rushing Trading Company, a gourmet coffee shop and restaurant with a full bar, celebrated a grand opening in January of this year. Other tenants offering unique dining experiences and professional services have opened over the last few months, with artisan slice bar Crazy Dough’s Pizza opening in early spring and several other concepts not far behind. Indio Brewing, a home-brewing passion grown into full microbrewery production, will be located along the E Center’s public promenade with outdoor seating, sculptures, gas fire pits, and cascading waterfalls. Perazim, a mother-daughter clothing boutique, will open soon on West Broad Street along with Sweet City



Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19

feet of 40,000 square ace sp l ia commerc

Smiles dental practice. Other tenants such as NorthPointe Hospitality, a hospitality consulting firm, and Cloud Performer, a performance marketing team, illustrate the diversity of professional services and opportunities E Center tenants are bringing to downtown Sugar Hill.



In addition to new businesses, the E Center also boasts a full community gym including: › an indoor walking track › fitness equipment › community classrooms › gathering spaces for rent › a court striped for volleyball, basketball, and pickleball The Eagle Theatre, a 406-seat performing arts center, hosts nationally touring shows as well as community performances, serving as a true fine arts center for the region. Located near the Bowl, Sugar Hill’s award-winning 1,800seat outdoor amphitheater, the Eagle Theatre further establishes Sugar Hill as an entertainment destination with a commitment to performing and community art.

Collective Soul @ The Bowl



With entertainment, dining, and commercial space in the E Center complementing the Bowl amphitheater’s soon-tobe-announced summer concert series and the downtown Splash Park, life in downtown Sugar Hill is sure to provide opportunities for families and neighbors of all ages to enjoy the sweet life this summer.





Suwanee Sweetheart Sprint Feb. 16, 2019






Suwanee Magazine


I MAR / APR 19

SBA January Meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019




SBA February Meeting Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019



Suwanee Half Marathon and Old Town 5K

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 TOWN CENTER PARK





Suwanee Magazine



MAR / APR 19

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SIP & SWINE BBQ FESTIVAL ________________ ________

3:00 pm-9:00 pm on Friday, March 1st & 10:00 am-6:00 pm on Saturday, March 2nd _______________________



Coolray Field, Lawrenceville ________________________ FREE admission! More details @



Town Center Park ________________________


On Sunday, March 10, at 2 pm, the City of Suwanee will once again take a massive aerial community photo in the park, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the original "S"photo.

16 23 4 SUWANEE KIWANIS SHAMROCK 5K _________________________


5K: 7:30 am / Fun Run 8:30 am _________________________

Town Center Park __________________________

________________ ________ 8:30 am _______________________ /SuwaneeKiwanisShamrock5k

Suwanee Magazine


8:00 am _____________________

Town Center Park

Tickets on sale for Gwinnett's Biggest St. Paddy's Day Weekend Party on March 16th! For more information and to purchase tickets go to

2:00 pm-3:00 pm _______________________


RACE TO CURE SARCOMA ATLANTA ________________ ______

_________________ _______________________________ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm (VIP Starts @ NOON) _________________ _______________________________

SUWANEE’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY PHOTO ________________ ________



Town Center Park


MAR / APR 19



________________ _______ 7:05 pm ______________________

Coolray Field, Lawrenceville


GLOW IN THE PARK ____________ ________

5:00 pm ___________________

Town Center Park ____________________

Community lantern parade of light, music, and color through Suwanee, ending at a concert at Town Center Park.


ANNANDALE’S JAZZY THING ____________ ________

6:30 pm - 10:00 pm ___________________

21 21 27& 28 Lillian Webb Park, Norcross



__________________ 7:00 am __________________

Town Center Park


GWINNETT FAMILY FEST ____________ ________

10:00 am - 3:30 pm ___________________

Gwinnett Chamber ____________________


CELEBRATE CLAYTON _____________________ 10:00 am-5:00 pm on Saturday, April 27th & 10:00 am -4:00 pm on Sunday, April 28th _____________________

Downtown Clayton ____________________ For more information visit

30 27 For more information visit


__________________ 9:00 am __________________

Town Center Park


8:00 am _______________________

Bear’s Best Country Club ________________________ For more information or to register, visit


Profile for Suwanee Magazine

Suwanee Magazine March/April 2019  

2019 Summer Camp Guide + Suwanee Beer Fest Guide

Suwanee Magazine March/April 2019  

2019 Summer Camp Guide + Suwanee Beer Fest Guide