Just Tap’d hosting 3rd Annual Beer Festival this Saturday April 29

Macon, Ga –We all can benefit from a little R&R from time to time; a tranquil setting, something good to eat, and a refreshing aperitif to wash it all down, and I know just the place. It’s full of craft beers, fine wines, and awe-inspiring grub. Owners Jeff and Beth Kressin have “Tap’d” into a market that caters to the homebrew enthusiast. Just Tap’D is a gastropub that originally opened in Warner Robins, formerly known as “Lazy Dog Growler,” and has since expanded their operation to the Macon area.

There is a large selection of craft beers at Just Tap’d. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The unique aspects of the business are that it offers 64 different versions of craft beer so.  If you are looking to purchase mass produced domestic or imported brew you won’t find it at Just Tap’d. They also have a full restaurant that serves the most delectable pub cuisine. Patrons also have the option of dining in or enjoying the services alfresco.

Janie Armstrong and Courtney Carr serving customers at Just Tap’d . Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Beyond being a restaurant and bar, they also sponsor community events such as the 3rd Annual Beer Festival. I had the pleasure of speaking to some very enthusiastic and helpful staff who gave me some rather insightful information about it.  The event is slated for April 29th from 1-5pm, 488 First St. Macon, Georgia at the Rosa Park Square. Janie Armstrong and Courtney Carr, both who are counter servers at Just Tap’D said that, they expect to see over 1,000 patrons attending this year’s beer festival and that 40 different breweries are planning to attend.

Just Tap’d’s lower dining area. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The event will cater to over 100 different brews from a select group of brewers. Stephen Chwat, who is the senior kitchen staff said that he will be preparing pizza and there will be other food catered from various other snack trucks throughout the event.

2017 is the third year for the Just Tap’d Craft Beer Festival/ Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased at the regular price of $35.00 up until the event at any Just Tap’D locations. You will pay $40.00 at the gate and VIP tickets are $50.00. Attendees can get in free if they don’t drink. There will also offer a $5.00 discount on Lyft and Uber services.

If you are looking for grub, Stephen Chwat, Just Tap’d Senior Cook will set you up. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

For more information on Just Tap’D Annual Beer Festival featuring Live Music visit www.eventbrite.com

Ellen Gilchrist wins the 2017 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature

Macon, Ga.Mercer University’s Macon campus hosted the Sidney Lanier Prize Presentation for Southern Literature to novelist, short story writer, and poet Ellen Gilchrist. The presentation was held in the President’s Dinning Hall and awarded by the Mercer’s Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies on Saturday April 22, 2017. Gilchrist spoke with fans who were able to take pictures with the author as well as have books signed. The Spencer B. King Jr. Center examines the complex history and culture of the U.S. South.

Ellen Gilchrist accepting the Sidney Lanier Prize
Ellen Gilchrist, the Sidney Lanier Prize recipient for Southern Literature. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

David Davis who has been the Chair of the Sidney Lanier Prize Committee said that the committee has been actively awarding this prestigious award for six-years all of which he has held the current title of Chairman. Davis said, “The prize committee is a group of Mercer faculty, members of the local Macon community and experts of Southern Literature from outside of Macon, and in the fall, we consider nominated writers and we deliberate on them and we chose a prize winner for the year. The prize winner is the person who has made career long contributions to Southern Literature.”

Sidney Lanier Prize
David Davis serves as Chairman of the Sidney Lanier Prize Committee that sponsors the award. Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The recipient Ellen Gilchrist was born near Vicksburg, Mississippi, and has authored more than 23 books, some she said are not mentioned in her long list of publications. Gilchrist said she grew up on a plantation where much of the work was performed by hired help. Gilchrist said, that she began writing at a young age, and her influences came from family members whom worked as journalist. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy at Vanderbilt University. When asked what advice she can give aspiring authors and writers she recommended Ernest Hemingway on Writing by Larry W. Phillips. Her latest novel Things like the Truth: Out of My Later Years and other works can be found online at www.algonquin.com.

Easter Sunday 2017: A Day of Resurrection at Southside Baptist Church

Warner Robins, Ga.-Spring was in the air on this glorious Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. The weather was perfect for a day of fellowship and family outings. Southside Baptist Church’s Easter Sunday Service highlighted the importance of this day. Greeters welcomed churchgoers upon entrance with a hello, a handshake, or a hug. There was much fellowshipping throughout the lobby, and complimentary coffee and doughnuts were readily available. Church-goers dressed in the traditional Easter attire of pastels adorned the halls of the sanctuary. Everyone embraced the theme of Easter, from the young to the old and even the newborn babies, who stole the show.

Photo by Donja M. Harper

The church handed bulletins as attendees congregated for worship services. The announcement gave insight on the numerous services that Southside Baptist offers. Services such as “Life Groups” that cover all different stages of life, “Celebrate Recovery” which is a 12-step program based on the teachings of Jesus, and the various programs for kids and young adults. The programs for children included “Awali Land”, “252 Kids”, “Ignition”, and “Collide”.

Photo by Donja M. Harper

The program began with Southside’s Band performing an uplifting rendition of David Crowder’s “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner.” The ensemble gave an excellent performance backed by impressive background lighting effects. Following the musical procession, the church performed baptisms. Pastor Jerry Walls proceeded with the morning worship with a message of theories and beliefs of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pastor Walls spoke about his family and how much he enjoys Easter, which is his second favorite holiday following Christmas. Pastor Walls continued a three-week epilog which included the seven last statements Jesus made before his demise. The service concluded with prayer and offerings.

For more information about Southside Baptist Church visit their website.

Or call 478.953.9388

Great Greek, Mediterranean and Indian food at Metropolis Grill

Warner Robins, Ga.- When it comes to Indian and Mediterranean cuisine that’s fulfilling and flavorful Metropolis Grill looms high on the list. The address is 866 Georgia Hwy 96 Suite 104 in Warner Robins.

The first time I experienced Greek cuisine I was hooked. The combination of spices, sauces, and tantalizing taste of lamb sautéed in olive oil just seemed so right. But I must admit the first place I dined was mediocre compared to the experience I received at Metropolis Grill. They take the cuisine to another level. I have never eaten in Greece, India, or anywhere near the Mediterranean but I am sure Metropolis would hold their own against the best that part of the world has to offer. The tzatziki sauce they make is amazing, it’s perfect with their pita bread, and it compliments the lamb quite nicely.

The owner Rajesh K. Gandhi, commonly known to patrons as “Bobby” is originally from Punjab, India and has been a restauranteur for about 27-years. Bobby entered the restaurant business because he likes cooking, so much so that he creates all his recipes. The restaurant started out on Watson Blvd. but is now located on Hwy 96. It’s no secret that Metropolis has a unique flare, so when asked how does his establishment differ from the rest, Bobby said, “It’s all authentic food, and everything is made fresh to order.”

The menu at Metropolis is very diverse. You will certainly find something that will suit your palate, from the Metropolis Sampler appetizer, a salad from the Mediterranean Garden section, and even a section designated as Dinner for Two. I’m a huge fan of the Combination Greek Platter, mainly because it is served with lamb and spanakopita which is a spinach pie consisting of feta cheese, scallions, egg, and seasoning.

Metropolis also offers Indian dishes that consists of the most delectable cumin and curry sauces as well as masalas. I recommend the Chef Special if it’s an aromatic traditional Indian dish you desire. Metropolis Grill is a taste like non-other, with flavors that your taste buds will love.

Middle Georgia State University Award Student Leaders

Warner Robins, Ga. – Middle Georgia State University hosted a ceremony honoring thirty-eight students for their noteworthy commitment, dedication, and overall achievements contributed to their student body organizations during the 2016-2017 school year. The ceremony was held April 12,2017, in the Student Success Center on the Warner Robins campus. The décor of the ceremony was artfully designed; it resonated a theme of global significance; a passport to success. A constructed portal which led to a 6-foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower added a stunning touch to the ceremony, as well as the other visual aids.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Michael Stewart, Ph.D. in Education and Assistant Vice-President of Student Affair’s, said the Student Leadership Awards recognize outstanding leadership and service exhibited by students involved in student engagement programs. “Student Engagement focuses on learning outside the classroom through involvement in student organizations, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, intramural, club sports and campus/ community service projects,” Dr. Stewart explained.

The ceremony began with a welcoming speech from Corey Guyton, Ph.D. in Philosophy. Guyton’s momentous prelude included thunderous applause for all those that helped make the ceremony a success. He talked about the significance of honoring students who exemplify the inspiring attributes of leaders.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

Dr. Guyton’s speech was followed up by MGSU’s President, Dr. Christopher Blake. Blake proceeded with acknowledging the importance of celebrating success and finding greatness. He discussed that students should view the ceremony as a way of passing the torch for fellow peers to aspire to.

The highlight of the ceremony was the “Presentation of Awards” to the student leaders. The awards were presented by Dr. Jennifer Brannon. It consisted of distinctive leadership awards for recognition within the various student organizations and concluded with three overall awards for outstanding recognition.

Photo by Donja M. Harper.

The 38 students honored included:
Christopher Price, Brothers of Leadership & Distinction
Ciyanni Hunter, Campus Activity Board – Cochran
Brandi M. Harrison, Canterbury Club
Grace Terry, Georgia Academy
Kieston Standfield, Men’s Varsity Basketball
Julie J. Davis, Mock Mediation Team
Thomas Smith, Peer Career Advisor Club
Jasmine Miller, Queens of Knights
Samantha Morgan, Sigma Kappa Delta
Jamia Orange, Sisters Attaining Self Success
Alan Kalinda, Southeast Model African Union
Kristina R. Troili, Student Art League
TyAsia Grayer, Women’s Varsity Basketball
Hannah Gullickson, Women’s Varsity Soccer
Tiana Bell, Multi-Cultural Association
Victoria Monetta, Campus Activity Board – Eastman
Emily Lambert, Women in Aviation
Clayton Vedder, Accounting Association
Quaid Stone, Association of Healthcare Executives
Shaniqua Smith, Black Student Unification
MiTyrra Montgomery, Campus Activity Board – Macon
Erin R. Lucas, Central GA Information Systems Security Association
Jennifer Martin, Chamber Singers
Sarah L. Kirk, Cyber Knights
Patrick Layson, English Studies Organization
DeMarcus Beckham, Gay-Straight Alliance
John R. Legg, History Student Organization
Rachel Hastings, Honors Student Association
Alexandra Cooper, Internal Audit Association
Hunter Holland, Kappa Sigma Fraternity
Chris Ely, Middle Georgia Respiratory Education Action Team
Shekennia Grover, Model African Union
Amanda Johnson, President’s Torch Society
TeAndre Dennis, Student Government Association
Stephanie Breitenbach, Student Media
Jonathan Almendras, Student Veteran Association
Tina Scott, Campus Activity Board – Warner Robins
Carmeshia Primus, Student Employee of the Year

Following the ceremony, there was fellowship, with guests joining faculty, staff, and honorees for a reception which included a full buffet of refreshments.