“Billion Dollar Baby” event discusses the Georgia movie industry

Tubman Museum
Macon’s Tubman Museum was the venue for Macon Film Festival’s “Million Dollar Baby”, a panel on the Georgia film industry. Photo by Doug Deal.

Approximately 50 people attended the “Billion Dollar Baby” event during the Macon Film Festival. A panel of 8 experts from the film industry, education and community organizations each gave a brief presentation of their role in bringing movies to Georgia. The panel was hosted by the Macon Film Commission’s Terrell Sandfefur and took place Friday afternoon. Other members were: Alison Fibben, Clark Cofer, Elliott Dunwoody, Jeffrey Stepakoff, Jeremiah Bennett, LaRonda Sutton, and Shelbia Jackson.

Discussion was held in the Peyton Anderson Rotunda inside the Tubman Museum where panelist Elliott Dunwoody explained how the movie industry got a head start in Georgia with a lot of help from Burt Reynolds, who starred in Deliverance (1972). Today, shows like the Living Dead, various reality shows and movies like Avengers: The Infinity War and Furious 8. All counted, there are at least 33 different TV and movie productions being filmed in Georgia.

Part of the discussion focused on how ordinary people could help bring these productions to Georgia. One of the most important aspects is the skills set of local residents. Movies and TV productions not only need actors, they need electricians, sound engineers, hair and makeup stylists and scores of others to round out the production. These “non-glamorous” roles are critical to the success of any production and producers are more likely to film in areas that have enough skilled workers to meet their demand. Organizations like the Macon Film Commission can furnish you with more information on opportunities to learn the business or apply your skills.

Billion Dollar Baby
“Billion Dollar Baby” was attended by 50 plus people from Macon and as far away as Massachusetts. Photo by Doug Deal.

Another big part of the equation are the tax breaks and credits the industry can take advantage of which are made available by the state government. If a studio has a presence in Georgia and uses local Georgia companies, they can receive a tax credit for a portion of what they spent. Further, by displaying the peach logo you may have seen in the credits at the end of a movie, studios can receive additional credits. Such publicity encourages more films and series to consider Georgia.

The Georgia film industry is hot–by some reports it is hot enough to rank as the third busiest location in the United States for film and TV productions. That heat is generated by a partnership of industry executives, economic development organizations, various film commissions, state and local governments, and the people of Georgia.

Find out more from at the Macon Film Commission. The film festival activities continue this weekend. Saturday July 23, check out the casting workshop, also at the Tubman Museum from 1 to 2 PM.

For any of the many other Film Festival events, please consult their schedule.

Macon Beer Company announces Festie Besties Bottle Release Party set for July 27, 6-10 pm

Macon Beer Company Tap Room
The Macon Beer Company taproom. MBC will host the Festie Besties Bottle Release Party here on July 27.

On July 27, 2016, Macon Beer Company will host the Festie Besties Bottle Release Party at their brewery in downtown Macon to celebrate the release of bottled versions of two of their beers. Guests will receive take-home gifts of a 22 ounce bottle of each beer, Macon Movies and Macon Music.

There will be live entertainment from local bands Analog Existence and Hindsight, brewery tours, and beer sampling. There will be food for purchase, as well. The party begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Macon Music was released in 2014 to commemorate the Bragg Jam, while Macon Movies was released in 2015 to commemorate the Macon Film Festival. The Festie Besties Bottle Release Party is scheduled between the two festivals.
“Both of these festivals really highlight Macon’s revitalization,” said Macon Beer Company founder Jeremy Knowles. “There’s something to celebrate with the growing film and movie industry here. And Bragg Jam really celebrates our musical history here in Macon through live performance.”
Two Macon Beer Company brews, Macon Progress and Macon Love, are already available in bottles at various Middle Georgia Kroger stores. Macon Beer Company will follow the release of their newest bottled beers with the August release of a new brew, Macon Dreams, a peach ale, in honor of Otis Redding, who grew up in Macon.
The Festie Besties Bottle Release Party begins at 6 pm on July 27th. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and may be purchased online at maconbeercompany.com or by calling 478-216-7117.

Macon Beer Company offers tastings and tours

Macon Beer Company Outside
The front of the building does not do justice to the magic that they are making inside the Macon Beer Company brewery on Oglethorpe. Photo by Doug Deal.

Macon Beer Company hosts Saturday afternoon beer tastings and tours of their microbrewery at 345 Oglethorpe Street in downtown Macon every weekend and on the third Thursday of every month. For $12.00, visitors receive a souvenir Macon Beer Company glass and six tickets, each good for a six ounce sample of beer. The event is from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and tours of the brew room begin at 2 p.m. It’s a pretty goof deal, even if you are only there for the beer, but the tour is informative and gives a sneak peak into the world of microbreweries.

Macon Beer Company Sign
Macon Beer Company sign directing patrons to the tour and tasting. Photo by Doug Deal.

Macon Beer Company was the first local business featured on the cover of Macon Community News in our July 2013 debut print edition, and it was fun to revisit the brewery three years later. Owner Jeremy Knowles has grown the brewery from a mostly-empty warehouse and a good recipe, to a stylish, minimalistic brew house with a broad variety of beers.

Macon Beer Company Tap Room
The Macon Beer Company taproom is staffed by volunteers and offers 5 or 6 beers depending on the season. Photo by Doug Deal.

The warehouse is divided into two rooms, the brew room and the taproom. The taproom is open, with space for a corn hole game and picnic-style tables for playing board games. Two televisions hang from the ceiling, and industrial fans move air through the open spaces. Out back, there are more picnic tables in the beer garden. The taproom has a relaxed atmosphere with music and ample space to mingle and feel comfortable while you drink your beer.

At today’s tasting, there were five beers on tap: Macon Progress, the “original” recipe beer; Macon Progress^2, a modified version of the original; Macon Love, the pink ale flavored with cherries; Macon Movies, which has undertones of root beer; and Macon History, a dark, hoppy brew. The lineup is scheduled to change as new beers come online and others pass their season.

Macon Beer Company Taproom
Macon Beer Company patrons await the tour as they sample various beers. Photo by Doug Deal.

By the 2 p.m. tour, around 30 people had arrived. Jeremy invited us into the brew room. Where two used steel tanks stood three years ago, amid construction debris, there is now a room filled with shiny tanks, branded kegs and bottles, and the smell of hops and yeast.

During the tour, Jeremy discussed the history of Macon Beer Company. He is a chemical engineer, and a Georgia Tech grad, and his approach to brewing beer blends science and art. His discussion was as interesting as it was informative. It’s pretty cool to learn how small batch beer is made, especially when you’re watching it happen. The whole process can take from 2 weeks to a month before a brew is ready, depending on how many fermenting stages it needs. The beer itself if not filtered, but is instead flocculated in a bright tank to remove particulates and make the beer crystal clear.

Macon Beer Company Tour
Proprietor Jeremy Knowles explains the beer making process to visitors on the Macon Beer Company tour. Photo by Doug Deal.

Macon Beer Company fits both the craft beer aficionado and the casual beer consumer well. The flagship beer, Macon Progress was engineered to be accessible to those who have never tried a microbrewery and those who expect more out of their beer. Jeremy described it as a “transition” beer to get people off Bud or Yuengling and into a more complex beer. The taproom staff are all volunteers who love Macon, love beer, and love being part of Macon Beer Company. They make it easy to enjoy yourself.

Macon Beer Company has a website, at maconbeercompany.com, and an active Facebook page, where you can keep up with their weekly taste and tour events, and other upcoming events.

Macon Beer Company Kegs
1/6 barrel kegs stacked up and ready to be filled in the Macon Beer Company brewery. Photo by Doug Deal.

In this story we have also added a new feature, a 360º view of the brew room. If your browser is capable of showing it, you can move the photo around to see every direction.  We plan on adding these photos periodically when appropriate.

360 image of the brewery with a tour in progress. Photo by Doug Deal.

Southern Fried Championship Wrestling coming to Macon

If you like professional wrestling the way it used to be, in smaller venue and reasonably accessible by the fans, Southern Fried Championship Wrestling (SFCW) is coming to Macon on Saturday July 23, 2016.

Events get started with a meet and greet at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 6020 Harrison Rd in Macon. This will start at 11AM and continue to 3PM. SFCW wrestlers who will be in attendance include:

  • Tag Team Champion Logan Creed
  • Trinity team member Chris Nelms
  • Mc.Legend team member Justin Legend
  • Buddy Burke who will making his last appearance in Middle Georgia

Additional wrestlers are also slated to appear. Fans will have an opportunity to have their picture taken with the wrestlers.

One lucky attendee will receive tickets to the main event “SFCW Presents: Macon Mayhem” to be held later at La Bambas Mexican Restaurant on Northside Dr. in Macon.

For more information:

Harrison Rd. Wal-Mart Supercenter Info:

SFCW present: Macon Mayhem Event Info:

SFCW Wrestling is staging a 2 part event in Macon on Saturday July 23, 2016. Part one is a meet and greet at the Harrison Rd Walmart and the second is "Macon Mahem" at La Bamba's Mexican Restaurant on Northside. Graphic copyright SFCW.
SFCW Wrestling is staging a 2 part event in Macon on Saturday July 23, 2016. Part one is a meet and greet at the Harrison Rd Walmart and the second is “Macon Mahem” at La Bamba’s Mexican Restaurant on Northside. Graphic copyright SFCW.