15 March 2011

Beer Diary: Atlanta

It was a whirlwind weekend, but I won a trip to Atlanta for the SweetWater Brew Your Cask Off event, and fellow Knight of Beer Roundtable Jason and I left Indy at 6 AM on March 4th to try and drink Atlanta dry.

The first place Jason and I hit was The Porter Beer Bar. The bar is located is a very bohemian part of the city, but we had heard from multiple sources that this was a bar we needed to check out. It was a great recommendation.

The bar is a beer geek's little slice of alright. I think they had around 30 taps of all craft beer with most of that having a very Belgian and import beer theme. They also had another 6 or 8 pages of bottle selections from brewers all over the world. I was also really impressed by their proper glassware for all of their beers. I've never seen another beer bar with that type of dedication to proper glassware.

They also pass the honest beer glass test. All of their beers are spelled out and priced out for exactly what you are getting. No calling it a pint and only getting 12 oz served to you in a 14 oz shaker pint like is common here in Indianapolis.

The next bar was another Atlanta beer destination we were told to hit. We drove out to Decatur to a beer bar called Brick Store Pub. They had around 25 or so taps with a huge bottle list to go with it.

The servers knew their stuff, and again they had their beers listed with the proper size and were priced right to move. This place really seemed to pull together a really eclectic crowd, and it just goes to show the true social aspect of beer.

I felt this would be my local pub if I lived anywhere near this place. I don't mean that just because of the great beer list, but this place just had that "feeling" that great places have the minute you walk into them.

Our last stop for the day was at SweetWater Brewing Company. The liquor laws in Georgia work a little differently than they do here in Indiana. I gather that it is illegal for brewers to sell their beer directly to consumers on the premises. You have to pay for a brewery tour and then after that you get very ample samples of their delicious beer. Growler sales are also illegal in Georgia.

I was a huge fan of their entire lineup of beer. The IPA is bitter beast of a beer that I thought was really delicious. I was also a big fan of their Happy Ending imperial stout. It clocks in around 9%, but doesn't drink that way at all. It has big roasted notes, chocolate, a touch of coffee, and a pretty sizable hop presence. I also really liked their 420 Pale Ale. It would go into my rotation in the summer if I could get it around these parts.

SweetWater is doing something special down in the South. Last year they brewed 77K barrels of beer, and all of that beer is only available within three hours driving distance of Atlanta. That makes them one of the top 25 largest craft beer brewers in the US. The place couldn't be more fun as well. You can tell from the name of their beers that the people running the show like to have fun, and it shows in their operation. We need to get Clay from Sun King and Freddy from SweetWater together for a collaboration brew.


  1. I second the Sweet King collaboration. I've enjoyed the few beers I have been able to try from Sweetwater. Good stuff. Glad it was a good trip!

  2. I go to Atlanta 3 or 4 times a year for work. The brick store pub is amazing. I really enjoy the no tv atmosphere. Great food as well.