Craft Beer Guide: Atlanta
Atlanta area entrepreneurs are puttin’ in work to build new parks, restaurants, and bars in many of the area’s up and coming neighborhoods - The craft brewery scene is no different. Seemingly overnight, the ATL has become one of the South’s premier hubs for craft beer enthusiasts.
The Greater Atlanta Area is now home to over 20 microbreweries and brewpubs, many of which feature taprooms open for tasting and tours. A lot of these breweries are relatively new, and are located in Atlanta’s coolest areas. Visiting the breweries in Atlanta was an awesome experience for the Craft Crawler team – It’s amazing how much delicious beer is being made right here in our own backyard.
Sweetwater Brewing is an Atlanta-area staple that has seen tremendous growth in the last decade. Their taproom is a favorite local hang out, features an awesome outdoor patio, and often hosts live music and food trucks on weekends. Sweetwater’s flagship beers can be found almost everywhere in the city, but the taproom offers a great opportunity to sample one-offs from the infamous “dank tank”. These craft beer pioneers also put on one of Atlanta’s biggest spring parties – The Sweetwater 420 festival.
Monday Night Brewing is another local favorite located on the outskirts of downtown. MNBC is one of the only breweries with tour and tasting hours on Monday afternoons and has become an after work hot spot for young professionals trying to unwind. The spacious taproom has an up-beat vibe with specialty brews pouring, all sorts of games, and a great outdoor area.
A short drive down 85-S from Monday Night will land you in one of Atlanta’s coolest neighborhoods, Little Five Points. Wrecking Bar Brewpub is conveniently located in magnificent old stone building in the heart of Little Five. Wrecking Bar serves awesome food and features a rotating tap of top-notch hand crafted brews. The world famous Porter Beer Bar and popular concert venue Variety Playhouse are both within walking distance of Wrecking Bar.
Though technically outside the Atlanta city limits, Decatur GA is a must-visit for craft beer drinkers. Blue Tarp Brewing, Three Taverns Craft Brewery, and Twain’s Billiards and Brewpub are all located within a square mile of each other. Three Taverns is home to one of America’s only Belgium-born brewers and have started picking up some notoriety for their adventurous recipes. Twain’s has about a dozen pool tables, a full menu, and several big screen TV’s – It’s one of our favorite places in town to watch a game.
Another mainstay of the Atlanta beer scene is the city’s oldest craft brewery- Red Brick Brewing. Red Brick (formerly Atlanta Brewing Co.) has been open since the early 90’s and brews some of the most popular local beers.
Overall, the brew scene in Atlanta is thriving. The brewers are working hand-in-hand with the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild to change some of the state’s antiquated distribution laws to allow for an even better beer drinking experience at breweries. Some of Georgia’s coolest breweries are located in the suburbs of Atlanta (Red Hare Brewing and Jekyll Brewing to name a few) so we are working on a post to highlight some of the “OTP” breweries to be released in the near future.