Atlanta Craft Brewery Guide
Set up in downtown Athens in a beautifully restored Chevy dealership-turned-tire shop, the Athens brewery best known for its island breezy IPA Tropicália, has picked up another reputation: constantly selling out of beer.
SweetWater might be the only brewery in town where a possibly hungover (yet welcoming) tour guide will describe the scientific release of CO2 during fermentation as a “yeast fart.” Indeed these guys are out to have a good, chill time.
While the backyard-like ambience leaves something to be desired, fans come for the beer and face time with friends. Regulars love double IPA Mother Hoppin’ (dry-hopped Amarillo gives it a nice edge).
The name Martin Luther is probably not the first historical figure that comes to mind when you think craft beer. But ask co-founder Spencer Nix, and it makes perfect sense.
With signature pours like the Invocation, a Belgian-style golden ale (nice and dry with a touch of fruitiness), and their imperial brown Ode to Mercy, Wild Heaven has become a beloved destination for its neighbors in Avondale Estates.
From surviving old beer laws that banned high gravity brews to having their original location threatened by a road expansion project, Atlanta’s oldest brewery has brewed award-winning beers (like their flagship IPA, Hoplanta) and grown a loyal fan base against plenty of odds.
The name Second Self aptly describes this brewery’s approach to beer. Here, it’s all about the duality—styles you’ll recognize, with a complexity that can surprise you.
If an award existed for best theme integration, hands down, it would go to Jailhouse. Employees are cheekily referred to as inmates, live events are promoted as lockdowns, and each beer name gets better than the next.
Come on, admit it—the basement beginning origin story in the craft beer world never gets old. This one starts with homebrew pals Roger Davis and Bobby Thomas. After sharing their recipes with friends over a year or so, the opportunity to go bigger seemed like the natural next step.
Like many craft brewers before him, founder Scott Hedeen went all-in to get his brewery going, selling his collection of punk rock music to help launch the operation.
Since 2002, Georgia’s second largest production brewery has been a reliable destination for beer styles not widely available in the Southeast—take Wake-n-Bake, a coffee oatmeal stout so rich and creamy that it might as well be a breakfast beer.
Aesthetically speaking, Monday Night is arguably the best tasting room inside the city of Atlanta. The beer is priority number one, of course, but a pleasant vibe—ambient lighting, cozy café-like seating, lots of room—is also wonderful.
The tasting room feels like a college dorm common area—it includes a couple of arcade games, minimal seating, and occasional live music, though during a recent visit the impromptu was a cross-legged dude in flip-flops, half-heartedly strumming a ukulele with friends accompanying him with song.
Perched above the Westminster Drive entrance of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, this is where fans of sour beer styles find their happy place. When the brewery launched in 2014, brewmaster Jason Pellett was driven to offer the market something new.
Surely it doesn’t get any more intimate than this—enter the brewery to a host of hellos from regulars who’ve taken up their weekly perch. A schnauzer greets you at the door—you’re okay, come on in.
A cozy interior, warm wood textures, soft lighting, and hospitable staff make this tasting room one of our extra special faves. You can stick to the year-round classics at Georgia’s first Belgian-style brewery, but pay homage to their forebears, like Single Intent, a crisp blond ale single.
The space, with its exposed wood ceiling and group seating, feels more like your neighborhood pub (sans food menu) than a brewery. And that’s the spirit co-founders Matthew Sweezey, Nathan Cowan, and Haley Cowan wanted to create.
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