Here’s a secret: Tastings at Georgia breweries are technically free. But there must be an educational or promotional component (hence the tour)—and you have to pour the beer into something, so breweries will charge around $10 or $12 for a souvenir glass. (Save it and bring it back the next time.) There are only a few worth going to more than once, and while SweetWater has become the éminence grise of Atlanta brewers, with tours five days a week, we’re partial to Three Taverns. At this Decatur upstart, tours are often still led by the founder himself, Brian Purcell, whose unabashed enthusiasm for his profession is infectious. Plus, the tasting room—dim, wooden, convivial—is like a bar we’d want to return to. 121 New Street, Decatur, threetavernsbrewery.com
This article originally appeared in our December 2014 issue.