Barley + Rye: Post-holiday imbibing

Where to indulge in, or escape from, the festive spirit
Eggnog cocktail at The Porter Beer Bar.

Provided by the author.

For those who celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way, it’s likely that extended family has been in town just long enough to start the onset of cabin fever. No worries—you’ve surely been a good sport, decking the halls and being jolly. Even so, everybody needs a break from the full force of festivities, even those lacking an ounce of bah-humbug. While the below is not a comprehensive round-up of city bars that will open the day after Christmas, this short list gives a few suggestions of where to enjoy a brew or cocktail with or without the in-laws and your favorite second cousin.

Midway Pub

There’s a good reason this East Atlanta Village pub named its beer list the Pharmacy. A menu with a wealth of draft options and pages of by-the-bottles, anyone haggard from the holiday will find a craft beer cure for all that ails. These guys always have a fun sour on draft, like the Westbrook Gose out of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Now smoke-free indoors, every seat has a view of one or more flat screens, where guests can track what team clinched a ‘W’ for Christmas. And while not every bar welcomes the sippy cup set, this casual location where you can usually seat yourself, has cultivated a space where parents and their cool-kids-in-training enjoy laidback afternoons and evenings. 552 Flat Shoals Ave SE, 404.584.0335

The Porter Beer Bar

Nationally recognized and locally beloved, The Porter gets on every beer lover’s list of best everything. Sit at the long bar and peruse a double-sided draft list featuring beers from all over. Try the Belgian strong dark 6 Geese A-Laying from California’s Bruery, the recently off hiatus Brown Shugga Substitute Ale by Lagunitas, or just point your finger at Brouwerij Verhaeghe, a Flanders red ale by Duchesse de Bourgogne. If your palate desires something on the sweeter side, try the eggnog cocktail mixed with rum, bourbon, and dust of nutmeg on top. If you’ve been nice, you just might receive it in a mini moose mug (or, depending on how many rounds you’ve had, it could appear as a reindeer). Take note of the daily dining specials like the range of cheese pairings, pork terrine, and seasonally relevant options that will soothe and satisfy. Open Christmas Day after 5 p.m. 1156 Euclid Ave NE, 404.223.0393


This intimate two-story restaurant has ground-level bars that were made for late-night conversation. The dim ambience accentuated by candlelit tables is a hip backdrop for catching up with friends. Choose a classic drink or house-crafted seasonal offerings like the Strange Horse. Your inner elf will dig this blend of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, green chartreuse, mint, lime and a bit of ginger beer. If your drinking mood is undecided, bartenders are inquisitive guides around the wine, beer and spirit menu, with affordable to high-end options. There’s plenty to eat, too—if Mom skipped on mac-and-cheese this holiday, get your filling here with the popular side dish of spicy cheddar and smoked Gouda, baked underneath a crispy herb crust. 674 Myrtle St NE, 404.685.3110

Wrecking Bar Brewpub

Enjoy a streamlined menu of beer brewed onsite at this cavernous dwelling just south of Little 5 Points. The Jemmy Dean Breakfast Stout boasts eleven malt styles brewed with a cold-pressed blend from neighboring Aurora Coffee, for a bold flavor that goes down easy. The bar staff is full of fun quips that will jostle any holiday blues, and they can help guests navigate a heavenly selection of rye, bourbon and Scotch whiskeys. Look out for what’s new every week on Firkin Friday, when the pub taps a one-off cask of whatever the brewers are playing with—last week they offered the Pigpen India Brown Ale, a malty brew with notes of chocolate, toffee, and molasses inspired by the Charlie Brown character, dry hopped with the candy-like El Dorado. 292 Moreland Ave NE, 404.221.2600