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For many people, myself included, beer is an acquired taste. Compared with wine, whose familiar fruitiness caresses the palate, beer brings bitterness to the forefront. As a child in Paris, I was occasionally given beer diluted with carbonated lemonade while the adults around me drank thin Alsatian drafts I thought were just awful. Known in England as shandy, in Spain as clara, and in Germany as radler, beer cut with citrus-flavored soda is something I still love. Snakebite is a strong variation made of hard cider and beer in equal proportions that most respectable bars (including Manuel’s Tavern in Poncey-Highland) will pour into a tall pint glass for me.
Anyone who's ever trekked beyond Atlanta's urban nucleus in search of a secluded dining pearl knows this backdrop well: a desolate commercial stretch scattered with low buildings erected decades ago, a smattering of luxury car dealerships, discount megastores, and, mingled among this alien landscape, the strip malls where the destination restaurants hide.