Atlanta

Hop City

Atlanta's got all kinds of houses of worship, from the rigid Jesuit, to the family-minded Mormon, and who can forget the North American Shirdi Sai Temple of Peace -- but what about a temple for that which you revere most, beer? Welcome to Hop City

Hop City's Atlanta's first retail outlet to specialize in craft beer, with over 1,000 brands of suds (plus 620 wines) displayed proudly in a space that was once a 19th Century donkey auctioning facility -- and continues that rich tradition of ass-ification today. As 1/3 of the owners' planned "Beer Bermuda Triangle" (including Octane and soon-to-come 5 Seasons Brewery), HC offers everything from Eastern exotics (Sri Lanka's Lion Stout), to American micros (NC's Duck-Rabbit Dark), to Belgian stalwarts Delirium Tremens, Scaldis, Weyerbacher, and Black Albert dark stout, to Zurich's Samichlaus -- which actually translates as Santa Claus, probably because its 17% ABV makes every day Christmas. They also sell home brewing kits, host monthly beer-ducation classes, and offer a sweet free Express Card, through which you can rate previous purchases, pay the cash rate even when using credit/debit, accumulate points towards giveaways, and get emailed, personalized suggestions from the owner, whether it's a sixer of Norwegian Nogne he thinks you'll love, or an intervention he's sure you need

Though it'll likely be Wednesday before Hop opens, they're throwing an open-to-the-public party 6-9pm tonight, next door at 5 Seasons, featuring live music, the city's debut tasting of Old Dominion Golden Belgian, and offerings from twelve other breweries -- so you'll drink enough that you can't get rigid no matter how family-minded you feel.

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