The bad news: Georgia is one of the few states where brewers aren't allow to sell their own beer. The good news: that's one of the reasons we have so many sweet beer bars (they've gotta sell it somewhere, right?!). AND there's a clever way sud-makers can get around the local blue laws: if you pay a few bucks to purchase a commemorative glass, they can fill it with complimentary “tastings” while you tour their impressive facilities. So here are the ATL's 11 best brewery "tours"...
When: Friday and Saturday
Their light and delicious Thai Wheat is reason enough to stop in to this little industrial space. Beyond that, the people are personable, the drafts are delicious, and the atmosphere is quite cozy. Leave it up to a few Georgia Tech guys to make things simple and enjoyable.
When: Friday and Saturday
This Decatur newbie is popping up in taps all over town, and if you're smart you’ll be popping into the bare-bones brick tasting room for a weekend happy hour and grabbing a pint or two of the White Hops, which's modeled after a long-lost Georgia swill and provides a refreshing, citrusy, and aromatic start to your night.
When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
The oldest local brewery in the state (21 years and counting) has a great patio and parking lot to stretch out in when the tour gets a little too crowded. The Laughing Skull amber ale is available in bottles at most stores, (and The Vortex, of course), but it tastes so much better straight from a keg that was filled a few feet away.
When: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
With the most picturesque view of any, this BeltLine and Piedmont Park-adjacent brewhouse is your best in-town, date-night spot most months of the year. Orpheus also brews some really interesting varietals, including a plum saison that has a sour spice that will pucker and quench simultaneously.
When: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday
These weekday warriors are not afraid to serve the businessperson who knows how to embrace every day of the week. Try their Drafty Kilt which is strong, rich, and sweet... and not something you want to wear until the weather gets a little warmer. Or ever, really.
When: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
The rabbit-themed cans you see all over town call Marietta their home... err, warren. The Watership Brown is a hoppy, 7.2% brew that goes well with any smoked meat, and the Gangway IPA is super-crisp and a tremendously hoppy complement to everything under the Atlanta sun.
When: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
The Mason-tasting jars here could easily preserve your pour for a long time, but it’s unlikely it will survive past a few minutes. Open all afternoon and evening on Saturdays, this is your Northside place to spend a long time contemplating life’s mysteries, and how good the Cooter Brown ale is.
When: Friday and Saturday
One of the littlest brewhouses in Atlanta is turning out some seriously sweet brews, like The Fünk Weisse, which is as good a bitter as you will find, and the Tropic Thunder, which will pound any hop-head in to submission.
When: Thursday and Saturday
The Southside is largely underrepresented in all things food and drink, but these jailbirds are doing something about it: Show up for a (conjugal?) visit and be treated to the Slammer Wheat and Misdemeanor Ale. Just don’t let the warden catch you smuggling any contraband out of the facilities.
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
The tap pouring Ode to Mercy needs to be your first stop at this lofty Decatur space. It's a hearty imperial brown ale (clocking in at 8.2%) that warms you in the cold, and refreshes in the heat. Either way, you’re covered without having to have too many.
When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and some Mondays
The king of local brewers has grown so big for a reason; it shares its product with all on a very regular basis. Go almost any time, but especially for the regular comedy nights on Mondays or the special events like the 420 Fest, which is growing into a legitimate music festival with Snoop and many other appearing during the three-day shindig.
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1. Second Self Beer Co1311 Logan Circle NW, Atlanta
2. Three Taverns Craft Brewery121 New St, Decatur
3. Red Brick Brewing2323 Defoor Hills Rd NW, Atlanta
4. Orpheus Brewing1440 Dutch Valley Pl NE, Atlanta
5. Monday Night Brewing670 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta
6. Red Hare Brewing Company1998 Delk Industrial Blvd, Atlanta
7. Jekyll Brewing2855 Marconi Dr, Ste 350, Alpharetta
8. BlueTarp Brewing Co.731 E College Ave, Decatur
9. JailHouse Brewing Company8 Cherry St, Hampton
10. Wild Heaven Craft Beers135 Maple St, Decatur
11. Sweetwater Brewery195 Ottley Dr, Atlanta
Two Georgia Tech engineers (one a former SweetWater brewer) are putting their scientific minds to making some seriously sweet beer, like a spicy Thai Wheat made w/ lemongrass & ginger that sadly, you can only score at their brewery and taproom on Fridays and Saturdays for the time being.
Three Taverns is all about making American-style Belgian beers and bringing every around the table to enjoy quality and flavorful suds. They host events in their tasting room, or you can buy some Three Taverns merch to show your support.
The oldest local brewery in the state has a great patio and parking lot to stretch out in when the tour gets a little too crowded. Their Laughing Skull amber ale is available in bottles at most stores, but it tastes so much better straight from the keg that was filled a few feet away.
Atlanta’s first BeltLine brewery is the perfect place for a beer tasting or relaxing evening, so grab a glass of Atalanta plum saison, sit back, and enjoy.
Founded by a group of friends who met in Bible study, Monday Night Brewing's a brewing facility on the Westside complete with a tasting room.
Stop in on the weekend and take a 30min tour at Red Hare Brewing Company, then taste away on their slightly sweet 7% ABV Gangway IPA or Long Day Lager, a Bohemian-style Pilsner.
An Alpharetta micro-brewery with craft beers like Big Creek Kolsch and Hop Dang Diggity with a 6.7% ABV.
Decatur's first full-scale production brewery's got four main brews to try including their heavy-hitting Mother Hoppin' DIPA with a 10.1% ABV.
The Southside is largely underrepresented in all things food and drink, but these jailbirds are doing something about it. Show up for a conjugal visit and be treated to the Slammer Wheat and Misdemeanor Ale. Just don’t let the warden catch you smuggling any contraband out of the facilities.
With “Drink Here” and “To-Go” tours at Decatur’s Wild Heaven Craft Beers, you can stay for as long (or as short) as you’d like at this craft brewery. The entire brewery is sheltered under one impressively constructed wooden roof, whose exposed beams are popsicle-stick narrow. About a quarter of the industrial, bare-bones space is devoted to the tasting room, where you can sample Wild Heaven’s all-grain beers (they leave the adjunct sugars at the door), making for bigger flavors without excess alcohol. However, many of Wild Heaven’s beers are indeed elevated in the alcohol department, so when the barbecue vendor occasionally stops by the brewery, chances are you won’t be able to pass on snacks.
This bustling 115,000 square-foot brewhouse in an otherwise stale Industrial Park features an art deco-esque tasting room, a fermentation tank, and bottling space, all of which you can be introduced to on a walking tour of the building. Their signature pale ale, 420, is a ubiquitous drink in the city, and also the name of a music festival Sweewater hosts every year around Earth Day.