This article comes to you from our new author, the Shrew! Photos come from the Shrew and the Breweries listed below.
Before we begin, there’s something I should get out of the way.
I am a beer snob.
If you feel to urge to roll your eyes while reading, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Now, with that out of the way I can formally introduce myself.
My name is Drew and I am here to walk you through Beer in Atlanta through the eyes of someone who thinks they know more than others.
As a native resident, I have seen Atlanta’s beer scene grow tremendously in the last few years. Not only has it grown in the number of breweries and brewpubs, but in quality as well.
A few years ago I became obsessed with trying to get my hands on the latest and greatest beers throughout the country. I have traded beer hundreds of times with strangers on the internet, which I chronical on my Instagram @Hop_Culture (3,200 followers but who’s counting?)
My goal here is to get you up to speed on which beers you should be looking for in stores, as well as which breweries & brewpubs you should be Instagramming at.
Drew’s Top 5 Atlanta Shelfies for the Summer
Shelfie – noun – a beer that can be easily found year-round on the shelf at a local beer or liquor store.
1. Creature Comforts – Tropicalia (IPA)
This was an easy one. When Creature Comforts first released Tropicalia to the masses, it was a frenzy to try and get your hands on. Since they have expanded production, it has become MUCH easier to find in stores. Hell, you could probably find it at a grocery store these days in their new fancy packaging. To me this beer is a staple of every good beer fridge. Not too hard to find and an incredibly balanced IPA. If you have been turned off by IPAs in the past, give this one a shot. Not too heavy or bitter, with a great fruit balance.
2. Cherry Street – Steppin’ Razor (DIPA)
Personally, I have never made the trek out to Cumming to see Cherry Street in person. Recently their beer starting popping up in stores and Steppin’ Razor was the first I picked up. This Double IPA alone is good enough to make me get in my car, sit on 400 for 2 hours, just to try it fresh on draft. I dig the 16 ounce cans, the can art, and more importantly, the beer. Steppin’ Razor has the ABV of a Double IPA, but drinks like a single. Good opaque color, tons of fruit flavor, and easy drinking. What more could you ask for? Very easy to find in stores, and a great way to impress Mark from Accounting to shut the fuck up about how Bell’s Two-hearted is the best IPA.
3. Monday Night Brewing – Han Brolo (Pale Ale)
Ever wake up the morning after drinking IPAs all night and want to stab yourself in the face? Your body was asking you to scale the ABV back, but you had to get drunk enough to sing karaoke at Dark Horse? We’ve all been there. This 4.7% Pale Ale will keep you alert and confident enough to sing Livin’ on a Prayer for the 4th time in 3 weeks. Candidly, my first years in Atlanta, I thought Monday Night beers were somewhat boilerplate. The past 18 months or so have changed dramatically for them. They have been cranking out exceptional beers, this included. Han Brolo is a great crush-able pale that doesn’t have the bite of what you would expect from “older style” Pale Ales. Want to look sophisticated on your Tinder date that you wish you hadn’t agreed to? Bring this beer!
4. Orpheus – Serpent Bite (Dry-Hopped Sour Saison)
Do you have a friend that is weirdly obsessed with sour beers and always wants you to take a sip? Well, that’s because they’re delicious, and Serpent is no exception. You should grow up if you don’t like sour beers. Jokes aside, some folks are typically taken aback by the sour/funky taste. Like some style of beers, it takes a little getting used to. Serpent Bite is an amazing summer beer. It’s refreshing as shit! With citrus, floral, and sour flavors, this beer is must have at a BBQ or pool day. Sour beers need love too, people.
5. Three Taverns – Prince of Pilsen (Hoppy Pilsner)
Not ready to dive into the world of sours and IPAs? Or, maybe you just truly don’t like those styles (grow-up). This delicious Pilsner might be perfect for you or your dad who keeps complaining about how none of your beers taste like PBR. This beer is refreshingly crisp with the perfect balance of bite. Citrus aroma city. Grab these for a family outing so you can numb your mind when having to explain who Pusha-T is to MeeMaw.
Drew’s Top 3 Atlanta Breweries/Brewpubs for the Summer
Hands down my favorite brewpub in Atlanta. They have jumped on the Hazy IPA bandwagon and are frankly killing it. Add that to a killer food and specialty cocktail menu, there’s nothing these guys don’t do well (don’t quote me on that). Take an afternoon to grab lunch and beers. Play some Mario Kart or board games. Possibly hit a can release? You’ll be a better person because of it.
Monday Night Brewing
As previously stated, Monday Night was a fun spot to get friends together and grab some craft beer. The décor is neat, the staff is friendly, and it had a great vibe. The beer was PRETTY GOOD. Now, whoa boy, the beer at MNB is kick-ass. With the addition of the Hop-Hut, not only are they serving their experimental IPAs (which are fantastic), but also doing can releases a couple of times a month. You can find me there on release days with an obnoxious brewery t-shirt trying to look cooler than I actually am.
Wrecking Bar Brewpub
It is impossible to search “Brewpub Atlanta” without Wrecking Bar coming up. There’s a reason for that! The food is great, the beer is better, and it’s built in a god-damn Victorian house. Wrecking Bar recently started canning their beers and producing experimental projects which have resulted in some wonderful offerings. Parking is a pain, but entering Wrecking Bar is what I imagine being welcomed into Heaven is like.
Honorary Mentions – Brewery/Brewpubs
Monday Night Garage