12 Georgia beers you should drink this summer
by Austin L. Ray
You would've been hard-pressed to recommend a dozen Georgia-made summer beers a couple years ago. I know because I tried, and mostly ended up choosing brews from other parts of the world. But! Unlike the reliable, unrelenting Southern-summer heat, our beer culture is changing. In fact, not only did I find it easy to pick out a dozen warm-weather sippers from the Peach State this year, half of the breweries listed below didn't even exist two years ago. I'll drink to that. You should, too. Say, maybe start with the beers below?
Eventide Brewing's Kolsch
This is the lightest of the three beers from the Grant Park brewery that launched in January. It pours a cloudy yellow color, smells of lemon, and finishes dry: an ideal daydrinking porch beer at 5.3% ABV.
Where to drink it: At various Atlanta-area bars and growler shops.
Three Taverns Brewery's Pils Mundial
Released earlier this week for the World Cup (Copa Mundial in Spanish), this 5.5% ABV Euro-style Pilsner is dry hopped with Falconer's Flight 7C's, and will be served in a special glass.
Where to drink it: At Friday and Saturday brewery tours in Decatur, or at establishments (Brick Store Pub, El Myriachi, Midway Pub, Family Dog, etc.) televising World Cup games.
Wild Heaven Craft Beers' White Blackbird
This Saison packs in pink peppercorns, Korean pears, and chardonnay-soaked oak chips, and clocks in at 6.2 percent ABV. White Blackbird was tentatively introduced to the world last year, but receives a proper unveiling this weekend.
Where to drink it: At the brewery's grand opening in Avondale Estates.
Creature Comforts Brewing Co.'s Athena
This light, refreshing Berliner Weisse from Athens' brand-new brewery sports loads of citrus notes and a 4.5 percent ABV. Creature Comforts has christened it "the champagne of the South."
Where to drink it: At Tuesday-Saturday brewery tours in Athens, or select bars and growler shops in Athens and Atlanta.
Wrecking Bar Brewpub's Rosa Gose
While you'd do well to try just about any of the 36 beers Wrecking Bar is tapping for its third anniversary party this weekend, arguably the most summer-y of the batch is the Rosa Gose (pronounced: "Goes-uh"). Wrecking Bar's take on the tart, low-alcohol (4.8 percent ABV), German style is brewed with Indian coriander, sea salt, hibiscus, and black tea.
Where to drink it: At the brewpub's third-anniversary festivities in Little Five Points this weekend.
Cherry Street Brewing Cooperative's Chief Sawnee's Stash Coconut Porter
While you might not instinctively reach for a dark beer during the warmer months, this 6 percent ABV Porter brewed in Cumming is made with vanilla beans, caramelized dates, and toasted coconut flakes. Smells a little like sunscreen, tastes a little like delicious.
Where to drink it: At the Cumming brewpub, or select Atlanta-area bars and growler shops.
Slice & Pint's Totoweizen
Named after the Wizard of Oz terrier, this is one of the very first beers at 5 Seasons Westside brewmaster Crawford Moran's new spot. A traditional Hefeweizen brewed with all-German ingredients, Moran says the banana esters complement the grain bill instead of dominating it, lending a fruity drinkability to the 5 percent ABV brew.
Where to drink it: Only at the Emory Village brewpub and pizza joint.
Twain's Brewpub & Billiards/Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market's Decatur Temptress Braggot
Brewed with Georgia honey, fresh ginger, and hibiscus flowers, this Twain's/Ale Yeah! collaboration (which weighs in at 7.5 percent ABV) made its debut at the Decatur brewpub's sixth-annual SpringFest.
Where to drink it: Only at the brewpub while supplies last (Twain's brewer Chase Medlin gives it at least a couple more weeks).
Burnt Hickory Brewery's White Flag Apricot Wit
Named for the California punk band whose singer passed away suddenly last year, this flavorful Imperial Apricot Saison is perfect for summer drinking. Although, at 8 percent ABV, you may wanna wear water wings at the pool. You know, just in case.
Where to drink it: At the brewery's open house Saturday in Kennesaw, then select bars and growler shops after that.
Orpheus Brewing's Atalanta
A 5.25 percent ABV tart plum saison inspired by the King of Pops, Atalanta is delightfully dry and fruity, and indicative of the sour-leaning styles that Atlanta's newest brewery plans to make in the coming years.
Where to drink it: At Thursday-Saturday brewery tours near Piedmont Park, or select bars and growler shops.
Red Brick Brewing's Hop Circle
This "India Style Session Ale" brewed with wheat pairs an IPA's hoppiness with the the easy-drinking, low-alcohol (4.2 percent ABV), clean finish of a session beer.
Where to drink it: At most Atlanta-area bottle shops and bars where craft beer is sold.
Terrapin Beer Company's RecreationAle
This sessionable pale ale (4.7 percent ABV) boasts a delicious hop profile (Bravo, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo, and Galaxy) and dry finish.
Where to drink it: At most Atlanta-area places where craft beer is sold.