Five Georgia Breweries to Watch
BY: KATE PARHAM KORDSMEIER
When most people think of Georgia beer, their minds likely drift to hoppy dreams of Sweetwater, Terrapin and Red Brick, three of the state’s oldest breweries. It’s true, these pioneers started the craft beer movement in Georgia, but dozens have since followed suit. To date, there’s nearly 40 breweries calling The Big Peach home (some of our favorites include Monday Night Brewing, Second Self Beer Company and Wild Heaven Craft Beers) and we hope more will open. With the scene changing every day, there’s never been a more exciting time for Georgia beer. To wit, here are five incredible Georgia breweries to watch. Cheers!
The Brewery: Orpheus Brewing (Atlanta)
Opening Date: May 2014
The Beers: This newcomer is one of the first craft breweries in the state to make sour beers. So far, Orpheus offers two year-round beers—Atalanta (their flagship beer is a tart saison infused with plum juice cold-pressed by Arden’s Garden) and Lyric Ale (a bright and fruity dry saison with just a hint of hops)—plus a rotating selection of seasonal and limited brews, like Transmigration of Souls (an aromatic, hop-heavy Double IPA that sells faster than they can make it) and Serpent Bite (a citrus-forward sour saison made with Mandarina Bavaria hops). Be on the lookout for their forthcoming barrel-aged beers.
Tours and Tastings: Head down to Orpheus’ tasting room Thursday through Saturday—it’s overlooking Piedmont Park and the BeltLine, an ideal place for sipping with friends.
The Brewery: Creature Comforts (Athens)
Opening Date: Summer 2014
The Beers: Creature Comforts is seemingly everywhere these days—or rather, the reverse. The brewery’s beers are so popular that it can be tough to find them in stock as they’re selling out fast! If you can find them, they offer four year-round beers—their fruit-forward American IPA, Tropicalia, has already won a slew of prestigious beer awards, while their tart, German-style wheat beer, Athena, is easily one of the most refreshing sips in the State—plus a handful of seasonal and limited release brews.
Tours and Tastings: This gorgeous 13,000-square-foot historic brewery (it’s in the former Snow Tire shop) is open for tours and tastings, often alongside events like the Farmer’s Market (Wednesdays), flea markets and live music.
The Brewery: Jekyll Brewing (Alpharetta)
Opening Date: August 2013
The Beers: Inspired by the Deep South (Jekyll Island was the location of the first brewery of the Deep South in 1738), Jekyll offers five year-round brews (their Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA won Best Beer in Georgia at this year’s Suwanee Beer Fest), plus a slew of seasonal brews (don’t miss their Slow-n-Low Smoked Porter) and a few “unicorns” (harder-to-find beers), including the Pineapple Habanero version of Hop Dang Diggity. They release new beers every Tuesday as part of the JR Series Tap Rom Exclusives, so keep an eye out for exciting new ales.
Tours and Tastings: The brewery is open for tours and tastings from Tuesday through Saturday, often alongside live music.
The Brewery: JailHouse Brewing Company (Hampton)
Opening Date: 2009
The Beers: Brewed in the former jail in the City of Hampton, the four year-round beers this South Georgia brewery turns out are appropriately named: Breakout Stout (a bold American Stout with a hint of chocolate), Misdemeanor Ale (an amber style ale with a touch of caramel), Slammer Wheat (a fruity American style wheat beer) and Mugshot IPA (an approachable, citrusy India Pale Ale). They also do a handful of seasonal brews, like their springtime Saison Reprieve.
Tours and Tastings: The brewery is open for tours and tastings from Thursdays and Saturdays.
The Brewery: Gate City Brewing (Roswell)
Opening Date: They have brewing in Woodstock with Reformation Brewery since February, but their official brewery opening is slated for August 2015.
The Beers: This forthcoming brewery is kicking things off with two year-round beers: the toasty Copperhead American Amber and an easy drinking, crisp IPA called 1864 American IPA.
Tours and Tastings: Anticipated later this Fall, the brewery will be open for tours and tastings.