While Oregon and Colorado were once known as the nation’s brewing giants, Georgia has struck out on its own in the last twenty years. Beer geeks and neophytes alike looking for tasty brews and a local experience should seek out Georgia’s breweries on their visit.
This is not an exhaustive list of Georgia breweries as they are constantly opening new ones!
Founded in 1993, Atlanta Brewing Company is tucked away in from Howell Mill Road. It feels more like a neighborhood pub, with a weekly barbecue, trivia and live music every Wednesday through Saturday.
Beer to Try: Laughing Skull Amber Ale, a beer created especially for The Vortex Bar and Grill, an Atlanta institution.
Opened in Atlanta‘s West End, Best End Brewing is known for its pilsners. They also have a full-service restaurant and multiple bar spaces as well as the patio facing the Beltline. Best End also hosts pop-ups like their holiday-themed bar.
Beer to Try: The Anxiety Pils is a German-influenced American pilsner with rye.
Located in a sprawling space on the industrial side of the Westside, Bold Monk combines great food, great beer, and great design. There’s a library-type room upstairs and the downstairs bar. In addition to beer, they also serve cocktails and coffee.
Beer to Try: The Attainment Double IPA has notes of passionfruit with Mosaic hops.
Beer to Try: Chattahooch-Tea is a lactose IPA inspired by Southern sweet tea.
Eventide Brewing is a humble brewery in the Grant Park neighborhood, a short walk from Zoo Atlanta. Founded by a group of friends at Georgia Southern University, the brewery is open for tours and tastings Thursdays through Sundays. They also have regular events like tap takeovers and live music.
Beer to Try: Dry Irish Stout isn’t overly heavy, despite what the dark color might make you think.
The stylish Summerhill brewery has an incredibly designed tasting room with an open-air upstairs bar and a kitchen with a rotating selection of cuisines. Beers are named for elements of technology.
Beer to Try: Data Loss is an American pale ale with accents of peach.
Monday Night Brewing started as a Monday night men’s bible study has become a full-service brewery off Howell Mill Road with a wall for movies, shuffleboard, and a fire pit. They also have the Monday Night Garage on the West End.
Beer to Try: Fu Manbrew is a Belgian-style witbier that’s very sippable and a good intro to Monday Night.
Beer to Try: Hazy Like a Fox is the ever-popular New England-style IPA.
Specializing in sours and funky barrel-aged brews, Orpheus is set in the heart of Piedmont Park, the city’s largest green space. They’re also pet-friendly, hosting events on the patio like Shakespeare on Draught.
Beer to Try: Atalanta is their best-selling beer, a tart plum saison.
Set in an industrial corner of the Westside, Scofflaw Brewing has quickly become one of Atlanta’s popular, with its cheeky goat image as the mascot. Their beers lean towards IPAs, but they also have solid seltzers and even a line of gin.
Beer to Try: POG Basement is a fruit-forward IPA, named for the pineapple orange guava juice found in Hawaii.
Second Self Beer Company is a Westside taproom that is home to not only their standard beers but also unique kegs. In addition to tours and tastings, you can also come by for their weekly comedy nights and yoga.
Beer to Try: Maverick & Gose is my favorite tart summer beer, but I’m a fan of the Thai Wheat as well.
Steady Hand is named for a Gaelic phrase meaning “steady hand to victory.” This Westside brewery has beers inspired by the state, like Cloudland Hazy IPA, as well as plenty of space and games for you and your friends.
Beer to Try: Paradise Waits IPA is a nice New England-style IPA.
SweetWater Brewing Company was one of the first and has been the longest-lasting, first setting up shop over fifteen years ago. Tours run three times a day.
During the summer, they have additional taps outside, as well as live music and food trucks. They have the Woodlands, an additional space next door.
Beer to Try: 420 Extra Pale Ale is the most well known, a hoppy delight for a hot Atlanta day.
Located near the Decatur Square, Three Taverns crafts beers inspired by the creator’s travels in Europe. The tasting room has cozy spaces for enjoying their diverse selections of sours, IPAs, and pilsners.
Beer to Try: Rowdy & Proud IPA is produced in association with Atlanta United, the championship soccer team.
Wild Heaven originally opened in the Avondale Estates neighborhood but quickly expanded to a second location on the West End, which has a modest kitchen.
Beer to Try: Try a seasonal variety of their popular Emergency Drinking Beer, a low alcohol session ale.
Atlanta Suburbs Breweries
Jekyll Brewing, Alpharetta
But once inside, there’s plenty of space to hang out and try their beers, as well as a stage where live music plays nearly every night. They also have a second location with a restaurant.
Beer to Try: Cooter Brown is a smooth brown ale named for a colonist who reportedly stayed drunk for an entire year to avoid being drafted for the war.
Contrast Artisan Ales, Chamblee
Located in the suburb of Chamblee, Contrast is a small tasting room with a great selection of styles. Many are high gravity so keep an eye on the ABV in the DIPAs and stouts.
Beer to Try: Paradise Melange is a delightful pineapple guava sour.
Atlanta is full of breweries, but the suburb south of the city is a true neighborhood hangout. Located near the main square, the back courtyard at Arches Brewing has cozy fire pits. The brewers started as homebrewers before making the leap to full service.
Beer to Try: Unseasonal Lager is an all-season brew with mild hops.
Located in Marietta’s Franklin Road corridor, Ironmonger has a little bit of everything from IPAs to alcoholic seltzer. They also share a space with a meadery and an ax-throwing establishment.
Beer to Try: Billet is a refreshing blood orange ale.
Red Hare, Marietta
Red Hare Brewing Company has been crafting fine brews since 2011. The brewery often hosts local music acts and has a bocce court and cornhole boards in the front. They’re also opening a distillery nearby.
Beer to Try: Watership Brown, a hoppy brown ale that isn’t too dark in taste and is ideal for darker beer newbies.
Opened by a group of former teachers, Schoolhouse Brewing also operates a homebrew supply shop. The interior has school desks and chairs made out of bus seats. There’s also a pet-friendly patio and food trucks.
Beer to Try: There are no core beers, so you never know what you’ll find!
While the taproom is small, Variant Brewing in Roswell has made a big impact on the area for its excellent range of IPAs and sours. In addition to their core beers, they have seasonal selections and “variants.”
Beer to Try: Cashmere is their New England-style IPA made with Cashmere hops.
Pontoon, Sandy Springs
Pontoon Brewing is a popular location for its many weekly activities like disc golf, trivia, and live music. Their beers include IPAs, Berliner Weisse, and stouts.
Beer to Try: Don’t Haze Me Bro is the popular New England-style IPA.
Reformation Brewery was originally a local hangout in downtown Woodstock but has since expanded into locations in Smyrna and Canton. They have plenty of outdoor space, a kitchen, and are family and pet friendly.
Beer to Try: Jogr is their “juicy lager.”
Creature Comforts Brewery is located in an old tire shop downtown that has kept many of the architectural details of its former incarnation. All of their beers are unique and differ from the standard lagers and pale ales you’ll find at every other brewery.
Beer to Try: Athena is a Berliner Weisse that’s not as sour as a göse, but still refreshingly tart.
Located an hour outside of Atlanta, Terrapin Beer Company is one of the best things to do in Athens. The outdoor volleyball court and stage makes this brewery a hangout for University of Georgia students and townies. They also have a location at The Battery in Atlanta.
Be sure to try any seasonal selections they have, especially the Pumpkinfest, pictured above, or the Moo Hoo. You can even get coffee roasted with their Wake n Bake beer at the local favorite coffee shop Jittery Joe’s.
Beer to Try: Tree Hugger Amber Ale, which donates some proceeds to the Dogwood Alliance to protect area forests.
Other Georgia Breweries
Silver Bluff Brewing, Brunswick
Beer to Try: The Mexican Lager is the perfect drink for a sweltering afternoon.
Grumpy Old Men, Blue Ridge
Beer to Try: Cyclone IPA is an unfiltered double IPA with added hops for fruity and floral notes.
Printer’s Ale, Carrollton
Every college town needs a brewery and Printer’s Ale Manufacturing Co. is Carrollton’s. Named for the printing shop that shares the building, the lineup of brews is named after elements of the industry like CYMK colors. The brewery has indoor and outdoor spaces to hang out as well as tours of the facility.
Beer to Try: Gutenberg’s Gose is made with hibiscus and lime for a delicious tartness.
Drowned Valley, Cartersville
Drowned Valley in downtown Cartersville is named for the area that was flooded to create Lake Allatoona. In addition to the selection of beer, there’s dart boards, food trucks, and fire pits.
Beer to Try: Bartown Brown is a refreshing brown ale.
Macon Beer Company, Macon
Macon Beer Company was the dream of an engineer, who put mid-Georgia’s first brewery in a historic brick building. The tasting room features furniture built from pallets and barrels. Their beers are named for aspects of life in Macon, including one for the Mercer Bears.
Beer to Try: Macon Progress is the flagship beer, a crisp ale with low bitterness and fruit notes.
Eagle Creek Brewing, Statesboro
Created by alumni of Georgia Southern University, Eagle Creek Brewing Company is named for a body of water nearby where the football coach would collect a sample to sprinkle on the field before a game. It’s obviously popular with students and regularly hosts live music and games.
Beer to Try: While all their beers are light and drinkable, Puff’s Magic Dragon Dry Stout was my favorite because it was the most unique.