February 17, 2013 by ET
Thank God no one ever suggested grabbing a few Cokes after work or we’d never have Happy Hour or half the world’s population. As the second runner up for most popular drink in the world, losing out to water and tea, beer is the beverage for all occasions. With more and more malting, milling, fermenting and filling happening throughout the South, beer lovers are lining up to tour local breweries to find out where their favorite cold ones come from. That’s exactly what The Wordy South did at SweetWater Brewery, in our third and final “draft” about our trip to Atlanta.
In the mood to drink our lunch, my husband Ron and I decided that a a visit to SweetWater Brewing Company was on tap for a sunny Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. Opening the taproom and brewery from 2:30-4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, SweetWater lures tourists and locals to its watering hole to sample year-round and “catch n’ release” (seasonal) brews.
With only a two-hour window of drinking time, I wasn’t surprised to find the line of eager beer drinkers was out the door and around the corner. Luckily the line moved quickly and soon enough, we both had an empty pint glass and five drink tickets, each worth a five ounce pour, in hand.
Five samples (well more than the five ounce promise) and a souvenir glass for $10 is about as close to highway robbery as it gets in my book.
SweetWater offers two taproom bars, plus a patio bar for reeling in its carefully crafted and cleverly marketed brews. Humorous slogans for each ale and a fair share of tie-dye bottle art and merchandise, give me reason to believe that many of SweetWater’s brews were “dreamed” up during parties and music festivals. “420” is one of the brewery’s most popular ales, if you catch my drift.
For the sake of the blog, I did my best to try as many brews as possible. (Editorial research is such a bitch.)
See if you can match me drink for drink:
– “Georgia Brown” – One of my favorites on tap, with smooth caramel and chocolate malts.
-“Blue” – A blueberry flavored ale, that “Ain’t just for breakfast anymore”.
-“Happy Ending” – A higher gravity seasonal stout and another favorite, even if it was just the alcohol talking at this point.
“420” – A fan favorite since 1997, this award winning, extra pale ale is a little more hip to the hop.
“IPA” – A very hop-ening beer that, thanks to my husband, is more of a staple in our fridge than a bottle of mustard.
“Festive Ale” – A winter seasonal ale that was still on tap. Christmas comes twice this year with this higher gravity brew.
And then they announced it was last call. It’s safe to say that SweetWater had us hooked. We pledged our allegiance by making a trip to the merchandise shop.
SweetWater is available at bars and retailers throughout the Southeast. See a list of distributors. Be sure to also check out the Punish the Liver Calendar for a list of SweetWater events and festivals where you can find its good stuff. I’ll definitely be adding these hopportunities to my calendar!