5 Seasons Brewing Company (Sandy Springs)
5600 Roswell Road (Prado),
Deemed the “epicenter of beer culture in Atlanta” by Bob Townsend of the AJC, this brewpub sets the bar for all brewpubs in the city. Head brewer Kevin McNerney (formerly of Sweetwater) is brewing in the zone since taking over for Glenn Sprouse, though his hair isn’t nearly as pretty. The HopGasm, McNerney’s signature brew, is a bold I.P.A. with a sturdy malt backbone that’ll keep you coming back for more.
Brick Store Pub
125 East Court Square, Decatur
Often referred to as “The Pub” by its fanatical following, Brick Store Pub was recently named #6 beer bar in the world by RateBeer.com, only second in the U.S. to Orlando’s famous Redlight Redlight. Even a book written about this beer bar quickly became an Amazon #1 best seller. (Love at the Pub written by local beer enthusiast Mary Jane Mahan) This warm wooded red brick pub deserves every bit of notoriety. From the upstairs Belgian room to the lower horseshoe-shaped bar — the beer selection is second to none. Rumor has it the boys will soon be adding another room where they plan to sell-off vintage bottles they’ve been cellaring for years. Like those rare cellared bottles, this pub seems to better with age.
The Porter Beer Bar
1156 Euclid Avenue
Little 5 Points
No surprise here. This funky laid back Little 5 Points beer destination truly defines the term “gastropub.” Chef/owner Nick Gunn has pedigree. His menu offers haute options, but the plates arrive without the fussy price tag. This husband-wife team’s got palate. Molly’s (wife) beer program lures in the craft beer conscious while witty food pairings prove to be a big part of The Porter experience.
Thinking Man Tavern
537 W. Howard Ave, Decatur
Feeling a little red, white and blue? Then this “Drink American” tavern might be right up your alley. The American craft-heavy list is worthy of a drive from anywhere in the city. If you can’t find an American microbrew you like at this beer bar, then you don’t like beer. Be on the lookout for the rotating cask starting later this month.
Twain’s Billards and Tap
211 East Trinity Place, Decatur
If you read last month’s issue of Food & Beer Atlanta, you got to know Twain’s humble brewer Jordan Fleetwood. Don’t be fooled by his quiet demeanor, or the pub’s pool hall feel, Fleetwood is a brewer with plenty of schtick. He claims he doesn’t have a flagship brew, but his followers think he does in the Mad Happy Pale Ale. This brewpub attracts the funkier side of Decatur. So pull up a barstool — order a Mad Happy — and compare tatts with the natives.
1170 Howell Mill Road, Westside 404.968.2033
This newbie is easily Westside’s most prominent beer player. And, it’s likely the best first date place for beer enthusiasts. The tap offerings wouldn’t be considered vast by any stretch of the imagination, but the selection is extremely well thought out with a good balance between American crafts and Belgian brews. What separates this place from the others is its subterranean game cave where hip couples throw bocce, toss darts and sip beer from snifters.
552 Flat Shoals Avenue,
East Atlanta Village
With 5 beer pubs within a 3-block radius, an East Atlanta Village pub-crawl is certainly an easy task to pull off. Midway Pub is the latest to open its doors to the edgy, though obviously hop-happy EAV neighborhood. The taps are fresh, beers are poured with loving care, and the food is better than need be. This large pub boasts a manageable, well-thought 18-tap selection, which currently includes Bell’s 2 Hearted Ale for the hophead and Dogfish Head Festina Peche for the fruity beer drinker. The extensive bottle list is nothing to sneer at, and the beer garden should be a popular hophead hangout when cooler weather prevails.
Leon’s Full Service
131 East Ponce De Leon Avenue,
The Brick Store Pub boys put a little more emphasis on food and cocktails at this stylish eat and drinkery, but there’s still plenty for the beer lover. Fourteen bona fide’s on tap and a dizzying bottle selection. The staff uses a library ladder to fetch beers from high reaching thermostatically controlled coolers. The guys offer different 22oz bombers by the glass (biggie shorty) each day for those on an alcohol budget. Food is chef driven and mostly great, if not a little strange. It’s the only place in town (we know of) that serves Benton’s bacon by the glass — with a side of peanut butter.
The Book House Pub
736 Ponce De Leon Avenue, Midtown
Get out your library card. What, you don’t have one? Fortunately, you don’t need one for this library. Book House Pub does indeed have books — a pretty cool selection lining the upper wall throughout the place — but your usual ID will do just fine to get you going on the Sampler (pick beers of choice and pay for however many you try), and isn’t required for noshes like the sweet potato wrap, blue cheese chips or lamb sausage. Try the “Original Sin” cider if you’re feeling a little naughty, go with the Belgian Fat Tire Ale for a simpler brew, or pick your fave from their small but well-selected catalogue of beers. Best of all — no need to remember the Dewey Decimal System when ordering here.
327 Memorial Drive, Grant Park
Did you know that Augustine was the patron saint of brewers? The folks at Young Augustine’s did. Their seasonally rotating beer selection (get your Terrapin’s Side Project Pumpkinfest around Thanksgiving) and choices like Magner’s cider that you don’t see everywhere would make St. Augustine proud. Good eats — so the fries are made in a combo of duck fat and vegetable oil, they’re still tasty — complement the small but well-selected brew list. Another plus that would make the saints and angels sing is the no-smoking edict — balance out that burger, fries and beer with a clean-lung environment.
Muss & Turner’s
1675 Cumberland Parkway Southeast, Smyrna
This deli on steroids by day/highly acclaimed laid-back restaurant by night puts as much sweat into their beer selection as they do the food, and the chefs in the kitchen are beer savvy. Beer aficionados from all over gather at an orange wedge-shaped bar to talk beer with voluptuous beer chic Jessica Moss (beertender). She makes the most of her limited draft space by pouring smart beers like Boulder Brewing Hazed & Infused. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more skilled place to get your food and beer pairings on.
Cypress Street Pint & Plate
Ste E125, 817 West Peachtree Street, Midtown
One word: Sublime. By now you should have heard of Cypress’s divine Sublime burger. Yeah, it’s worth the name — put beef, bacon, cheddar and a side of BBQ sauce together and sandwich it between a grilled donut and it’s a winning combination. The rest of the menu is equally delicious, if more conventional. A rotating choice of about 30 brews is worth a visit tself, especially since the list includes Bell’s Oberon on tap, the rarely seen Scrumpy’s cider and a $3 Flying Dog house brew. Beers are delivered on Tuesdays so time your visit accordingly if you’re especially excited to see what the newest choices are.
Taco Mac was the beer culture in Atlanta during the 80s and 90s. If it weren’t for them, Atlanta’s thriving beer scene wouldn’t be where it is today. Some Taco Mac’s today arrive armed and ready with more than140 beers on tap and over 200 by the bottle, plus a beer engine for pouring cask ales. Tip your hat and raise a pint to this mighty beer institution.
5600 Roswell Road, Suite 3, Sandy Springs, 404.941.1503
This new speakeasy beer bar is situated in the basement of Taco Mac Prado. The bar is named after Taco Mac beverage director Fred Crudder. In this subterranean brew cave, beer aficionados come to get their geek talk on. But if yeast strains and fermentation processes isn’t your pint of brew, just kick back and enjoy a rare boutique beer or two from Fred’s carefully thought 20-draft selection.
Summit’s Wayside Tavern
3334 Stone Mountain Highway, Snellville 770.736.1333
525 Lake Center Pkwy, Cumming 770.886.4374
2990 Eagle Drive, Woodstock 770.924.5315
Owner Andy Klubock is one of our city’s great craft beer pioneers. His 3 suburban outposts make the occasional OTP journey worthwhile. Both bottle and tap selections are strong, if not dizzying. Klubock and his crew routinely tap quality casks and offer what might possibly be the largest selection of Rogue beers in the city. He’s also known to throw some of the wildest beer dinners around. Suburban hopheads need raise a glass to Andy for shortening their ride.
5 Seasons Brewing Company (Alpharetta & West)
1000 Marietta St., NW (@Brickworks), Westside 404.875.3232
3655 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta 770.521.5551
The creative mind in charge of brewing at these two 5 Seasons is head brewer Crawford Moran, formerly of Dogwood. Currently the largest in the state, Moran’s brew system at the Westside location is every brewer’s wet dream — and powered by the restaurant’s fryer grease. The food out of owner/chef Dave Larkworthy’s kitchen catapults this brew house to “gastropub” status. The upstairs sky bar is a fine seat to take in Moran’s crafty beers and Larkworthy’s local farm inspired menu.
This article was written by Tom Maicon, Carrie Neal Walden and Jennifer O’Connell