Hotlanta how I love you, let me count the ways. This was my 3rd trip down to the land of peaches and as always I didn’t leave unsatisfied. Here’s a recap of our adventure:
On the way drive down (yes we really drove) we stopped off in Greensville SC for lunch and a beer. Stop 1: Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria. The trip started off on a bad foot when we saw that the majority of the beer list was inaccurate and everything we were hoping to try was no longer available, but I settled for a local beer – South Carolina’s Westbrook Brewing Jade Rye Pale Ale. The real lunch-saver was my buffalo cheese steak pita. That’s right, buffalo meat served cheese steak style with onions, mushrooms, and cheese in a pita. I’m drooling just remembering this sandwich!
Once we arrived in Atlanta we decided to visit one of our preferred nearby brew pubs. Stop 2: 5 Seasons Brewing. One of my favorite things about the Atlanta craft beer bar scene is that most brew pubs and beer bars are farm-to-table restaurants taking time to serve well crafted food as well as beer. 5 Seasons Brewing is no different. Although I am no foodie, I definitely approve of buying local and serving awesome food. My favorite menu item here is definitely the Seared Ahi Tuna Tataki and I’ve been told the Organic Salmon is fantastic as well. We enjoyed a few beers a piece here before retiring to our hotel room to do some sampling with an Atlanta friend, Scott.
Stop 3: The Porter. Awesomely hipsterish bar with exposed brick and a rustic feel. My favorite part of this bar is that they offer a ‘Hair-of-the-Dog’ brunch special every Saturday and Sunday with a perfect beverage pairing. Nothing like kicking the day off the right way! While here I sampled a Mother Earth Brewing (North Carolina native) Dark Cloud Dunkel as well as a Belgian beer, Malheur 12.
Stop 4: The Wrecking Bar is the real gem of Little 5 Points. The building is a registered historical site commissioned to be built in 1900. Originally called The Marianna after his daughter Marian, over the past 112 years it has been a church, a dance studio, an antique store, and now a brew pub and brewery. The upstairs portion has been restored to its Victorian roots and now serves as an event venue while they downstairs is a brewery and . They recently added an outdoor beer garden area where I enjoyed a Gemmy Dean Breakfast Stout in the perfect 77 degree Georgia weather.
Next up for the day was the event I had been looking forward to for weeks. We were lucky enough to be invited to a the private Sierra Nevada Beer Camp event at The Fred Bar! Stop 5: The Fred Bar. This has always been my personal favorite of all the places I’ve seen in Atlanta offering me what I’ve always desired – an upscale club feel with dark stouts all around. The bar has recently changed to become a private club allowing membership only the true connoisseurs of the area.
Little did we know that there was more on tap for this event than just the beer camp! Not being members of the private bar, and bringing only a growler Troegs Perpetual IPA and a bottle of Fathead’s Head Hunter IPA as a peace offering, we were pleased to be treated to samples of a handful of rare beers including Cigar City Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Sound. There are no words to describe this beer other than life-changing. While there I even got to meet another beer writer from Beer Street Journal, an Atlanta-based website covering all things beer both in Atlanta and on a national level. I couldn’t be happier to connect with someone else about writing and beer journalism over a few beer rarities. After all this we retreated to the hotel for a few home-brewed night caps from Planet Scott™ with our new friends!
Sunday of course was game day at the Georgia Dome. We enjoyed Terrapin Rye Pale Ales during the game which, in case you missed it, was a real heart attack. There’s nothing more exciting than the roar of a crowd at a live sporting event, and this years crowd definitely didn’t disappoint. How about a game-winning field goal in the last 5 seconds to get that adrenaline pumping! To celebrate the Falcon’s win, we popped over to Stop 6: Taco Mac in the nearby CNN Center for a few beverages and some game day grub.
Monday is always my least favorite part of the trip. I feel like I get so little down time that vacations are definitely a welcomed release from the million things I do to keep myself busy. Coming home is never easy, but visiting another Taco Mac (stop 7 if you’re counting) in North Carolina and trying a few local beers to break up the trip definitely helps. Favorites here were Lone Rider Sweet Josie Brown and Foot Hills Brewing Cottonwood Pumpkin. I couldn’t think of a better beer for the first day of October.
Overall, the trip turned out to be an amazing weekend allowing me to try 28 new beers ranging from beers we brought along to share with others to home brews and bottles shared with us. I’m almost to 1000, but that’s for another post.