Sweet Water Brewery Atlanta Reviews
Good Brews, Good Times Dec 24, 2008
Hunkered down in the heart of Atlanta, lies a great local micro brew, Sweet Water Brewing Company. I have long advocated for the Sweet Water and I finally was able to visit "where the magic happens."
As soon as I arrived there was the familiar smell of well-hopped wort in the air, along with the friendly laughter all around. My first impression was the friendly and polite atmosphere. I arrived a while before any of my compadres and was greeted with a warm Sweet Water welcome. The hours of operation are Wed-Fri 5:30-7:30. I went on a Friday and the sampling room quickly became as crowded as any bar I've been too. However, I never waited over 1 minute for some suds. I would recommend arriving early for a Friday visit. Also, parking pretty much sucks...but who cares. They have great music playing the entire time and I have heard that on occasion there is live entertainment. Smokers, you find that there is a large patio area where lighting up seems to be encouraged and around the corner out there is easy access to the lot if for some reason you and a friend need to venture out for a moment.
Private parties are handled well there. You have a roped off section with a private buffet and a waiter. Haven't personally attended an event there, but I hear it's like $13 a head. Unsure on the minimum.
Patrons enter at a convenient charge of $8. This affords you 2 hours of Sweet pre-gaming or just a kind happy hour. After paying and presenting your ID in the lot, your hand gets the coveted entrance stamp and a Sweet souvenir pint glass along with 6 Sweet tickets. Each ticket represents a Sweet 5.5oz pour (take care of your bartender...), unless you opt for one of the piquant "catch-and-release" ales, 2 tickets!!
Okay, so the beers:
-Sweet Water 420-
5.4% My personal favorite. A multiple award winning stimulating coldie with an abundance of flavorful hops. The first bite can be bitter, so proceed with caution if you are unpalated. I find it a well-balanced choice packed full of flavor with a pleasant remnant of flowers left twinkling in your nose. I find this beer in my fridge for all occasions, but most often is my go-to-guy for an after work brew.
-Sweet Georgia Brown-
5.1% The 2001 Great American Beer Festival Gold Metal winner of English Style Brown Ales. Ok, so I'm just going to list these in order of my favs. An easy going copper toned brown ale here good for sessions. Undistinguishable from most other brown ales, yet another great one. Easy to come back to this beer, plus it has a different label which is fun :-)
-Sweet Water IPA-
5.7% This one packs more of a bite than the 420, but the intense hop character manages to leave behind a light caramel undertone as you finish each taste. Definitely a hint of an earthy tone. A unique IPA unlike any other.
-Sweet Water Blue-
4.9% Won an award in the 90's for fruit beer. It is just what it says...a fruit beer. Don't really like em, never have, never will. Now a Blue Moon is a close, yet tolerable cousin to the Blue. Better with an orange peel, but I still don't believe in blue berry beer. Once upon a time I found one fairly refreshing, hot day, long festival...
-Catch and Release Ales-
These vary, hence the heading. I recently tried the "Dank Tank" and was highly impressed. I hope they make this one a full time ale. The hops were very uplifting hops leaving you with a pleasant experience. Almost a grassy taste, don't think of a lawn. The "Festive Ale" is another classic sitting at 8.6%. This is heavier Christmas time ale made to keep you warm. Cinnamon aroma replaced the much needed cider over Christmas. They claim to make only 7200 liters per year and to bottle only on one day. Well, I experienced an occasion to prove otherwise. It was a case of myself purchasing a liter coming home to find my roommate already had purchased his. We were inspecting the beer's rather malty tone and we read over the labels only to discover that we both purchased #1741. Could've been an honest mistake, either way who cares? We enjoyed them just the same. There's a few others I have yet to try but I'm sure there good. Check out their site for the bios on the others.
If you made it this far and still haven't ever tried some sweet water, I recommend you travel down to the Southeastern United States and come grab a pint. I'd be happy to host you if I'm in the neighborhood. But know that these beers are unpasturized, meaning they have a 90 day shelf life. Perfection perfected. It also means you won't be suckin down a cold one of these west of the Mississippi. Sorry folks
And always remember folks.... Don't Float the Mainstream
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