By: Robert Fairman – 1st year – Behavioral Science & Health Education
One of my favorite things to do is try out new breweries. I love going to local breweries, trying out local beers, and having a great time with friends while doing it. The awesome thing about Atlanta is all the different breweries they have, and how each one is unique, and offers a great experience. With some on the Beltline, you can do a Brew Tour of Beltline breweries, or just visit them separately. After extensive research on this topic, here are my Top Five Breweries You Need to Visit in Atlanta.
Orpheus is one of the coolest breweries in Atlanta, and is sort of a diamond in the rough. Right off of Piedmont Park, the outdoor patio offers awesome views of the park, as well as the Midtown skyline. Though the space is a little bit on the smaller side (and the parking lot is tiny, but you should not be driving if you are drinking anyway), the close atmosphere of Orpheus gives it a cool vibe. I’m not going to lie, their brews have some weird names, but my favorite is the “Transmigration of Souls.” This double IPA has tones of orange, lemon, and tropical fruit, and a heavy body. Orpheus is also super dog friendly, which really should be one of the top reasons to pick any brewery.
SweetWater is one of my favorite breweries in general, and the only one that is not a true “local” brewery on this list. Though it is local to us, everyone needs to go to SweetWater during their time in Atlanta. With plenty of room inside the building, as well as the patio, there is always a good crowd at SweetWater. There is cornhole, dogs, great views of downtown, and more dogs. SweetWater is also a great place to go to watch games. With a bar indoors and outdoors, you never have to wait a long time to grab a beer. The one thing I do not like about it is that you cannot order food, so if that is a deal breaker for you, then that is something to keep in mind. The SweetWater 420 is one of my go-tos, and has an incredible taste.
Torched Hop is a little different than the other breweries on this list—it is equal parts restaurant and brewery. Located near Ponce City Market, Torched does an awesome job of finding the balance between restaurant and bar. The food is awesome (their pizzas are killer), and beers are obviously brewed in-house. The upper level is more of restaurant seating, while the lower has some seating, and areas for cornhole and other games. The “Hops De Leon” is a must try West Coast IPA, that has awesome flavors. Torched also is a great place to grab a few drinks and watch Atlanta United games, and you will find me there during the season.
New Realm brewery is one of the new breweries on the block. There is a restaurant downstairs, as well as a second story taproom and patio that gives awesome views of the skyline. The “Hoplandia” is a personal favorite of mine. It is an IPA with peach, citrus, and pine undertones, and is the perfect drink for hanging out on the rooftop patio. Since New Realm is right off of the Beltline, it is common for people to stop, grab a drink, then get back on the Beltline. This is also a dog-friendly brewery, so that is always a plus.
I know, the Beer Festival is not technically a brewery, but if you like craft beer and cider, you have to go. Basically, you pay for the ticket, and you get unlimited tasting of beers. In downtown Decatur, the outdoor atmosphere is awesome, and always packed. There is live music, food vendors, and tons of craft beer from local and regional breweries (You can check out the list here). The Beer Fest is easily one of my favorite events to go to, and one I always look forward to!