Growing up, I fully denied being born in Georgia. It had nothing to do with Georgia but the fact that I was different from my siblings. All 5 of my siblings were born in Colorado and at a young age all I wanted was to be born in Colorado (so silly, I know!). I use to get teased about it so even though I knew deep down it was not true, I said I was born in Colorado. Of course now, I completely love the fact that I am a Georgia Peach. I love that I am different. I am the only blonde, blue-eyed Georgia Peach in my family 😀
Even if you grow up somewhere other than where you were born, there is still a connection with that place. It seems so many people nowadays were not born and raised in the same state. Though I totally consider myself from Colorado I was born in Macon, Georgia. When visiting Atlanta, I was thrilled to see the beer community thriving. SweetWater Brewing is one of the breweries in Georgia and the place was exploding with beer lovers.
Georgians have figured out other ways around the beer laws that prohibit sell of beer for consumption on the premises. Instead of “buying” beer, a visitor buys a pint glass and tour. One flat fee is paid for both and then the brewery gives you a number of tickets to taste the beer. Talk about working around the system 🙂 Breweries in other states with similar beer laws also follow these procedures. Though beer lovers can only consume a certain amount and for a short period of time, at least they can still gather together to taste this SweetWater 🙂
When we approached the brewery, a line out the door had already formed before beer was even being poured. Keep in mind, the weather was cool for Atlanta, yet people gathered to wait in line and then many socialized outside. The facility was rather large but the place was packed. I can’t imagine how much busier it must be on warm summer days 😀
This awesome Dank Tank is where experimental batches are created. The first time visiting we got to try the Big Old Belgian Blue Balls which was a sweet and strong Belgian beer brewed with fresh blueberries. Then their anniversary beer was the So Fine 16 Red Wheat Wine Ale. It was another strong beer at about 11%. This beer is currently being sold in bombers.
Some of the regularly made beers are the 420 Extra Pale Ale, LowRYEder IPA, and the Georgia Brown. The 420 Extra Pale Ale was one of my favorite beers. It was very crisp and not too hoppy but still good flavor. This beer would be great enjoyed on a hot summer day or after a nice run 🙂 This beer makes up about 65-70% of their sales. The Lowryder was another favorite of mine and my Uncle. It was a much lighter rye beer than I have tasted. It was smooth but had a little bite. I did not get to try the Georgia Brown…when I went I wasn’t much in the mood for a darker beer but it looked like this tap kept flowing!
Fun facts: The roots of SweetWater began in Boulder, CO. Go figure! 🙂 The two owners, Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerny, were roomates at CU Boulder in the early 90s. They focused more on scoring free beer than their studies and so they would volunteer at microbreweries. Later they went off to study fermentation science in California. After brewing beer for other breweries along the west coast, they ended up in Atlanta and thought Atlanta needed a west coast style brewery 🙂 They officially began in 1997 and today they have the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels of beer a year.
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