SweetWater

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 πŸ˜€

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420 Extra Pale Ale

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.

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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LowRYEder IPA

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 πŸ˜€

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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.

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Red Wheat Wine Ale

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 πŸ™‚ 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!

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Fun facts: The roots of SweetWater began in Boulder, CO. Go figure! πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ They officially began in 1997 and today they have the capacity to produce 100,000 barrels of beer a year.

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30 responses to “SweetWater

  1. Hmm I didn’t know about the beer laws in GA, I guess If I take a trip next door I will keep that in mind. It kind of like the Packaging Store, in SC. It wasn’t a liquor store, but somewhere you went to buy unmentionable objects and come out carrying brown paper bags. Somehow that made it morally better.
    I totally know what you mean about wishing you were from somewhere else and then being proud of where you are from, later. In my case the only downside is the meaning of my last name in English. I am a true from nowhere person. I have never lived in a town for more than five years for my entire 30+ years, and have lived in 4 different countries in that time. Though I’ve lived in the US more than half my life I don’t consider myself American. I used to feel weird about telling people I came from South Carolina, now that I’m back in SC I stick out like a sore thumb with a Maryland license and car. I’m not sure if it’s totally true but I feel like being in some parts of the Carolinas with an MD car they still look at you suspiciously as an outsider.

    • That is so crazy. That is a lot of traveling too! Have you enjoyed or has it been more overwhelming? I know I can’t way to travel a lot but I could see that in my younger years that would be a little rough :/ parents in the Air Force?

      Also, that is crazy about the paper bags…there are definitely some odd laws in states. Glad we don’t have any in CO πŸ˜›

      • It has it’s pluses: seen a lot of places, experienced a lot of different cultures. Than there is the constant moving, packing unpacking and stuff that gets broken. Loosing touch with a lot of people. I think living outside the US is a big plus, but constantly moving in the US is no fun. The moving was for a mix of reasons, at first it was because my parents moved for work, (no they are not in the military, my dad is an Engineer), since then it’s been me moving for school and for work.

  2. Pingback: Georgia Brews | Lilly Sue's Bites and Brews·

  3. My husband LOVES Sweetwater! He says the 420 is his 2nd favorite beer of all time. Unfortunately I can’t sample beer with my gluten intolerance, so I’ll have to take his word for it. And yours! Great blog!

    • Thanks Ruth! I also tried this altbier from another GA brewery that I know you would love! I will hopefully be posting about on Monday πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, we can’t get it here yet 😦

  4. Love Sweetwater. My wife and I discovered them at a beer festival in Montgomery, AL (where my fam lives). Sadly, there is no Sweetwater in stupid Ohio, so when he head to the Gulf Coast in August for vacation I usually stock up on their IPA and 420. I also try and grab some Terrapin as well, a great brewery out of Athens, GA.

    • There is no Sweetwater here either 😦 I tried a couple Terrapin beers too. Have you had their altbier? It is called treehugger πŸ™‚ It was awesome!

  5. “This beer would be great enjoyed on a hot summer day or after a nice run” – haha, girl after my own heart! I keep meaning to visit the brewery but something always keeps me away. I’m going have to change that…this place looks awesome!

  6. cool story πŸ™‚ Funny about you being born in Georgia and raised in Colorado. Thinking I mentioned this already, but I was born in Colorado πŸ™‚

    Also funny how rules and regs determine what can be sold (or not sold) where. Minnesota has just passed a law that allows beer to be sold at the brewsite. Hello brewpubs!

    Headsup that the choc pudding you enjoyed at deLiz facebook is up at foodforfun should you want to make a batch. Was wondering what would happen if a (small) portion of the milk was switched out for a milk stout. ??? Always enjoy your posts! Happy Easter to you.

    • Where in CO? I’m not sure I remember you mentioning πŸ™‚ but yes I knew about Minnesota cause it had just been passed when I visited Minneapolis a while back πŸ™‚

      I will check out the pudding recipe! Though I’m starting a cleanse after Easter so I may have to wait a bit to make it. I think using a milk stout would be fabulous πŸ™‚ it will make it more rich!

  7. Loving the Dank Tank – ha! Great Post – thanks so much for sharing – love that you share the history as well as the brews:) BroCraves was born in a different State than me and he thinks he was born in the cooler State – big brother has to up you on just about everything:) I am now living in my 5th State in my 30-some-odd-years. Happy Weekend – Cheers!!!

    • Isn’t the Dank Tank awesome?! I wish I could have been a part of the decorating party! So I guess you understand the brotherly/family love πŸ™‚ ha ha Thanks Renee! Have a fabulous weekend!

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