The end of this month marks a full 7 months that I’ve been traveling to Atlanta on a regular basis for the planning work that is happening for our brewery restaurant.
Many people are asking me “why Atlanta?”, which is a very fair question. I have no personal ties here, and up until recently, I haven’t spent much time here. But one of my business partners lives in the Atlanta area, and Atlanta was on the short list of places we were considering, primarily because it is a really cool city, and is, in our opinions, under-represented with craft breweries compared to other big cities in the country (though there are some very good breweries here). We thought the potential here was significant. Carey found a building for our business that is absolutely perfect for what we want to try and create. And since then, I’ve been here a lot, and have grown to really like this city and the people that live here.
Atlanta itself is a “happening” city, a lot of the neighborhoods have undergone renovation, and that are filled with unique and excellent restaurants and beer drinking establishments. It’s also a beautiful city, filled with parks, lots of trees, and some amazing homes.
There is a thriving craft beer scene here. Two beer drinking establishments are consistently ranked in the top ten of American craft beer bars (The Porter, and The Brickstore Pub in nearby Decatur). I’ve been to each many times, they have great draft beer selections, lots of rare bottles stored in temperature controlled beer cellars, educated and knowledgable staff, and they really take care of their beer and their glassware.
There are some really good craft brewers here as well, with many more breweries in planning. This is despite current GA beer laws that restrict the ability of brewers who operate a “brewery” to sell beer out of their brewery, and severely limits maximum production volume of a brewpub that serves food. I’m learning more about the local brewers and breweries with each trip I’ve taken, and we are really looking forward to being a part of the scene here. As I have found everywhere, brewers are kindred spirits, and I look forward to getting to know the Atlanta area brewers better and enjoying their beers.
Some of my favorite beers so far are from Creature Comforts in nearby Athens GA, Scofflaw which really makes great IPAs, and Three Taverns Brewery in Decatur. Terrapin in Athens has been one of my favorites for a long time. Sweetwater Brewing is the largest brewery in the area, we got to visit a few weeks ago, and I was impressed with their operation, and pleasantly surprised at how big they are. They are doing some really cool special beers and wood aged beers, and their core lineup has always been solid. Torched Hop is a new brewpub that is a five minute drive from our spot, and they make really good beer, we’ve been there several times. And there are other brewers in the area I really haven’t had a chance to try yet, including Monday Night Brewing, Reformation, Eventide, Second Self, and others. A lot of brewers are putting some focus on sour beers, and the ones I’ve gotten to try from Orpheus and Three Taverns have been delicious. In short, there is no shortage of good and interesting beer, covering all styles, in the Atlanta area, which has been fun for me to learn!
We rented an apartment in the Inman Park neighborhood since one of our partners, Bob, and I are traveling in for now. It’s better than staying in a hotel and is giving us a little sense of “home”. It’s not only located in a great neighborhood with a lot of restaurants and cafes, it’s located on the Beltline, a jogging/walking/biking trial that will eventually encircle the entire city, so it is only a 5-10 minute walk to our building site. The apartment is also is a 5-10 minute walk from The Porter, the Wrecking Bar Brewpub, Ponce City Market, and Krog Street Market, which has a great beer store and beer bar called Hop City. I just bought a bicycle for getting around-the Beltline is a wonderful place to do some quick rides and navigate through town.
I’ve been asked a lot about when I’m moving. I have a daughter in high school in CA, and will not move her while she is in school, so I’ll be commuting until she graduates. I do look forward to bringing the family out here, and showing them some of the things I really like in the area.
We still don’t have an official name, we hope to be able to announce something soon. As we start construction in our space, look for more progress updates from me!