Atlanta: Plan Your Night of Craft Beer and Bars

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If you’re headed to Atlanta this week, drink to trendy Atlanta’s southern charms at craft breweries and bars. From the more than 20 breweries and bars with beer on tap in town, pick your ambiance from rooftop gardens to brick-lined pubs and industrial décor bars. There’s a brew or a cocktail for every taste in Atlanta.

Georgia BrewJoe Hannan

Don’t be fooled by the glassware. That’s a proper Georgia brew in that pint glass. If the Hinman Dental Meeting brings you to Atlanta this week, be sure to savor some of the city’s craft beer. Krog Street Market’s HopCity, where this photo was taken, has a great brew selection, and the market itself offers numerous dining options.

Craft breweries are part of the new Atlanta’s Southern charms. The city taps into the craft beer trend, featuring some 20 breweries and craft beer bars in town, plus more in the surrounding neighborhoods. Since each brewery and bar offers a different ambiance and roster of brews, buddy up with colleagues to go on a beer crawl or book a beer cruise by guided van to find the brew worth toasting.

Craft Beers and Bars

On a brewery tour and tasting, learn about the brewers’ backgrounds, signature brews and taste samples. Contact the brewery or pub to see if reservations are required.

Red Brick Brewing Company: Founded in 1993, Red Brick Brewing Company is Atlanta’s oldest, continually operating craft brewery. Hoplanta is among their award-winning brews. Red Brick’s tours include tastings of six beers. $12

SweetWater Brewing Company: Started by college roommates and named after a Georgia creek, SweetWater’s signature beer is the 420 Extra Pale Ale. The brewery lists their SweetWater Georgia Brown as “smoother than a Bill Clinton apology.” Tours include six samples. $12

Monday Night Brewing: The brewery’s café-like ambiance adds to the fun as does the tie wall, a play on relax-and-take-your–tie-off. Previous visitors have left their neckties on the wall and you can too. Popular brews include Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale and Eyepatch IPA. Monday Night plans to open a second location, the dinosaur-themed Garage, in Atlanta’s West End. Tours include six samples. $12

Three Taverns Brewery: A Belgian-style brewery, Three Taverns melds Belgian traditions with American products to create something new. White Hops, named after a long-forgotten Atlanta beverage of 1898; and Departed Spirit, an Imperial Stout, are among the well-liked bottles.

The Porter Beer Bar: The Porter Beer Bar’s menu features some 700 beers, of which 40 are on draught. The place receives high-rating for its pub grub. Try the Porn Dog sausage, mussels, Cuban sandwich and Belgian fries.

Nine Mile Station: Located on the roof of popular Ponce City Market, Nine Mile Station calls itself “an elevated beer garden in the heart of Atlanta.”  The seasonally-inspired fare features sandwiches and plates to share as well as a dozen draught beers plus a panoramic view of Atlanta’s skyline. Reservations suggested.

Guided Brew Tours

Craft brewery guided tours come with a few benefits: Someone else does the driving, the van goes to top-rated places, and your guide points out each brewery’s signature beers. Check dates for availability and reserve tours in advance.

Atlanta Brews Cruise:On Atlanta Brews Cruise’s four-hour program, you typically visit three breweries for tours and samples. Brews Cruises depart Thursday and Friday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:15-5:15 pm. The fee includes beer and snacks on the van. $59.99.

Southern Beer Tours: Justin Hall and Jonathan Oliver created these tours to share their passion about the growing craft beer movement. Most tours feature tastings at three breweries, often in private rooms where guests sample three to four half-pints. The Atlanta Brewery Tour focuses on downtown, $64.99, while Sippin in the Suburbs covers breweries in Atlanta’s suburbs. On the popular Brewery and Baseball tour, enjoy a two-hour pre-game party at a few breweries, samples included, plus see an Atlanta Braves game. The tour fee includes the general admission ticket to the stadium plus a Chick-fil-A sandwich to munch. $74.99.