Sweetwater Brewing, Atlanta, GA

Okay, this Georgia tasting room crap is simply wierd.  You show up and there’s a two hour window for tasting.  The brewery is limited to providing you no more than 32 ounces of beer and they can’t directly sell it to you.  So Sweetwater has three options:  You get a plastic cup and six tickets tradeable for a five-ounce pour each.  Or you can buy a pint glass for $10, ditto the five-ounce pours.  Or you can make a donation to keeping the Chattahoochee River clean and get a 14-ounce pilsner.  Those five ounce pours are awfully damned generous.  So here’s Sweetwater, hardly a “craft beer” brewery….

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And here’s one of those tickets:

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Now to the beers:

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I mostly enjoyed Sweetwater’s beers, the seven pictured above (a sobriety test – the “420” Pale Ale is there twice) plus a firkin, a Centennial Peppercorn IPA.  I got to sample all seven, thanks to a “local” with an extra ticket.  The winner stylistically was the brown ale.  The brewers took some liberties with styles, something I don’t mind if it works but in many cases it didn’t.  The beers were subtly off, the malt too subdued, the hops too prevalent or incorrect to style.  But on balance, Sweetwater produces a drinkable beer.  And the bartenders, too, are put off by those strange Southern alcohol laws.  This is not a small brewery and you have a two-hour window in which to drink their beers.  But their beers are drinkable and the company is Southern.  I even got a tip for dinner!

Back in Denver tomorrow.  I’m ready to be home.

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