“Small Brewery of the Year!”
February 17, 1997 marked the official beginning of SweetWater Brewery, and a new style of brewing and selling beer in Atlanta as the boys wandered around Atlanta in an old van with Freddy’s dog Badger. After ending up on the wrong side of the tracks a few times, they were finally pointed in the direction of Virginia-Highlands and found a few bars willing to take a chance on them. “We’ll give you a shot as long as your dog stops begging for leftovers on our patio” was the cautious approval they needed to get the brand rolling. SweetWater’s second and current location is in Midtown Atlanta, adjacent to Ansley Park, in the Armour Circle Industrial Park just off of Piedmont and Monroe. The boys saved all of their pennies to buy the 25,000 square feet of brewing goodness and smack in the middle of all the action. Since the company began we’ve wanted to be closer to our homes, the bars and stores that sell our beer, and all the good folks that drink it. Fortunately seven years of great growth gave the company that opportunity. We learned a lot from that location and left all those mistakes behind as we built our new home. SweetWater Brewing Company has been here since 2004 and it feels good to be settled in. Our new home has enough capacity to brew 100,000 barrels of beer a year (A few more years at this rate.)
Sweetwater Brewing is a staple of the South, so when I moved to California from North Carolina last November, I knew I had to make a pitstop in Atlanta to the source of the sweet brews. I opted for the $14 entry to the tasting room, which donated a portion of those proceeds to a local charity and rewarded me with a deluxe pint glass and three tickets for tasters (about half pints). The tasting room had about a dozen beers on tap, and was large enough to fill 60-70 people comfortably. The tasting room opens up on a large split level patio, and the weather that day was beautiful, so most people opted to play cornhole or socialize on the patio. The tasting room is dog-friendly, so my pup accompanied me, and we encountered at least a dozen other patrons with their canine friends. If I lived in Atlanta, the place would be one of my local watering holes, and indeed, many of the people I talked with in the tasting room indicated that they were locals.
Read more about my cross country trip, see photos from Sweetwater, and share your own stories on my website:
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- Wed - Fri: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
- Sun, Sat: 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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