Decatur is becoming something of a mecca for beer lovers.
In recent years, breweries and home brew stores are popping up and expanding all over the city. Interestingly, many of these facilities are located in a small enclave along College Avenue.
According to the Brewers Association (BA), there are 28 craft breweries (small, independent operations) in Georgia, which has experienced a steady increase in operations in the past two years. And more breweries are in the works. BA reports that the German restaurant The Village Corner in Stone Mountain and Southern Sky Brewing Company in Decatur are in the planning stage to develop breweries as well.
Decatur is even the site of a fall beer festival. Sampling is the focus of the Decatur Craft Beer Festival, which takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 18 on the square in downtown Decatur.
Tickets, which are $40 and include a special tasting glass, go on sale Sept. 15. Interested parties are advised to “Be ready. Tickets sell out fast.” Go to www.decaturbeerfestival.org for more information.
For those interested in finding out more about the local beer scene, we compiled a list of some of what Decatur has to offer.:
Twain’s Brewpub and Billiards
Twain’s has been a staple in downtown Decatur since 1996 and in 2006 launched a new effort—brewing its own craft beers. Nine draught beers are currently on the menu including Ginger in the Rye, which is a rye ale infused with ginger root; Beggar’s Barleywine, which combines the flavors of nuts, toffee and dark fruit; and the six malts/six hops Criminal Sin IPA, which took first place in the Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting this year.
The beer is brewed on site in large stainless steel vats.
Asked how Twain’s craft beers have been received, owner Ethan Wurtzel said, “Business has been great, that speaks to the quality of the beer and food and what we do.”
Once a month, Twain’s offers free tours of its brewery. Starting at 12:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month, the ins and outs of its operation are revealed. Space is limited, and they suggest signing up at the bar for the next available tour
Twain’s, which just completed a renovation with new seating and bar features, has a loyal following who come for the food, billiards, foosball, shuffleboard, darts and more.
Twains, www.twains.net, is located at 211 E. Trinity Place, Decatur.
Three Taverns Craft Beer
The one-year-old brewery, whose slogan is “surpass the ordinary,” launched last July 19 and opened its tasting room last September.
Brian Purcell is Three Taverns’ brewmaster and chief executive officer, who turned a home brewing hobby into a business nine years ago.
They brew Single Intent, a Belgian-style single; A Night in Brussels IPA with malts from Belgium, a blend of American hops, cane sugar and Belgian yeast strain; Quasimodo, a Belgium-style quadruple.
The focal point of the brewery is The Parlour, a tasting room where guests are accommodated and surrounded by weathered planks, aged timbers and intricate brickwork. Named one of the “23 Hottest Craft Beer spots in America Right Now” by Eater National in December 2013, The Parlor offers a souvenir tasting glass, brewery tour and six 5.5-ounce pours of Three Taverns beers for $12 per person. (A $2 discount is offered to those who ride their bikes to the brewery.)
Three Taverns, www.threetavernsbrewery.com, is located at 121 New St. in Decatur.
Blue Tarp Brewing Co.
This brewery, which started in December 2012, bills itself as Decatur’s first full-scale production. It brews six beers including Bantam Weight, a session ale; Hopsided, an IPA noted for its spicy floral and citrus flavor; and Fünk Weisse, described as having a lemony tartness and light sourdough wheatiness.
Tours and tastings at the brewery, located at 731 E. College Ave., are held on Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Guided tours are held at 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. A souvenir pint glass and five samples are available for $10.
Visitors are advised that the brewery is not air-conditioned.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit their website at www.bluetarpebrew.com.
Wild Heaven Craft Beer
Located in Decatur on the edge of Avondale Estates, Wild Heaven Craft Beer has set out to create something different. “Our beers are designed in the great tradition of European brewing but with a distinctly American creative flair,” states the brewery’s website. “Our all-grain, no adjunct-sugar philosophy creates bigger flavor without excess alcohol.”
Founded by Georgians Nick Purdy and Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven produces six beers including Invocation, a Belgian-style golden ale; Ode to Mercy, an imperial brown ale; and Civilization, an English-style barleywine.
Wild Heaven’s public tasting room is open Fridays 5:30 to 8 p.m., Saturdays 2-5 p.m. and Sundays 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tours are free. For $12 visitors can purchase a goblet and receive six tokens for tastings.
Wild Heaven Craft Beer is located at 135-B Maple St. in Decatur. Call (404) 997-8589 or go to www.wildheavencraftbeer.com for more information.
Wine Workshop & Brew Center
Those interested in brewing beer at home as a hobby might want to check out the Wine Workshop & Brew Center, 627-F E. College Ave. It offers brewing supplies and equipment as well as classes. Two beer brewing classes are scheduled for Sept. 20 and 27 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. In the demonstration classes, attendees will be shown the steps to make home brew using an ingredients kit sold at the center. The class costs $30 for two people and usually includes a $20 coupon for supplies purchased. To register or for more information, call (404) 228-5211 or go to www.wineworkshop.net.
Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market
“Our mission is to provide to the residents of Metro Atlanta access to the wonders of American and International craft beer,” is how Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market describes its operation on its website.
The market offers standard six-packs, build-your-own six-packs as well as larger format and a growler station where customers get draft beer to go.
The store also sells beer accoutrements—cheese, cured meats, pretzels and chocolate. It’s located at 906 W. College Ave., Decatur. Call (404) 371-4331 or go to www.aleyeahbeer.com for more information.
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