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A Few Of My Favorite Breweries
Beer, specifically Georgia beer, is one of my fortes. I've been fortunate enough to be in the Georgia craft beer scene for a handful of years and also to reap all of its tasty benefits. Before I give you the run down I'll give you a bit of the insider history. Until September 1st, 2017 Georgia breweries weren't allowed to "sell" their beer directly out of their tasting rooms. Instead, they had to sell tours, like a museum does. A tour price would range from $10 - $15 dollars. The tour price had to include a physical item that could have a value attached to it, most breweries did glassware. A $10 pint glass is absurd, you and I both know it. I digress. The brewery was also required to give production facility tours where the beer is made. As a consumer, if you're into beer, the tour was wonderful. A business, it was a huge risk that the government required them to take. Production facilities have wet floors, hoses everywhere, malt, hops, yeast, metal, hot things everywhere. It' was an insurance nightmare and a litigious person's dream. Also included in that tour were 6 "free" 6oz samplings. A lot of people in the state accredit this policy to blue laws. Georgia is in the bible belt so it must be because the Southern Baptists pitched a fit. Nope. Wrong.
Georgia has a 3 tier system ( depicted below ). A brewery (Supplier) sells their product to a distributor who then marks it up and sells it to a retailer (restaurant, bar, grocery store) who then marks it up and sells it to you. Originally, this law was designed so that a brewery couldn't also be a distributor and a retailer and have a monopoly over the market. Obviously, that worked out well (sarcasm). As craft beer has grown in popularity the distributors and the mega breweries began getting concerned about market placement and losing their piece of the cash pie. To alleviate these concerns they've paid some hefty amounts to Georgia politicians to ensure that legislation doesn't pass to disrupt their business. I could tell you the stories I've heard of back door deals, but I won't. Not in print anyways. Back to the point, how is this a problem? A brewery can't skip the middle man. Their entire business relies on a third party to promote, sell, distribute, and assume that they have their best interest at heart.
There's a lot more to this topic that I could shed light on but it could turn into a rant, and who really wants to read a rant? Not me! I'll end this recap on a positive note. September 1st, 2018 SB85 passed and allowed breweries in Georgia to quit selling tours and start selling beers. It also allowed for them to sell up to one case per person per day. There's a lot of work to be done but this law passing was a huge step. Now, on to the good stuff!
Each Atlanta area neighborhood has it's own charm and since the passing of SB85 we that breweries are opening within these neighborhoods to match that charm.
Who doesn't love a rebel without a cause? I know I sure do! Introducing one of Atlanta's newest and by far the most popular brewery, Scofflaw. With their charming F*ck you attitude, this brewery is known for not giving a damn and big IPA's.
Well, I love Roswell. It's square center is filled with sweet shops and restaurants and now Gate City.
Yet another reason to move South! Monday Night Brewing, an Atlanta staple located in West Midtown, opened a satellite space, The Garage, to produce sours and guess what, IT'S DELISH! Not to mention it's on the Beltline, there a beautiful patio, and the inside is massive.
Just a bit further South you'll find Hapeville. A community so hip that they've passed an open container law for their downtown (get with it Atlanta). Here you'll find Arches. A quaint brewery with a beer garden style patio and true lagers.
I'll say it again, I'm bias. Eventide Brewing is located just off of the Beltline, tucked away in the historic neighborhood of Grant Park. The tasting room is hand crafted by the owners from the table tops to the tap handles. Their beer follows their motto, "Great Doesn't Have To Be Complicated."
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