The Best Craft Breweries in Atlanta

The craft beer trend is still sweeping the nation, but one of our favorite craft outlets sits in West Midtown. As Atlanta's first craft cidery, Urban Tree Cidery creates its award-winning beverages in-house, with apples from its very own orchard in Mountain City, Georgia. And we're among Urban Tree's long list of fans—it was recognized at the 2019 Good Food Awards as a finalist (one of 57 awards it's garnered) in the cider awards category for its Vintage Gala cider; made from North Georgia apples that are barrel-aged with a touch of Georgia sugar cane. The tartness is balanced with toasted vanilla notes. Urban Tree Cidery's products can be purchased throughout the Peach State, but you'll love kicking back in its tasting room, sampling the various taps and chatting with the Resulta family, who will soon feel like your own. The space is warm and friendly, with board games ready for those whose visit is a longer one. 

Wild Heaven Brewery

“Serve your neighbor” is the motto of this new craft brewery in Avondale Estates. Created by lifelong Georgians Nick Purdy and Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven makes American brews that use all grain and no adjunct-sugar, which means bigger flavor without the excess alcohol. That flavor is evident in the brewery’s signature brews, including Belgian-Style Golden Ale, Imperial Brown Ale, Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale, American Pale Ale, Belgian-Style Saison and English-Style Barleywine. The brewery's name—two words you might not expect to be juxtaposed—is inspired by the R.E.M. song, "Near Wild Heaven," on its 1990 album "Out of Time."

Red Hare Brewing

Co-workers Roger Davis and Bobby Thomas took their home-brewing hobby to the next level with lots of encouragement from friends in August 2011. We hoped they thanked them. Today, the Marietta brewery sells its brews in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Red Hare offers three year-round varieties (Long Day Lager, Gangway IPA and Watership Brown Ale), as well as seasonal offerings and a one-off specialty series called The Rabbit’s Reserve Series. It was the world's first brewery to adopt the evercan™, a more sustainable can made from high-recycled aluminum.

Second Self Beer Company

Two Georgia Tech grads tapped into their alter egos and launched this Westside brewery in 2014. This escape from corporate life spurred the name "Second Self." It's the reason everything at the brewery is in twos: two founders, the numbers in its logo, two colors in every beer and two sides to every beer. Flavor profiles for each brew are created with fresh ingredients like blue ginger and lemongrass—never dried ingredients or extracts. Second Self touts a kid- and dog-friendly atmosphere. Embrace your second self and come in for a tour or one of its many special events.

SweetWater Brewing Company

Atlanta’s craft brewery king—it currently ranks as the 19th largest craft brewery in the nation— earned its crown for a reason. Opened by University of Colorado roommates Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney just after the Olympics in 1996, the popular brewery offers bold, West Coast-style ales such as the signature SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale, SweetWater Blue with a touch of blueberry, SweetWater IPA and SweetWater Georgia Brown. In addition, there are seasonal releases throughout the year. The brewery is one of the city’s favorite hops spots, with a sprawling outdoor patio (usually accented by live music) and an over-the-top, indoor “man cave."

 

Jennifer McKee
About the author

Jennifer is the Managing Editor of Morris Visitor Publications, where she has worked since 2005. She grew up in small...