Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Wedding and Beer Weekend in Atlanta, GA

Since I have entered in the world of craft beer, I look forward to every trip Emily and I take to the beautiful southern city, Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta's beer culture is very similar the culture that is found in Boston. Neither city is home to an abundance of in-state breweries, but many of those that have settled in their respective locals are well-respected and innovative breweries: Cambridge Brewing CompanyPretty Things Beer and Ale Project, and The Boston Beer Company in Boston and Sweet Water BreweryThe Wrecking Bar, and The Terrapin Brewing Company in Atlanta. Both Atlanta and Boston are home to chain breweries, Boston Beer Works and John Harvard's Brewhouse in MA and 5 Seasons Brewing Company in GA and amazing craft beer stores Craft Beer Cellar in Boston and Hop City in Atlanta.
Upon my arrival late Thursday, my amazing wife had a cold pint waiting in the fridge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company's, Lectio Divina. It was a amber-hued ale with a bubbly white head. It was much more tart than was expected, which was a great way to finish a long day of work and traveling.
For lunch on Friday, my father-in-law, step-mother-in-law and I ventured to yuppie-ville, Alpharetta, GA to sample pints from 5 Seasons Brewing. I started with Tabla Saison. The beer poured light red in color with a minimal head. The beer produced a delightful aroma, full of fruity esters dominated by pear and wild berries. The taste was full of a bright fruitiness that was very refreshing on a warm Atlanta afternoon. I followed this saison with their Fresh Hop Ale. After conversing with the server, I found out that the brewmaster has fresh Chinook hops flown in overnight for the mash the following morning. The aroma from the sample was very piney and fresh, which is definitely due to the addition of the wet hops. The taste, however, was very heavy and sluggish lowering its appeal and drinkability.
After finishing up at lunch, my father-in-law and I ventured to the all encompassing liquor store, Total Wine. The beer selection is extensive, but lacks in organization. Due to this disarray on the shelves, I usually find a hidden gem and this visit was no exception. On the top shelf, hidden behind some bottles, and completely isolated from the American IPA section, I found the highly renowned, Jai Alai IPA from Cigar City Brewing. The was IPA is epitome of balance between malts and hops. The initial taste is very malty, but this maltiness gives way to a hop explosion in the back end of the taste. Very rarely will I say this about a beer, but this beer definitely lived up to the hype and was exceptional.
The wedding weekend was a beautiful celebration of the love between Yvonne and Todd. And just as their love is blossoming, so is mine toward the wanders Atlanta beer culture. As Emily and I continue to venture south, I look forward to numerous adventures that we will take both touristy and beery.


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