When I first started writing about beer some 20 years ago, there wasn’t much in Georgia to write about. Now, though, Georgia is the 17th largest craft beer producer in the country and the number of new and notable breweries in the state, seems to be growing exponentially. Ask me anything!

Proof: https://twitter.com/ajc/status/1015263777414139910

Comments: 1109 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

schmittymccute197 karma

What are your thoughts on all the buy-outs of craft breweries by giant producers like In-Bev and such? If the quality of the beer isn't affected, is it still harmful to the craft industry? Do you still consider it craft beer if it's produced in small quantities but owned by an international conglomerate?

ATLreporter201 karma

It's a super complicated question. I have longtime friends who founded buy-out breweries and as far as I'm concerned they are still the same people and the beer is still good. On the other hand I think small and family owned is kind of a craft ideal. What you do with Boston Beer and the like is another question.

EaterOfFromage156 karma

Where do see the beer scene going in the next 20 years?

I'm a beer fan and used to live in one of the craft brewery capitals of North America and its really a great time to be a beer drinker. Lots of experimentation and collaboration happening, it's really coming into its own as an art form. But i also feel like we're getting to a point where the whole industry might risk stagnation. As a consumer, what do I drink when I feel like I've tried everything?

Also, why don't more breweries make Belgian style Dubbels, Tripels, and Quadrupels?

ATLreporter217 karma

20 years is a long time. Hard to know. But in the shorter term, more breweries and beer. The question remains: How much more is too much more?

Belgian beers are hard to sell even in Belgium right now. I think some breweries like Allagash (and Orpheus here in ATL) are still trying hard. But IPAs and hops still rule craft.

tokeallday31 karma

Belgian beers are hard to sell even in Belgium right now.

Really?? As someone who is a huge fan of this style of beer, I really don't get that perception. Sure, IPAs are the more popular choice, but I still think Belgian style beers do okay. Do you have a source on this?

ATLreporter23 karma

I'm talking about overall sales around the world, visiting Belgium, and talking with members of the Belgian Family Brewers. I didn't say that were not available or beloved. It's just that younger beer drinkers aren't as interested. Go to Brick Store Pub and ask how sales are in the Belgian Bar as opposed to few years ago.

Kingcentaur86 karma

What is the best Hefeweizen beer in Georgia?

ATLreporter97 karma

Not really my style, but Arches has a popular one called Queen's Weiss

80blank63 karma

What’s your favorite brewery to visit in ATL if you’re just going for fun? Not just for the beer, but the atmosphere and everything too

ATLreporter136 karma

Currently, I'm really liking Monday Night Garage. Great chill space. The New Realm rooftop is great at sunset.

LukeNukem6362 karma

Hi from Michigan, have you had any of our craft beers especially Two-Hearted or All day IPA?

ATLreporter61 karma

Yes. Love them both as go-tos...

Roadkillcafee47 karma

What’s a consistent beer you can always go to that fits most situations, whether a local beer or a more distributed one?

ATLreporter133 karma

For widely distributed beers for all occasions, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, SweetWater 420, and locally Three Taverns Prince of Pils are go-to.

ledfrisby36 karma

Hi Bob. Having been away from Georgia (and the US) for about a decade, other than occasionally visiting family, I mainly just remember Sweetwater being the main local brew. What are some other Georgia brands that I have missed in the past 10 years?

ATLreporter56 karma

Atlanta Brewing you might remember as Red Brick, Creature Comforts, Monday Night, New Realm, Scofflaw, Three Taverns, Wild Heaven, Second Self, and so many more...

Here's a good place to start looking:

http://www.georgiacraftbrewersguild.org/members/

kevokevokevo33 karma

What are some up and coming brews and breweries we should be on the lookout for?

ATLreporter67 karma

Arches in Hapeville, Dry County in Kennesaw, Gate City and Variant in Roswell, Pontoon in Sandy Springs, and Wild Leap in LaGrange are beginning to make a mark...

RUStillIntoIt24 karma

Have you tried Tree House from Monson, Ma? If so, thoughts?

ATLreporter9 karma

Yes. Good stuff

rayrayheyhey30 karma

As a person who doesn't like hoppy beer at all, I feel like this beer wave has passed me by as soon as it started. What do you recommend for someone who likes as little hops as possible?

ATLreporter71 karma

Sour beers, fruit beers, malty darker beers, Belgian beers, especially dubbels and triples...

hatervision26 karma

When did the whole “beer snob” trend start? I appreciate a good beer just as much as the next guy, but when it’s 100° outside, sometimes I just don’t feel like drinking some stout or IPA, I would actually prefer an ice cold high life. When I lived in charlotte, it was extremely hot outside, some friends and myself were drinking at a place where you can buy beer or wine and drink it there (common market if you’re familiar). Anyway, we were about to head back to my place to grill out, so I grabbed a bunch of “summer beer,” and some complete stranger turns to me in line and says “all of the beer here and you’re getting high life?” I chuckled, thinking he was joking, but he was being completely serious. For me, there’s a time and a place for everything, I just don’t remember people ever being an asshole because of someone’s beer choice, prior to the rise of the craft beer scene.

ATLreporter29 karma

I have really smart, really interesting friends who drink Bud in the bottle. It doesn't bother me at all.

laxskeleton24 karma

It's a new trend to make THC or CBD infused beer. I know weed is still illegal in Georgia but do you see this becoming a thing in Georgia when it is eventually legalized?

ATLreporter47 karma

It's not really legal anywhere that I know of. But SweetWater has the new 420 Strain G13 IPA described as “a phenomenally tasty IPA with strain specific terpenes and proprietary hemp flavor, creating an olfactory experience that mimics the G13 cannabis strain.”

Read all about in Beer Town in the AJC this week

frankmint19 karma

When is English Mild coming back?

ATLreporter19 karma

Good Word has great one!

wadner217 karma

How did you get that job? I wish I had better parents and guidance counselors!

ATLreporter26 karma

I was lucky and had a good editor.

agrp814 karma

How did you get into beer writing? Did you start in a different niche and switch? Did you go to school for writing?

ATLreporter16 karma

See answer above. I wrote for high school and college papers and wrote about music, film and food before beer.

almondparfitt14 karma

as someone who's mostly stuck to cider, are their beers you would suggest branching out into? best craft brewery?

ATLreporter32 karma

Try some of the newer sour and fruity beers. There are so many good craft breweries I couldn't name the best.

MrCapone13 karma

What is the best brewery tour you've done in Atlanta and why?

ATLreporter57 karma

WE don't need to do tours anymore because we have taprooms!

Crysdel111 karma

Have you heard of Sand City our local brewery in Northport Long Island, NY?

ATLreporter7 karma

I have not that I remember

Demderdemden9 karma

What is your favourite mouthfeel?

ATLreporter41 karma

My own

Snakealicious9 karma

Can you recommend any notable breweries over towards Augusta?

ATLreporter6 karma

I don't really have any major recommendations over that way. Though there are some really good breweries in Savannah, including Service and Southbound.

Here's a good place to find Georgia breweries:

http://www.georgiacraftbrewersguild.org/members/

Azurepriest7 karma

Want to switch jobs? I mean I'm terrible at writing but I feel like I have the beer drinking part down.

ATLreporter20 karma

You probably make more money. I'd switch paychecks.

phirrups7 karma

I have a couple of questions, if I may; I currently just found myself hired on with a local (for me) restaurant/bar that is trying to jump on the craft trade by offering a selection of over 150+ craft beers on draft. We are regional to the Southeast and have been trying to carry a lot of breweries from around us. We actually currently carry Monday Night’s Slap Fight IPA, Rucksack Hefe and Han Brolo pale ale, Sweetwater’s Tropical Lover, Blue, IPA, and 420 Extra Pale Ale and then Orpheus Transmigrations of Souls IPA all from breweries based in Atlanta, Georgia, as I’m sure you may know. I’m only 25 and just now starting my studying for my first tier Certified Beer Server certification through the Cicerone Program and have found all of this information on beer to be a bit overwhelming (but delightfully challenging) and I was wondering if you just had any general tips for anyone just starting out on the best ways to help easily transition customers who are used to standard American Lager styles into these more unknown craft styles.

Also, for the types of the Atlanta beers that I just mentioned above, do you have any cool stories about the breweries or their histories, or the beer lines specifically? Or anything about the crafts that you would find as an honorable mention flavor-wise? I have learned from a lot of the more knowledgeable individuals around me that part of selling craft beer is painting a beautiful and interesting picture of the products for your customers and I’m trying to learn as much as I can so I just wanted to know if you had anything being that you are so well-versed to the ATL beer scene.

Thank you so much and it was so exciting to see you doing this!

ATLreporter9 karma

I'd say the best way is to let people sample lot of things. I have a bunch of cool stories but not the time to tell them here. You should visit as many breweries as you can, take the tours, take in the different cultures, drink the beer and and ask questions. The new Atlanta Beer Bus I just wrote about is a good way to travel around to a bunch of breweries.

See-Phor4 karma

What's your take on beer snobery and elitism? I went to a beer fest and a bottle share and both times people were so focused on rating everything on untappd and some people wouldn't even sniff a beer that was under a 4pt rating. There seems to be this increasing elitism in beer trading culture as well that to me seems very toxic and totally against what having a beer is all about.

ATLreporter9 karma

I'm a working class guy from a family of farmers and factory workers. Guess how I feel about snobbery and elitism? I'm against it!

bootywatcher4 karma

Will you come out to Sweetwater bar and grill Thursday at 9 to watch our stand up show?

ATLreporter8 karma

Probably not. But sometime, maybe...

Medicorre4 karma

Ever tried a swedish beer?

ATLreporter4 karma

Yes. I'm fond of Carnegie Porter

CH-47AV8R3 karma

Can you name a bar with a better beer selection than The Brick Store?

ATLreporter4 karma

There are plenty of good ones, and many with more taps, but BSP always has a well curated list and has a wonderful cellar program.

hobbitfoot19873 karma

Have you tried anything from Reformation Brewery in Woodstock? I'm a big fan of Jude.

ATLreporter6 karma

Yes. They make some good beers, especially some of the limited releases.

Bonerneeds3 karma

Where can I find a good Kölsch in ATL?

ATLreporter7 karma

Eventide makes a pretty good one and just won an award for it at U.S. Open.

ActualWhiterabbit3 karma

I've been looking for a certain beer taste. I have had it once with a summit summer organic IPA. This was a seasonal beer that just worked for me. I bought every one I could of the magic lot but was unable to recreate it with subsequent lots. I've tried every recommend beer on Reddit or from my contacts in the beer / auditing industry but have gotten no where.

I'm looking for the equivalent taste experience of dying of dehydration in a desert. And then suddenly while I'm passed out in the sun someone takes a pine tree, covers it in snow, adds some lemon, a single blade of wheatgrass then violently shoves it down my throat bringing me back to life but at a terrible cost of never having that experience again.

This beer was off the shelf and was kept on the ground not in a refrigerator and still provided that experience. I've yet to find the right combination of pine and lemon. Do you know of anywhere I can start looking?

ATLreporter11 karma

Hmmmm... I'm guessing you may have taken LSD. But, seriously, I have no clue. Sorry!

dreammbrother3 karma

What are some underrated features/aspects of small bars that you really appreciate?

ATLreporter5 karma

The sense of community is what I love about drinking beer. It's how I grew up and pub culture feels like a home away from home.

Panicphanic3 karma

What are your thoughts of Creature Comforts vs Sweetwater and Terrapin as far as distribution and quality goes?

ATLreporter3 karma

I think all three are top notch.

jaygrant23 karma

What beer do you recommend for someone who loves the taste and flavor profile of IPAs, but isn’t a huge fan of the bitterness? I’ve found that Magic Hat No. 9 does a good job with this, but was wondering what your opinions would be.

ATLreporter4 karma

Some of the newer, fruitier or even fruited IPAs would be your ticket.

Pedropeller3 karma

Do you swallow every sip you take? Or do you take sips? Seems to me a swig is more appropriate for beer, or do you think it affects your preception of the taste/mouth feel?

ATLreporter4 karma

I always say beer drinkers don't spit. But what kind of sip or swig sort of depends on the beer and if I'm drinking for pleasure or tasting to judge it. There are some supposedly pro instructions out there. Your mileage may vary.

PENNST8alum2 karma

Thanks for posting OP! I work for a larger brewery out here in Oregon, I love these beer geek AMA's.

Question: what do you feel is the reason some of these so-so beers like Heady Topper, Pliney the Elder, etc. have developed such a cult following?

ATLreporter3 karma

I think rarity is a big factor. I'd take Pliney over Heady.

SaltySlavery2 karma

What are your thoughts on Founder’s and Bell’s? As they have become giants in craft beer.

ATLreporter2 karma

Both still solid!

jacket2341 karma

If I'm ever in Georgia, what do u recommend as an absolute speciality that i must try?

nunomf861 karma

Are there any beer types that will bloat me less when drinking? i love beer, but most times i dont drink beer its because i dont want that terrible bloated feeling

ATLreporter4 karma

Pour into a glass the proper way to release the carbonation. Look up the technique on YouTube.

Phozix1 karma

Whats your opinion on scientists working on creating better yeasts? At my uni theres a whole department working on brewing technology (KU Leuven Belgium, I aspire to work in that lab later on). Ive read some people are opposed to such technologies because it removes the “naturalness” or “pureness” of craft brewing.

ATLreporter2 karma

The science and technology behind brewing is amazing nowadays, as is the knowledge of younger brewers lab people.

Radioheader50 karma

Have you ever tried any Weihenstephan beers?

ATLreporter1 karma

Yes. Great, though not my fave style

apprehensiveabtthis0 karma

What is "the beer scene"?

ATLreporter1 karma

I need to take a break and finish a story on deadline today. I will check back later this afternoon or evening. The series I wrote may answer many more questions:

https://www.ajc.com/entertainment/dining/the-ultimate-georgia-beer-lover-guide-breweries-beer-and-brewpubs/DjEKuMMPz82BsCvqa6AzbM/

DongleNocker-4 karma

What convince store has the best selection and coldest malt liquor available?

ATLreporter2 karma

Check your fridge. Then check your head.

HockeyCannon-11 karma

What's the shittiest thing about Atlanta?

ATLreporter28 karma

Do you live in Atlanta?