One of the most interesting and exciting developments in the growth of the metro Atlanta beer scene is the sudden new wave of brewpubs.
Recent openings, which range from Chamblee to Roswell and Duluth, seem to take some cues from the successes of intown brewpubs such as the long-running Max Lager’s and groundbreaking Wrecking Bar.
With surprisingly sophisticated build-outs, the concepts borrow from fine dining, and often include Asian and Latin flavors on menus that go well beyond pub grub. And besides fresh beer brewed on-premise, you’ll find house cocktails and solid wine lists.
From the Earth
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In late 2017, Atlanta restaurant veteran Tim Stevens debuted From the Earth Brewing Co. on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.
The wide-open space features wood, steel and concrete finishes around the bar and dining room, and the stainless steel brewhouse is visible behind glass panels.
Former SweetWater brewmaster Kevin McNerney, who designed the system, is currently in charge of the beer program, with house offerings that include Belgian Wit, Berliner Weisse and American IPA.
“I wanted the elevated dining experience in a more casual setting,” Stevens said. “I don’t want to wear a suit anymore. I want this to be casual but still have the same level of service and food you would get in a more upscale restaurant.”
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. 770-910-9799, ftebrewing.com.
Another late 2017 opening, Good Word Brewing on Main Street in Duluth is the brainchild of two former Brick Store Pub employees, longtime general manager Todd DiMatteo and beer manager Ryan Skinner.
The design of the brewery restaurant in the new Parsons Alley Development is focused on an imposing rectangular bar topped with marble and dark antique brass tap handles.
The build-out made space for a 10-barrel, three-vessel brewing system, and DiMatteo’s international beers include a British-style mild, a Mexican-style lager, and a Belgian-style saison.
“When we were in the (Brick Store) office one day,” DiMatteo said, “I asked Ryan, ‘What else do you want to do?’ Ryan said, ‘What do you got in mind?’ And after that, the idea went from a beer bar to a brewpub in about two weeks, I think.”
3085 Main St., Suite 520, Duluth. 404-973-2077, goodwordbrewing.com.
Located on Pierce Drive, in the nexus of the booming development in Chamblee, Hopstix from award-winning homebrewer Andy Tan opened in early 2017.
The Asian brewpub combines elements of a sushi bar and a beer bar with the atmosphere and service of a chef-driven restaurant, with a contemporary open dining room, and a sparkling exhibition kitchen lined with stainless steel.
As Hopstix’s brewmaster, Tan also worked to develop the beer-friendly menu that features Asian-fusion starters and entrees, a robata grill and raw bar items, including a beer-battered and fried spicy tuna roll dubbed a sushi corn dog.
From the small brewhouse in the back of the building, look for beers like Rice & Shine Asian lager, as well as American IPAs and pale ales.
“It’s exciting to have this here in Chamblee,” Tan said. “I’ve been living in the area since I came to Atlanta, so opening the first brewpub here really is pretty amazing.”
3404 Pierce Drive NE, Chamblee. 678-888-2306, hopstixbrewing.com.
The longtime dream of brothers Chris and Stephen Bivins, Torched Hop Brewing opened in early 2016 in the former Old Spaghetti Factory space on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown.
The expansive brewery-restaurant and bar features a 10-barrel brewhouse as the focal point on the main floor, with the dining room situated on a mezzanine above and a game room with an indoor bocce ball court below.
Brewmaster Chris Bivins produces multiple styles, from English Brown to Berliner Weisse, and he won a silver at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival for his coffee beer, 8 O’clock Somewhere.
“I’m a hop head, so we have a lot of West Coast-style IPAs,” Bivins said. “We also have a Belgian house strain with a golden, a triple and a dark strong.”
249 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-835-2040, torchedhopbrewing.com.