New breweries have been sprouting up all over metro Atlanta since 2017, when Senate Bill 85 was signed into law, loosening restrictions on direct beer sales to consumers, and allowing production breweries to add food service.
Here are 10 notable metro Atlanta breweries, brewpubs and expansion projects that have opened in the past 12 months, or so.
Contrast Artisan Ales — Former Twain’s head brewer Chase Medlin opened this modest, seven-barrel brewery in late 2018 in a small building in the heart of downtown Chamblee. What was once a garage has been transformed into a cozy taproom, with a granite-topped bar and tall cafe tables with stools. Look for modern IPAs, dark imperial stouts and nitro cold brew coffee on tap, plus fancy “lunchables” and other snacks. 5504 Peachtree Road, Chamblee. contrastartisanales.com.
Glover Park Brewery — In September, 2018, Marietta natives Sam Rambo and Hank DuPre opened this brewery, taproom and event space in a historic brick building near the Square. And, in May, SweetWater co-founder Kevin McNerney joined as a partner. Now the full-time brewmaster, McNerney’s list of approachable beers includes several IPA variations, a Czech-style pilsner and a signature Irish dry stout, dubbed McNerney’s. 65 Atlanta St., Marietta. 770-693-2417, gloverparkbrewery.com.
Halfway Crooks Beer — Homebrewer Shawn Bainbridge and professional brewer Joran Van Ginderachter opened this small, but sophisticated, “own-premise” brewery in early July in Atlanta’s burgeoning Summerhill neighborhood. The storefront taproom and the rooftop bar overlooking the Atlanta skyline create a lively atmosphere. And, Van Ginderachter’s fresh lagers and Belgian-style ales pair with the savory New Zealand pies and fries from the kitchen. 60 Georgia Ave. SE, Atlanta. halfwaycrooks.beer.
The Lost Druid Brewery —Also following the “own-premise” model, husband-and-wife owners Robert Hopek and Stacia Familo-Hopek opened this Avondale Estates brewery in June, in a 6,800-square-foot building constructed from the ground up. In addition to the spacious taproom, there’s a kitchen with a beer-focused menu by Executive Chef Chantel Mines. Hopek’s beers are based on classic styles, and are brewed with food-friendly culinary ingredients. 2866 Washington St., Avondale Estates. 404-998-5679, thelostdruid.com.
Reformation Brewery Canton — After relocating its main warehouse and production facility to a 20,000-plus-square-foot building at the Mill on Etowah in Canton, Reformation debuted a new taproom and private event space there in June. The grand, three-sided bar is surrounded by rows of garage doors, and patio areas with views of the Etowah River. On tap, look for core Belgian-style beers, seasonal offerings and one-offs from the adjacent brewery. 1414 Railroad St., Canton. 678-341-0828, reformationbrewery.com.
Sceptre Brewing Arts —The new venture from the team behind Argosy opened in mid-June, replacing the short-lived Oak Brewpub in the heart of Oakhurst. The brewery restaurant serves snacks, meat and cheese boards, and sandwiches, in a footprint that includes a full bar and a big beer garden. Brewmaster Trevor Jones is the force behind the beer, with “style-bending”offerings that employ Southern ingredients and tend toward the modern and hazy. 630 East Lake Drive, Decatur. 470-428-4359, sceptrebrewingarts.com.
Schoolhouse Brewing — In May, two former science teachers and avid homebrewers, Thomas Monti and Justin Waller, opened what might be described as a theme brewery in an office park near the revitalized Franklin Gateway area of Marietta. The satirical school-days decor is evident in nearly every corner of the space. The business end includes a seven-barrel brewhouse, a spacious bar with 20 rotating beers on draft, and a homebrew shop. 840 Franklin Court, Marietta. 770-361-5247, schoolhousebeer.com.
Steady Hand Beer Co. — CEO Kevin Sullivan and his brewmaster brother, Brian Sullivan, finally opened their Westside brewery and taproom in March, after some years of contract brewing. The production-style 30-barrel brewhouse, with 60-barrel fermenters, is something of a throwback, but a sprawling bar with 24 taps, and areas for live music, games and private events, plus food trucks outside, keep local crowds coming back. 1611 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 404-458-5981, steadyhandbeer.com.
SweetWater Brewing Co. — Atlanta’s biggest and most iconic brewery turned 22 in February, and opened its new taproom in late March. The build-out includes a full-scale restaurant kitchen, with a surprisingly large counter-service menu from Executive Chef Nick Anderson. The space is anchored by a huge rectangular bar serving about 36 different beers, ranging from classics like SweetWater 420 and IPA to small-batch and barrel-aged releases. 195 Ottley Drive, Atlanta. 404-691-2537, sweetwaterbrew.com.
Wild Heaven Beer — The Avondale-based brewery soft-opened its second location on July 31, taking over a 21,600-square-foot space in the Lee + White development in southwest Atlanta. The taproom, patio and event space have been operating since then. The restaurant opened in early September, with Eddie Russell as the full-time chef, and a Mexican-Italian counter-service menu focused on tacos and pizza. Look for new beers from brewmaster Eric Johnson, too. 1010 White St. SW, Atlanta, wildheavenbeer.com.
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