If you happen to be in Atlanta, be sure to check out the SweetWater Brewing Company. The brewery is located in a convenient location, just North of midtown right off of I-85. They hold FREE tastings on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm and Saturday from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm.
We recently visited the Sweetwater Brewery on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Be sure to arrive early so that you can join in the fun. When they open the doors they will give you an option for a complimentary sized cup with 6 drink tickets, or you may choose to purchase the larger $10 souvenir glass with 6 drink tickets. The choice is yours.
Once your have your glass (either complimentary size or souvenir glass), you can move through to the larger tasting room. Make your way up to the bar and choose from a variety of tasty beers, some menu regulars and some seasonal drinks. This panoramic glass room blends modern design with rustic, fun-loving, outdoor charm. It’s a great place to hang out, sample beer, chat with the workers, and visit with other beer-lovers like yourself!
While sampling the variety of tasty beverages, be sure to keep you eyes peeled for the tour guides! Every 30 minutes you’ll see a brewery worker walking around with a large sign, gathering up interested guests along the way. Eventually, the line of people will make their way back into the inner-workings of the brewery for the start of the tour. It’s up to you when (or if) you want to take the tour.
The SweetWater Brewing Company is relatively new to the Atlanta area. It all started back in Boulder, Colorado in the early 90’s when a couple of college roommates developed a love of beer. Not just your typical college student beer-love, but a real interest in brews. After honing their craft, they ended up in Atlanta around the time of the Olympics in ’96 and realized that the city was lacking with regard to their style of beer! So, they decided to open SweetWater.
One of the first things you will notice about SweetWater is the brand; and impressive mix of the outdoors with a quirky, fun-loving attitude that doesn’t seem to take life too seriously. Their cheeky beverage names and merchandise speaks for itself. For example, one of their most popular brews is the SweetWater 420. My favorite beer of the day was actually the LowRYEder IPA.
After touring the inner-workings of the brewery, we head back out to the tasting room to continue using up our tickets. We sat at the bar for a while chatting with some of the workers, including our tour guide, Ryan. He told us about how much he loved working at SweetWater, so much so that he now also volunteers as a tour guide during their tastings. He loves teaching people about beer, hanging out with other beer lovers, and drinking his free beer during his shift.
After a while, it got a bit crowded and loud inside the tasting room so we headed outside to the patio. We moved around chatting with fellow tasters and making new friends. Some of the workers even poured us their own concoctions — mixing multiple SweetWater brews to come up with a unique tasting drink.
The patio is also set up with a small stage where they had a live band playing music for all to enjoy. With the live music, great tasting brew, and meeting new friends, it was like attending a mini beer festival; a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
We ended up spending a lot of time out on the patio, meeting people from all over Atlanta and visitors to the city.
Right at 4:30 the taps are cut off, so make sure you use up those drink tickets! Even though the tasting only went on for 2 hours, to us it seemed like we had a full day’s worth of beer festival fun. Truly a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon — and with the complimentary cup option, you technically don’t have to spend a dime; although, we did purchase 1 souvenir glass. Overall, visiting SweetWater brewery is high on our list of things to do in Atlanta. We definitely recommend a visit!