OK, so this adventure dates back to summer, when my brother and sister-in-law were visiting us! I’ve been meaning to blog about this beauty for a while but other things seem to have got there first! Ah well, better late than never hey?
So, back in August when my beer guzzling big brother was visiting us, we decided to take a tour of the SweetWater Brewery here in Atlanta. I was pretty excited about this too, and the German definitely was (he’s a fellow beer guzzler!) after drinking SweetWater’s offerings for the past 8 months!My sister-in-law was a little less excited, being a certified wine drinker, but she was willing to give it a try! This was our second attempt at visiting the brewery – we tried to go one rainy Saturday afternoon, but if you don’t get there at the time it opens it turns out there’s a massive queue! So we tried again during the week and yay…success!
The brewery’s located at the side of Highway 85 in Atlanta, so I’ve passed this place LOTS but obviously never been in! Despite being an Atlanta brewery, its roots began in Boulder, Colorado in the early 90s, where 2 roommates, Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney realised they loved beer more than the books! After college they went off to Brewing School and when Freddy came to Atlanta for the Olympics in 1996 he realised this place needed some beer love! So, with the help of family and friends, the pair scraped together enough money and in 1997, SweetWater Brewery was born! Yay to that!!
A second location and thousands and thousands of barrels of beer later and we were about to sample the SweetWater goodness! After paying our 10 bucks and collecting our (American sized) pint glass (that we were allowed to take home!) we ventured into the great unknown that is SweetWater Brewery! Our job from here on in was to taste the beer – who could complain? We each had a certain amount of tokens and we’d been let loose!! Hurrah!
The boys were at that bar within seconds and very excitable, particularly my brother, he can get a little hyper sometimes, especially when beer is involved!! Drink number 1 was soon in our hands, I think I opted for the SweetWater Blue! Sample number one…a definite success! Very tasty indeed!
Now, SweetWater has a selection of year round brews, seasonal or ‘catch n release’ brews and the so-called Dank Tank collection! The year round brews are obviously the most popular – 420, Blue, IPA, Georgia Brown and Lowryeder IPA. All of these were available for us to try and try them we did! My favourite was definitely the Blue, closely followed by the 420!
After tasting a few of the brews we spotted one of the ‘Follow me for a Tour’ signs and did just that! Time to go behind the scenes of a brewery! Wooo! Off we trotted, through the doors and into where the magic happens! Sadly though, there was some building work in progress which meant we couldn’t go far, but we still got to see some of the machinery and found out how it all works, along with that little history lesson I gave you earlier!
Tour over and it was time to test out some more beers, this time the seasonal, or catch n release brews! This is one thing I LOVE about America – the seasonal beer! So SweetWater has a good selection – Happy Ending, Road Trip, Motor Boat, Festival Ale, Waterkeeper Hefeweizen and Whiplash. Back in August, the season on offer for us was the Motor Boat, at the moment it’s Whiplash (we have some in our fridge!) and that is definitely my favourite! By this point, designated driver Rachel had given up with the beer tasting and handed her tokens to the boys who were happy to oblige when it came to using them! I had a sip of the beers to taste them though! The Dank Tank was last on their list before using the rest of the tokens to go back to their favourites!
After that was the schwag shop! My brother was definitely excited about this one! He loves logo t-shirts from his travels so he made a beeline for the merchandise! There was literally everything – t-shirts, hoodies, beer coozies, keyrings, coffee holders, coasters, signs for the wall, you name it, they had it including this beast:
Now that is a cooler! (And sadly, yes, those are my legs! I’m guessing the German took this pic!) My brother was in heaven! I think he walked away with a t-shirt and possible some other treats (I can’t actually remember, it’s quite a while ago now!) and, of course, a big smile on his face!
Eventually, the boys were out of tokens and full of beer! My sister-in-law was looking forward to a glass of wine and I was looking forward to joining the happy beer train everyone else was already on, so, with our souvenir glasses in our hands, we jumped in the car and headed home!
Marks out of 10 for the SweetWater Brewery experience…10!! I think we’ll definitely be heading back for another visit!!
Please Note: This is an unsponsored blog, I did not receive any payments or endorsements for this review, all views are from the happy beer guzzlers!