Breweries and brewpubs have become big business around Atlanta since former Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 85 into law in 2017. The law now allows the state’s breweries and distilleries to sell their beer and spirits directly to consumers without going through a distributor first.
For many new breweries opening around Atlanta, the taproom is where the majority of consumer-based beer sales take place, whether it be via full pours on draft at the bar or people swinging in for a six-pack. Both were prohibited by law prior to 2017 or severely limited, barring special exceptions or exemptions.
In a 2017 interview with Eater Atlanta, Second Self Beer Company co-owner Jason Santamaria called SB85 necessary for Georgia’s breweries to compete in an already crowded and competitive national beer market. Santamaria stated the new law would “change the brewing and beer culture of the whole state.”
By the end of 2018, the Brewer’s Association counted 82 breweries operating in Georgia, with 13 new breweries opening since 2017.
Eater Atlanta rounded up the new breweries now open, opening over the next year, or planning expansions around Atlanta from January 2018 to the present.
With so many breweries opening or planning to open, some may have been missed on this list. Feel free to send Eater Atlanta an email via the tipline.
New Breweries Now Open
Good Word opened in 2018 on Main Street in downtown Duluth. The ten-barrel facility focuses production on IPAs, saisons, sours, and stouts, which are on tap in the brewpub’s restaurant and for retail purchase.
Opened in January 2018, New Realm features a restaurant with a full bar, tasting room, tours, and a rooftop bar with an unobstructed view of Atlanta’s skyline on the Eastside Beltline. The brewery produces IPAs, lagers, and barrel-aged beers.
The Franklin, North Carolina brewery expanded to Georgia landing in the north metro suburban city of Alpharetta last May. Located at 25 South Main Street in the former Hop Alley Brewpub space, Currahee focuses on German and Belgian-style beers, including a Belgian golden ale, a hoppy German lager, and a coffee stout.
Tucker Brewing Company opened in June 2018, just east of Atlanta. Beers here lean into the German styles, like the TKR pilsner, a hefeweizen named Southern Heaven, a Georgia red lager, and a kölsch. The brewery includes a large outdoor beer garden with a stage for live music.
The Marietta brewery opened earlier this year just off the square, aka Glover Park. It features a first and second floor taproom and a beer garden. Glover Park focuses on IPAs and lagers.
Chase Medlin, the former head brewer of Twain’s Brewpub & Billiards in Decatur opened Contrast Artisan Ales in Chamblee on Peachtree Road last December. Contrast offers a double IPA, a blonde ale, and a stout named Hypnotize — which can come coffee-infused. There’s also nitro cold brew on tap.
Steady Hand Beer Co. opened along Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard in Blandtown on the Westside this February. Owned by brothers Brian and Kevin Sullivan, the brewery features a 30-barrel brewhouse, a small batch brew system for pilot and taproom beers, and a 250-person taproom with 24 taps. Steady Hand offers farmhouse ales, culinary-focused beers, and seasonal beers with different fermentations.
Two former teachers opened this Marietta brewery in May. It includes a taproom with 20 rotating beers on tap, a home brew shop, and a dog-friendly, fenced-in patio with games like frisbee golf. Schoolhouse also offers crowler and growler refills.
The Oakhurst brewpub includes a tasting room and bar with up to 20 taps and a dining room as well as a patio and beer garden. Brewmaster Trevor Jones has created seven to eight beers, including a “table beer” and dry-hopped culture ales. Nitro iced coffee, ginger beer, draft wine, cocktails, and other local beers are available along with a “Southern picnic” of food.
The Avondale Estate brewery features 20 taps and a 40-plus-foot-long bar. Beers include an “old world” imperial stout, a mild ale, a German dark lager, and an American-style IPA. Lost Druid’s kitchen serves a selection of snacks such as bacon and salt pretzels, a charcuterie and cheese board, Margherita flatbread pizzas, wings, and brats.
The long-awaited Summerhill brewery just opened on Georgia Avenue. The brewery, owned by electrical engineer Shawn Bainbridge, Tim Kilic, and Belgium-born brewer Joran Van Ginderachte, includes a ten-barrel brewhouse, scattered table seating running the length of the tasting room, and two bars. Expect ales and lagers, barrel-aged beers, and New Zealand meat pies and fries created by Jake Harvey of Heaps ATL.
SweetWater expanded and renovated its taproom, which now includes a full kitchen serving lunch and dinner. A wraparound bar anchors the center of the new taproom with glass windows overlooking the brewery floor, roll-up garage doors, and table seating inside and on the patio.
The OTP brewery continues to expand in the northern suburbs and recently opened new taprooms in the cities of Woodstock and Canton.
Craft beer and wine shop Hop City opened its first ITP brewpub called BoxCar at Lee + White in West End this March. The restaurant and an adjacent Hop City retail shop are located near Monday Night Brewing’s Garage. And, the shop continues to expand its retail footprint with a shop opening at Pinewood Forest in Fayette County, south of Atlanta.
Avondale Estates brewery Wild Heaven began construction on their second location at Lee + White in October 2018. The brewery expects to open soon and join fellow brewery Monday Night Brewing and Hop City and BoxCar at the West End development. In September 2018, Mercedes-Benz Stadium began selling Wild Heaven ATL Pale Ale.
The Decatur-based brewery opens its second location at the Atlanta Dairies on Memorial Drive near the Eastside Beltline this year. Three Taverns Imaginarium includes an experimental lab and a brewery with a tasting room, a rotating array of food pop-ups, and up to 25 beers on tap.
Westside brewery Scofflaw opens its new 9,000-square-foot research and development brewery and tasting room at Chattahoochee Food Works later this year. The brewery’s plans include an outdoor space for games and a taproom featuring IPAs, high-gravity, and special release beers. Scofflaw also opened its Beer Barn at State Farm Arena in May.
Alpharetta-based Jekyll Brewing expands to a second location at Alpharetta City Center later this year. The brewery’s second location occupies the upper floor of the Exchange building, which includes a restaurant, tasting room, and a rooftop patio.
Delays concerning zoning issues continue to plague this East Atlanta Village brewery in the former East Atlanta Barbell Club on Flat Shoals Road. But, based on comments left on Sabbath’s social media accounts, people are eager for this little brewery and bar to open.
The brewpub from the owners of Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery, White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, and Richards’ Southern Fried should open soon at the Third & Urban complex on Ellsworth Industrial in Westside’s Blandtown neighborhood.
For those following Jen Price’s journey to open her own bottle shop, the news finally came in August that she will open the Atlanta Beer Boutique in Glenwood Park by the end of 2019. Atlanta Beer Boutique plans to sell mostly local beer as well as a few beers from around the world and includes a growler bar, retail market, and a small kitchen and tasting room for events, pop-ups, and classes.
The brewpub plans to open next door to the award-winning restaurant Staplehouse on Edgewood Avenue in early 2020. Owners Clay Davies and Sarah Davies also nabbed Staplehouse chef Ryan Smith to help create the food menu, featuring charcuterie and shareable snacks, sandwiches, and salads. Biggerstaff’s beers include IPAs, sours, coffee brews, and a smoked pale ale.
The latest brewery to seek space in the beer-heavy Westside could open early next year along Seaboard Industrial Boulevard near Second Self Beer, Scofflaw, and Atlanta Brewing Company on the edge of Underwood Hills.
While not producing their own beers, the newly-announced beer garden headed to Benteen Park in southeast Atlanta brings with it beer, wine, and cider on draft and from self-serve refrigerators as well as a variety of hot dogs from Atlanta-based Pigman Goods. Red’s includes seating inside and out back on its deck overlooking a wooded area.
This new brewery opens in a former warehouse along Chattahoochee Avenue in the westside neighborhood of Underwood Hills. It could open as early as this fall. Fire Maker’s taproom features over 30 taps, seating at the bar, at high top tables, and other communal areas, and garage doors opening to a covered patio. Plans to include a private events room and community office space with desks and outlets are also in the works.
The Delaware-based brewpub chain opens next year at Lenox Marketplace on Peachtree Road, currently home to the sugar-filled pop-up Candytopia. Iron Hill’s Buckhead location, anchored by Target and Publix, plans to include an on-site brewery and seating for up to 250 people throughout the bar, the dining room, and on the patio.
Brewpub Best End Brewing Co. officially opens to the public at 4 p.m. on Friday, September 20, at the Lee + White complex in West End, just off of the Westside Beltline trail. The brewpub features a 20 barrel brewery and a three barrel pilot system brewing ales, pilsners, porters, lagers, IPAs, and sours and a restaurant with a chef’s area serving what’s being described as “Southeast island food”. Beyond beer, the bar at Best End offers cocktails, tiki drinks, and milkshakes and slushies as well as a selection of natural wine on its menu.