Creature Comforts taproom in Athens, Georgia

Creature Comforts in Athens, Georgia. Photo by @creaturecomfortsbeer

21 Essential Breweries in Georgia

Breweries are booming across Georgia, serving up great beers, events and gathering places for the community. Follow this guide to start exploring Georgia's craft beer scene.

They may be found in warehouses, where the grind of machinery has been replaced with liquid gold and the sound of good times. Or, in new wide-open spaces where the conversation flows as easy as the beer.

Breweries are booming across Georgia, thanks in part to a law that went into effect on Sept. 1, 2017, which cut out the middleman and allowed brewers to sell their beverages direct to customers. The law made such an impact that 13 breweries opened in the 10 months after it passed.

Georgia's craft breweries are much more than unique spaces to sample brews. They've proven their value to their communities by providing jobs, serving as gathering spots and building a brand to stand behind. For those in the state's smaller cities and towns, they're often a beacon for visitors and tourists, and have been at the forefront of downtown revitalization efforts.

Let's take a tour and check out some of the best breweries around metro Atlanta and the state.

SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia
SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta, Georgia

Hop intown

1. Atlanta Brewing Company in Atlanta

Having been around since 1993, Atlanta Brewing Company claims to be the oldest craft brewery in Atlanta. And don't be confused by the signs when you pull up to its northwest Atlanta locale; it's also known as Red Brick Brewing Company. You'll find artisanal-quality beers in a souvenir glass — a must-have memento for a brewery road trip.

2. Hippin' Hops Brewery & Oyster Bar in Atlanta

Opened in 2021, this Black-owned brewery in East Atlanta features a creative lineup of seasonal ales to pair with great eats like oysters and po' boys. Follow Hippin' Hops on Instagram for the latest updates.

3. SweetWater Brewing Company in Atlanta

A jumping fish and vibrant labels are easily recognized as belonging to SweetWater Brewing Company. Like Atlanta Brewing Company, it's an established veteran in this field. Not many of its brethren can claim they've been around since 1997 like SweetWater, which produces and promotes a laid-back vibe and easy access to Interstate 85.

Gate City Brewing Company in Roswell, Georgia
Gate City Brewing Company in Roswell, Georgia. Photo by Gate City Brewing Company

Brews in the burbs

Much like I-285, craft breweries ring Atlanta.

4. Jekyll Brewing Co. in Alpharetta

Taking its name from the coastal Georgia island, Jekyll Brewing has paved the way for craft breweries in the northern suburb of Alpharetta. And on the topic of branding, you may be amused by the names of their beers, such as Hop Dang Diggity, Southern Juice, Cooter Brown and 'Merican Amber.

5. Reformation Brewery in Woodstock

With a variety of monthly theme nights, such as books and board games, Reformation Brewery in downtown Woodstock doubles as a fun hangout and community center. The brewery has two other locations in nearby Canton and Smyrna, too.

6. Gate City Brewing Company in Roswell

Heading north of Atlanta, stop by Gate City Brewing Company, housed in what used to be two Roswell mechanic shops. The brewhouse and taproom serves up to 20 house-brewed beers on draft and features live music on weekends.

Athens Beer Trail in Athens, Georgia
Athens Beer Trail in Athens, Georgia. Photo by Visit Athens

Heading east

7. Terrapin Beer Co. in Athens

Athens and beer have been a perfect pairing for a long time. Terrapin Beer Co. is a springtime destination for college students, visitors and their pets, who gather at the former textile factory for tours, music and picnics on the lawn. The brand began in 2002, and it recently built on its popularity to open the Terrapin Taproom, which teamed with Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q at The Battery, next to Truist Park in Atlanta.

8. Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens

Located within walking distance of college dive bars, Creature Comforts Brewing Co. made a space in a former car dealership and auto repair shop on the edge of downtown Athens, where it thrives in the midst of the college revelry. Try its Tropicalia and see why it's considered one of the top IPAs in the country.

If you visit both Terrapin and Creature Comforts, you're on your way to completing the Athens Beer Trail! Pick up the Athens Beer Trail Guide at any of the participating breweries or the Athens Welcome Center, and collect stamps when you visit each one. On Thursdays and Fridays, you can take the Athens Beer Trail Trolley Tour to let someone else drive you between taprooms.

9. Oconee Brewing Company in Greensboro

Expand the road trip and drive 45 miles south to Greensboro, where Oconee Brewing Company has set up shop just off I-20 in a community known for its lakes and golf courses.

10. Savannah River Brewing Co. in Augusta

Or, you can stop there on your way to Augusta to check out the Masters and swing by Savannah River Brewing Co., which is drawing visitors to downtown.

Patio outside Wild Leap Brewing in LaGrange, Georgia
Patio outside Wild Leap Brewing in LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by @jcolbymoore

Day trips

11. Abide Brewing Company in Newnan

Abide Brewing Company made inroads by becoming the first brewery to open in Newnan in 2013.

12. Wild Leap Brew Co. in LaGrange

While in the region, make sure you have time to explore nearby LaGrange, where Wild Leap Brew Co. took over an old garage and tire shop. It often hosts events, like its grilled cheese contest on National Grilled Cheese Day in April.

13. Omaha Brewing Company in Omaha

About 75 miles farther south, Omaha Brewing Company is bringing folks to rural Stewart County with its brands and tours.

14. Liquid Nation Brewing Co. in Gainesville

If you’re heading toward the Northeast Georgia mountains, stop at Liquid Nation Brewing Co., which is in the Chicopee Mill area near Gainesville.

15. Cherry Street Brewing Co-op in Cumming

Cherry Street Brewing Co-op, across Lake Lanier in Cumming, was the 2017 U.S. Beer Open Grand national champion. You can work up a thirst at Gainesville’s Chicopee Woods Golf Course, Chicopee Woods Park and the nearby mountain bike trails.

16. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge

Mercier Orchards, in the mountains about 3 miles from Blue Ridge, has long been a destination for foliage followers and apple tasters. But it's now producing wines and hard ciders, including the Grumpy Granny, made from Granny Smith apples.

Silver Bluff Brewing taproom in Brunswick, Georgia
Silver Bluff Brewing taproom in Brunswick, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

South Georgia & Coast

17. Eagle Creek Brewing Company in Statesboro

Eagle Creek Brewing Company’s connection to nearby Georgia Southern is evident in its name. Beautiful Eagle Creek flows past the football team’s practice field. The first beer at the Statesboro brewery was poured on former coach Erk Russell’s birthday.

18. Georgia Beer Co. in Valdosta

College buddies founded Georgia Beer Co., which proudly states it is Georgia’s southernmost brewery, located in Valdosta. Stop there for the brewery’s Field Party, a blonde ale, before crossing the border.

19. Pretoria Fields Collective in Albany

The owners of Pretoria Fields Collective in Albany designed a tasting room with friends and conversation in mind. You can chat, play cards or board games while enjoying the collective’s four core and many seasonal beers.

20. Service Brewing Co. & Southbound Brewing Company in Savannah

Make a visit to Savannah complete by stopping at Service Brewing Co. and Southbound Brewing Company. A short stroll from the city's famed River Street, Service Brewing Co. features beers with names that might give away that the owner is a U.S. Army vet. Beers here include Ground Pounder, Rally Point, Battlewagon and Gun Bunny. Southbound Brewing Company has been around since 2013 and sometimes offers uniquely sweet pairings, including donuts and Girl Scout cookies.

21. Silver Bluff Brewing in Brunswick

This brewery, beer garden and taproom in downtown Brunswick hosts frequent events and food trucks, and TVs are always showing live sporting events. Silver Bluff Brewing produces year-round brews and seasonal beers, and the taproom always features five or more special releases. Stop by and try a unique brew!

More to explore

Georgia's breweries are places where friends and family can while away the hours learning how beer is made, playing games and listening to live music, or trying out seasonal beers and ciders. Hit the road this season to get a taste of Georgia's unique craft beer offerings, and while you're at it, bring an empty growler or two, since “filling stations” have taken on a new meaning.

Published: May 2024
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