*Note: OTP = Outside the Perimeter… I’ll get to that later.
You could say that I have developed a deep appreciation for craft beers. As a former resident of downtown Decatur, it didn’t take long for me to start craving great beer when I began to migrate from Decatur to Woodstock.
Fortunately, a local brewery has popped up in each neighborhood that I lived in as I moved further away from the Perimeter (for all of you non ATLiens, this is the highway looping around the city that separates “city folk” from suburbanites).
Craft breweries are popping up outside of the city for a few reasons:
- It’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
- Neighborhoods and historic downtown areas are revitalizing (Downtown Roswell, Woodstock, Suwanee).
- Less hyper local competition (this can be a good and a bad thing…)
Here are a few of my favorite OTP Breweries that You Need to Visit
- Red Hare Brewing Company (Marietta, GA): This was the first OTP brewery that I had encountered once I moved from Buckhead to Marietta. My wife and I collected quite a few Red Hare pint glasses from the early days. These are also the guys that you can thank for making canning popular in Atlanta. Red Hare Brewing Co has developed an impressive list of reserves, seasonal, and special releases that rival Sweetwater and Terrapin in number and quality.
- Reformation Brewery (Woodstock, GA): Leading the fight to set beer free in the state of Georgia (legally and through innovation), Reformation Brewery is just a short walk from Downtown Woodstock or a quick trolly ride away. Backed by the local bars and neighborhood, Reformation has grown quickly from just a few tiny tanks to canning and bottling around the Metro Atlanta area. Visit their Tasting Room to try their anchor, Reserve, and Pioneer releases.
- Gate City Brewing Company (Roswell, GA): Located on the foodie famous Canton Street in Historic Roswell, Gate City Brewing Company is the perfect compliment to the growing food and beverage culture in the area. This is the newest brewery outside the Perimeter. Their flagship beers are an American IPA and an American Amber. Perfect choices for broadening the appeal of local craft beer. Restaurants like Table & Main and craft beer stores like Ale Yeah Roswell have helped build the beer appreciation, paving the way for Gate City to make a great impact in Historic Roswell.
- Jekyll Brewing (Alpharetta, GA): Home to some of my favorite beer names (Hop Dang Diggity IPA), Jekyll Brewing has also moved into the local Atlanta market quickly. Their year round brews are strong anchors for their seasonal and special releases. I’ve been impressed with the consistent quality of their main brews, which is usually why I’ll recommend an out of towner go with a Hop Dang Diggity or Cooter Brown Ale if they’re struggling to choose what to order with dinner.
Breweries in Atlanta, whether they’re located OTP or ITP, continue to grow and impress with their unity in craft. Local politicians like Reformation supporter, Michael Caldwell (R-20th District) have been fighting to help local breweries expand and catch up in regards to deregulation to help breweries stay competitive encourage growth. If you want to learn more about supporting Georgia brewers, read more at the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild.