Photo: Martin Ujlaki, Flickr Creative Commons
Yes. I realize I haven't posted in more than a month. I have a good excuse. I've been on a mammoth road trip involving visits to Michigan, Virginia and book-ended by trips to my favorite city in the South, Asheville, NC. Seriously, as soon as I get vested in my current employer's pension program, I'm moving there. Just you watch. Three more years.
Anyway, I'm still not home. We're spending a week with my wife's family as she helps out while her father has some medical procedures and I prepare for this year's Peachtree Road Race. This leaves me with a lot of down time, so to burn through a day, I'm going to be doing a tour of the Atlanta-area brewpubs. I'll likely be doing this by myself. Don't worry, I'll be either walking or making use of MARTA for the majority of my visits. The latter, combined with the fact that I'll be averaging a pint of beer per visit means that I'll never actually get a good buzz going even after hitting up to nine brewpubs. Also, I think it'll take me about 9 hours to get this done. Atlanta's public transportation system REALLY sucks.
Anyway, if you're interested. I'll be live blogging my trip talking about both the hassles of getting from place to place and the beer itself. A couple of my stops will be at brand new brewpubs I've never visited.
Here's my proposed lineup in the order of visiting:
- 5 Seasons Brewing, Sandy Springs. According to Google Maps, this is on my way to my second stop. If the GPS takes me a different way to the other stop tomorrow, this may move to third place. This is the original location of the local micro-chain 5 Seasons. It's also the only one where Crawford Moran doesn't brew the beer. Instead, Kevin McNerney, co-founder and former brewer for Sweetwater makes the suds here.
- Toasted and Tapped, Flowery Branch. This is a new one to me. It opened last November and I'd somehow failed to have even heard of it in that time. After asking around, it turns out that the place is actually worth visiting.
- 5 Seasons North, Alpharetta. I'll be visiting three 5 Seasons, all with different beer lineups.
- Gordon Biersch, Atlanta. I may skip this stop. It's only steps away from the MARTA station where I'll be getting off for the downtown brewpubs, but it's a national chain and really isn't worth the time if I'm running behind. I may just step in, see if they have anything I haven't tried and move on.
- 5 Seasons Westside, Atlanta. This is the newest location and offers up my first real logistical challenge. This 5 Seasons and the Park Tavern are both 2 miles from the rail station, which isn't a big deal. The problem is that they're in exactly opposite directions from the station. I'm probably going to walk to 5 Seasons and then catch a bus to Park Tavern. That'll supposedly cut the nearly hour long walk between the two to only 20 minutes. We'll see how that works.
- Park Tavern, Atlanta. This restaurant is a great location. They're on a corner of Piedmont Park, a beautiful park with a great view of the Atlanta skyline. The problem is that I think they only keep brewing beer because they bought that brewing equipment when they opened. The last time I visited, the beer was fine but the place really doesn't seem to push their own beer. I'm going to be calling ahead. If they don't have anything I haven't had, I'm not making the walk or paying the bus fare to go.
- Max Lager's is another issue. It's just far enough down the line to make me wonder if getting back on MARTA is worth it. We'll see. The beer is usually pretty good though, and unlike Park Tavern, they actually mention it on their website.
- Wrecking Bar Brewpub. This is the newest brewer in Atlanta. They opened on Father's Day this year and the place is owned by a guy I know from my days hanging around the Atlanta beer geek and homebrew scenes. I'm really looking forward to trying this place out.
- Twain's Billiards and Tap. This was a good place for beer even before they started brewing their own and they still have a killer lineup of guest beers. However, it's the end of the line for me so I'll be calling for their lineup before stepping onto MARTA again. If I've had everything they have on tap, I'll be calling it a day early.
I'll be getting started around 10-10:30 a.m. today (Wednesday), so if you're stuck at work and want to tune in to my musings on beer and public transit in Atlanta feel free to check in.