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Get outta town! A Craft Beer Road Trip to Athens GA 

SAVANNAH has a lot of craft beer options and those options are growing all the time. But sometimes it’s good to get away and try new brews and a new scene.

Just up the road is another excellent craft beer site in Athens, Georgia, home to one of the state’s first major breweries and some top-notch beer centric restaurants. Take an easy craft beer road trip this year to quench your thirst for great craft beer.

Breweries:

Terrapin Brewing only opened in 2002 but already Terrapin feels like one of the elder statesmen of Georgia craft brewing. Terrapin serves up a wide variety of types of beers including a rotating selection of over fifteen beers at the brewery. Of particular interest right now are the single source coffee beers. Four coffee stouts all brewed with a different single Jittery Joe’s roasted coffee.

Located in the downtown area and housed in a former Goodyear tire building, Creature Comforts is a must visit when in Athens. Founded only two years ago Creature Comforts is now producing some of Georgia’s most exciting beer. The brewery has a huge seated area and a large outdoor space that regularly hosts local music acts. While there try the Athena, it’s a great tart, Berliner Weisse. Also available in cans Athena is a smooth drinking introduction to sours but also a refreshing summer type beer.

click to enlarge Creature Comforts in Athens
  • Creature Comforts in Athens

“Everything! It’s all great” That is what I heard most often when I asked what I should make sure I try from Southern Brewing Company (SBC). The newest brewery on the Athens craft beer scene, SBC was founded only last year but is already earning a reputation for making exciting but grounded beers. Co-Founders Brian Roth and Rick Goddard have years of experience on the corporate end of beer making, Roth as wholesaler, with a stop in Athens to earn a sculpture degree at UGA, and Goddard as a beer lobbyist in D.C. A kolsch beer is not supposed to be an exciting beer but SBC’s Ironmaker kolsch is as good as you’ll find.

Restaurants:

Trappeze Pub is the place to be for both the foodie and the craft beer seeker. With over 30 taps and a long bottle list you are certain to find a beer or two to try. Trappeze offers many local options but also a several Belgian Trappist style beers. Half pours are an option making experimenting with different beers easier on the wallet and the liver. The food at Trappeze is exceptional and affordable. An excellent menu and a wide variety of beers makes Trappeze a popular place so make sure to make reservations.

You may know Hugh Acheson as the owner of the Florence but Acheson got his start in Athens at his first restaurant Five & Ten. Five & Ten is geared toward upscale Southern food. The Florence features many Athens breweries mentioned above, and you can expect the same at Five & Ten. If Five & Ten isn’t your style look up Acheson’s other Athens location The National.

Copper Creek Brewing Company is Athens’ local brewpub. They serve up a variety of well-made craft beer and good, well priced pub style food. Located downtown, Copper Creek is an easy location to stop in for a quick bite a sampler of their four regular in house beers.

click to enlarge A flight at Copper Creek
  • A flight at Copper Creek

Bottle Shops:

Five Points Bottle Shop has been an Athens staple for more than 25 years. Completely tapped into the craft beer scene Five Points will provide access to all your craft beer wants. Five Points now has two locations, the original shop located in, you guessed it the Five Points neighborhood, and the other on the West side of town. Between the two locations they claim to have over 1500 different beers available. They also have 45 taps between the two store serving up growlers of hard to find brews. The West side store even carries homebrewing supplies.

Whether you’re there for a football game, just to visit, or as a craft beer destination Athens has plenty to offer no matter if you are a hardcore beer geek or casual craft beer drinker.

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Raymond Gaddy

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Connect Today 12.03.2016

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