The Shoestring Catch

Atlanta Beers
May 28, 2009, 3:37 am
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Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta

Manuel's Tavern in Atlanta

Disclaimer: I am not a professional beer critic, nor do I claim to be one. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like, but some of the subtleties of judging beer still elude me. This portion of the blog is designed more to document my experiences drinking good beers than to critique the beers themselves.

The first local beer I had on this trip was at John’s house. It was the Terrapin Brewery‘s Sunray Wheat Beer. According to the label it is brewed with Tupelo Honey from the Savannah Bee Company. I have tried a lot of wheat beers, and I can’t say that this was one of my favorites, but it was exactly what I needed after 14 hours in the car. It also paired quite nicely with the amazing burgers that John made.

The rest of my Atlanta beer experience took place at Manuel’s Tavern on Highland Avenue.  Manuel’s is a great neighborhood bar that has been an Atlanta institution since 1956. The first beer I had here was the SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale. The 420 is SweetWater’s flagship beer and their best seller. I thought it was quite good– not very bitter for a pale ale, easy to drink, with some very slight fruity undertones. Apparently most of SweetWater’s beers have somewhat provocative names, including 420, Motor Boat, Hummer, and Dank Tank. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the reasons we do not get SweetWater in Texas (the TABC has incredibly arcane labeling restrictions). The other pint I had at Manuel’s was the Atlanta Brewing Company‘s Red Brick Amber Ale. This beer was also delicious. It had a beautiful dark red color and I believe it had some subtle coffee undertones.

Our bartender, Brandon, was a really cool guy. He saw me taking notes and jokingly asked if I was cataloging all of the beers I was drinking. When I replied “yes” he got really excited and brought us tasters of two beers that he thought should not be left off of a beer tour of Atlanta. The first beer was Terrapin’s Rye Pale Ale. It is Brandon’s favorite Atlanta brew, and from the four ounces I had, I can see why he likes it so much. He also brought us samples of Sierra Nevada‘s India Brown Ale. Sierra Nevada is not brewed anywhere near Atlanta, but apparently the current owner of Manuel’s teamed up with Sierra Nevada and this beer is made with a recipe that he developed. Truth be told I had never even heard of an India Brown Ale before tonight. I was just excited to try a new style of beer, so I was pleasantly surprised when it tasted great.

The first day of the trip has been an unparalleled success. I hope that the rest of the journey can follow in its footsteps.


1 Comment so far
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cool beer graphics/stats you guys!

(I think I’ve shown you one of these before, James)

Comment by Stephanie Osan

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