If there’s anything Athenians know, it’s good craft beer! Athens, GA is packed with local breweries that have mastered the art of craft beer. Stop into a brewery to try some of the local beers that shape the taste of Athens.
Craft Beer Week is brewing in Athens! Scheduled for April 9-15 2018, Athens Beer Week is topped off with the Classic City Brew Fest at the Cotton Press on Sunday, April 15. We can't wait to celebrate Athens' craft beer and local breweries. Learn more about how you can participate in all the festivities!
Athens Beer Week
Athens Beer Week is a week-long celebration of the local Athens craft beer scene. Festivities include beer dinners, special events, and tap takeovers all week long! Athens' newest brewpub, Akademia, will host an exclusive beer dinner with food pairings on Tuesday, April 10, and will release new brews each night of the week! Tickets are limited so be sure to reserve your spot early. Terrapin Beer Co. and Southern Brewing Company are pairing up with Chops and Hops on Wednesday, April 11, for a special beer dinner with three pairings from each brewery and a release of a collaborative project. Don't forget to celebrate Terrapin's 16th Anniversary Carnival on April 14. The event includes beer samples, carnival games, souvenir glasses, and even a beer dunk tank! During the week other special beer offerings and tastings will be available at local restaurants including Trappeze, Catch 22, The Pine, Hi-Lo and more! Be sure to check the Athens Beer Week website as more events are added as the festival nears.
23rd Annual Classic City Brew Fest
Athens Beer Week culminates with the Classic City Brew Fest on Sunday! Classic City Brew Fest is the perfect event for any beer lover to try numerous rare and carefully crafted brews. This year the event will be held at the Cotton Press and is focused on providing an exclusive cask ale experience, meaning they will have around 55 different 10.8-gallon casks of beer that are brewed just for this event. The casks will be provided by local breweries like Creature Comforts and Akademia, and more regional brewers like Highland Brewing Company of Asheville, NC and Coastal Empire Beer Co. of Savannah. The event will also feature a "special treats" booth that will unveil rare bottles every hour. If you want to continue the fun, post Brew Fest gatherings will be held at Trappeze, Akademia, Creature Comforts, and HI-LO Lounge. Tickets for the event are only $43.50 and include samples of all the beers, a souvenir taster glass, program booklet, and live music by the band "Repent at Leisure." Craft beer lovers won't want to miss this amazing opportunity to try some of the southeast's best offerings.
Local Breweries to Look for
While you are in Athens for the Brew Fest, you will definitely want to take time to visit our favorite local breweries! You must try the brews from Terrapin Beer Co., Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing Company, and Akademia Brewing Co. They each shine in different ways and all boast amazing venues that will guarantee a great time!
Terrapin Beer Co.
Nationally known for their exceptional craft beer, Terrapin opened its doors in 2007 after their first creation, the Rye Pale Ale, won the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2002. Terrapin has become a hotspot for craft beer in Athens, offering a selection of creative beers like the Wake-N-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout and the Passion Orange Guava Luau Krunkles IPA. Known for being Athens' first brewery, Terrapin has made a name for itself by collaborating with the hit TV show 'The Walking Dead' with their Walking Dead Blood Orange IPA and Lucille, a blackstrap molasses stout. You can also find Terrapin in the ATL Brew Lab in SunTrust Park where they focus on providing new brews and old favorites like the Golden Ale and the Hopsecutioner.
The Hopsecutioner is a crowd-pleaser, an IPA with hints of pine and citrus flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, spring for Liquid Bliss—a chocolate peanut butter porter that will surely put you in a blissful state.
Housed in a historic 1940's warehouse in downtown Athens, Creature Comforts was awarded "Outstanding Rehabilitation" by the Athens Heritage Foundation. Named one of the top 10 winners for Best New Brewery by USA Today in 2016, Creature Comforts has only become more popular since they opened their doors in 2014. They excel at producing their classics like Athena and Tropicalia, and also release seasonal favorites like the fruity Athena Paradiso and Table Beer. Not only is brewing great beer a priority for Creature Comforts, but they are also charity-driven, focusing on giving back to the Athens Community through their Get Comfortable initiative. Every Wednesday they donate 100% of their profits to local charities in Athens. Yet another reason that you won't want to miss out on tasting Creature Comforts beer at the Brew Fest!
Topicália is arguably their most well-known and popular beer, an IPA with a juicy twist for a light, refreshing taste. Athena is another local favorite—a Berliner Weisse with a tart taste and hints of cider and sauvignon blanc. This is the perfect choice for the sour beer-lovers.
Southern Brewing Company
Opened in May 2015, Southern Brewing Company is focused on being an integral part of the Athens community by brewing delicious beer with local ingredients. Their longterm goal is to brew their beers with 100 percent locally sourced ingredients and have made a name for themselves with their wild yeast program, through a collaboration with the UGA Microbiology Department to isolate wild yeast strains to use in their brews. Fewer than 50 breweries in the United States running a similar yeast program. This unique yeast program allows them to brew novel beers like the Wild Azalea and Cherokee Rose that "taste like home." Other popular beers on the menu include the Hobnail IPA and the Southern Berliner.
Their Wild Azalea Saison contains a yeast strain caught off a wild azalea on the property of Southern Brewing Company prior to the land being cleared for the building of the brewery. This beer has a complex taste of orange, clove, banana, and finished with a peppery bite. Another one of the wild yeast beers, Cherokee Rose has hints of banana pudding and vanilla for a smooth, easy drinking taste.
Akademia Brewing Co.
Recently opened in October 2017, you won't want to miss out on beer from Akademia, Athens' one and only brewpub. Akademia serves distinct and consistent beer, and delicious food to go along with it. Even their sauces are designed around beer, all made with Akademia's great homebrews. They specialize in sour beers, as well as serving traditional German styles with a flavorful twist. You will definitely start seeing Akademia beer around town more in Athens restaurants, bars, and throughout Georgia.
If you love a good IPA with citrus flavors, we recommend the IQ IPA. WIth flavors of melon, lemongrass, and grapefruit, you can't go wrong with this beer. If IPAs aren't for you, Niobe's Tears is a fan favorite, a smooth gose featuring pink Himalayan sea salt, pale wheat, pilsner malts, and a lemony finish.