Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beering in Atlanta: 5 Seasons

Finally making it up to the 5 Seasons in northern Atlanta, right near the perimeter. They say this is the best brewpub in the ATL, but we shall find out. I thought I would be beering solo, but I have a co-worker and his lady friend from his days in high and college.

5 Seasons was not all that packed when I showed up a 6:00ish. It was nestled away in yet another one of those uber-high class shopping/restaurant/bar areas. Very nice soft decor with a massive projector with ESPN on. I belly up to the bar and strike up some convo with a guy rocking a Thrashers Jersey. I'm a Carolina Hurricanes man myself, so it was good hockey talk, though I don't really keep up until playoffs. I count 5 taps directly in front of me with another 4 on another side of the bar. I figure let's just get a 12 ouncer to get us started while we wait.

Beer Log: December 9, 2008
State: Waiting on the folks to show up, not eating right now
Chug Monkey Cream Ale
Got it in a pint glass on draft. Straw colored and very clear with a white creamy head. My nose doth detect the caramel notes of what I think is munich malt. The first draught I notice medium carbonation and a moderate amount of bread. There is an icky hop flavor late in the taste but dammit it works out very well. If there was a lighter beer I need to have in the house, this would be it, hands down. High 3 Star.

I'm actually a little fired up for this brewpub.

I knock back the monkey (that didn't come out right) and decide to go for a sampler of the other beers on tap, and then round out the night with the Belgians.

Hopgasm IPA
Sounds interesting and a little bit sexual. White head sitting on top of an orange beer. Very . There is a strong citrus and flower hop thing going on with the scent. I wrote in my book "OMG". Excellent balance, but not as strong as hoppy as the smell suggests, probably a good thing in Atlanta. In fact its almost pale ale ish. The quick finish is very nice. The more I sip it the more that citrus is coming out along with a slight hoppy aftertaste, along with a hint of pine. 3 Stars.

Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale
Whoever is naming these beers probably needs to watched by the sex offender database. Chocolate and RUM smell coming off of this one. There is a good maltiness with something akin to scotch actually. It's a very very smooth in its mahogony shell with the white head. Not too strong on the hops but there is some roast in there. High 3 Star.

Blackbird Porter
Strong chocolate smell in this ebony colored beer. Tan head. There si a strong chocolate and coffee taste. IT's a little dry as well but comes off with a great finish. Certainly 4 Stars, especially considering the beer I just had before it. The more I drink it the more I get what I think is citrus. It's not that much caramel malt but with a subtle hop presence to round it out.

Loving it!!

The crew has shown up now and we moved to a table. I've already got some sort of a lamb appertizer, perfect for belgians.

Flanders Golden Ale
Orange and cloudy. Banana and that sour smell of a belgian, I miss it so. It tastes of banana and fruit. It's super smooth with low carbonation. It tastes even better when it's a little warmer. It reminds me of a leffe, but smoother. 4 Stars once again.

At this point, I wrote down the head brewers name: Kevin McNerny. Turns out these guys at 5 Seasons have their roots in Sweetwater beer also of Atlanta. This one is fast becoming my most favorite brewpub PERIOD. And I still have a full glass of a tripel and a sampler of Barleywine to go.

West Mall Tripel
Not to be confused with Westmalle. STraw and cloudy. Smells like a port wine or a liquor, AWESOME. Sweet and shockingly a little empty at first. The more I drink it I see that it is nice and full bodied with a touch of brown sugar. I now change my note from "empty" to a very quick finish. Oh hell yeah. 4 Stars.

For those of you keeping score at home, I wasn't really tipsy, as all but that Tripel and the Monkey were full glasses. So don't go thinking I'm just gone off the booze and giving out the most 4 Star beers I've ever given for a brewpub.

Barley Wine
The guy got me a sampler of this apple cider looking beer. It's offwhite head gives a scent that is sweet like apples, yet subtle. It kind of has that Fall beer smell with that maltiness. The maltiness is there but then bitterness take over the palette. The alcohol is a little much. Medium-full bodied and rather fruity. It's a little dry. His girl finds it "yucky". Me, 3 Stars.

All in all I have to go on and say that this is the best beer I've had a brewpub since I started the beer blog last year. The decor, the place was packed within an hour of my showing up. Very eclectic food, and just an array of excellent beers any one of which I would like to have on tap at the house. I find that brewpubs are better at some things than others, and I see these guys steered clear of the lagers. Fine by me. If I come back to Atlanta, there is no question where I'll be beering every chance I get. Fantastic job 5 Seasons. Look forward to trying some more in the future.


Bill said...

Carolina Hurricanes?! Ew! Sabres baby!!!

Glad to see that Hotlanta is getting into the action. The south is woefully anachronistic with their beer scene (esp. considering it was Georgian Jimmy Carter who kicked off the craft beer revolution by legalizing homebrewing). Nice report.

The American Don said...

Thanks for reading the blog. The ATL came through pretty well, especially with their microbrewed beer. You can expect a Georgia Tech man to like some good beer.