I've got some down time, so let me go ahead and do the wrap up.
The last time I spent significant time roaming the streets of downtown Atlanta was at least 3-4 years, as all my other trips are VERY quick turnarounds. It seems as if downtown, midtown, and Buckhead have undergone a truly remarkable transformation. They must have forgone your basic city planner and went straight to an urban painter to redesign the area. From the Underground up to Buckhead, it was simply immaculate. There was nothing going on in town, no special events, but there was not so much as a stray newspaper on the ground. Atlanta is probably more fit for the Olympics now than they were in 1996. The fact that it was chilly added a nice touch to it, to be honest. The beer selection is fantastic along with the brewpubbing. Let's get to the beer rankings.
This trip was all about the brewpubs, and Atlanta has about 5-6 of them. It worked out great for the area, and it seems like many of the brewers have common roots. The top three:
3. Rock Bottom
The setting is pretty damn nice, and does very well, considering my worry about chains. An excellent part of Buckhead's party/bar scene. Make sure you try their Pale Ale
2. Max's Lager
Got to love the service, hell they let me chat with the brewer. The beer was pretty good and probably the hoppiest local beers you'll find at the brewpubs. The food is great and it worked out great for hosting business colleauges (or my mentees in this case). That Grand Cru was something else.
1. 5 Seasons
Of course it's 5 Seasons up near the perimeter on Roswell. I was too cheap to pay the 50 cents to get there on GA 400, so I took Peachtree the entire way. It was certainly worth the wait and is a STRONG candidate to be the best brewpub I've ever visited. Up and down the menu you can't really go wrong with food or beer. Rather eclectic collection of food, and certainly a beer to match. I wish I could take a crane and plop this down in the Galleria in Houston. It would make SERIOUS money. Atlanta's money ain't got nothing on Oil Money.
I bought a lot of beers from the store and will hold off on giving my top three beers of Atlanta (that I've tried.)
For those that are keeping up, I did not include Gordon Beirsch, as I visited them the last time. Although they would probably barely make #3 on this list. Nothing lost on Park Tavern, which is probably the most picturesque place to enjoy a craft beer.
I look forward to visiting Atlanta again in the near future and seeing what's new in the beer world, and getting more beers on my Taco Mac list. I've got 9 so far. Awesome awesome experience.
Welcome To Atlanta - Jermaine Dupri feat. Ludacris