I look forward every December to the results from Beer Guys Radio’s Best of Georgia Beer Reader’s Choice Awards. Since 2016, Beer Guys Radio survey’s their listeners and followers as to which new and existing beers, beer bars and bottles shops are the best in the state. Anyone can participate in the nominations and voting, as long as their nominations are Georgia based. I always like to put my two cents worth in. There were some interesting and surprising results from this years winners. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of those.
In one surprise, that really shouldn’t be a surprise, Wild Leap Brew Co. dominated the new IPA, Double IPA and Wild/Sour Beer categories. It shouldn’t be all that surprising because their Alpha Abstraction Double IPA series has been hugely popular. Additionally, their Sour/Wild and Stout beers game has really stepped up. To me, the biggest surprise was in Best New Lager/Best Lager and Best Brewery. In those categories, the two top larger focused breweries in town – Arches Brewing and Tucker Brewing – didn’t place at all. Second and Third were two good breweries, Pontoon and Dry County respectively; but not well know for lagers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy both of those breweries to get recognized locally for their lagers. I’ve had Dry County’s Lechuza and it’s a great summer time refresher. I just didn’t expect neither of the other two breweries to not place. The curious side of me would really like to figure that out. My best guess is that because people are chasing the hot IPAs and Stouts, they are mostly patronizing those breweries and trying the lagers while they are there. This is resulting in a larger following. The two lager focused breweries have a steady fan base of lager drinkers; but they don’t garner the publicity and crowds the breweries do that offer the ever expanding IPA/DIPA/Sour/Stout menus. But, I am really quite stumped.
The other shocker was neither Creature Comforts nor Arches Brewing even placed in the Best Brewery category! Arches doesn’t surprise me too much because of the reasons mentioned previously, they keep a narrow focus and sort of quietly do their thing on the southside of Atlanta. But keep in mind, they are the same brewery that currently has four of their beers rated Exceptional and World Class by Beer Connoisseur Magazine. This includes one of the few IPAs they make – Low Viz. Creature Comforts Brewing Co. being left out all together was simply stunning to me. It’s not that the three breweries that did place, Variant Brewing, Wild Leap Brew Co. and Monday Night Brewing weren’t deserving. I just didn’t expect Creature Comforts, with it’s wide popularity, to be edged out altogether. It just goes to show you, when it comes to subjective, opinion type polls, anything can happen.
Regardless of opinions, congratulations to First Place: Variant Brewing Co., Second Place: Wild Leap Brewing Co., and Third Place: Monday Night Brewing as Best Georgia Brewery/Brewpub! Congratulations also to Best New Georgia Brewery/ Brewpub First: Schoolhouse Brewing, Second: Six Bridges Brewing and Third: Halfway Crooks Beer! All six of these breweries produce an outstanding variety of craft beers, so be sure to check them out.
For complete results, go here: Beer Guys Radio Best of Georgia Beer 2019
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!