As 2019 comes to a close, it’s fun to take a step back and look at all the beers you’ve tried during the year and try to sort out the best. This is the first full year, since starting this blog, I’ve been able to get around to some breweries to try what’s on tap or grab a broad range of beers to sample and review. It’s been a LOT of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. More than anything, I’ve met and interacted with a lot of great people; from brewery owners and brewmasters to brewery staff and the beer enthusiast sitting next to me at the bar. Let me stop right here, pause, and give a special THANK YOU! to all the staff at the breweries and beer bars throughout the state of Georgia who work long hard hours making folks like me feel right at home in the tap room.
Even though Georgia got a late start out of the gate with more accommodating beer laws in the independent craft beer space (essentially 2017), we have already reached a place where it is getting difficult for one person who wants to cover the whole scene to get around to even a significant number breweries and sample a broad range of beers. I’ll still give my best. My list includes both new beers and those that have been on the market, but I had not tried yet. Basically, these are the best beers produced in Georgia for the categories I have tried, in my opinion. If a category is not represented that means either I have not tried something in the group or I have yet to find a standout. If you have a different opinion, that’s awesome! I’d love to hear from you and please post a comment below.
Standard American Lager
Best – Arches Lloyd’s Light
Honorable Mention – New Realm United Craft Lager
Bohemian/Czech Style Lager
Best – Arches Bohemian Riot
Honorable Mention – Sweetwater Kick Plastic Pilsner
Best – Line Creek Brewing Maverick
Honorable Mention – Akademia Brewing Co. Helles
Best – Tucker Brewing TKR Pilsner
Honorable Mention – Creature Comforts Brewing Bibo
Honorable Mention – Cherry Street Brewing Chucks Lager
Best – Gate City Ex Pat
Honorable Mention – Arches Brewing Winter’s Night
German Dunkles Bock
Honorable Mention – Cherry Street Dunkles Bock
American Blonde/Golden Ale
Best – Pretoria Fields Skywater
Honorable Mention – Six Bridges Brewing Shelby
American Pale ale
Honorable Mention – Akademia Brewing Cram Session
Honorable Mention – Reformation Brewing Stark
Porter – Baltic
Honorable Mention – Gate City Brewing Terminus
Honorable Mention – Variant Brewing Dark Alchemy
Stout – Imperial
Honorable Mention – Burnt Hickory Kolb’s Farm
Honorable Mention – Wild Leap Alpha Abstraction No. 7
Honorable Mention – Creature Comforts Born Dreaming
Honorable Mention – NoFo Brew Co. Northern Rim Rye IPA
Best – Reformation Haddy
Honorable Mention – Akademia Skal
Most Underrated Beer in Georgia
Honorable Mention: New Realm Munich Dunkel
Biggest Surprise of 2019
Honorable Mention: Line Creek Maverick
Arches Brewing Co. – Hapeville, GA
Honorable Mention: Creature Comforts Brewing Co.
Best New Brewery
Six Bridges Brewing – Johns Creek, GA
Honorable Mention: Gate City Brewing – Roswell, GA
Most Underrated Brewery
Akademia Brewing Co. – Athens, GA
Honorable Mention: Tucker Brewing Co. – Tucker, GA
It’s been a great year in beer for Georgia craft beer. I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings. We have a number of new breweries scheduled to open in 2020 and some that opened in 2019 that continue to put better and better product on the market. Here’s to 2020!
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!
As always, please remember to drink responsibly.