Marking the double decade milestone, SweetWater 20th Anniversary Ale will debut in February.
If we could sum up the just the last 5 years of Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company, it would be growth. The brewery has jumped from a 25 barrel brewhouse to a 400 barrel system, added cans, expanded lab and quality control, added distribution states, bottle conditioning. and most recently, a multi-million dollar sour & wild facility. So much good coming out of 195 Ottley Drive.
In February, the brewery will mark their 20th year with a party featuring the band Moe. as well as releasing SweetWater 20th Anniversary Ale.
For the past few years, SweetWater has been working on their own house blend of Brettanomyces. A part from some small batch releases, this is the first time the beer has seen the big time. The base beer is an imperial IPA brewed with brewery staple “hop hash”. (Hash is the potent chunks leftover after hops are pelletized.)
Described as extremely hop forward, the American wild ale is fruity, herbal, and citrusy, with a touch of funk in the finish.
Can’t make the party? SweetWater 20th Anniversary Ale will be available in 750 milliliter bottles in mid to late February, 2017.
Style: American Wild Ale
Hops: Bravo, Mosaic, Citra
Malts: Pilsner, Maris Ottler, Wheat, Flaked Oats, Midnight Wheat
Availability: 750ml Bottles, Draft.
Debut: February, 2017
9% ABV, 81 IBUs
SweetWater Grass Monkey is a new seasonal on deck from the Atlanta, Georgia based brewery.
The early spring seasonal features a base wheat ale brewed with lemongrass, plus a healthy dose of Lemondrop hops in both the boil and dry hop phases of the brewing process. According to the brewery, the light malt bill allows the piney, grassy, and lemon flavors shine.
Spring got sprung with this funky monkey. We dropped a big stash of Lemondrop hops into both the kettle and the dry hop – delivering a big citrus blast – and topped it off with a Lemongrass addition for a refreshing twist. Light in body with bright citrus notes, this is an extremely complex but very easy drinking brew.
SweetWater Grass Monkey will be available in both 12 ounce and 16 ounce cans, as well as draft until April, 2017.
Availability: 12oz, 16oz Cans, 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: February, 2017
SweetWater Through the Brambles is a new wild/sour release by the Atlanta, Georgia brewery, and the inaugural release in the brewery’s new Woodlands Project.
The brewery has opened a new piece of the brewery named “The Woodlands”, which is the new home for the brewery’s sour and wild ales going forward. SweetWater has invested over $5 million dollars in this new sour and wild ale facility.
SweetWater Through the Brambles is a sour ale brewed with blackberries that has spent 12 months aging in French oak. The result is something magical. We were wowed by the fresh peach flavor in Pit & the Pendulum. The blackberries in Brambles is equally as fresh and bright. The mixed culture of wild yeast and bacteria used here is the beginnings of the house culture, which is sure to become a superstar over time. The beer finishes with just a hint of tartness, and a touch of funk.
Through the Brambles and The Woodlands is just the beginning of a whole new era for the brewery. A strong lab program and a team of incredibly talented brewers will most assuredly turn these releases into household names in the next couple of years. If this is just the beginning, then get ready. There are great things in the works on 195 Ottley Drive.
Rose in color with notes of blackberry, oak and some southern funk form the wild yeast and bacteria. Initially light bodied and slightly tart, this beauty will evolve with time.
SweetWater Through the Brambles is initially on available on special tickets tours at the brewery. 3,500 750 milliliter bottles have been produced.
Image: Beer Street Journal
SweetWater Second Helping IPA is back again as we settle into 2017, available on draft only. This beer has a very special backstory… a beer that is more that just hops and malts. The below article ran earlier this year when it was first released. If you have a minute, please read below, and watch the video…
Atlanta lost a great chef, Ryan Hidinger. This story starts with Ryan, who worked at local restaurant Muss & Turners, and his wife, Jen. The two shared aspirations of opening a restaurant of their own. The duo would hold weekend supper clubs to raise money for that dream.
A few years ago, Ryan was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer and given just six months to live. Most people probably wouldn’t have blamed him for giving up. That’s not even close to what Ryan and his wife, Jen, did. The first step was getting the most aggressive treatment available. The next was to continue working towards make their restaurant, The Staplehouse, a reality.
The outpouring of support for Ryan led them (in part) to create The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that offers financial assistance to restaurant and hospitality workers with similar hardships.
When SweetWater Brewery learned of the cause, there was no question of their desire to help. Working with Ryan, the SweetWater brewers designed a beer based on Hidinger’s favorite style- the imperial IPA. 100% of the profits from the sale of this beer goes to The Giving Kitchen. Not only is SweetWater donating, but also United Distributors, and the many Atlanta establishments selling SweetWater Second Helping IPA.
Whether or not you had the honor of meeting Ryan Hidinger, it is impossible not to be inspired by this desire to achieve his dream, and help others along with way. The world needs more people like him.
SweetWater Second Helping IPA is available on draft only in 2017. Your purchase will help give someone a second chance. Sometimes it’s not just a beer – it’s hope.
Style: Imperial IPA (w/ Juniper Berries)
Availability: Draft Only, 2017
Latest Return: January, 2017
It all started with Pit and the Pendulum, SweetWater’s peach fruited wild ale. What was supposed to scratch an itch for funky brewing, blew the door wide open for The Woodlands.
Coming in January is SweetWater’s Through the Brambles, the first release from the completed Woodlands Project. The inaugural release is nothing short of fantastic. Fresh raspberries were added to a light sour base (one of which will serve as the brewery’s “mother” beer), in oak barrels.
In place now are 500 oak barrels ranging from red wine to rum and bourbon, 15 puncheons (larger wine casks), and six oak foudres. The 37,000 square foot facility signals a new era of sophistication for the brewery.
Get to know this names if you don’t know them already. Mark Medlin, Troy Montrone, and Chris Meadows. That is the funky bunch that is making Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces, oak and fruit, work for tastebuds affections. Once you taste Through the Brambles, you’ll find out they are off to one hell of a great start.
The Woodlands will be open to the public in January, 2017.
SweetWater Pulled Porter is returning the Atlanta, Georgia brewery’s lineup this week. The beer debuted a year ago as a part of the “Dank Tank” Series.
Pulled Porter unites SweetWater and Atlanta food icon Fox Brothers BBQ into one neat little pint. Sure, you could order some German smoked malt and brew up a rauchbier. That’s the easy way. The brewery is based in The South, land of barbecue. SweetWater’s head brewer Nick Nock took some of Pulled’s base grain to Fox Brothers and had them smoke the malt the same way they smoke their highly sought after pork and brisket. (See images below.)
While smoke beers might not be your style, Pulled Porter might just change your mind. The smokey flavor is very savory; reminiscent to flavors of cooked bacon, and less like a hot house fire. The remaining unsmoked malt gives this beer a touch of chocolate. Basically, a backyard BBQ beer that doesn’t get your hands sticky.
Not only is Pulled Porter back in action once starting this week, it is available in 16 ounce cans for the first time.
On the farm way too long, ol’ McDanko began showing some worrisome tendencies. Following a solid session in the hot box smoking malt, he was overcome by a methane cloud emoted from the herd. Ya heard? Reaching for the hops, he goofed and grabbed porky by the e-i-e-i-oh and plopped her in the brew kettle slow and low —that is the tempo. Knock knock —who’s them? It’s McDanko’s inbred neighbor, Geri Reynolds, swinging by delivering his deliverance with some fat back hem and some fat back them. Stepping out past some Foxy brothers picking a banjo on the porch to sample his wares, McDanko, doubled over the chopping block and squealed like a pig – wieii wieii — proclaiming this to be the most bodacious bacon beer brewed this side of the Chattoog-a!
Important to note, meant was not used during the brewing process. However, some of the malt was smoked in commercial smokers which IS home to meat for hours every day.
SweetWater Pulled Porter can be found on tap and 16 ounce cans. Expect cans on shelves across the brewery’s lineup sometime in December.
Style: Smoked Porter
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Latest Return: December, 2016
Atlanta, Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing is putting the finishing touches on a massive new barrel house at their home on Ottley Drive. The brewery hopes it will be among the largest of it’s kind in the United States.
First, let’s start by acknowledging the fact that wild and sour beer production is on the rise in America. (read: On fire.) You’ll find few people upset over this trend. Sour and wild beer production comes with two big drawbacks that need to be overcome if you are going to really go all-in on the styles. The first – keeping the sour and wild beer separate.
Yeah, wild ales are great, but so is SweetWater 420 and IPA. Best practice says those beers need to grow up away from each other. The second is space to let your wild beer sit in peace for long periods of time. Both these problems are most easily solved with more room. Anytime the brewery has needed more space, they just buy the empty building next door.
They’ve done that very thing again. Introducing The Woodlands, SweetWater’s new wild and sour facility, and event space.
The 37,000 square foot space is tacked onto the warehouse end of the brewery. It will house 11 foeders (6 are in place in the images below). The barrel storage area can house around 1,000 wine and spirits barrels.
Back to the discussion of keeping things separate. The new facility will house their own packaging line for bottling and canning.
Let’s face it. Barrels are sexy. For that reason, The Woodlands will serve as an upscale event space, for your beer-forward, stylish events. Care was taken to design the taproom with a grand staircase, detailed lighting, exposed brick, and more.
SweetWater’s Mark Medilin and Troy Montrone will oversee the sour expansion. Beer Street Journal is told the first release is slated to be a raspberry sour ale. Hopefully two releases in 2017, and up to four a year going forward.
SweetWater The Woodlands should be open to public in in January, 2017.