The Best Beer Places To Impress Out-Of-Towners
If you're looking for a place to show off our spirited A-town culture paired with a good brew, these are your top spots.
When considering Atlanta’s hold on the film and other industries—yes, the riveting Madea franchise counts—our city is killing it. So we’re not surprised when the out-of-towners continue to flow in, but who is gonna tell beer aficionados where they can go to get their sip on while getting a genuine feel for the city? Us, of course. Just let them know that they won’t run into Andre 3000, so stop looking. Big Boi, let alone Ms. Jackson, doesn’t even know where the hell Andre is.
Like BBQ, the best Mexican cuisine in the city is known through word of mouth, and Edgewood’s El Tesoro is undoubtedly one of the IFKYK spots. Uniquely alfresco all year, the line often wraps around the corner, but unlike the Kroger lines in Glenwood, we will happily wait for their street tacos, tamales, mulitas, and daily specials. Plus, there is a curated list of various draft and canned craft brews predominately sourced direct from Georgia, which perfectly complement things like juicy twice-seared steak tacos. And since El Tesoro is a major sponsor of our MLS soccer team, your group can join ATL UTD fans on the spacious patio to get your kicks since the games are always on the big screen.
A revitalized factory from the 1920s in the Old Fourth Ward, Krog Street Market’s lively food court has everything from juicy cheesesteaks (Fred’s Meat & Bread) to vegan chocolate (Xocolatl), and of course there’s a place where you can grab a beer to sip while exploring all the other stalls. Hop City’s got you covered with its prominent bar, where bartenders who know their sh!t serve from 60 rotating taps of the latest craft beers from the US and abroad. Hop City also has an equally impressive selection of cans and bottles in its adjacent package store. We always come to create our own customized six-pack, in which you can select from existing packs to pair your own collection.
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photo credit: Dennis Malcolm Byron
Everyone from local tattoo artists to Fortune 500 CEOs crowd this beloved dive bar in the O4W for the eclectic music blasting through the speakers, karaoke, darts, and arguably the best wings in ATL—which can only be wolfed down on site as a rule (to-go orders are not an option). We pair our wings with a tall boy of Pabst, IPA, cider, stout, or anything else from their lengthy list of beers that are predominately—you guessed it—local. And speaking of sampling the local bests, let’s get back to the banging wings. They are served with an array of sauces you can mix—even ATL’s famed lemon pepper wet, which every visitor should try at least once.
Ormsby’s has been such a Westside favorite in Atlanta that locals know how to spell its name without looking it up. This bi-level tavern complete with a patio, dining area, and multiple game rooms for adults is uniquely spacious yet still feels as intimate as a speakeasy. But it does get packed, especially during the weekend with first daters, Georgia Tech students, young professionals, and craft beer lovers who come for a long menu of solid lagers and ales from around the world. Open late and serving top-notch, upscale pub grub, Ormsby is a great place to take out-of-towners to grab a beer and a thick two-patty burger.
Ponce City Market
Take your friends to this expansive, industrial-chic, mixed-use development in the Old Fourth Ward that used to be a Sears retail and warehouse building. Between shopping and grubbing at all the eateries on site, folks can fill crowlers and growlers with craft brews poured from one of 56 handles of The Tap on Ponce’s bar on the first floor. Up on the rooftop (accessible by a decked-out freight elevator), there are carnival games, a seasonal ice rink, and two cocktail bars. The upscale 9 Mile Station gastropub provides a more intimate experience—besides gourmet fare and a mixologist always on staff, they regularly show appreciation to brew lovers with Belgians, exclusive collaborations with local breweries, and the city’s lager king, Halfway Crooks, regularly on tap.
Everyone will find something to do at this 80-acre property on the Upper Westside. Start with a cold one from the 50-barrel Dr. Scofflaw brewery—they brew a sh!tload of popular IPAs, plus great stouts, sours, and adult slushies—and then it’s all retail, entertainment, and restaurants from there. There is also a full bar in The Works’ expansive food hall, which sells everything from Cubans to crab fries. The newest addition to the complex—the futuristic Your Third Spot—is a 26K-square-foot, multilevel dining, gaming, and beer garden combo that makes Dave and Busters look like bingo night at a senior home.
photo credit: Andrew Thomas Lee
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
The Atlanta BeltLine is what’s popping, attracting all types of city folk walking, skating, running, biking, and sometimes just looking like they’re from another world. We’re all for it. And this outdoors-themed eatery has a spacious lawn directly on the Eastside trail that provides the perfect VIP seat for people watching. Pair one of the 20 different canned brews or dozen all-Georgia craft tap list with their self-described “elevated campfire cuisine,” which includes smoked meat trays of pulled pork, ribs, and chili dogs. If you and your crew want to keep the party going, take a two-minute walk along the BeltLine toward more beer favorites like Pour Taproom, BrewDog, and the aforementioned Hop City at Krog Street Market.
Midtown Bowl is charmingly old school, and for more than 60 years, it has been one of the city’s most popular locations. And that’s because pins ain’t the only things getting knocked down at this iconic alley. Midtown’s beer selection served by the can, bottle, and draft has even the most discerning beer geek dapping the beverage manager up. They even have local brewery tap takeovers monthly. While splitting frames may get you kicked out of your friend group, splitting the 24-piece chicken wing basket is a good idea for a crew. Plus, it wouldn’t be a legit bowling alley without a menu of mostly deep fried things, so we’d say get the fried pickles, which is always an interesting Southern staple to introduce to your visiting pals.
If you want to see how dedicated fans of the Falcons and Hawks get down, this is an ideal spot. Owned by a Morehouse grad, HBCU alums and general Atlanta fans are proud patrons of this chic sports tavern in Grant Park, which is always a party with reggae, trap, and R&B beats—fitting grooves for serenading IPAs, Belgians, pilsners, and stouts served by draft, bottles, and cans. If you’re here to watch a game, their HD-TV-game is strong throughout the main dining space. There’s also an outdoor patio, and the Caribbean-fusion menu’s jerk chicken egg rolls are fuego. And out-of-towners should feel free to rep their favorite team—they just better be ready for some friendly sh!t talking. It’s all love (but lukewarm love for Cowboys fans).
Any beer-loving music buffs need to hit up The Eastern, one of the city’s newest live-music venues. Based in Reynoldstown’s historic Atlanta Dairies post-industrial complex, the 2,300-person spot has all the flair of a state-of-the-art Vegas nightclub with eclectic performances that range from Big Boi to Hiatus Kaiyote. As for the suds, a carefully curated 20-plus craft-can list—heavily local—keeps attendees quenched indoors and on the spacious rooftop with its own bar as well. Want more? Pregaming is highly recommended at the stunning Three Taverns Imaginarium, sharing the airy green space with The Eastern. They’re one of the best breweries in the South, let alone ATL.
photo credit: Tabia S. Lisenbee-Parker
This chain has justly become renowned for their “never frozen” wings coupled with a sports bar theme. And their dedication to pampering beer lovers is equally appreciated. They have weekly pint nights, and each location even has a feature called “Live Beer Stats” online to inform patrons of every beer style available and the most recent keg being tapped (it’s refreshed every five minutes). The Metropolis location on Peachtree Street in Midtown currently touts 134 brews on tap, 74 HD TVs, and attracts a diverse crowd cheering for their favorite squads while stacking bones from drums and flats.