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Beer Town: A whole bunch of beer this month

Like many beer lovers, I always look forward to autumn, a time marked by the arrival of richer and stronger brews, Oktoberfest celebrations, and a whole bunch of beer festivals. But with Atlanta Beer week moving to October, this season looks to be better than ever.

In September, Der Biergarten kicked-off an impressive Oktoberfest party, billed as “Munich on Marietta Street,” that will run through Oct. 30, with music, beer and brats every Saturday and Sunday and food and drink specials other times. An array of German beers on tap served up in steins and boots, a menu that features spit-roasted chicken and pork shank, and a rooftop beer garden make it a unique Atlanta Oktoberfest destination.

Decatur Beer Big Mike

Decatur Beer Fest 2010. Credit: Bob Townsend

In its second year, Atlanta Beer Week, Oct. 8-16, moves from the spring to the fall, with beer bars, beverage stores, brewpubs and breweries putting on dinners, special tastings and educational seminars for the metro-wide event.

Among the most interesting, four brewpubs, Five Seasons Westside, Twain’s, Max Lagers and Wrecking Bar are joining forces to create a series of four  unique cask ales under the moniker, Cuvee de Atlanta. The first one will be tapped on Oct. 11 at Max Lager’s.

Check the schedule at or add your events in the comments section below.

Here are a few more I’m excited about.

Hop Harvest Festival at Brick Store Pub, Oct. 8 — “We will kick off Atlanta Beer week with the ultimate tribute to our friend the hop! All 25 lines will be devoted to the Humulus Lupulus plant. That’s right, all 25 draughts will be pulled and replaced with I.P.A’s. All kinds of IPA’s. Fresh Hop, Imperial, Seasonal, One-Offs, Belgians, you name it.”

Dessert Beer Flight and Pairing at The Porter Beer Bar, Oct. 9 — “Try Southern Tier’s Mokah, Java, & Creme Brulee, each paired with a miniature dessert! Starts at 4pm, come by anytime and indulge! While supplies last!”

A Night with Bell’s Brewery at Midway Pub, Oct. 10 — Featuring Hell Hath No Fury Ale and Batch 10,000, with a 100 different malts, grain and fermentables and 60 different hop varietals. Crazy! Also, Founders KBS on Oct. 11.

Small Plate Specials and Beer Pairings at Muss & Turner’s, Oct. 14 — “Muss & Turner’s chefs celebrate 2011 Atlanta Beer Week with small plate specials and beer pairings.”

Though it always sells out quickly, the Decatur Craft Beer festival, Oct. 15, is a fall favorite, with more than 100 American and international beers, plus lots of music and food. Decatur has become a hot drinking and dining destination, so even if you don’t have a ticket, the pubs around the Square, including Brick Store, Leon’s, Mac McGee and Square Pub, could make for quite a crawl.

Beer Pick

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
Ayinger Brewery, Aying, Germany
$3.49/ 16.9-ounce bottles at metro beverage stores; also on draft at select beer bars

Profile: There are so many really good Oktoberfest-style beers, including some fine examples from American breweries, such as Victory Festbeir. But for my money, Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen remains the standard of excellence. With its deep golden color, malty nose, rich, slightly sweet palate, and soft, dry finish, it’s simply everything a quality session beer should be.

Pair with: Ayinger recommends serving Oktober Fest-Marzen in tall glass or earthenware mug and pairing it with pretzels and radishes, goulash with dumplings, bock-wurst, weiner schnitzel, roasted chicken and pork.

Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication distributed throughout the Southeast,

— Bob Townsend, AJC Drink blog

13 comments Add your comment

Ajc Editor

October 7th, 2011
11:50 am

Um the 2001 Atlanta Beer Week, Bob?

On another note, how is Der Biergarten still open?


October 7th, 2011
1:06 pm

Thanks for the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen recommendation. I fully enjoyed it.


October 7th, 2011
5:18 pm

Just an FYI, but the Decatur Beer Festival tickets sold out in an hour and a half the day they went on sale. I got mine though.


October 8th, 2011
10:32 am

@ Editor – 2001 a typo from the Beer Week site — why it’s in quotes. Fixed now. Thanks for catching.

I take it you don’t like Biergarten? I think the space is really fun. And lots of German beer. Of course, it’s not a geek bar.

@Kaygee – See you there!


October 8th, 2011
10:59 am

that’s a wonderful photo, nice to see how progressive Decatur really is.


October 9th, 2011
9:23 pm

According to their website, Midway Pub was pouring Hellhound tonite, Sunday, Oct 9, not tomorrow nite, per your notes. Tomorrow nite is “A Night with Bell’s Brewery”…

Thanks for the tip anyway. Woulda missed KBS on Tues. if I hadn’t gone to their website !!

Oliver Newcomb

October 10th, 2011
10:38 am

I’m looking forward to this month in Atlanta. I started this month @ Hotoberfest, which was one of the best beerfest I’ve ever been to. They had an incredible selection (KBS, Batch 10,000, Evil Twin’s Yin and Yang, ABC’s 15th and 16th anniversary to name a few), plenty of room, a very cool phone app and some great bands. It will be hard to top it and it was a great way to start October.
- Cheers –
Oliver N.

Darren Quinlan

October 10th, 2011
11:26 am

One of the most interesting events will be the Coney Island Freak Show at the Square Pub on Wednesday @9pm! After tasting beer around Decatur come over and check out a live Freak Show and some Coney Island specials! Captain Stab Tuggo was recently a finalist on Americas got talent….come out and support a local side show performer!

Oliver Newcomb

October 10th, 2011
11:40 am

Darren’s right – I saw their show last year @ Ormsby’s – AWESOME


October 10th, 2011
11:49 am

Love that Picture of the little kid with lederhosen!


October 10th, 2011
3:10 pm

Sorry I botched the Robert Johnson date. Doubly sorry I missed it. Fixed the post to reflect Bell’s and KBS nights.

Sorry I missed Hoptoberfest. I was in Denver for GABF.

Freak show is lots of fun. I’ve seen it several times now.

Who is that kid in lederhosen, anyway?

Oliver Newcomb

October 10th, 2011
3:54 pm

I think it’s Hotoberfest not Hoptoberfest


October 11th, 2011
9:03 am

Right you are, Oliver Newcomb. It ’s Hotoberfest.

Sadly, I’ve made that mistake before, which is stupid, because Hoptoberfest would be a really silly name for a fall beer festival. We all know how much people love calling Atlanta Hotlanta, so Hotoberfest makes much more sense.