In its third year, Atlanta Beer Week promises to be bigger, more organized and better funded.
The metro-wide event Oct. 20-27, is designed to showcase local breweries, beer bars, restaurants and craft beer stores, plus craft beers and breweries from around the U.S. and the world.
Reid Ramsay of Taco Mac, Molly Gunn of the Porter Beer Bar and Wes Anderson of Savannah Distributing Co. are the core of the Atlanta Beer Week committee this year. The trio has been working to entice more sponsors and rally more participants while advocating for the vitality of the Atlanta beer scene.
“Atlanta is a massively growing and attractive beer market,” said Ramsay, “By the end of 2012, more than 15 breweries from across the U.S. will have launched in Atlanta for the first time, which is more than any other market in the U.S. this year. Sweetwater and Terrapin are growing, too, and so many other craft breweries are set to open here.”
Ramsay said the committee researched what was going on at some of the bigger beer weeks in cities such as Baltimore, San Diego and San Francisco and took cues from them.
“The goal is to build up the scene outside the usual circles,” Ramsay said. “I think we have a better understanding of what makes a good beer week now and how to reach people. There will be more things like flight tastings and beer and food pairings, and a lot more brewery representatives around, like New Belgium brewmaster Peter Bouckaert.”
One great example of what’s on the schedule: At the Porter, Gunn will be offering what’s dubbed The Epic Beer and Cheese Pairing! with two beers each from Terrapin, Bell’s, Heavy Seas, Left Hand, He’Brew, Great Divide and Allagash.
“It’s 14 beers and 14 cheeses and it’s just awesome,” Gunn said. “It comes out on this huge board and it’s very festive and indulgent. That’s our big event in Little Five Points. But I’m looking forward to fun stuff that other folks are doing, too. Decatur does the great Passport Pub Crawl and this year you have all week to get your passport stamped.”
More Atlanta Beer Week Events
Oct. 20 – Outside the Perimeter events, including Best of Brews Oktoberfest celebration with three German beer gardens on the Green in Duluth.
Oct. 21 – Virginia Highland events, including Terrapin cask and beer cocktail at the Family Dog.
Oct. 22 – Decatur, North Decatur, Oakhurst events, including a beer and chocolate tasting with No. 246 pastry chef Taria Camerino.
Oct. 23 – Midtown events, including a Meet the Brewery night at Cypress Street Pint & Plate.
Oct. 24 – Smyrna, Vinings, Marietta events, including a Red Brick tap takeover at Moondog Growlers.
Oct. 25 – Little 5 Points, Inman Park, Candler Park, East Atlanta events, including Epic Beer and Cheese Pairing! at the Porter Beer Bar.
Oct. 26 – Grant Park, Downtown, Old 4th Ward events, including a Lonerider Brewery sampling at Augustine’s.
Oct. 27 – Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody events, including “The Love of Beer” film screening at Whole Foods.
For all Atlanta Beer Week information, events and locations: www.atlantabeerweek.com
By Bob Townsend, AJC Drink blog