Whether you’ve lived in the state of Georgia your entire life or are visiting for the first time, taking a road trip to explore the best breweries in Georgia is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture.
From tasting high-quality brews made with locally sourced ingredients to hearing fascinating local folklore and chatting with brew masters, having a good time is virtually guaranteed.
Many of our favorite Georgia breweries have grown to become much more than just a place to enjoy a drink after a hard day of work. (But of course they’re still great for that, too!)
Today, GA breweries and brewpubs serve as community gathering places, host myriad events, provide jobs, boost local economies, and often promote a core set of values based on building and fostering relationships.
But at their core, good breweries are all about making great beer. And Georgia has plenty of that on offer.
Whether you’re looking for classic IPAs and lagers, or more unique brews concocted by seasoned brew masters, you’re sure to find something to suit your individual taste.
Read on for our guide to some of the best Georgia breweries, including a little information about each one’s attractions and best beers to sample.
The Best Breweries in Georgia Guide
- Red Hare Brewing & Distilling
- Talking Rock Brewery
- Fannin Brewing Company
- Tantrum Brewing Company
- Cartecay River Brewing
- Jekyll Brewing
- Creature Comforts Brewing Company
- Terrapin Beer Co.
- Akademia Brewing Company
- Southern Brewing Co.
- SweetWater Brewing Company
- Atlanta Brewing Company
- Monday Night Brewing
- Wild Heaven Beer
- Orpheus Brewing
North GA Breweries
1. Red Hare Brewing & Distilling
1998 Delk Industrial Blvd SE, Marietta GA • 678-918-9023
Red Hare Brewing & Distilling is an independent microbrewery that offers quality crafted beverages.
They opened their Marietta location in 2011, and in 2012 became the first craft brewery in Georgia to can their beer.
Aside from the main Marietta taproom, there are also two other locations. They opened a North Carolina Brewery in Shallotte NC in 2018, and another in downtown Marietta that opened in 2020.
Red Hare won five medals in the 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championship, as well as being named the fourth-best brewery. They won three medals again in 2018.
If you want to learn more about how their award-winning Georgia beers are brewed, they also offer tours that are available upon request and availability.
Red Hare’s draft beer list is always changing seasonally, with small-batch beers rotating out. But there are a few core options that always tend to be available.
These include Grapefruit SPF 50/50 Indian Pale Radler (a crisp blend of IPA and house-brewed sparkling grapefruit soda), Long Day Lager (a refreshing and slightly sweet lager with biscuity malt notes, bittered with noble hops), and Rewired IPA (a fan-favorite IPA with dank notes of under-ripe pineapple).
Their newest IPA, 2Hazy5, is also proving a hit. It’s an easy-to-drink beer that is loaded with fruity and hoppy flavor.
2. Talking Rock Brewery
4500 SR-136, Talking Rock GA • 706-253-2337
Located 15 miles south of Ellijay, the Talking Rock Brewery is one of only two breweries in the U.S. that is located in a historic railroad car.
Built in 1923, the railroad car was left for trash until it was brought back to life and transformed into a place to enjoy good beer and good company.
The Talking Rock Brewery is both kid- and dog-friendly, featuring a huge outdoor area with corn hole, Jenga, and a large Connect Four game.
There’s also usually some sort of fun event going on here, from local food trucks and live music to Brew Runs.
If you’re relatively new to craft beer, try the Boxcar Willie, a German ale that’s light, crisp, and finishes dry, with hints of citrus on the nose.
For a classic American IPA, the Hops Don’t Add Up is low on bitterness and is more approachable for non-hoppy beer drinkers. It has some floral, berry, and orange notes balanced by the malt profile.
Among other options, they also have an American Pale Ale called Heritage, a hazy IPA called In The Haze, and a Pilsner called TRB Light (which is made with all local grains).
READ MORE: The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Ellijay GA
3. Fannin Brewing Company
3758 East First Street, Blue Ridge GA • 838-385-9347
After growing grapes and producing wine for some time, Tom Fennell moved on to beer.
He chose Blue Ridge GA as the best place to do it because he believed that clean mountain air and fresh water make for great-tasting beer.
After joining up with Pat Walker of the Blue Ridge Brewery (who was also planning to produce his own brews), they began selling high-quality beers together in 2012.
Since then, they’ve been gone on to win a People’s Choice Award for their Rory’s Pumpkin Ale at the Grayson Beer Festival.
Great Fannin Brewing Company beers on tap include the Strom Cloud Belgian, Uschold Ale Dusseldorf Alt-Bier, Project Chimps Ape-ple Apple Ale, Hiawassee Golden Ale, and Hive Kicker High Gravity Wheat Beer.
They also have a Brokenwood Double IPA, the Cartecay Sol Beer/Wine Hybride, and a Pear Cider.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge GA
4. Tantrum Brewing Company
1939 Helen Hwy, Cleveland GA • 706-809-2888
Inspired by creating a community around beer, this family-owned craft brewery located 7 miles south of Helen GA opened in 2018.
The Tantrum Brewing Company frequently has food trucks and live music on Saturdays, and sometimes on Fridays and Sundays. During Helen’s Oktoberfest celebration, there’s usually local food available all weekend!
They also host a variety of other events on their 5-acre property, including trivia nights, music bingo, and karaoke.
Tantrum Brewing’s core selection is always expanding, and the newest addition is their Pack Light IPA, a lightly hazy IPA with notes of pineapple, citrus, and stone fruit.
It’s brewed and dry-hopped with BRU-1, Azzaca, and Citra hops.
Tantrum’s other popular beers include 90’s Baby ABV (an Amber Lager with notes of coffee), Poems at Midnight ABV (a Berliner Weisse made with real fruit), and Look Closer (a hazy dry-hopped double IPA with tropical and juicy notes).
They also offer beer tasting flights that come with your choice of four 4-ounce pours, which are a great way to try several of their best Georgia beers!
READ MORE: The 25 Best Things to Do in Helen GA
5. Cartecay River Brewing
26 River Terrace, #1A, Ellijay GA • 706-395-8935
After learning to brew from one of his chemistry professors in college, Brooks Wade began home brewing and eventually opened the Cartecay River Brewing Co.
Located in Ellijay, this 4-barrel craft brewery was inspired by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and the rivers that run through the community.
Whether you’re wanting a quality beer to enjoy by the river, at home, or inside the brewery, Cartecay River Brewing has got you covered!
They have a good selection of Light Ales and Lagers, Farmhouse and Sours, and IPAs.
Some of these include Sly Fox (a hazy IPA), Gulf Moon (a sour fruited Berliner Weisse), and AT Trail Ale (a light beer with a mild, dry hop that’s great for quenching your thirst after a day of outdoor fun).
They also have a Butterfly Lemonade Seltzer and what they call a “big kid slushy,” which is aptly named “What Do You Have That’s Not Beer?”
6. Jekyll Brewing
2855 Marconi Drive STE 350, Alpharetta GA • 470-273-5932
Named after Jekyll Island GA, Jekyll Brewing is focused on hand-crafting sophisticated beers that encompass a variety of global beer brewing styles.
While the brewery was inspired by the Georgia islands, it’s located in Alpharetta, where it became the town’s first brewery back in 2013. Since then, Jekyll Brewing has grown to include 26 taps and a 50-barrel brewing system.
Founder Michael Lundmark provides direction for the Jekyll Brewing team, which is passionate about the art of creating a great beer and the joy of sharing it with guests.
For a full-bodied, classic IPA, try their Hop Dang Diggity. If you’re wanting a lighter IPA, go for the Southern Juice.
Other options include ‘Merican (an amber ale with sweet caramel malt balanced by floral hops), Big Creek (a Kolch-style ale), and Cooter Brown (an American brown ale with caramel and coffee tones).
Athens GA Breweries
7. Creature Comforts Brewing Company
271 W. Hancock Ave. Athens GA • 706-410-1043
The Creature Comforts Brewing Company’s mission is to build an industry-respected craft brewery that helps people to better understand the world of beer. Their purpose is to foster human connection.
They’re one of the most popular Athens GA breweries thanks to a welcoming environment that encourages people to “get comfortable” while they enjoy some great Georgia beer.
Creature Comforts also received the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Silver Level Certification for the Southern Mill facility’s zero waste sustainability efforts.
In fact, their facility achieved a 99.8% diversion rate, with less than 1% of waste material heading to a landfill!
Year-round Creature Comforts beers include Cosmik Debris (Double IPA), Tritonia (Fruited Gose), Automatic (Pale Ale), Athena (Berliner Weisse), Tropicália (India Pale Ale), Bibo (Pilsner), and Classic City Lager (Good Cold Beer).
They also cycle through a selection of seasonal and limited-release beers that are really worth checking out.
READ MORE: The 40 Best North Georgia Cabins to Rent
8. Terrapin Beer Co.
265 Newton Bridge Road, Athens GA • 706-549-3377
John Cochran and Spike Buckowski met while working for a microbrewery in Atlanta, where they realized they both had something to contribute to the Southeast brewing industry.
Once they began crafting recipes together, their famous Rye Pale Ale was born. This impressive Georgia beer made it all the way to the Great American Beer Festival, where it took home Gold in the American Pale Ale category.
As they continued crafting beer, the Terrapin Beer Co. grew, opening a second location at the Battery in Atlanta in 2017.
They also became the first craft brewery in Georgia to install and operate a wastewater pre-treatment facility in 2018.
Some of the most popular year-round Terrapin beers include their Watermelon Gose, Cryosphere (an IPA with minimal bitterness and huge amounts of hop flavor), and the tropical Luau Krunkles (a world-renowned IPA inspired by the Hawaiian Islands).
They also offer their famous Hopsecutioner, an IPA brewed with six different hops to create a strong but well-balanced beer. It has notes of pine and grapefruit that are balanced by caramelized malt.
READ MORE: The 15 Coolest Covered Bridges in Georgia
9. Akademia Brewing Company
150 Crane Dr, Athens GA • 678-726-2288
Although this Athens brewery launched in 2017, Akademia Brewing is rooted in almost 30 combined years of brewery experience.
Founders Matt Casey and Morgan Wireman, along with the rest of their team, are dedicated to crafting distinct ales that have unique twists.
And because beer is best enjoyed with tasty food, at Akademia you can also enjoy a variety of gastropub fare inspired by seasonal ingredients.
Akademia offers a core set of brews on tap all year-round, plus some beers that only come out at night, or for more special occasions.
Their flagship IPA, IQ IPA, is full of mango and grapefruit aromas balanced by a clean biscuit-y malt, and rounded out by a dry finish.
For a Pale Ale, try the GPA, which is a hoppy ale with citrus and resinous pine aromas.
For a more unique option, get the 3 Shades of Black. It’s their award-winning chocolate milk porter, with Madagascar vanilla and maple bacon coffee from Brooklyn Water Coffee Roasters.
10. Southern Brewing Co.
231 Collins Industrial Blvd, Athens, GA • 706-548-7183
Founders Rick Goddard and Brain Roth met while lobbying for the beer industry in Washington DC, and discovered a shared passion for unique beers with local flavor.
After five years of research and planning, they broke ground for the Southern Brewing Co. in Athens in 2014, and opened to visitors in 2015.
The brewery focuses on relationships within the brewing industry and the local community, as well as good old-fashioned southern hospitality!
Some of the Southern Brewing Co.’s best year-round beers include Hobnail (IPA), Fog Machine (Hazy IPA), and Red and Black (a raspberry/blackberry Berliner Weisse).
They also have seasonal beers. For example, their Southern Hops series is a rotating series of Double IPAs designed to highlight traditional IPA styles and experiment with ever-changing beer trends.
READ MORE: The 25 Best Day Trips From Atlanta GA
Atlanta GA Breweries
11. SweetWater Brewing Company
195 Ottley Drive, Atlanta, GA • 404-691-2537
SweetWater Brewing Company is one of the most beloved breweries in Georgia thanks to its delicious beers and laid-back environment.
The Atlanta brewery has been around since 1997, so it has withstood the test of time and continues to keep folks coming back for more each year.
They host a popular festival every spring, the SweetWater 420 Fest, where thousands of people gather in Downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park to enjoy great music and delicious Georgia beers.
SweetWater has two main locations– one in Fort Collins CO and the other in Atlanta. At the SweetWater in Atlanta, you can enjoy behind-the-scenes tours as well as plenty of munchies to go with your beer.
Their most popular brew is their 420 Extra Pale Ale, which is a West Coast-style Extra Pale Ale.
Their 420 Imperial IPA is also a popular pick, featuring a fresh combo of hops that create flavors of peach, mango, pineapple, citrus, and pine.
Other great options include their H.A.Z.Y. IPA and Broken Coast Lager, which is an ABV lager with notes of key lime pie and orange zest.
12. Atlanta Brewing Company
2323 Defoor Hills Road, Atlanta, GA • 404-355-5558
Also known as the Red Brick Brewing Company, the Atlanta Brewing Company was the first craft brewery in Georgia.
It was founded in 1993 by a former Guinness executive, and has since grown exponentially in size and popularity.
They’ve also become more conscious of sustainability practices: In 2020, they became the first brewery in Georgia to utilize recyclable 6-pack ringers!
The Atlanta Brewing Co is constantly pushing itself to brew innovative beers while utilizing regional ingredients whenever possible.
Their Indiana Pale Ale is a contemporary IPA structured around Citra and Mosaic, and features a rotating hop. It’s also a Gold Medal-winner at the New York International Beer Competition.
Another award-winning Atlanta Brewing Co beer is Homestead, a Bohemian lager brewed with pilsner malt from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville, NC. It won a bronze medal at the 2019 Best of Craft Beer Awards.
Other popular options include their Atlanta Amber, Lager On My Mind (American Lager), Hoplanta (West Cost IPA), and Soul of the City (American Pale Ale).
READ MORE: Exploring The 12 Best Asheville NC Breweries
13. Monday Night Brewing
670 Trabert Ave NW, Atlanta GA • 404-352-7703
They also have another brewery in the West End of Atlanta, as well as locations in Birmingham AL, and Nashville TN.
The brand grew from humble beginnings, specifically a small Bible study group. The three founders started brewing beer together on Monday nights as a way to get to know each other better.
After perfecting their beers, they opened the West Midtown location in 2013.
As per their mission statement, they work to “deepen relationships over some of the best beer in the country,” and help people realize that “weekends are overrated.”
If you’re looking for something light and crisp, go for the Big Softy. It’s an easy-drinking American wheat ale full of malt flavor, with just the right amount of hop.
For something a bit more hoppy, try Death Raptor (an IPA with Simcoe, El Dorado, Mosaic, Sultana, and Mosiac Cyro hops) or Wolf Snacks (a double IPA hopped with Mosaic, Styrian Wolf, Idaho 7, Simco, El Dorado, Citra Cryo, and Simcoe Cryo).
They also have a good selection of sour beers like Mischief Managed: Unfruited (a Berliner-style Weisse), dark beers like Drafty Kilt (a Roasty Scotch Ale), and craft hard seltzers.
14. Wild Heaven Beer
1010 White St SW, Atlanta GA • 404-254-2232
Lifelong Georgians Nick Purdy and Eric Johnson came together to create a place designed to add something new and exciting to the Atlanta brewery landscape.
Wild Haven Beer does that by offering beers that blend the storied traditions of Europe with good ol’ USA innovation.
They have two Wild Haven Breweries, one in the West End and another in Avondale (the original location).
While both locations offer exceptional beer, the West End location features one of the area’s best gastropub restaurants, with mouth-watering appetizers, salads, sandwiches, wings, and more.
All of the Wild Heaven beers are designed in the tradition of European brewing, but with a distinctly American flair. They brew all-grain with no adjunct sugars in order to create a bigger flavor without excess alcohol.
Their ATL Easy Ale is one of their most popular, especially with locals. It’s a lightly-hopped pale ale that’s not bitter and has just enough sweetness.
Other fine options include their Sunburst IPA, Euro-Style Pilsner, and White Blackbird (a Belgian-style Saison that’s brewed with pink peppercorns).
They also offer a unique rotating seasonal series collaboration with the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which most recently featured a Floral Saison with cornflower, nasturtium, and sumac.
15. Orpheus Brewing
21440 Dutch Valley PI, NE Suite 2001, Atlanta GA • 404-347-1777
Inspired by the teachings of Orpheus (a musician, poet, and prophet in Greek mythology), trumpet player-turned-brew master Jason Pellett opened Orpheus Brewing in 2014.
The brewery operates under a strong set of values focused on inclusivity, community, and constantly finding new ways to improve their beer, culture, and process.
Their values are reflected in the organizations they partner with, which include Park Pride and the Atlanta Humane Society. They also often showcase artwork created by local artists on their bottle and can labels.
Orpheus Brewing had an early emphasis on wild barrels and sour beers. They even created the first packaged sour beer in Georgia, called Atlanta, a tart plum saison made with Hallertau Blanc and Pekko hops.
Other great Orpheus that have been created over the years include The Inevitable End (a West Coast IPA), Over and Over and Over (a Sour Ale with pineapple and vanilla), Do or Die (Oatmeal Cream Stout), and Transmigration of Souls (Double IPA). –by Christina Maggitas