Explore Georgia’s ale trail

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Explore Georgia’s ale trail

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Joran Van Ginderachter, brewmaster at Three Taverns, gives a visitor his souvenir bottles of Inceptus at the brewery’s first bottle release on Sunday, Aug. 23. Van Ginderachte created the beer through the process of open spontaneous fermentation and captured a strain of Georgia wild yeast. Contributed by Kathy Reynolds / Three Taverns Brewery

If you haven’t yet, it’s time to put Georgia breweries on your radar.

Beer — local beer, craft beer — is hot. Part of the locavore movement, embraced for its accessibility and relatively low cost, and enjoyed for its vast diversity of styles, beer isn’t just a beverage anymore.

It’s a destination.

This is a national trend that hasn’t bypassed the Peach State, home to nearly 30 craft breweries, even though Georgia’s laws are not kind to beer producers. Because breweries can’t sell beer directly to consumers (though they can give some away as part of a tour), production is far less profitable than in other states.

Yet Georgia is producing good beer. And it’s getting better.

Decatur brewery Three Taverns’ first on-site bottle release was an extraordinary ale made from wild-caught Georgia yeast. Athens’ Creature Comforts tempts us each week on Curious Tuesday, when they pour delicious, experimental brews in their tasting room. Almost every day, Burnt Hickory in Kennesaw pushes the limits of flavor with bold beers that epitomize the brewery’s punk vibe.

So we’d like to raise a glass to craft beers made in Georgia. We’re proud to have Beer Town columnist Bob Townsend provide us with his list of 25 best brews in the state, while staff writer Erica Hernandez gives us a comprehensive guide to upcoming beer festivals and Oktoberfest celebrations in the metro area.

Cheers!

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