ATLANTA - It's time to take a tour, but this ain't your momma's tour. Well, it's not your momma's tour unless she loves beer -- how to brew it, how to bottle it and a chance to drink it. If she likes all that, the Sweetwater Brewery tour is your mama's tour, but you can take part, too.
"It's become this tourist destination in Atlanta," Steve Farace from SweetWater told Nelson's News. "It's become a beer destination for people throughout the country. When they come and visit Atlanta, they come and visit the SweetWater Brewery; take a tour, sample the beer, see how the process is done here at SweetWater and learn a little bit more about our brewery."
The 17-year-old company moved its operations from Fulton Industrial Boulevard to its current Midtown location about nine years ago. Recently, it completed a massive renovation. The brewery went from 26,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet. The brew house expanded its operation from a 50-barrel brew house to a 250-barrel brew house. It now houses 1,000 barrel fermentation tanks that can be seen from the highway.
Tour-goers will learn more about all that and even where the SweetWater name came from. Watch the video above to learn more.
Tours are Wednesdays to Fridays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. SweetWater just added Sunday tours, too. Those are from 2:30-4:30 p.m., as well. Participants can take the tour and sample beers for free; $10 will get you a souvenir pint glass and plenty of brews to enjoy.
"It's a pretty social crowd," Farace said. "I'd say maybe 30 percent of the people who come actually take the full tour, the rest are here for the social side. People bring their dogs. People bring their kids. They hang out. We've got bands out on our patio."
That's right, many people don't even take the tour, they just come for the beer. Consider it more of a happy hour then those field trip tours you took growing up. And yes, it's perfectly fine to show up week after week and a couple of times each week. You won't be alone.