Westbound & Down

Westbound and down

Beer nerds know a bunch of the big West Coast breweries are starting up operations on our side of the Rockies. With 18 states (and DC) under our belt in the East, and the biggest brewery in the Southeast, we think it’s time we returned the favor and head out west.

Few months ago our Big Kahuna Freddy bought up a brewhouse and some tanks from a brewery that closed in Berkeley, California. Now we’re looking for the perfect spot to put down roots to build another brewery and start slinging beers out West. Anywhere is fair game for now – got a lot of lookin to do before we make any calls – but wherever we wind up building you better believe we’re gonna do it right.

This’ll put our lip-smackin’ brews back in the hands of folks that have been missing ’em (or never had the pleasure in the first place) PLUS make sure each and every one of those bottles, cans or pints is as fresh as humanly possible.

So thanks to the folks who have stuck with us on the wild ride and see ya soon to everyone out west. We gonna do what they say can’t be done!

Announcing Our New Brew, The Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

SweetWater Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Throw on your smoking jacket and light a fire, we have officially released our first barrel aged brew, Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout — the second brew from our Cork & Cage Series, a high-gravity, small batch line up that explores the edges of classic beer styles including barrel-aged beers, sours and wild ales.

The stout is a supremely rich, full-bodied imperial stout that hits your mouth with notes of chocolate and bourbon. Not only does the flavor pack a punch, but at 11.2%, it’s our highest ABV brew

This dignified gent has a dark side that’s savory, with a velvety mouthfeel, robust dark chocolate and vanilla aroma, and flavors of roasted malt and char. Prime for the cooler weather, this burly beer warms you up with its bourbon characteristics.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout hit shelves Monday, October 5, and will continue to be distributed throughout the year as new batches are ready.

We’re Flowing Into the Northeast

SweetWater NYC

In NYC, NJ, PA or CT?   SweetWater’s now in bars and stores near you!

In June, we announced distribution into Northern New Jersey with Peerless Beverage Company; in the Philly area with Muller Inc; Manhattan Beer Distributors in New York City; Star Distributors and A. Gallo & Co in Connecticut, and Wilsbach Distributors in Central PA.

Our team couldn’t be more stoked to introduce the SweetWater to the Northeast  Find the Facebook page for each individual market (you can start by going to Facebook.com/SweetWaterBrew and navigate from there), and you’ll see that we have tap takeovers, concerts and all sorts of events for you to try our heady brews and meet folks from the brewery.   Come out and meet us!

Newest Catch-and-Release Seasonal: Hash Brown

Hash Brown

Our brewers have fired up their skillet to 420° to create this Fall’s  catch-and-release seasonal, Hash Brown. This sizzling malt concoction is made with 2-row, Wheat, Pale Chocolate, Cara-Brown, and Midnight Wheat with an added dose of hop hash and other dank fixin’s. On your first sip, it’s obvious this is not your typical brown ale.

Hash Brown is our second hash brew, joining Hop Hash, a year-round brand released in late 2014. This new brew delivers a huge hop forward you’d expect from the aroma, but with a lighter malt bill and 6.2% AVB – This is one that’s easy to go back to for seconds and thirds! Almost burgundy in color with a creamy head, this attractive ale comes in at 60 IBUs.

For both Hash Brown and Hop Hash, our brewers visit our hop farmer in Oregon and scrape their pelletizers clean to collect the concentrated f hop resin, known as hash. When added to a brew, this underused byproduct provides a serious punch to the palate. Hop hash is danky deliciousness.

Hash Brown is available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, in cans available exclusively with the fall TackleBox variety 12-pack, and on draft through fall.

Save Our Water with The Big Float!


Every year, our Save Our Water campaign aims to raise money and awareness for waterways all over the southeast. Clean water is a cause that’s near and dear to us, not only because we love gettin out there for fishing, swimming and floating, but also because no clean water means no beer.

Well this year we’re closing out Save Our Water with a day of sipping and paddling we’re calling The Big Float.

On Saturday, August 29, local outfitters and Waterkeeper organizations are teaming up to get everyone on the water at the same time. If you’re in Atlanta, we’ve got 8 different trips on the Hooch lined up with Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. We’re also throwing an afterparty at the brewery with food, live tunes and a raffle to win a Mad River canoe.

If you’re somewhere else where our heady brews flow, hit up waterkeeperbrew.org/thebigfloat to find out where you can get wet. Each outfitter has a different fee, but a portion of proceeds go back to your local Waterkeeper to help preserve and protect local water.

Stay tuned on facebook for updates and info!

Souvenir Beer? At tours? More likely than you might think


Turns out the “Georgia Beer Bill” as interpreted by the DOR is not what we were told it was supposed to be when this bill became law over the summer. After SB 63 went into effect, we introduced a few options for you guys – just do our regular tour and tasting, or do the tour, tasting and take home your choice of brews. On Tuesday, September 29, a bulletin was sent to all Georgia breweries explaining that this wasn’t exactly legal. We, along with good folks like the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, are working through the nitty gritty legalities to determine what we can do with souvenir beer moving forward. While we’re figuring it out, in order to give you guys the tour and tasting experience you’ve come to expect over the years, we’re gonna go back to pre-July 1st days – no souvenir beer (for now), and there’s one price for entry: $10. In the meantime, pick up some SweetWater post-tour at any of our awesome retail partners.

For more info on what’s up, visit http://www.georgiacraftbrewersguild.org/
As of July 1, yall have the option to sample up to 36 oz of beer in our tap rooms and, if you want, take another 72 oz to go to enjoy when you get home (or wherever you’re headed).

We got a few different ways you can get heady. All our options are subject to availability.

  • $10 – Standard Tour (Souvenir pint glass with (6) 6oz samples)
  • $20 – Standard Tour + CHOICE OF (1) Souvenir 6 pack/mix-a-six -OR- (1) Souvenir 22oz bomber
  • $25 – Standard Tour + CHOICE OF (1) Souvenir 64 oz growler & growler fill -OR- (1) 750ml Cork & Cage bottle

Here’s how it’ll work. Decide what tour package you want at the front desk. You can’t change it up after you’ve made your purchase so pick carefully. After you check out you’ll get a ticket that will double as your 6 drink tickets.

When you’re done sampling, head over to the schwag shop to redeem the ticket for your Souvenir Beer. Don’t open it till you get home! You CANNOT open or drink Souvenir Beer while at the brewery.

We know this is a big ol change from the way we’ve been doing things for the last 18 years, so we thank yall in advance for having patience as we get it figured out the first few weeks.

A birthday, a beer and bacteria


There’s a sour to be in these Merlot and Cab barrels

If you’re a super beer geek or just a general SweetWater geek, you may have heard about the barrel-aged sour that’s in the works from us. Because there was–and still is one funking away, but unfortunately it won’t be ready in time for our 18th Anniversary.

We even had a label approved by the TTB (Feds who approve alcohol labels) back in December in case it was ready in time for our anniversary next month.

Funny thing about bacteria like Lactobacillus is they work at their own speed – you literally have to let nature run its course for a beer to sour. After regular tastings over the past few months, what we’re working with is not gonna be as sour as we want it by February when we blow the doors off the brewery for our 18th birthday party which, did we mention, The Revivalists are playing? Here’s the 411 on that: https://www.facebook.com/events/479671675507266/

Choice was pretty clear to us: let’s let this funky sour sit in the barrels a while longer til she’s good and ready to party with us and look to brew another beautiful beer to celebrate our 18th in February.

We settled on a Belgian-style Tripel hopped up with Centennial, Amarillo and Sterling, then dry-hopped with more Amarillo and Sterling. We’re also using the same Ardennes yeast as Spinnerbait to give it that nice kick of spiciness.

By then in February, the cork and cage filler we snagged from the fellas up at Brooklyn Brewing will be running, so the Tripel aka 18th Anniversary will still be our first cork ‘n cage release. Then, whenever the sour’s profile matches up with our expectations, we’ll bottle that off and enjoy the funk out of it!

IMG_1710 (Large)At the end of the day, it’s never an exact science when bacteria and barrels are involved, but we know y’all are gonna enjoy what we cooked up while you wait for the sour. Live and learn, serve no wine before its time, keep pushing our boundaries and taste buds, and keep drinking good beer!

Glaciers, Grizzlies and Garments: A Gift Guide

That time of year when you have to guess how much you think someone is gonna spend on you and shoot for a little bit higher (or lower) is back, and we’re here to make it as easy as possible to cross off all the brewery schwag on your list. Here’s how the shopping high holidays are going down:


Buy a reusable SweetWater tote for $4.20 and get 25% off anything you can stuff inside. The first 25 people in line also get a free tote with a gift card good for anywhere from $5 to $20 (and I’m pretty sure I saw a $50 fall in one).


Use the promo code GIFTY420 to get 20% off all your orders across the board. On top of that we got some time-sensitive deals you can take advantage of depending on when you order:

  • 12 am – 6 am: Free t-shirt
  • 6:01 am – 12 pm: $15 gift card (for future use)
  • 12:01 pm – 6 pm: Free pint glass
  • 6:01 pm – 11:59 pm: Free koozie

Now what to get is an entirely different beast. Here’s a quick guide to help you avoid getting the “oh…thanks” on Christmas morning/Hanukkah nights/Kwanzaa…afternoon?


grizzly for web

Grizzly 16 Cooler

It’s not everyday you get to use the term “bear-proof,” but these things have been thoroughly tested to stump even Yogi and Boo Boo. Although with that badass tie-dye paint job, keeping thirsty humans out might be the real challenge.

Cathedral Vest

You ever get stuck in that weird “I’m cold but not jacket cold” gray area? That’s literally why vests exist. Look it up. This sucker keeps your core warm, arms free, and plushness levels at an all-time high.

Glacial Fleece Half Zip

Ask anybody from the North about keeping warm and in between telling you about their uphill walks to and from school, you’ll probably get a line about layering. That’s what this beaut is built to do. Thick enough to keep you warm, thin enough to fit under another layer if you need it.

fleece for blog


People who willingly squash their junk up against a narrow bike seat are a rare breed. If you’re shopping for a hardcore 100 miler who insists on being aerodynamic to the point of shaving body hair, we’ve got some heady gift ideas for you. Check out our men’s bibs, jerseys and shorts and  women’s jerseys, tanks and shorts. If you don’t shave a few minutes off your PR in these, it’s that extra Hop Hash you had last night and not the gear.

bike jerseys for blog


Let’s say your boss gave you something, or maybe you’ve been dating someone for only a few weeks but it’s the holidays so you kind of have to get them a gift. No sweat, we got you.

Oowee Leather Koozie

I don’t know if Oowee was the first company to think of a leather koozie, but they’ve perfected the art. Ruggedly handsome yet practical (just like us).

Brown Bag Soap Co. Gift-Wrapped Bars

The first time someone gave me soap as a gift, I took it to mean my fragrance was not to their liking. Turns out that’s 100% what was happening. With these rustically-wrapped soap bars made with our brews, you can be as overt or subtle in your underlying gift messaging as you like.

Brown Bag Soap Co. Candles

What’s the difference between a romantic evening and an aromatic one? Just these candles made with our beer, and two letters I guess. Brown Bag just started making these Alcoholwicks (best name ever), and they turned out as awesome as the soap.

Last little note from us, our tours will be running normally EXCEPT for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day. Our shop is open M-F 9am-5pm and always during tours. Now get out there and win the holidays because despite what anyone says, gift giving is a competition and should be taken seriously.

Our casks are officially brewed off

We’re about back to normal (in more ways than one) after Saturday’s Brew Your Cask Off. Big thanks to everyone who came out, all our guest brewers and of course our amazing staff and volunteers. Without further shenaniganery, here’s how the night went down:

Pro Winner and First Overall

#109 Jailhouse Brewing – “Danch Meng Blueberry Bootlegger”

Breakout Stout with a field of bourbon-soaked blueberries and just the right amount of danch meng ethiopian cold steep coffee

Judges Panel Awards

1st Place: #61 United Distributors Craft Team – “The Walking Dad”

420 base with dried apricot, grapefruit peel and peach extract; re-fermented with brown sugar and 3463 Forbidden Fruit yeast; and dry-hopped with Simcoe and Apollo

2nd Place: #38 Your Pie – “Big Hoppy Snow Bird”

A twist on a white IPA. We took the sweet Belgian characteristics of a white IPA and gave them a bitter citrus bite. A great fruity aroma with juicy flavors.
3rd Place: #6 Varner’s Tavern – “1st Crack Toasted Leann Dubh

Stout with coffee, whisky and vanilla flavors. The name “1st Crack” comes from the sound coffee beans make during toasting. ex. 1st crack, 2nd crack, 3rd crack

People’s Choice Award

#40 Cypress Street Pint & Plate – “Fruity Pebbles”

These fruity pebbles will make your bed rock! It’s Saturday morning fool!

Biggest Loser

#17 Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse – “Ain’t That a Peach”

Lactobacillus Sour Peach Wheat

Nice little mix there with the winners. This year we actually had more casks than ever blow up before the event – looks like folks went a little heavy handed on the fermentable sugars being dumped into casks.

Special shout out to Hennessy Transportation for keepin the shuttles running all night long, Hop City for helping get all the cask ingredients together, OI for the fancy tasting glasses and Radio 105.7 for setting up the People’s Choice Award voting. Last but not least, huge thanks to Georgia Conservancy for helping us put the whole thing on. You all helped us raise roughly $3,200 for these good folks!

So sit back, crack open a coldie and enjoy some choice shots from the evening.


The down and dirty on the 5th Annual Brew Your Cask Off

BYCO14_AssetBrew Your Cask Off is our annual salute to special suds, fist bump to funkiness and bear hug to brewing up the dankest casks you can think of.

Typically we invite about 90 of the folks behind our favorite bars, restaurants, retailers and assorted other friends and family to work with our brewers on creating a cask the likes of which have never before been sipped on.

For our 5th anniversary, we wanted to Emeril Lagasse this bitch and really kick things up a notch, so on top of the normal crew doing their thing, we also invited 14 other local Georgia breweries to cook up their own cask creation for a separate brewers-only competition. Here’s who’s comin out:

In the end, we’ll crown a winner from the main competition, a people’s choice champ and a brewers only victor… but let’s be honest – the real winner is yall. Where else are you gonna sip on 90+ casks with anything and everything from Sour Patch Kids to a baseball bat added to em?

Tickets are available now for $35 and get you in, a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited samples. We’ll also have food trucks on site providing some tasty treats.

Snatch ‘em up now, cuz last year we sold out early and this ain’t a party you wanna miss.

PS – we still need a boatload of volunteers. If you’re interested in getting in for free and earning some good karma, help us out: http://brewyourcaskoff.com/volunteer.php