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


Show us your O(hio) Face

420-ohioWe’ve been getting reports of some eerily good fishing up in Ohio, so we’re packin up the tacklebox and as many brews as we can fit in the boat and heading North.

We also heard yall get some snow up there, so hopefully someone can teach us Atlanta boys how to put chains on our tires or strap up the dogsled (or however it works up there).

Goal is to have the brews start flowin’ in Cleveland and Columbus Oct. 6, then fill out the rest of the state from there. Here’s the good folks who’ll be helpin’ us sling our brews:

Superior Beverage: Cleveland/Columbus launching 10/6/14

Stagnaro: Cincinnati launching 10/20/14

Bonbright: Dayton launching 10/20/14

Treu House of Munch: Toledo launching 11/10/14

BeerCo: Bowling Green launching 11/10/14

City Beverages: Defiance launching 11/10/14

We’ll start it off with 420, IPA, Take Two Pils and Blue in bottles and draught as well as 420 & IPA cans,  but make sure you keep an eye on our facebook page for info on where you can get down on casks, tasty treats from the cellar, tap takeovers and more.


Check out the Catch a Trout tap handle contest too – pretty much the easiest way to win schwag ever. Snap a photo with our tap handle, post it to the facebook event, profit.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we might’ve had too many buckeyes so we’re gonna go lie down. Funny, they were a lot crunchier than we expected and didn’t taste like peanut butter at all.

Conditioned for your pleasure

After 17 years of slingin’ beers we figured it was time to give the ol’ bottle a facelift. Feast your eyes on the future yall.

new bottle for blog

Now that’s a nice piece of a glass. The boys and girls from Owens-Illinois put this beauty together for us and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

But it ain’t just the outside that got freshened up – the liquid in those shiny new bottles is better than ever too.

We swear by the quality of our brews, and with our little fishing community getting bigger all the time we wanted to make sure our brews are stayin tasty no matter where you enjoy em.

Bottle conditioning is helping us do that. You mighta heard about us conditioning 420 & IPA in cans, but now we’re movin the process to bottles starting with 420.

Our master of drawing and stuff put together an infographic that explains the whole process pretty well, so we’ll let that do the talking.


One thing we do wanna let yall know about is that you might notice some stuff floating in your 420 bottles. It’s just a little bit of leftover yeast that’s clumped together after conditioning – totally normal and won’t hurt ya.

SweetWater Flows into Memphis

SweetWater Lineup CompressedGood news Memphibians – we’re finally makin’ it to your neck of the woods. We realize we may have skipped over you a little bit, but we’re makin’ up for it by coming in hard and fast starting June 16.

We’ll roll in with 420, IPA and Blue, plus our summer variety Tackle Box that includes 420/IPA with Waterkeeper Hefeweizen and our all new Take Two Pils, a spicy blond lager.

Make sure you clear out your calendar starting Tuesday, June 17 too, ‘cuz we’ll be sending a crew up to the River City to help break in a few tap handles and test a few livers. Keep it locked on our Tennessee Facebook page for updates on where to find us.

Oh hey, speaking of Facebook – wanna win some schwag the easy way? All you gotta do is take a selfie with one of our trout tap handles, post it to this event page, and we’ll shoot you a fresh new t-shirt.

So now that we’ve got that settled, can ya help us out with the don’t miss BBQ spots around the city?



10th Anniversary SweetWater 420 Fest Photos

Earth Day is here but we’re still in recovery mode from our 10th annual party for Mother Earth – the SweetWater 420 Fest. We’ve got a ton of photos from the weekend (courtesy of Addison Hill Photo and Taylor Zorzi/Rank Studios) for you to look through, but first we gotta thank a few folks.

The fest wouldn’t have happened without our awesome sponsors: Chipotle in the Kids Zone, Kegooler and DRAFT Magazine in the SweetWater Experience tent, Ballistic at the Relapse 420 Comedy Tent, Mellow Mushroom in the Mellow Lounge, Iris for the all new Not So Silent Disco stage, and Gas South with the charity cornhole tournament.

Speaking of which, huge congrats to Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta for winning the tournament and taking home a fat check for $15,000. Special mentions to our friends at Giving Kitchen, the Jack Russell Rescue and Atlanta Humane Society for coming close and taking home a few bucks themselves.


Of course we gotta tip our hat to all the artists, vendors, volunteers and staff that made the whole weekend run smoothly, plus the folks from Centennial Olympic Park for helping us settle in to our new home. Last but not least – each and every one of yall that braved the weather and came out to party with us. Cheers to you, and drink em if ya got em! (then click the photo below to see the gallery)


The Tour de Funk

This week we asked our resident sipster Zak to recap his whirlwind tour up the east coast with bar boss Derrick to the Extreme Beer Fest. In between sampling the literal truckload of beers they brought, he sent us over the below.

Last weekend, we drove up to pour some of our heady brews at the 2014 Extreme Beer Fest in Boston, MA hosted by Beer Advocate and Dogfish Head. Talk about extreme–the average ABV of the beers there was 9%!

There were beers from all over the country and styles that ranged from the lightest of session ales (0.3% ABV to be exact) to the most tart of sours to even a porter made with a smoked pig head (eyes and all) tossed in the boil. A truly one of a kind experience.

When we got the invite to pour our tasty brews at Extreme Beer Fest, we were faced with a slight challenge. Our beer is not distributed in Massachusetts (yet) and the shipping cost was astronomical to get all our beer up there. Solution…we’ll take it ourselves and make it into a road trip deemed Tour de Funk! Both [SweetWater Bar Boss] Derrick and myself hopped in our tie-dye van and began the long journey to Boston.

We didn’t want to drive 18 hours straight and show up to the fest beat tired from the epic drive. Instead, we armed ourselves with a video camera, multiple cities to stop in and a goal to spread as much SweetWater love as possible. The end result – Many a hand kissed, many a baby shaken and enough hangovers to kill an average man.

Stopping in Charlotte and Richmond the first day, we got a grasp of life on the road driving through an ice storm and learning that the van’s headlights are cocked about 45 degrees to the right. Not sure what happened to this thing before we got in it, but multiple Bonnaroo’s and countless beer fests are most likely the culprit.

We spent the day in Richmond visiting all kinds of bars, restaurants and specialty beer stores hanging with the people that we love most, the ones drinking our beer! From Richmond we went out to Washington DC, said hey to Mr. Obama and started hitting the local beer spots in Arlington and Alexandria, VA as well as DC proper to show some love.

We always thought folks in Atlanta were number one at drinking our tasty brews, but those Virginia and DC folks may give us a run for our money. Fantastic beer selections everywhere we went, 420 stickers everywhere and the people were all very easy on the eyes. Can’t wait to go back!

From DC, it was time to make the long trip to Boston. We drove through Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey then took our boat of a van through the middle of NYC–talk about white knuckle driving! Also, no one gave us a heads up on how many tolls there are in these states, and no toll operator would do a trade for beer. Unbelievable! After flying through Connecticut on CT-15, we finally made it to our destination, BAAASTAN!

The city itself was gorgeous and the location of the beer fest couldn’t have been better. Right on the water (inside of course) for the perfect Boston feel. There were three total sessions, all of which were sold out, so we knew we had a lot beers to pour ahead of us. The venue space was huge and filled with brewers from all over. With a line wrapped around the building, you could feel the excitement in the air.

All three sessions were a blast! Tons of beer geeks cruising from booth to booth trying the weirdest of the weird and checking off bucket list beers they thought they would never try. Every brewery involved were to only bring beers that are not readily available in the market, 1 offs and the most strange creations they could come up with.

We came equipped with Red Hot Momma, 2012 Festive Ale, 2013 Happy Ending and our coveted 16th anniversary brew. Needless to say, we poured lots of beer. It was amazing to see how much love we received from folks that had never heard of us as well as gleaming smiles from those who had left the south for jobs up north, missing their favorite local brewery, and discovering that we were there, ready to serve.

After all three sessions over two days were finally complete, Derrick and myself hopped back in the tie-dye van and began our long journey back home. With our livers quite punished we B-lined it back to Atlanta to the thing we love most, a big pint of Atlanta’s finest craft brew. Looking forward to the next one and can’t wait to see all you Bostonians again at next year’s Extreme Beer Fest.


2014 420 Fest Schedule, Map and Juicy Tidbits

It’s the 10th Anniversary SweetWater 420 Festival day by day schedule! We know the meat is a few inches below this, but bear with us real quick as we point out a couple new things.

EDM Fans – We’ve seriously expanded our DJ talent with names like Two Fresh, George Acosta, Conspirator, Paul Basic, and a ton more on an all-new Not So Silent Disco stage.

Parents – 420 Fest is family friendly, so no need to get a sitter. Check out the bottom of the schedule for what’s going on for the kiddos in the Chipotle KidZone.

Comedy Fans – The Relapse 420 Comedy Tent has never had a bigger lineup. Things tend to get a little bit raunchier when the sun goes down though, so please laugh responsibly.

Beer Nerds – Any of you guys comin’? You can win two tickets to the fest, PLUS the chance to be the right hand (wo)man during the homebrew demo Sunday. All we need is your best brew recipe. ENTER HERE.

Last Thing – All this talent means we gotta charge for entry, but it’s only $18 for all three days if you pick tickets up now, or $10/day at the door. We recommend buyin’ em early to save a few bucks and get in quicker at the party.

OK that’s it – sneak a peek at the schedule and a map of the new digs in Centennial Olympic Park below. See y’all there!


ticket purchase button