Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Kennesaw Experience

For some weekend traveling in the busy season of work, we decided to make a run to Kennesaw and try out the local brews and the growing beer culture. We spoke with some brewers, tried some beer, and learned a little about the area that hosts them.

Dry County Brewing
Image result for dry county brewery

We arrived at this brewery excited for a day of knowledge gaining (and drinking) and we certainly started strong. While Dry County has only been around for a short period of time, they have hit the ground running. Since I arrived when the doors opened, I was able to speak with Trey; the head brewer and Co-founder of the brewery. Trey was extremely excited to talk beer and it is always encouraging to see someone so passionate about their product. He showed me their space and we talked about their core values and the message behind Dry County. He explained that when you live in a dry county as he did growing up in Woodstock, you have to make beer runs and go to the next county over to pick up beer. Trey would like his brewery’s message to show that, like him, you should focus on producing your dreams and “Make your run.”

Displaying 20161119_135435.jpgThe space at the brewery was excellent as they chose a facility with more space than necessary so that they can grow into it; this is a mistake for many breweries who buy a space they currently want, and then end up having no space to grow. With an outdoor area, tables, and tv for games, this location certainly has everything necessary for you to stay and enjoy trying some of their above average beers. While Dry County has a few staples, they are not afraid to try new brews; a great example is that of their Imperial Berliner Weisse which was excellent! I would highly recommend making a trip to this brewery and I am excited to see where they are after a year of growth.

My Rating:

DateFacility RatingLocation RatingBeer RatingBeer Notes
11/2016656Excellent beer for a brand new brewery!

Best Beer: Noon Day Pale Ale- While this beer is light, it is extremely hoppy. Normally when you think of hoppy beer, you’re thinking of a bitter IPA. However, this hoppy beer is not bitter: it is packed with tropical fruit flavors and aromas without the bitter punch that an IPA brings. If you're looking for some serious flavor, but don’t want the bitter punch in the face, this is your beer!

Southern Sky Brewing
Image result for southern sky brewery

Hidden away behind numerous office buildings, you can find the small brewery of Southern Sky. While the tasting room may be small, there is a decent sized brewing facility behind it. Still in its early stages, this brewery has a nice feel which is upbeat and humble. After viewing the tour and trying out the beer offerings on hand, I was pleased to find that they are experimental, and always trying new brews. I can certainly say, that their dark beers are worth a try and have a few that are top notch; from my experience however, the lighter you go, the less you will find a beer that you like. Since Southern Sky is still firming up its brand and consistency, I think that we could see good things from them in the future.
My Rating:

DateFacility RatingLocation RatingBeer RatingBeer Notes
11/20163431/6 beers were great; this brewery will benefit from more time

Image result for southern sky breweryBest Beer: Alepocalypse (2016) - While many of Southern Sky’s lighter beers need some reconstruction, their Alepocalypse is on the other side of the spectrum! This extremely dark version of a Belgian dark strong is in a category of its own, and not just because it is 13.8% ABV. With trace amounts of bready and nuty notes, it’s polished with dark fruit flavors and roasted chocolate that add enjoyable complexity. This beer may be worth the tasting fee on its own.

Burnt Hickory Brewery
Image result for burnt hickory brewery

Image result for burnt hickory breweryFor nightlife, this will be the brewery of choice (and not just because of their hours)! This brewery is teeming with guitar amplifiers, music memorabilia, and a stage area with the brewing equipment in the background. Live music plays while you sip one of the many interesting and unique brews available from the inside taproom. My favorite was watching visitors step up to the beer list, as everyone does the same thing: You squint your eyes, you read the beer a second time, then you tilt your head to the side as you try to imagine what it is going to taste like! A few listed on this visit included a watermelon IPA, a blueberry pie stout, and a Baron Von Cranberry Sour. If you think that these beers sound crazy, you should meet the brewer, Scott Hedeen. Scott is very enthusiastic about the beer and is fun to talk to; and being an artist of both beer and music, he is also a character. Don’t be afraid to ask him about one of his crazy beers or what’s next for Burnt Hickory as I’m sure you’ll receive an interesting story!

My Review:

DateFacility RatingLocation RatingBeer RatingBeer Notes
11/2016657Gets a good rating for the high number of great innovative brews

Best Beer: Cannon Dragger - If I described this beer in one word, it would be: Fresh. The strong citrus and pine hop aroma lures you in, and the sweet, lightly caramel malts balance this 8% ABV beer. Slight spiciness from the hops add a distinguishing character that is extremely enjoyable!