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Best Beer and Coffee in Atlanta

best coffee and beer in atlantaAs we show in the November/December 2010 issue, Atlanta is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the cocktail world, but as the hometown to the likes of Sweetwater Brewing and Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters, the city also has plenty to offer in the way of beer and coffee. Here are some places that put perfect pints and expertly pulled espresso front and center.
5 Seasons Brewing
1000 Marietta St., 404-875-3232; 5600 Roswell Rd., 404-255-5911;
This brewpub puts an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients in both its beers and its ever-changing food menu. On the six to 10 taps you’ll find seasonals, Belgian-style ales and even gluten-free beer, plus the pub taps a fresh cask ale every Thursday.

Max Lager’s
320 Peachtree St., 404-525-4400
Wash down a dinner of wood-fired steaks and pizza with six taps of house-brewed beers, like Belgian-inspired Max Abbey and Hopslosion IPA packed with 70 IBUs.


Park Tavern
500 10th Street NE, 404-249-0001
Put back a pint or two of house-brewed beer while overlooking beautiful Piedmont Park. Set in a historic building, the pub, which doubles as an event venue, offers a full sushi bar alongside burgers and pulled pork.

Red Brick Brewing
2323 Defoor Hills Rd. NW, 404-355-5558
Formerly known as Atlanta Brewing Company, Red Brick Brewing is the oldest continuously operating brewery in Atlanta. Head to the tasting room where you can sample the company’s Blonde, Brown, Pale Ale and Porter, and take a peek at the action with a tour.

Sweetwater Brewing
195 Ottley Dr., 404-691-2537
SweetWater’s brews can be found all over Atlanta and the South, but if you go to the source you can tour the brewery and hit the tasting room’s dozen-plus taps to sample year-round faves like SweetWater IPA and seasonals like Exodus Porter.

Twain’s Billiards & Tap
211 East Trinity Place, Decatur, 404-373-0063
Play a game of darts, much on some boiled peanuts and enjoy some of the best brews in Atlanta, including cask-conditioned ales and special seasonal brewed onsite.
Brick Store Pub
125 E. Court Square, Decatur, 404-687-0990
The Brick Store takes beer so seriously that it’s taken over an underground bank vault to age 15,000 bottles of 500 different kinds of bottled brews. In addition to its extensive bottle selection and 17 taps on the main floor, it also features a dedicated Belgian beer bar on the second floor with eight taps and a beer engine.

Cypress Street Pint and Plate
817 West Peachtree St., Suite E-125, 404-815-9243
With 14 taps and 40-plus bottles, the selection here is always interesting. On tap you’ll usually find regional offerings from SweetWater and Terrapin, as well as more far-flung micros like Shock-Top, Allagash and Magic Hat.

Deckard’s Kitchen and Kegs
650 Ponce de Leon Ave., Suite 800B, 404-941-3520
This gastropub, which has an open kitchen fitted out with custom-made, old-fashioned steam kettles, features 24 draughts, two casks and 75 bottled beers to go along with its seasonal menu.

Fado Irish pub
273 Buckhead Ave., 404-841-0066
If a proper pint of Irish or English beer is what you crave, Fado has 15 draughts to suit your fancy, from Smithwick’s to Strongbow. Rounding out the choices are a smattering of Belgian, German and American brews. Even better, they take their pints very seriously, fastidiously cleaning lines and swapping out old kegs for fresh ones.

The Porter Beer Bar
1156 Euclid Ave., 404-223-0393
For a serious selection of top-notch microbrews, hit The Porter (pictured above) with its 29 constantly rotating taps. Check out beers from local brewers like Terrapin and Wild Heaven, or taste your way through a healthy selection of Belgian beers. There are also one to two hand-pumped cask-conditioned ales to choose from and the food menu comes complete with beer pairing suggestions.

Taco Mac
Various locations
Though it sounds like a taqueria, this chain restaurant is best known for its buffalo wings and selection of international brews to wash them down. Be adventurous and join the “Brewniversity” so you can earn credits for each different beer you try.

1180 Peachtree Street NE, 404-347-2220
With a central bar lined with 35 beers on tap (including one cask and two wines, no less), plus a glass-enclosed beer “cellar” hanging from the ceiling, you can easily surround yourself in suds at Tap. The beer menu lists upwards of three dozen bottles, including 10 reserve beers, and is arranged by style, from lambics to stouts. For noshing, there’s an adventurous gourmet menu built around such dishes as lamb panini with apple jam or espresso-braised pork.

Aurora Coffee
992 N. Highland Ave., 404-607-1300; 468 Moreland Ave., 404-523-6856
A distinctly laid-back feel sets Aurora apart from the pack, and its specialty coffee drinks have kept its loyal clientele coming back since 1992. Both shops brew Batdorf & Bronson using Chemex brewers or the Clever coffee dripper.

Dancing Goats Cafe
419 W. Ponce De Leon, Decatur, 404-687-1100
This three-year-old café owned by Batdorf & Bronson, features the roaster’s exceptional coffees brewed with a Clover machine, as well as V60 pour-over and Chemex brewers. Locally made donuts and Friday-afternoon cuppings are the icing on the cake.

928B Garrett St., 404-627-7375
Stop by for a scoop of Morelli’s ice cream to go, or hang out with a cup of Batdorf & Bronson and enjoy the easy-going atmosphere and free wi-fi.

Element Coffee Co.
12635 Crabapple Rd., Milton, 770-752-7188
Here, the brewing methods are almost as varied as the coffee varietals. In addition to espresso drinks, you can choose to have the Intelligentsia beans brewed using drip, French press, Hario V 60 pourover or Chemex brewers. Look out for more coffees to be on hand from small roasters across the country.

Empire State South
999 Peachtree St., 404-541-1105
At this celebrated restaurant, owned by a James Beard nominee, coffee is taken as seriously as the food. Belly up to the cozy coffee bar where baristas brew Counter Culture beans, then head to the outdoor courtyard for a round of bocce ball.

Highland Bakery
655 Highland Avenue, #10, 404-586-0772; 1180 Peachtree Street NE, Ste-C, 404-835-3130
With everything from homemade bagels to brioche and one of the best breakfasts in town, this bakery with two locations is worth checking out for the food alone, but the coffee is equally delicious.

Land of a Thousand Hills
352 South Atlanta St., Roswell, 770-645-1149
Owned by a charity-minded roaster of the same name, this coffeehouse takes the “house” part seriously, brewing its coffees via French press and Chemex in a quaint old house with a large outdoor patio. Even better, the company pays its coffee farmers higher than fair-trade prices and uses its profits to help fund sustainable projects in villages where the coffee farmers live.

Octane Coffee Bar and Lounge
1009-B Marietta St., 404-815-9886; 1593 N. Decatur Rd., 404-585-4210
Head to this coffee shop for expertly pulled espresso or choose from the constantly rotating selection of single-origin coffees from Counter Culture, made using Chemex or French press brewers.

142 Flat Shoals Ave SE, 678-528-9901
Let your pooch run and play in the adjoining dog park while you sip a cappuccino or cup of Counter Culture’s single-origin coffee fresh from pour-over, French press, siphon and Chemex brewers.

Sip the Experience
528 Main St., 404-816-3001
Sip Counter Culture coffee in style amid a clean, modern décor. Rounding out the menu is a wide selection of cakes, pastries and sandwiches, as well as whole-leaf teas from Two Leaves and a Bud.

West Egg Café
1100 Howell Mill Rd., 404-872-3973
Known for its killer breakfast and addictive baked goods, this beautiful café in Atlanta’s west side is a full-service restaurant with an attached coffee shop serving Batdorf & Bronson with the same care they put into their food.


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