Jason Santamaria isn’t just the brewmaster at Atlanta’s Second Self Beer Company, he’s also one of its co-founders, along with best friend Chris Doyle. Since opening in 2014, the brewery has grown so popular that it’s expanded not once but twice to keep pace with demand. While many brewers migrate to beer-crazy cities like Denver, San Diego, and Seattle, Santamaria hopes to grow the scene in ATL — hoping that one day it, too, becomes a destination for drinkers.
Recently, Santamaria was kind enough to talk to us about the brewing scene in Atlanta and its surrounding areas. While not on the current “hot list” of beer-loving cities, Atlanta has a lot to offer for fans of the sudsy stuff. With up and coming breweries, brewpubs with outstanding selections, bottle shops, and even dive bars, Georgia’s largest city should definitely be a stop on any southern brewing tour, right along with Asheville, Charlotte, and Miami.
Let’s get this beer tour started!
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Check out our co-founder and beer architect, Jason Santamaria on @AJC's ATL Closeup. Link to story in bio! Learn the story behind Second Self, his favorite bites in the city, and where he got that awesome hat. * * * #craftbeer #beer #drinklocal #beerstagram #instabeer #beergeek #brewery #cheers #beertography #craftbeerlover #beernerd #entrepreneur #business #smallbusiness #inspiration #ceo #founder #hustle
Favorite Classic Brewery/Taproom Experience – SWEETWATER BREWING
Sweetwater Brewing in Atlanta is where I had my first brewery/taproom experience and I think it truly set the standard for all the rest of us.
Favorite Experimental Brewery/Taproom – THREE TAVERNS
Three Taverns in Decatur constantly makes some great experimental beers. From their sour series to their barrel-aged beers, everything is always high quality and delicious.
Favorite Neighborhood Taproom – TWAIN’S BREWPUB
Twain’s Brewpub in Decatur has a great lineup of diverse beers ranging from classic British ales to IPAs and barrel-aged beers. I often stop by on a Friday after a week of brewing to try out their new selections.
Favorite Neighborhood Brewery – EVENTIDE BREWING
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We’re excited to announce the release of a new Tasting Room brew next Friday! Can you guess what it is? . Hint: fruity and light to moderately spicy with a soft, smooth malt and light hop character. Notes of pear. . #guesswho #brew #newrelease #belgianseries #atlanta #cheers
Eventide Brewing in Atlanta. It’s a friendly brewery tucked away in the Grant Park neighborhood.
Favorite Bottle/Can Shop – ALE YEAH!
Ale Yeah! in Decatur is my go-to stop. It helps that I can walk there, too. They have a great selection, and the people that work there are great about giving solid advice.
Favorite Beer Bar (that’s not a brewery) – BRICK STORE PUB
Brick Store Pub in Decatur is where I fell in love with craft beer, and I still go back to fall all over again. They have a great section of local, regional, and internal beers that are all world-class. In addition, they have an incredible cellar list of beers they’ve been aging in (literally) a bank vault.
Your Favorite Dive for Beer – CLERMONT LOUNGE
Clermont Lounge in Atlanta. While the hotel above it has gotten classy, this lounge remains as divey as ever. Cheap beer, good music and always people at the bar, every time I go.
Your Favorite Hotel Bar for Beer – CLERMONT HOTEL
Clermont Hotel in Atlanta, above the Lounge. I love the dichotomy of both the lounge and the hotel. While the lounge is a dive, the hotel has undergone a transformation to become a classy, boutique hotel with a beautiful library bar.
Your Favorite (Fancy) Restaurant for Beer – KIMBALL HOUSE
While Kimball House in Decatur is known for their food and cocktails, they also have a solid beer list. I also love that they offer short pour beers for you to drink while they craft your cocktail.
Favorite Place To Eat Pizza and Drink Beer – FELLINI’S
Fellini’s is my go-to pizza place in Atlanta. There is one close to my house, so I often walk up for a slice and a pint after a long day at the brewery.
Your Favorite Brewery/Taproom Run By A Friend – ATLANTA BREWING COMPANY
Atlanta Brewing Company is our neighbor and friend, and they are making excellent beer. They are the oldest brewery in the city, and we’ve learned a lot from each other over the years and helped each other out in a pinch.