I was just telling a fellow beer-drinking soldier how my latest work trip to Atlanta turned into a beer-sampling “perfect storm”. In less than 24 hours, I not only got to visit the Brick Store Pub in Decatur for dinner & drinks and discovered an incredible craft beer store, but I also paid a quick pre-airport visit to 5 SEASONS BREWING in Sandy Springs, which is an Atlanta suburb near where I was stationed that morning. I’d read some good stuff about this place on the invaluable Beer Advocate “Beerfly” travel guide, particularly this location of what is a small, thriving chain within the Atlanta area. 5 SEASONS delivered the goods for sure.
Now I’m not much of an afternoon beer-drinker, and to be honest I’m often embarrassed to step into any sort of bar before 5pm. Yet this was a legitimate (really!) case of needing time to kill before my flight. In the olden days I’d have searched for record stores – now it’s breweries, much to my own chagrin & gentle self-mocking. I kept my cool and ordered two lone half-pints, just enough to get the picture of this place as far as I’m concerned. 5 SEASONS BREWING is a large, open-spaced brewpub in a very suburban-like mall structure – very cool inside, excellent for hiding from the intense sun. Giant vats await you both inside and outside the place. Clientele-wise, it was pretty sparse inside, but then again, it was 2:30 in the afternoon.
Here’s what I tried:
5 SEASONS HOPGASM IPA – Hmm, yes. A very hopped double IPA here, a little more grainy and piney than most. Exceptionally fresh-tasting, just the way we like it. Also a little “damp”, meaning it’s not one of those dry IPAs that puckers the mouth and has you drinking water as a chaser. Not too biting, but definitely not for the novice, nor the whining IPA-waffler. 7/10.
5 SEASONS BOURBON-BARREL AGED RASPBERRY TRUFFALE – How could I pass up the token “brewer’s experiment” ale on tap? This one has a poofy, fluffy pillowy head. So cute. See it? It’s pictured here – apologies for the lame camera phone image. Strong raspberry notes, and yep, quite chocolaty as well. Really smooth, total velvet mouthfeel. Well done! Some bitterness on the back of my throat. Wow, this is a total winner. Sandy Springsians, get yourself down here before this one evaporates in the Southern heat. 8/10.
Hedonist Beer Jive verdict: 5 SEASONS is a high cut above most local brewpubs, particularly chains. No doubt we’ll be coming back here in the near future.