Atlanta Brewing Company sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of Georgia breweries. Sure, everybody down here knows about Sweetwater, the 800 pound gorilla of Atlanta micros. The now-defunct Dogwood Brewing Company was the connoisseur’s favorite (mine included), and its former brewer Crawford Moran is now drawing raves for his beers at the Five Seasons North brewpub in Alpharetta. And upstart Terrapin is looking to fire up their brewery in Athens sometime soon.
Still, Atlanta Brewing Company deserves credit and attention from serious beer geeks. Their Red Brick Ale is a tasty German style Alt, and you really shouldn’t miss their delightful Winter Brew, a rich and hearty double chocolate oatmeal porter. Just describing it gets my taste buds in an uproar.
Their latest triumph is Numbers Ale, described both as a session ale and an American-style bitter (pale ale). Numbers Ale was originally a specialty beer brewed for a restaurant chain in Atlanta, but it won so many kudos (including an award from Creative Loafing Magazine) that it was inevitable Atlanta Brewing would bottle it. And now, they do.
Numbers Ale pours to a bright golden amber color with a huge rocky head formation and a soft fruity nose. I was thinking that this beer might just be a minor reformulation of the Peachtree pale Ale, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case at all. A sip set me straight on that right away: crisp, delicate malt with just a trace of caramel and a refreshingly crisp apple and pear fruitiness. As if all that wasn’t appetizing enough, a long dry grassy hop finish makes this the perfect quenching refresher. It’s not too bitter to scare off the uninitiated, mind you, but that said you’ll never mistake this for a mega brew.
Atlanta Brewing claims they’re trying to “Make the South a better place to drink”. Beers like Numbers Ale may just do that.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.