Back in April, I had my first taste of Decatur, Georgia’s new Blue Tarp Brewing Company. The beer I tried was Bantam Weight Ale, an Irish Red by style. I picked up a growler of it in Alpharetta at one of the increasing number of growler shops popping up all over Georgia. It was a tasty beer indeed, and whet my appetite for more from this brewer.
Georgia has had a number of new brewers popping up of late, most of them offering draft beer only at least initially. Consider the expense of a bottling or canning line and you can see why. For small brewers, draft only can be an easy entry point into the brewing business.
Georgia has a great advantage, too in the draft market, and a longstanding tradition of good draft selection. The first Taco Mac opened in 1979, and they now have 25 locations, each with at least 100 taps, throughout the metro Atlanta area. Toss in the additional multitaps like Summits Wayside Tavern, Wild Wing Café, The Brick Store, and Tilted Kilt and you have plenty of places to sell your draft beer. The new growler shops make your odds even better.
The latest draft-only local brew I’ve come across is Blue Tarp Hopsided IPA, a beer I enjoyed the other night at the Canton Taco Mac. This is an American IPA of strength 6.5% by volume, and my mug was reasonably priced at $6.25. It arrived a bright orange amber color with a thick and rocky head formation and a big resiny pine nose. Taking a sip, I get thick chewy caramel malt up front, quickly followed by more resiny hop aroma progressing into the finish. There’s a nice ong lingering dry hop bitterness at the last. This one is big on malt and hops, which I enjoy, so kudos to this local brewery for a very tasty IPA. It has great hop burps, too.
Sure, IPAs like this are a dime a dozen these days, but that’s a great thing. Solid, hoppy brews are a great thing, and when you can them fresh and local on tap, supporting the home team becomes a no-brainer. This is definitely a beer I’ll buy again, and I’ll be looking for it in the growler shops to enjoy at home, as well.
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.