Georgia has always had some very weird beer laws. To be fair, we aren’t unique in that, and just about every state in the union has some crazy law regarding where, when, and how you can buy beer. That’s why I was surprised a few years ago when growler sales were legalized here, and small growler shops started popping up all over the state. Still, there had to be a catch, and to this day you can’t buy a growler at a brewery or a brewpub, though a bill has been proposed the past few years in the state legislature to change that.
For now, though, the growler shops, combined with the powerful Taco Mac chain and other beer bars and multitaps, have created a market for a growing number of smaller brewers that don’t can or bottle, but only sell their beer on draft. One of them is Kennesaw’s Burnt Hickory, and I recently got my hands on a growler of their White Flag Imperial Apricot Saison.
White Flag is only the 4th beer I’ve had from this brewer since they opened in 2011. I see their beers only sporadically at Taco Mac, and they run on the pricey side there. Burnt Hickory did reach out to me and steer me towards Freight Kitchen in Tap in Woodstock, where their beers are more reasonably priced.
I’ve seen wide swings in price at the growler shops, too, though. I first ran across White Flag at The Beer Growler in Alpharetta, not far from where I work. It was running $17 for a 32-ounce bottle and $25 for a 64-ouncer. Neither of these being at all reasonable, I passed. But I did find it at Dogwood Growlers in Woodstock for $8.50 for a 32-ounce growler fill, so I bought it there.
Burnt Hickory White Flag Imperial Apricot Saison pours to a cloudy orange color with a thick foamy head formation and a rich fruity nose that really reminds me of apricot preserves. Taking a sip, I get a full mouthfeel right off the bat but not a lot of malt character. It’s there underneath somewhere, perhaps a light caramel flavor, but really the fruit is the star, the unmistakable bright fruitiness of apricot. It permeates the beer and it’s very refreshing, and that’s only enhanced by the slightly sour, tart finish.
Very interesting, and very delicious. Refreshing, too, if not quaffable at 8% ABV. I am really enjoying this Maas of White Flag. I think you will too.