Review Date 10/8/2001 Last Updated 2/17/2012
does that saying go? Art mirrors life? Or does life mirror art? I suppose
it’s a little of each, but recently for me life has definitely mirrored art.
In literature there is a device known as foreshadowing, in which
little hints are dropped about events that will occur later in the story.
Life threw me a little foreshadowing in August when I received my beer of
the month club package which included several beers from Atlanta’s
Sweetwater Brewing Company. Little did I know that within a few short
weeks I would be living a short one-hour’s ride from Atlanta.
When I first moved to Georgia I was a bit concerned about the availability of craft brewed beers down here. For the longest time, beers with strength higher than six percent alcohol by volume were not legal here. Only recently was that law changed. The stories I had been told about beer selection did not bode well for the area I would be living in, but happily I have been able to find plenty of imported and micro brewed beers here. Just last week I stumbled on a store that carried some of my favorite beers like Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest, Augustiner Maximator, Konig Pilsner, Samuel Smith’s, and local microbrews from Atlanta’s Dogwood and, of course, Sweetwater.
In many ways, Sweetwater is a transplant brewery since the entrepreneurs who founded it all hail from Colorado, not Georgia. Unlike many other states that are saturated with brewpubs and microbreweries, Georgia was ripe for expansion, and therefore brewers Frederick Bensch and Kevin McNerney along with sales director Matt Patterson founded Sweetwater in 1997.
All three bring plenty of brewing experience to Atlanta. Bensch has worked at Marin Brewing, Mile High Brewing, and Rockies Brewing; McNerney at Rockies, Avery Brewing and Mammoth Brewing; and Patterson was a regional sales manager for Breckenridge.
The brewery has won various awards since its inception:
Best Brewery in Atlanta: Readers & Critics of Creative Loaving '97 & '98.
Best Brewery in Atlanta 1998: Readers of Insite Magazine.
Best Brewery in Atlanta 1998: Listeners of 99X Radio
Second Most Decorated Brewery in the World: 1998 World Beer Cup
Sweetwater Exodus Porter pours to a dark brown to light black color with a medium head formation and a light licorice nose. The palate suggests light chocolate with a touch of licorice. The beer is slightly thin bodied and mildly roasty, it’s a smooth, delicious, easy drinking porter that would best be classified as a brown porter.
Update February 17, 2012: Sad to say, Sweetwater discontinued Exodus porter several years ago. This was a disappointment since it was always a favorite southern porter of mine. The other night, I was happy to see it back and on tap at Taco Mac.
My 20 ounce mug of Sweetwater Exodus Porter pourded to a jet black color with a creamy tan head formation and an enticing roast chicory nose. The beer sipped medium in body with subtle notes of licorice, a bit more chocolate and then the chicory the nose promised. The beer finishes nicely with some grassy herbal hop aroma in the finish, a hint of mint, and a gentle bitter buzz. A wonderful sipping porter, and a bigger beer than I remember. I think there's more alcohol, too (5.9% by volume now).
A bargain at $4.75 a pint.
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.