Well, here we go again with yet another new brewery arriving here in Georgia, folks. Like most of the other recent arrivals, Three Taverns Brewing of Decatur, Georgia seems to be a draft only concern. The difference is they specialize in Belgian-style beers, an interesting proposition to say the least.
The Three Taverns website boats the following praise from Brick Store Pub owner Dave Blanchard:
“Brian and his team are going about building a brewery the right way. Every detail of planning is well thought out and the beers are outstanding. Three Taverns will be the first “local” brewery to open in Atlanta since SweetWater 15 years ago. Everyone I deal with wants to support local. Local and sustainable is here to stay. Selling as much beer as they can make, Three Taverns will be the new darling of the beer scene, giving Atlantans something fresh and exciting to support.”
The Brian referred to here is Three Taverns founder Brian Purcell. Purcell left a successful career in marketing (including a stint with Coca Cola) to open his own brewery. Praise from Dave Blanchard is always encouraging, although I think the bit about the first “local” brewery in Atlanta may be an exaggeration.
That’s because Blue Tarp, also of Decatur, may have actually opened before Three Taverns, and Monday Night in Atlanta certainly must have. Then too, if you look at Georgia as a whole, there has been an explosion in the number of new breweries opening all over the state. These include breweries in Kennesaw (Burnt Hickory), Marietta (Red Hare), Fairburn (Strawn), Jekyll (Alpharetta), Hampton (Jailhouse) and at least one more planned, Reformation in Woodstock.
The first beer I almost had the occasion to try was Three Taverns A Night in Brussels, a Belgian style IPA. The first time I stopped by my local Taco Mac here in Canton trying to get a pint the keg had kicked after just two days. Luckily they got more, and I was able to sample it the following week.
Here is how the brewery describes the beer:
A Night in Brussels is a Belgian-style American IPA with malts from Belgium, a blend of American hops, pure cane sugar in the best southern tradition, and an authentic Belgian yeast strain. A pleasing marriage of old- and new-world beer cultures, this unique ale is best understood as an American IPA on a Belgian road trip.
Three Taverns A Night in Brussels has an alcohol content of 7.5% by volume and bitterness of 69 IBUs. I paid $6.50 for a full 20-ounce pour at Taco Mac. Here is what I think:
Three Taverns a Night in Brussels pours to a bright golden orange color with a very thick and creamy head formation with soft malt and Belgian funk in the aroma. Taking a sip, I am immediately impressed by this beer, and that’s saying a lot. Belgian style brews are not always the easiest to replicate, especially as your first effort at brewing. Three Taverns gets a more than passing grade here, as the palate reveals a firm malt base of what I suspect is Belgian pilsner malt with the subtlest hint of caramel.
As I continue to sip I get more of the Belgian funk the nose promised, along with subtle hints of vanilla and stronger ones of cotton candy. In the finish, there is a grassy hop aroma and bitterness that balances and makes its presence felt but does not occlude the other components.
I enjoyed this beer directly after a mug of the wonderfully hoppy Westbrook IPA. By contrast, Three Taverns A Night in Brussels is much more restrained in aroma and bitterness, but the hops are not the only component to this beer. The Belgian character is equally important, and all the parts of this beer come together to form a delicious whole greater than the sum of its parts.
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.