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Today is our last day featuring different breweries from the Atlanta area, and we’ll end the week with an Atlanta institution, Sweetwater Brewing Company.

While Atlanta’s beer scene has taken off in the last few years, there were a few breweries in the area before craft beer was “cool.” Sweetwater Brewing Company has been in Atlanta for almost twenty years and has grown into a national brand whose distribution footprint includes the south, the eastern seaboard, parts of the midwest, and even Ireland. The brewery is located off I-85 just northeast of the I-75/I-85 split in a large complex that speaks to the amount of beer Sweetwater distributes. Despite its large size, Sweetwater’s tasting room is similar to many of the other tasting rooms we have been to in Atlanta, with two exceptions. There is a large room devoted to Sweetwater merchandise, and there is a large outdoor area that’s perfect for lovely spring days or crisp fall weather.

Because Sweetwater is a larger brewery, it has a bigger portfolio of beers. A visit to the tasting room allows visitors to try Sweetwater’s year-round beers, as well as seasonal and specialty beers. Sweetwater’s IPA, Blue, and 420 Extra Pale Ale are some of our preferred year-round brews. We’ve also enjoyed several of Sweetwater’s specialty beers, although a recent favorite of ours was Goin’ Coastal, an IPA brewed with pineapple that we found refreshing during the hot southern summers.

One could spend more than a week checking out all the different breweries Atlanta has to offer, but Sweetwater is probably the city’s most famous breweries and, now, one of its oldest. As such, and, along with its good beer, it deserves a visit.