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Atlanta has been emerging as a beer destination, but there are still only a few bars in the city that specialize in craft beer. One exception is the Brick Store Pub, which has won recognition as one of the best beer bars in the country. The Decatur bar is in a cozy two-story building that is dimly lit and reminiscent of a British pub. The downstairs is rather open, and the bar plays a prominent role. If the downstairs is like a British pub, a trip up the narrow staircase leads one to some cozy nooks and crannies, out of the way of the hustle and bustle downstairs. The upstairs is rather like an Old World tavern, which is fitting since the upstairs holds the Brick Store’s Belgian bar.

The Brick Store is known, first and foremost, as a beer bar. The bar downstairs features over twenty taps of local and other craft beer and, best of all, the Brick Store often has specialty and limited release beers that are difficult to find anywhere else. The bar upstairs has eight taps featuring Belgian beers, such as sours, lambics, tripels, quads, and strong ales (part of the inspiration behind the Brick Store was a trip to Belgium that the owners took in 2004). If you don’t see something on the large draft list that catches your fancy, the Brick Store offers many more bottled and canned beers. In addition, the Brick Store has one of the largest beer cellars of any bar in the country, so if you’re in the mood for a vintage beer (and have a little extra money in your wallet), ask the bartender for the cellar list.

While the Brick Store is known for their beer, they also offer a menu that is almost as tasty as the beer. The menu features pub-style food, such as burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips, and steak. We’ve tried several of their foods and have always enjoyed our meal or appetizer-the quality of the food has been parallel with the quality of the beer.

Perhaps the only disadvantage of the Brick Store is that a lot of people know the quality of the pub, so the bar is often crowded and can sometimes be too loud to have a proper conversation. We recommend going early or late to avoid the crowds. Despite the crowds, the Brick Store is a gem in the Atlanta area and a must-stop for anyone who enjoys beer.