Open letter to Speaker Ralston and the House of Represenatives

The following is an open letter to the Speaker of The House, David Ralston. We encourage you to write him, your Representative, and the members of the Rules Committee to help get SB 63 to the Governor’s desk.

You can find more information on how you can be personally involved at the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild

Speaker Ralston,

My name is Justin Hall and I am the owner of Southern Beer Tours here in the Atlanta area.

I write to you today to encourage your support of SB63, the Beer Jobs Bill.

My company provides people a way to visit several breweries in a safe environment in one day. Our company has experienced great growth in the last year we have been open. We currently hire 1 full time employee and 4 part time employees. We were recently featured on CNN about beer tourism. You can view that video at: and you can watch the video titled “Atlanta, a beer tourist’s paradise”.

This beer bill is important to the growth of my company and the industry as a whole. When I compare our company to others in established craft beer markets, we have a ways to go. Cities like Tampa and Asheville were able to have 10x the guests a year each with similar companies. Atlanta is uniquely positioned to be the largest craft beer tourism city in the South. We have more visitors than any other city, and we are the largest city in the South.

Allowing breweries to sell on site will create more opportunity for new startups. And will help established players grow and hire more employees. I know you have a couple of breweries and a brewpub in your own district. They would be able to benefit from a bill like this as well.

Every week, out of town guests ask me why they can’t buy the beer they sample and bring it back with them. They often can’t find the beers from the breweries we visit because they are not widely distributed yet.

We ask that you support Senator Hill’s original version of this bill and help give our industry a chance at becoming something truly huge.

-Justin Hall

SweetWater announces 2 new Dank Tanks


SweetWater Brewery has announced their newest Dank Tank release, 420 Fest Double IPA. It is made with 100% Marris Otter Pale Ale malts, then hopped and dry hopped with experimental hops and is bursting with flavors of grapefruit, lemon, black currant and mint. It’ll come in at 8% ABV. Look for this release in April with a sneak peak at the brewery on 3/26.

Also look for an Barrel Aged Imperial Stout in September. This beer was just brewed and has been transferred into Heaven Hill and Woodford Bourbon barrels to start the ageing process.

Source: SweetWater Newsletter

Wild Heaven Sours and Height by Brad Hodnett

The following is a post from guest blogger, Brad Hodnett:

If you’ve been to Wild Heaven Craft Brewery as of late or seen any of your friends pictures from there, you may have noticed the three large tanks behind the sample pour bar. As a volunteer at the brewery, I know I got asked about it a lot. Well, in a few months, hopefully, we’ll all be able to taste this exciting series of new beers from the whole grain craft brewer in Avondale Estates just outside of Decatur. Most exciting to lovers of Belgian style sour and funky beers is that these three beers were transferred straight from the tanks into different French wine barrels and have had a strain of Brettanomyces added to them for further complexity and flavor.


Two of the beers were specifically brewed by Brewmaster Eric Johnson and Head Brewer Jake Adams to be Belgian sour style beers. These two beers have been placed in the several different styles of wine barrels, and a different strain of classic Brettanomyces has been added to each beer. The other beer uses all Rauch Malt in the recipe and will be called “Fünken Rauch”. Jake tells me that it will take a few months for the Brett to do its job, but he expects the Fünken Rauch to be the first one that is ready for distribution.


For now, when you go to a tour at Wild Heaven, you will see racks of barrels behind the sample tasting taps and confidently tell your friends that they are French oak wine barrels filled with beer and ready to throw down some funk like Georgia native James Brown.

Also, coming much sooner from Wild Heaven will be a featured release of “Height of Civilization”. This amazing beer is the breweries English style Barleywine that was aged in tequila barrels for several months. It had a great debut at the “Secret Stache” beer fest and will be available in large format bottles in stores within the next month. This will be the first time that Civilization will be available in bottles.

So, start watching for updates on Wild Heaven’s social media. In the next few months, you will be able to taste the first Brett and Belgian sour style beers from this Georgia gem. Til then, be on the look out for Height of Civilization as well.

We tour at Wild Heaven this Saturday. Buy your tickets now:

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