My birthday was January 26, and thoughts immediately turned to how to celebrate. I was low-key for the most part, grilling for some friends on Friday night, but clearly I needed something extra.
I promised in this space that I’d post about Atlanta beer once a week and that lasted until early December. I took a month off buying new beer, which would be pretty much the same post every week (drank stuff, wanted to buy, got over it), and in January I took a record nine days off drinking about a New Year’s Eve for the record books.
I’m back, kind of. I broke my beer-buying fast the last week of December with the following: Dragon’s Milk four-pack, New Holland Cabin Fever six-pack, Bourbon barrel aged Three Philosophers bomber, and the Cherry Street 5th anniversary 500 ml mini-bomber which is an insane five barrel-aged stouts mixed together. Then I followed up with a bottle of the Bell’s whiskey-barrel aged cherry stout, a couple of the Westbrook 7th anniversary bombers (chocolate stout with sea salt) and a four-pack of one of my go-to beers, the Boulevard Whiskey Barrel Stout.
Earlier in the month I acquired some 2017 BCBS from a friend who bought a bunch in Florida. I got back into the swing of buying beer then took a couple of weeks off because it’s really easy to drop big-time coin when you’re buying the good stuff. For my birthday, I wanted more of a beer experience.
I thought I could go to a brewery, or even multiple breweries if they’re close enough to stumble/walk between them. Another option would be to just go to a quality beer bar.
I’ve been to The Brickstore, Porter Beer Bar, and even Taco Mac for their vast beer inventory. On Saturday I picked a new place (for me), The Lincoln Fill Station. I get their email newsletter but have never stopped by. One reason is it’s in Snellville which is a good 15-mile drive from my abode. Luckily for me my friend Steve has a partner who has parents living in the area and he’s willing to drive/not really a drinker.
Previous Beer Adventures
The Lincoln Fill Station is a relatively small establishment on the outskirts of a shopping center. I imagine it had a former life as a mediocre family restaurant. It’s a pretty basic location, you get the bar in front with six chairs, a selection of to-go beers and some tables inside and out plus a few board games. My first tactical error was failing to notice that the Lincoln did not have food. I’d have to go it on a somewhat empty stomach. I’ve made it through tougher situations.
My friend and I did flights. We got the option to have five four-ounce tastings on the usual paddleboard display. I got the dark stuff while Steve had the IPAs.
My first flight:
Founders Lizard of Koz: I saw this $17 bomber at Greens and thought “a lot for a beer that I don’t know”. It’s a stout with blueberries (local to Michigan) and vanilla and I thought even for me, a tad too sweet.
Founders Backwoods Bastard 2014/2015: I infamously have a closet full of 2017 BB, assuming that it was more limited than it is, and thought it would be fun to try older versions of the beer. It’s a little more smooth than the current year iteration but I could tell almost no difference between the two. They also had 2016/2017 but I thought two samples were plenty.
Eventide Oak-Aged Highlander: It was 2018 Georgia Craft Beer Day so I had to try at least one local. It’s a Scottish Ale, like the BB but with oak aging instead of bourbon. I liked the oaky taste and may need to track this one down.
Sweetwater Hatchery 4: This was a milk stout. I prefer sweeter stouts but if you’re into lighter beers of this variety with a bitter finish, it may be your huckleberry.
Of course we had a second set of flights. The tap list is extensive at this location so it feels almost dirty to just have one beer.
Steve’s a Beatles fan so I went with the Wild Things – Strawberry Fields from D9 Brewing Company. It was more of a sour than a wild ale and I wants more. I had a couple of quads, La Trappe which is the traditional Belgian version and it was gorgeous plus the quad from Reformation Brewery which was good as well. I had another milk stout with Blue Pants’ Candy Bar Pinstripe Stout, more my style, and the Unholy Goat from Abbey of the Holy Goats because it’s a dubbel and that was a style that brought me into craft beer. I enjoyed it.
We finally got smart and went to Summits which was just down the road, had a somewhat lesser beer menu but still quality and food, glorious food. I’m not sure if I tasted the hamburger I had but it went nicely with a on-draft ABT 12 from St. Bernardus. If you want to spend a bit more, go Belgian.
All in all we tried 11 beers each, and Steve bought me beer/food so he’s the best friend ever. We vowed to make more brewery slash beer hall trips in the future so I’ll probably write about it.