We’ve enjoyed a long friendship with Sweet Water Brewing. Many experiences and adventures have been shared over the last six years that Hopjacks has been around. I’m actually finding it difficult to pare it down to a few greatest hits.
I’ve been graciously invited to the brewery a few times over the last couple of years for various events, primarily their Brew Your Cask Off competition. It’s amazing to be under that massive tent in their front yard facing down about seven thousand or so thirsty revelers. Other visits have been for anniversary parties where they open wide all doors to the establishment and bring out brewers’ rarities from the vault. Standing on their roof-top deck sipping a dry-hopped double red ale while the Atlanta MARTA train glides along in the background under a milky moon is a lasting memory.
After each visit it’s off to the almost limitless destinations Atlanta has to offer, usually with brewery staff in tow. My favorite night was joining their sales reps at The Porter, in Little Five Points, sharing awesome food and many beers.
As they’ve seen their presence in American craft beer production rise to 24th largest in the country, they’ve undergone incredible expansion of production and distribution. This success is always turned around into projects like BYCO and their annual 420 Music Fest. The amount of money the brewery frees up just to have a good time is astonishing to realize.
I recall working with our local brewery rep on promoting a Magnum P.I. night for the release of their Dank Tank Series Magnum Imperial Pilsner. The idea was to give out special brewery merchandise – known as “schwag” in the business – to guests who dressed up like Tom Selleck’s iconic TV character. Getting into the spirit of the event I grew out a stupid mustache and donned a Hawaiian shirt. Unfortunately, I was one of only three people who bothered to do so. And no, I eschewed the snug “coach shorts,” thank you very much.
I mentioned being at their anniversary parties a moment ago. Sweet Water just celebrated their 17th year in operation recently, so I decided to bring in the beer they made for the party. Another installment in their Dank Tank series of slightly experimental brew, this one is a massive saison.
Cloudy gold with a fingers’ worth of foam that quickly settles to an ever-present cap, the beer contains lively scents of citrus peel, coriander, hay and a little yeasty funk. Texturally a little heavier than typical for saison, the flavors are of sweet pale malt, lemongrass, flowers and more coriander. The big 9% ABV is well-hidden here; no heat noticeable.
Cheers, Sweet Water, for many years of memories and great beer!