SweetWater’s Troy Montrone chats with us about The Woodlands, which he and Brewmaster Mark Medlin will oversee.

SweetWater Brewing Co. is definitely a Georgia brewery success story.  Despite our challenging legal landscape for craft breweries they have grown to be not only a staple in Atlanta and Georgia, but around the region.  The next step in their growth is opening The Woodlands, a state-of-the art barrel-aging facility where they will produce wild and sour beers from a variety of barrels, foeders, and puncheons.

In addition to producing barrel-aged beers the facility will also serve as a premium events space and educational facility.  Special The Woodlands tours will be available that include educational discussions on the yeast and bacteria used in the aging process and sampling beers directly from the barrels.  The event space overlooks the barrel area and includes a bar with a stream flowing across the top where you can rest (or float) your beer while you chat, we’re sure it is not the mainstream.

Surrounded by French and American Oak foeders we sampled Through the Brambles, a Blackberry Sour Ale that will be the first release from The Woodlands in early January 2017.

The first beer that will come out of The Woodlands is Through the Brambles, a Golden Ale aged with Brettanomyces and a boatload of fresh Blackberries.  Fans of lambic/geuze will enjoy this beer with its earthy funk and pleasant tartness coupled with bright wine character and complex fruit.  At first I wasn’t able to pinpoint the blackberry but as the beer warmed it opened up.  Overall this is a very complex beer and I’m excited for the release – slated for early January 2017.

It’s nice to see not only SweetWater growing but for Georgia to have a barrel facility of this caliber.  We’ve had some phenomenal wild/sour offerings from a handful of our local breweries but this is the first operation that will be able to produce continuous offerings on a larger scale.  Other breweries are in the process of building out similar barrel facilities; we’ve got some great things coming in Georgia.

Know your beer. Through the Brambles label will include some geeky info on the brew.
SweetWater The Woodlands
As The Woodlands grows these barrels will be stacked three-deep, holding delicious beers for you.