Do you need another reason to relocate to Atlanta on top of its great weather, booming tech industry, affordable cost of living, thriving food scene, and a variety of diverse neighborhoods?
Okay, how about Atlanta’s brilliant distilleries? Not only do they represent the best of Southern alcohol-making traditions, but they might be regarded as some of the best distilled products in the country.
Related: Best Dim Sum in Atlanta
Top 5 Atlanta Distilleries
Distillery of Modern Art
Address: 2197 Irvindale Way, Chamblee, GA 30341
Ever sit in a distillery tasting room and think, “this place needs more art.” Seth Watson did. So, he opened up Atlanta’s Distillery of Modern Art.
This Atlanta-area gem operates as a gallery-cum-distillery, offering distillery tours, regular events as diverse as boozy book fairs and cooking classes, and an art gallery that displays the work of local artists. The best bit? You can sip on a cocktail made with this Atlanta distillery’s spirits as you soak in all the culture on offer.
What to Try:
The DMA Vodka is a must-try, made with Georgia-grown corn and distilled ten times for a smooth finish. Or, for something more unique, go for the Black Fig brandy, made with black figs and aged in oak barrels.
ASW Whiskey Exchange
Address: 1000 White St SW, Atlanta, GA 30310
White Street has undergone a transformation in recent years with the creation of the beltline and its nature trail as well as the establishment of a whole slew of bars, bottle shops, breweries, and distilleries in the old industrial buildings that sit close to Atlanta’s railway lines. All this activity made it the perfect spot for the multi-award-winning ASW Distillery to build its newest tasting room and barrelhouse.
ASW stands for American Spirit Works. They use only the best grains and ingredients, and their dedication to quality is evident in every sip. They offer a range of spirits, from vodka to bourbon, so everyone will leave feeling satisfied.
What to Try:
The Fiddler Unison Bourbon is a crowd-pleaser with its notes of caramel and vanilla. Or, for something a little more unique, try Tire Fire Whiskey, made with smoked malt, aged in charred oak barrels, and much tastier than the name implies.
Address: 210 Industrial Park Dr Suite A, Cumming, GA 30040
Are you looking to venture outside of Atlanta? Head to the suburbs to visit Legends Distillery. For a mix of outdoor adventure and city amenities, you can easily spend the day or weekend in this town full of Southern charm. Legends Distillery takes pride of place as Cumming’s premier distiller in this Southern cultural hub. A visit here makes for a perfect day out from your ITP apartment (that’s Atlanta talk for living inside the city’s perimeter).
Suitably, this spot is all about celebrating the ingredients and drinks of the South. So, obviously, they serve a signature moonshine. Don’t worry if you aren’t feeling adventurous; they also offer a range of whiskeys, vodkas, and gins.
What to Try:
With so many of Legends’ spirits regularly winning awards, it’s hard to choose just one. The 80 Vodka is a safe bet for cocktails, while the 87 Bourbon is unusually fresh and easy to drink. Can’t choose? Go for a tasting flight.
Lazy Guy Distillery
Address: 2950 Moon Station Rd, Kennesaw, GA 30144
Another only-just-out-of-town option, Lazy Guy Distillery, awaits in historic Kennesaw. With a host of museums and a cute historic center, the distillery can serve as just one stop on a little Kennesaw tour.
The folks at Lazy Guy specialize in small-batch spirits. The cute little distillery features a tasting room where you can try their spirits neat, or relax with a signature Lazy Guy cocktail.
What to Try:
You gotta go for the Lazy Guy Bourbon — there’s a reason it’s their signature spirit. If you want to go real Southern, you could also try this Atlanta distillery’s fruity Midnight Moonshine.
Address: 547 E College Ave, Decatur, GA 30030
When Michael Anderson opened Independent Distilling in 2014, Decatur hadn’t quite reached its current status as an Atlanta art, food, and booze hotspot. These days, it’s a perpetually busy corner of the greater Atlanta area, with Emory students and young professionals alike living in the area.
At Independent Distilling, rums, bourbons, and a straight rye are all distilled in a traditional 100-gallon copper pot still, using ingredients like Georgia-grown rye and corn from a nearby small farm. Basically, it’s all locally sourced, completely traceable, and darn delicious.
What to Try:
Well, the Independent Barrel Aged Rum was named Best Spirit in the Georgia Trustees Wine and Spirits Competition last year, but if you’re popping in for a tasting, you can’t go wrong with a Hellbender Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
When you finish touring these fine Atlanta distilleries, taste test the city’s most respected beers at the city’s best breweries, and then experience true contentment at the happiest happy hours. Heading to the Old Fourth Ward? Eat your way through the neighborhood’s best restaurants.
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