Dave and I recently celebrated our second wedding anniversary in Blue Ridge, Georgia. We had decided that we deserved a much needed mini vacation before the chaos of Tidal Brewing ensues! I cannot even lie, it was probably the most expensive weekend of our lives, but it was well worth it to have some time away with each other.
As one could guess, one of our very favorite things to do while in a new place is try out the local craft beer! Blue Ridge is a pretty small town in northern Georgia. It has three breweries; Blue Ridge Brewing, Grumpy Old Men, and Fannin Brewing. The laws regarding the sale and purchase of alcohol have come a long way here, but the state itself is still quite limited in comparison with the rest of the country.
We started off at Blue Ridge Brewing, which is actually more of a restaurant pub than it is a brewery. Still, we were able to try a few of their own brews that they had on tap. I sipped on the Blonde, and David enjoyed their IPA while we snacked on their hearts of palm bites. HIGHLY recommend the bites. We enjoyed the atmosphere of this place more than we actually enjoyed the beer. They do have a lot to offer in terms of guest taps and mixed drinks, which would be enough to bring us back in the future.
After BRB, we ventured to Grumpy Old Men. This brewery, in particular, had a lot to live up to in our minds. We had friends who raved about it and had also read many positive reviews online. I have to say, we really enjoyed hanging out at this spot. They have an amazing outdoor space that includes a variety of cozy seating accompanied by your stereotypical lawn games. Though it was a dreary, cold afternoon, we still found ourselves outside.
Grumpy Old Men works off of a token system on the weekends when they are busiest. We had purchased enough to have a few brews in house and take a crowler back to our cabin to enjoy later. I had the Grumpy Mule, which was their take on a Moscow Mule, while we played Jenga and socialized with the brewers and locals. I really enjoyed the forwardness of the ginger in this beer. It was a light and refreshing reminder of the sunshine that we were missing back in Florida. We took home their double IPA, which we sipped while sitting in the hot tub back at the cabin.
GOM has recently come into new ownership. We were fortunate enough to meet the new husband and wife duo from up north while we were visiting. They seemed happy and eager to keep the creativity flowing throughout their recipes and to stay true to what the original grumpy old men had established.
We decided to give ourselves a 24 hour break before heading over to the last spot on our list, Fanning Brewing. We enjoyed a quiet stroll through Blue Ridge’s charming downtown area and had an amazing lunch at Harvest on Main before we were ready to do some beer sampling. As we pulled into Fannin we noticed that, like Grumpy Old Men, they had a nice outdoor area.
We walked inside and were immediately greeted by the owner and founder. He poured us our beers and we got to talking about the dynamic of craft beer and the brewery scene in Blue Ridge. We then found ourselves seated in his brew house, admiring his system while sipping on our drinks. I had a beer brewed with local grapes, which was almost like if beer and wine had a baby. Dave decided to have their IPA after receiving a recommendation from our waiter from lunch.
All in all, we really liked the atmosphere and the story behind Fannin Brewing. It is always nice to be able to chat with others about the process of opening (and running) a brewery and to be welcomed with such open arms.
We absolutely love venturing to the Northern Georgia mountains (this was our 3rd trip, and definitely not our last to this area). We highly recommend visiting the Blue Ridge area if you have never been. It is a nature lover's paradise and had so much to offer in terms of local craft beer. Aside from all of the charming breweries that we were able to visit, Ingles has a great selection of brews from all around Georgia. Dave and I did a lot of sampling and got a lot of ideas for Tidal during our stay.