Augusta Beer - Ironman

Last weekend I was down in Augusta, GA for a race (Ironman Augusta 70.3 if you’re curious). There weren’t any direct flights so I had a layover in Atlanta where I grabbed some dinner and a beer. I tried the Terrapin Hopsecutioner and while this wouldn’t normally be my first choice, it was the only thing available on the menu that was local craft. The glass was laced so beautifully I had to take a picture. I was hoping this would be a sign of what the rest of the weekend would hold.

The next day, after grabbing our race packets, we stopped at a local eatery that had a few craft options so I decided on the Duck Rabbit Milk Stout. Nothing overly interesting or impressive about it but it paired nicely with my lunch. I was holding out hope that dinner would prove to have a better selection, but alas, nothing on the menu worth ordering so I stuck with water. Plus, I’d be swimming 1.2 miles in the morning so probably best to ease up on the beer drinking for the night.

After finishing my swim (I was on a relay team) I wanted food and beer pretty much immediately. I didn’t care if it was 10am. Swimming works up a thirst. The liquor store near the hotel was closed so I stopped by a bar a few blocks down. Miller Lite, Killians, and PBR. Those were my choices. Lawwwwd what did I do to deserve this. Someone mentioned that there was a craft beer bar nearby but I was waiting to cheer for my team’s runner so I just made a mental note to check it out before my flight the next day. Once everyone finished the race I was totally wiped out and just ate some pizza at the hotel. Still no beer.

augustabeercollage

My final day in Augusta and now I really want some beer. There has to be something around here, right? Check the craft beer bar, not open til 3pm and my flight is at 6. A little too risky to try and check that one out. I remember the nearby liquor store and walk over to see what they have. First of all, you walk in and ONLY see bottles of liquor. Uh oh. I ask if they have beer and the kind gentleman directs me to an area behind a wall that has some coolers. Icehouse, Miller, Bud, Coors, etc, etc. Whyyyyyyyy do you hate me Georgia? Feeling defeated I begin to walk out when the man stops me. Oh sweetie didn’t you see the Angry Orchard back there? It takes ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL of my strength to not punch this sweet old man square in the throat. I have never felt more like a beer snob than in this very moment. Lord please give me patience. I just turn back to him and say no thanks before finally walking out.

I’m chatting with a friend and he suggests Toast Wine & Beverage that’s about 15 minutes away. I didn’t have a car, but luckily there is 1 (yes, this is not an exaggeration, there was only 1) uber driver nearby. As we’re on our way I explain my conundrum but she doesn’t drink beer and doesn’t understand. Sigh. Please someone just give me something tasty to drink and I’ll be happy. If there were ever a thirsty version of being hangry this was the emotion I was feeling. We pull up to the shop and I am overwhelmed with joy that it actually looks legit. I walk in and immediately recognize bombers. YUSSSSSSS thank you baby Jesus. I ask the guy at the counter if he can help me pick out some local brews I can’t get back in Chicago. We chat about Pipeworks and other things as I grab 4 cans and a bottle of Quasimodo. My spirits are lifted and I leave with a smile on my face. The uber driver was waiting outside for me and took me back to my hotel. Folks are so friendly down here.

Augusta, GA Beer

I get to the hotel and realize I’ve got about 2 hours to drink all these beers before my flight so I start sampling. First up is Maduro Brown Ale from Cigar City and it goes down so smooth. I’m instantly disappointed with the knowledge that I won’t be able to get this as easily in Chicago and start thinking of who I can convince to send me beer mail. Next up is Shakedown Street Saison from Southbound Brewing Co. I was really hoping for a bit more tartness so I decide not to finish this one. The can artwork was pretty bitchin though. I follow it up with the Atalanta Tart Plum Saison from Orpheus Brewing. There was a flavor in here that I can’t really put my finger on but it was a thinker. I suppose I had higher hopes for it. Last can in the rotation is Rapturous from Three Taverns and this one was like the sour cousin to Rubaeus. Enjoyable but not something I can drink a whole can of. I finally decide to go for the gusto and open the Belgian Style Quad, Quasimodo. Goooooodnessssss gracious. I’m so glad I saved this for last. With 10%abv I was pleasantly surprised that it was a touch boozy but still very drinkable. Halfway through the bottle I start to regret not grabbing an extra to bring home with me. *add to list of beers I’d like to receive in the mail.

This trip has taught me a very important lesson: plan your beerventures in advance. Relying on others or trying to wing it apparently only works when I’m in my home element. I’ll be heading to NYC for comic con next weekend and then a short trip to Tampa planned for December so let me know your must haves, I’m currently taking suggestions :)