From light, citrus flavors to full-bodied German stouts to flavors like banana, chocolate, and root beer, the brewing industry certainly isn't what it used to be. These unique beers are made even better when paired with authentic, well-crafted cuisine, as is shown in the great, southern cities of Nashville and Atlanta. Come check out a couple of our favorite restaurants with attached breweries in the ever-evolving southeast.
Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery
The brainchild of Kent Taylor and Stephanie Weins, Blackstone Restaurant and Brewery was born in 1994 and expanded to include a production microbrewery in 2010. This Nashville gem serves award-winning brews with pub-style favorites such as the half-stack of baby back ribs, which is cooked in their most highly-decorated beer, the St. Charles Porter, and an original barbecue sauce. The St. Charles Porter is a new American twist on an old English favorite and has quite an impressive smattering of medals from the World Beer Cup. You could also try their popular nut brown ale with a Shepherd's pie or even a Greek pizza.
On top of the stellar food and beer choices, Blackstone's atmosphere and impact on the community should win awards as well. Their classy interior is clean and decorated with stone and brick, giving off a welcoming energy to the all that enter that is somewhere between sitting by the fireplace and visiting the best pub in town. The owner's have also initiated a non-profit called Stephanie's Fight, which delivers 100% of its proceeds directly to research for a lung cancer cure. Blackstone-pub.com.
5 Seasons Brewing
This Atlanta-based brewery and restaurant brings a west-coast vibe to the south with the way they prepare food and run their business. Lead by chef Dave Larkworthy, who has appeared on Good Morning America and CNN to talk shop on cooking, and brewmaster Kevin Mcnerney, who previously built and owned the Mammoth Brewing company in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, 5 Seasons Brewing is a breathe of fresh air in the restaurant industry. All of the dishes utilize local produce, including veggies from local farmers and seafood from the gulf coast, which offers direct venues for alternative farming and boosts the local economy. In fact, local, organic ingredients are a part of their mission statement of healthier living. A good combination to try here is the Gulf Shrimp Linguine with white onions, tomatoes, broccoli, Parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper with the Humdinger Hefeweizen, which is a bready, light, German beer that has hints of banana, cloves and cardamom.
Placed in the the heart of Atlanta, as well as several locations in the surrounding areas, 5 Seasons Brewing prides itself on the laid back, west-coast atmosphere it's brought to Atlanta. The staff, as a whole, is friendlier than most places, and know their customers by name. As Dave says on the 5 Seasons website, “We would rather have people here twice a week, than once a month.” That kind of customer service meshes nicely with old fashioned southern hospitality.
With all the bars, grills and restaurants these two vibrant cities have to offer, it's great to experience local flavors, whether in beer or food form, that express the city they live in. These restaurant and breweries are a must for travelers who want to have a unique and endearing dining experience in either city. 5seasonsbrewing.com
Writer Bio: Jared Rigsby is a writer and graphic designer with a BA in Writing/Literature from Middle Tennessee State University. A longtime freelancer, he is published monthly through Dish Magazine (dishmag.com) and develops logos and websites through Neochromatic.com.
Split is a mobile app for diners and bar-goers that allows them to pre-order takeout and pay and split their bills from their smartphones; allowing them to dine on their own time. A portion of all proceeds payed through Split will be donated directly to Open Hand Atlanta.
Download Split: payandsplit.com/appdownload