Sweetwater Draft House and Grill
600 N Terminal Parkway
Visited on November 10, 2013
I may have dug myself a hole when I began counting airport brewpub locations. They aren’t all that great of examples of the establishment in question, and they all pretty much suck. But I don’t want to take off the other four or five I have counted in my total tally, so may as well keep trucking along with them.
But then again, airport food doesn’t have to suck. My wife and I had quite a lovely meal in Concourse E of the Atlanta Airport at a place called One Flew South. So good airport food is a possibility. And beer is beer once it’s in the keg, so judging their liquid wares shouldn’t be an issue.
So screw it, let’s keep counting airport locations.
Sweetwater’s setup in Concourse B isn’t very impressive. The place is tiny, the space is tight, and its nearly impossible to get around with peoples’ bags everywhere. How has no airport restaurant figured out a way to get around this obvious issue? Can’t they throw a guard in front of some giant cubbyholes pre-school style?
We sat at the bar and had a few of their beers. Their seasonal, first of all, was some sort of lighter lager. In November. Where are my Chirstmas ales, porters, and/or stouts? Or is it just so unpopular that they haven’t gotten rid of their seasonal shipment from the past summer? Either way, I wasn’t going to try it.
Sweetwater is best known for their ESB, which I must admit is pretty tasty. It’s sort of like a less frequently sighted amber. It’s malty, sweet, not terribly hoppy, and easily palatable. Just like Fat Tire is to the masses. Theirs is no different.
We also had their IPA, a rye IPA, and their brown. Of the bunch, the IPA was the best, managing to nail the IBU levels I’ve come to expect in American IPAs while avoiding the troublesome overly bitter flavors in the front and finish that so many lesser breweries can’t flush out. And while the rye IPA and the brown weren’t bad, they also weren’t notable.
Oh, and while we were there, their IPA keg blew. They didn’t have any more kegs of it, either, so they were out of it for the day. That’s pretty poor management, but I suppose that’s what you get at an airport.
Finally, on a previous visit I did try their solid wares. Burgers, fries, sandwiches, and your other typical American fare adorn the menu. Just like the beers, they were what I expected from an airport. Overly priced, not terrible hot, but when you’re hungry it tastes pretty damn good.