Athens is a college town located about an hour outside of Atlanta, Georgia. While Athens is primarily known as the hometown of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, there’s so much else to do when you visit. My buddy Jason and I took a tour of the Athens Beer Trail, and it was such a fun day. Big thanks to his wife, Andrea, for being our designated driver so we could fully enjoy ourselves and sample all the beers we wanted.
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Breweries on the Athens Beer Trail
Athens locals love craft beer, and they’ve welcomed some outstanding breweries into their city. Sachin Patel owns a local bottle shop and is the godfather of Athen’s craft beer scene.
There are currently six breweries on the Athens Beer Trail for you to visit. Stop by the Athens Welcome Center for a free Athens Beer Trail passport. After getting a stamp from each participating brewery, return your passport to the visitor’s center to receive a free commemorative mug.
Map of the breweries on the Athens Beer Trail
Use this interactive map to plan out your trip to the Athens Beer Trail and other local attractions in Athens, Georgia.
Akademia Brewing Company
- Address: 150 Crane Drive, Athens, GA 30606
- Instagram: @akademiabc
This brewery joined the Athens Beer Trail after it opened in October 2017. As a full-service brewpub, Akademia Brewing Company offers a complete restaurant menu to accompany its delicious beers. When you order your food, be sure to ask your server for pairing recommendations from its wide beer selection.
Athentic Brewing Co.
- Address: 108 Park Avenue, Athens, GA 30601
- Instagram: @athenticbrewing
Athentic Brewing Company opened in August 2020 and was the second brewery to join the Athens Beer Trail that year. This brewery has something for everyone with its impressive lineup of beers, seltzers, slushies, and more. And it hosts regular events representing the eclectic nature of the city, including dog meetups, hip-hop shows, and fly fish lure tying.
Creature Comforts Brewing
- Address: 271 W Hancock Avenue, Athens, GA 30601
- Instagram: @creaturecomfortsbeer
Creature Comforts Brewing moved to Athens in the spring of 2014. It’s located in the heart of downtown and offers a range of craft beer styles, including IPAs, pilsners, and their award-winning Berliner Weisse. The inside of the brewery is spacious, but we spent most of our time outside on its large covered patio. This brewery is a certified B Corporation, which means that it aligns its mission to the “triple bottom line” — people, planet, and profit.
Normaltown Brewing Co.
- Address: 149 Oneta Street, Athens, GA 30606
- Instagram: @normaltownbrewingco
Normaltown Brewing Company opened in February 2020 after finding its location through a Craigslist ad in 2017. It offers a fresh take on small-batch IPAs that has craft beer lovers salivating. With its focus on small-batch beers, the only way to sample its beers is through the tasting room.
Southern Brewing Co.
- Address: 231 Collins Industrial Blvd, Athens, GA 30601
- Instagram: @sobrewco
Opening in the spring of 2015, Southern Brewing Company combines southern hospitality and rich, local ingredients. Visitors can take a free brewery tour and sample some of its craft brews, like the Hobnail IPA. Then, enjoy live music on the large outdoor patio while relaxing with friends.
Terrapin Beer Co.
- Address: 265 Newton Bridge Road, Athens, GA 30607
- Instagram: @terrapinbeerco
Terrapin Beer Company was founded in 2002, and it is the oldest brewery in Athens. Its beers have won several awards, including the Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for its Rye Pale Ale. This brewery has been in this location since 2007, forming the foundation for the Athens Beer Trail and attracting other craft breweries. The Hopsecutioner is one of my favorite beers, and I grab a 6-pack from my local store whenever I can.
Other activities in Athens, Georgia
If you’re not a big beer drinker or want something else to do in between beers, we recommend checking out these other attractions in Athens, Georgia.
- Search for Athens bulldog statues
- Grab a pizza at Ted’s Most Best
- Explore the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
- See the animals at the Bear Hollow Zoo
- Take a leisurely stroll through Sandy Creek Nature Center
- Catch a show at the Georgia Theatre
- Cool off in the summer heat at Walker Park & Splash Pad
- Enjoy a meal at The Foundry inside the Graduate Athens Hotel
- Go for a hike on the Firefly Trail
- Order a cinnamon roll and coffee at Mama’s Boy
Listen to my podcast interview with Jarryd Wallace, a local resident and U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Athlete, about the best things to do in Athens, Georgia.
Where to stay when you visit the Athens Beer Trail
If you’re planning to visit Athens, Georgia, for the Athens Beer Trail, keep in mind that most of the major-brand hotels are mid-level or lower properties. They offer good value and can be a great opportunity to use points instead of cash, especially when cash rates are higher on busy weekends. These are my favorite hotels in Athens, Georgia, to stay for free by using hotel points.
- Hyatt Place Athens / Downtown. This Hyatt property is a Category 3 that offers excellent value from 9,000 points per night. We stayed here on points during our stay to receive free parking. It’s rooftop bar and patio are an excellent place to unwind after a busy day exploring the city.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Athens Downtown University Area. Rooms at this Hilton hotel start around 38,000 points. It offers complimentary breakfast in the morning and an evening social on Wednesday evenings from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. All rooms have an in-suite kitchen so you can make food or heat up leftovers from local restaurants.
- SpringHill Suites Athens Downtown/University Area. Enjoy complimentary breakfast each day at this Marriott hotel. Every room is a 1- or 2-bedroom suite, so you can stretch out and relax during your stay. Sample local brews at the 1918 Lounge inside the hotel’s lobby. Book rooms for around 23,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
- Hotel Indigo Athens Downtown – University Area. Book a room starting at 28,000 IHG points at the Hotel Indigo Athens. Relax by the fire pits on the gorgeous outdoor patio or grab a drink at the lobby bar. The hotel even has an art gallery featuring local artists.
- Graduate Athens Hotel. While the Graduate Athens isn’t part of a major hotel loyalty program, this up-and-coming hotel brand is worth a look. It focuses on college towns and the decor of each property aligns with the local school. You can book rooms here directly or use flexible points, like Ultimate Rewards, to book your room.
If you don’t care about hotel brands, you can still earn rewards or cash back on your visit. You’ll receive the 10th night free when booking your room through Hotels.com. And the Dosh Cash Back app gives up to 40% cash back on hotel reservations.
The Bald Thoughts about the Athens Beer Trail
If you love trying local craft beers as I do, I recommend visiting Athens, Georgia, to check out the Athens Beer Trail. There are six breweries on the trail, so you can easily spend a day (or more) visiting each brewery. Just make sure you have a designated driver because those beers are potent. And, when you’re not sampling beers, there are plenty of other activities to do within the city.
This article was originally published at BaldThoughts.com on January 1, 2023.