Omnivore - Summits Wayside Taverns feature 40 GA drafts during monthlong tap takeover

For the duration of December, both Summits locations will serve beers from 15 Georgia breweries


  • Joeff Davis/CL file
  • Summits' monthlong Georgia tap takeover will feature the likes of Burnt Hickory, Jekyll, Three Taverns, SweetWater, Red Hare, Terrapin, and Red Brick.

I'm always impressed with - and a little bit envious of - beer bars that can devote most-to-all of their tap lines to quality local selections. Places like Baileys' Range in St. Louis (which allows one token guest tap amongst its otherwise-all-Missouri 30), Craft Pride in Austin (54 taps, two casks, all Texas), and the Brew Project in San Diego (its 31 taps featuring beers made less than an hour away) savvily play right into the passionate, increasingly numerous consumers who insist on "buying local." They also serve as a must-visit destination for traveling beer lovers who want to conveniently sample the best a region has to offer.

In Atlanta we have no such bar. Oh, we're lousy with fantastic watering holes filled with multifarious world-class beers, both inside the perimeter, and, increasingly, outside of it. And our brewpubs - places like Wrecking Bar, Twain's, 5 Seasons, Cherry St., Hop Alley, and Max Lager's - serve great, house-made brews, sometimes as many as a dozen at a time. But where is our Baileys', our Craft Pride, our Brew Project? Our place that features drafts from all over Georgia, all at once?

The recent, inaugural Strong Beer Fest succeeded at this idea: 43 Georgia beers - from Atlanta, Decatur, Athens, Kennesaw, Hampton, Savannah, Woodstock, and elsewhere - all in one place. But that was only for an afternoon.

By way of comparison, here is a highly unscientific survey of beer-centric Atlanta establishments and the draft real estate they devote to Georgia brews:

? ? ?
North River Tavern (Sandy Springs): 15
Augustine's (Grant Park): 8
Varners Tavern (Smyrna): 6
Cypress St. Pint & Plate (Midtown): 6
Freight Kitchen & Tap (Woodstock): 6
Brick Store (Decatur): 5
Ormsby's (Westside): 4
Thinking Man Tavern (Decatur): 3
The Porter (Little Five Points): 2
The Argosy (East Atlanta): 2

Now, "good" and "local" aren't synonymous, but it would be nice to have a place, like Baileys' or Craft Pride, where you could try all kinds of new stuff being made right up the road. As it turns out, Summits Wayside Tavern owner Andy Klubock understands my envy.

As of last Monday and Tuesday, both Summits locations - in Snellville and Cumming - kicked off their monthlong Georgia tap takeover with beer dinners featuring brewers from Burnt Hickory, Terrapin, Red Hare, and more.

"There are so many choices in the city now and there are so many outside beers coming in that our customers forget how many great local options there are," Klubock says. "We want Atlantans to focus on the great things brewing in town."

For the duration of December, both Summits locations will feature more than 40 Georgia beers from 15 Georgia breweries, until they run out. Expect a few unlisted surprises to pop up in the next few weeks, as well.

"I hope that Georgia beers gain recognition all over the U.S," Klubock says. "That people sit in other cities speaking about Atlanta beers much the same way that we sit and enjoy and speak about California and Oregon breweries."