Updated: Jan 16, 2019
In a couple of weeks Atlanta will be hosting the Super Bowl, so I was a little nervous heading into this Sunday's show, which happened to be at the same time that a division playoff game was being played. As a musician, there are few things worse than arriving at a venue and realizing that you'll be playing below, and surrounded by, TVs airing some important game, because the reality is that nobody really wants you there. They'd rather hear the game, and honestly I generally won't do it... I'll ask that if they want music that they turn off the game or if they want the game to just pay me and I'll be on my way. The Loons used to host big St. Paddy's Day shows, but they usually conflicted with the start of the NCAA hoops tourney, so after a few years we just stopped.
I arrived at Three Taverns Craft Brewery half expecting such a conflict, and much to my surprise not only was there zero interest in the football game, but there weren't even any TVs in the venue! It was like a dream come true, as I also happen to think that TVs in pubs prevent the social communion that traditionally a pub was meant for, pre-TV.
Three Taverns Craft Brewery - Decatur, GA (Atlanta)
Beers are sold on tap and in cans and growlers at the tap room, distributed in cans regionally (GA, TN, etc.), and on tap in establishments throughout the region.
The taproom was very cool... rustic woodwork throughout, a proper stage draped in oriental rugs in one corner, and a balcony up above the bar. The crowd was largely young families and couples, quite a few with babies on hand. As Edward behind the bar told me later, the place usually has more of a coffee house sort of vibe, so my arriving to play music was perhaps a little rowdier than expected on a Sunday. The brewery is in the same building, but the entrance was on the other side, so pretty much out of view.
My first drink of the evening was A Night On Ponce (7.5%) American IPA. As I think I might have mentioned in the previous blog, due to the season I'd been focusing more on darker beers lately, so an IPA seemed like a refreshing change, and this was a tasty one to start with. Nice and crisp, light golden hued, medium bodied with a piney/citrus aroma, and the same in the flavor.
Feeling lucky, I then moved on to the Look (5%), a hazy New England style Pale Ale. I've been stumbling upon some really good NE Hazes lately, but I have to say I didn't much care for this one. It looked like a haze, smelled like a haze, but it was thinner than I expected, and quite bitter on the back end. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't one of the better brews of the trip so far, either.
The next beer, however, was pretty spectacular. Called the Enchantress (5%), we're talking about a cranberry sauce sour ale. This one called out to me, as I love cranberry, and am one of the few people I know who doesn't like raspberries, which is the berry most breweries seem to gravitate towards (in fact Three Taverns has a raspberry version as well). The Enchantress did not disappoint on any level. Nice balance of the fruit and the ale, a medium carbonation, and delicious all the way through to the pint's last sip (which is saying something, as even a good fruited beer's flavor can get a little tiresome by the end of the pint). It was definitely a sour, but not an over done sour, and reminded me at times of a slightly tart cider or even dry champagne. Just delicious. I'm told the Rapturous (raspberry version) gets rave reviews as well, for you raspberry people...
As the theme of the evening was keeping with rather light brews, I finished off with the Prince of Pilsen (5%) hopped pilsner. I don't normally bother with pilsners because what's there to say... they're light, and they usually don't have a ton of complexity to their flavor... they're either good or they're not, and they're usually pretty good, if watery. This one is hoppy, though, so it drank easy and light like a pilsner, but actually had some nice hoppy flavor! Not stupidly over hopped ala the IPA fad of a year or so ago, just reasonably lemony hopped so the beer actually had some flavor. Like you'd expect from a pilsner, yellow hue, crisp, and fairly light... but with flavor! This would give an All Day type brew a run for it's money in the summer.
Three Taverns was a fun hang, and I'll definitely try to make it back to try their other varieties. After the show I headed back north for a few days, with the next stop being another visit to Brink Brewing in Cincinnati, then a couple of shows in Indy and Ohio before heading back down south for a run of breweries in Alabama.