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Sweetwater Brewing Co. Teams Up with Waterkeeper Alliance

Sweetwater Brewing Co. Teams Up with Waterkeeper Alliance

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Once again, Atlanta's Sweetwater Brewing Co. is teaming up with the Waterkeeper Alliance to conserve the Earth's most precious resource.

Starting July 4th, Sweetwater's newest campaign will encourage drinkers to buy the Waterkeeper Hefeweizen Ale, first brewed back in 2011, as well as donate to the Waterkeeper Alliance. According to a release:

“Many folks don’t realize that in addition to serving as a source for swimming, drinking and fishing in local communities, fresh waterways – Chattahoochee River in particular – account for a main ingredient making up 90 percent of our beer,” said SweetWater Founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch. “Keeping our water clean is a cause that affects our entire community, so dedicating a beer and a campaign to give back to this effort was a no brainer for us.” ...

SweetWater founded the “Save Our Water” program in 2006 with its local Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in Atlanta, and efforts grew larger as the brewery did. Since the inception of the program nearly seven years ago, SweetWater has raised more than $550,000 for the cause, with $100,000 raised in 2012 alone. Today, the “Save Our Water” campaign supports 35 Waterkeeper members in Southeastern cities where they distribute beer including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

“Waterkeeper Alliance is excited to partner with SweetWater for the ‘Save Our Water’ campaign,” said Pete Nichols, National Director of the Waterkeeper® Alliance. “It’s always refreshing to see the business community step up in the protection of clean water and we’re grateful for their support.”

The campaign will run through Labor Day, but you can find the Sweetwater Waterkeeper Hefeweizen in stores and on tap now.

CofC Study Abroad Group Meets Yamuna Waterkeepers in India

Charleston Waterkeeper is pleased to present this guest blog post by Dr. Vijay Vulava of the College of Charleston. Dr. Vulava is a professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and Director of the Hydrochemistry Research Laboratory. He also serves on Charleston Waterkeeper’s Board of Directors where provides scientific expertise and insight for our programatic activity. In this post Dr. Vulava recounts his recent visit to New Delhi, India with students from his study abroad course: Water Resources and Pollution in the Developing World.

The College of Charleston maintains a close relationship with Charleston Waterkeeper, especially in their efforts to monitor water quality along Charleston’s many tidal creeks and rivers to ensure that the water is safe for all users. Several students from the College volunteer their time to help Charleston Waterkeeper, while others work with them on research projects. Recently a group of students and faculty members, including myself and Dr. Timothy Callahan of the Geology department, visited India for a biennial study abroad course to study water resources and pollution along the much revered Ganges River. With Charleston Waterkeeper’s help, we had the opportunity to meet with the Mid Upper Yamuna Waterkeeper, Ms. Minakshi Arora, and her husband Kesar, the Lower Yamuna Waterkeeper, in New Delhi this past June.

The Yamuna Waterkeepers are working very hard to help clean up, what is possibly, the most polluted river in India. The Yamuna River is a major tributary of the Ganges River, and like Ganges River, has headwaters in the glaciers of the Himalayas. However, as the river passes through pristine headwaters into the plains of northern India, the river water is heavily used for potable water, farming, industries, waste disposal, and energy production by a very densely populated region of India. Point- and non-point source pollution discharged into the river makes it highly polluted, while the inept and corrupt local, state, and federal governments make cursory effort to clean up the river. Incidentally, this river is also a major drinking water source for India’s capital, New Delhi, but downstream of the capital, the river is no more than a wastewater canal.

During our visit to New Delhi, Ms. Arora and Kesar (they are the entire Yamuna Waterkeeper) graciously visited with us on a very short notice and took time to talk about their advocacy and ground-level efforts to help clean up rivers in the Yamuna basin using traditional and conventional methods. They work on a shoestring budget (charitable donations are their main source of funding) and partner with local universities and other nonprofits. Ms. Arora answered a lot of our questions and also led a field trip to the banks of Yamuna near ITO barrage, which is a major drinking water intake for New Delhi. However, the water here is already polluted and stench from the river was quite strong – one can only imagine how hard Delhi’s water treatment plant has to work to make this water potable. Downstream of the city the river receives all the treated (and untreated) wastewater that is discharged by the city’s wastewater treatment plants. This river continues south along Agra and majestically flows in the background of the famous Taj Mahal. Along the way the river continues to be abused and more waste from industries as well as numerous farms and towns is dumped indiscriminately – the river is no more than a vast sewer behind Taj Mahal during most of the year, until the monsoon rains revive the river at the end of summer.

Overall, it was a very interesting visit and meeting with the Yamuna Waterkeepers. The College’s students learned about the role that nonprofits, such as Yamuna Waterkeeper, play in raising awareness among the common populace about water pollution and its link to societal wellbeing. They not only learned a wide range of scientific issues regarding water use in India, but also the role that the government and the Indian culture plays on how water is used in this part of the world. It was an eye-opening experience for us all.

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SweetWater Brewery campaigns to ‘Save Our Water’

Kicking off July 4 and running through Labor Day, SweetWater’s Save Our Water campaign encourages patrons to “give of your liver to save the river.”

Although water is one of the most vital resources on the planet, waterways continue to decline in quality and quantity in virtually every part of the world. Earth is home to one billion cubic kilometers of water, yet only 2.5 percent is fresh water. Of that, less than one percent is clean and accessible, leaving more than one billion people living without safe drinking water.

SweetWater Brewing Co. realizes the importance of protecting these vital water sources and has once again teamed up with the Waterkeeper Alliance – a global movement of on-the-water advocates who patrol and protect worldwide waterways – for their Save Our Water campaign, supporting the conservation of the Southeast’s most threatened rivers, streams and coastlines. The cause is near and dear to the brewery as clean water is also vital to the creation of their tasty brews.

“Many folks don’t realize that in addition to serving as a source for recreation, fresh waterways, particularly our local Chattahoochee River, supply our main ingredient – water – making up 90 percent of our beer,” said SweetWater Founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch. “Keeping our water source clean is a cause that affects every life form in our community, so dedicating a beer and an awareness campaign was a no brainer for us.”

Kicking off July 4 and running through Labor Day, SweetWater’s Save Our Water campaign encourages patrons to “give of your liver to save the river” by enjoying SweetWater’s seasonal Waterkeeper Hefeweizen ale, purchasing campaign t-shirts, and making paper fish donations at participating restaurants, bars and retail accounts where the beer is sold across the Southeast. Additionally, patrons can visit to donate online, or purchase a custom Save Our Water pint glass at SweetWater’s weekly brewery tours.

In 2011 SweetWater launched Waterkeeper Hefeweizen, a beer with a cause, helping to spread the campaign’s crusade right on the beer label. Now, as part of their seasonal Catch & Release line-up, the unfiltered brew made its return to shelves and draft taps earlier this June. SweetWater founded the Save Our Water program in 2006 with its local Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in Atlanta, and efforts grew larger as the brewery did. Since the inception of the program eight years ago, SweetWater has raised more than $700,000 for the cause, with a whopping $150,000 raised in 2013 alone. Today, the Save Our Water campaign supports more than 35 Waterkeeper members in Southeastern cities where the brewery distributes beer including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana and Virginia.

“Waterkeeper Alliance is excited to partner with SweetWater for the Save Our Water campaign,” said Pete Nichols, National Director of the Waterkeeper Alliance. “It’s always refreshing to see the business community step up in the protection of clean water and we’re grateful for their support.”

High Gravity Tours

Peep this: we’re offering a brand spankin new tour down in our Atlanta taproom.

Hop on a comprehensive tour that journeys from the taproom through the ferm farm up to the brewhouse and ends in our barrel aging facility called none other than the Woodlands.

travel through our ferm farm (top) all of the way to the Woodlands (bottom)

Check out the dirty deets below

Days: Saturday/Sundays

Time: 1:30pm

Description: Our regular tour and tasting not quite satisfying your thirst? We’re blowing our doors wide open for a unique and intimate tour experience. One of our expert Guides will lead you all throughout the brewery, going into far more depth and detail! This tour will include a trip up to our 400bbl brew house,hop cooler, packaging corridor, conditioning warehouse, and our barrel aging facility, The Woodlands. Hop along with our knowledgeable tour guides and enjoy the ride of this 1.5 hour long walking tour to discover what SweetWater is really about.
Included are 4 samplings of different brews along the way and you’ll take home a 32oz Crowler, of your choice, to go.

Please note, close-toed shoes are REQUIRED and participants will be standing, walking, and taking steep stairs for the entire duration of the tour.

Tour Times – on the hour

How SweetWater is brewing beer and doing good

Finding their Midtown location might seem a little unsettling at first. Did you take a wrong turn?

The sight of tie-dyed trucks puts your mind at ease and guides you into the parking area adjacent to the brewery.This isn't a replica version of a beer-making operation. It's brewing, bottling and a little mad-scientist situated right in the middle of an industrial park.

Stepping inside, industrial becomes eclectic as hippie patterns mix with chandelier-like placements of paddle boards and kayaks. The clean lines of the tasting rooms are as if art-deco married a mountain cabin. Unconventional, but it works seamlessly for SweetWater Brewery.

It's here that you may join up to 1,000 other people on a given tasting day. SweetWater's culture is the landlocked, southern city answer to island time.

Tours are announced with placards that tour the room and beckon you to the door that leads to where the magic happens. If you bought the $10 souvenir pint glass (and who wouldn't?) then use one of your six sampling tickets included.

Chances are your tour guide will have a brew in their hand as well. Ask away! The tour guides are very flexible and accommodating to the interests of those in the group.

You'll see everything from fermentation tanks to the bottling operation. Be sure to key in on the challenges and uniqueness that come with the unpasteurized ales.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Pooches are welcome at this establishment on their porch, and as they point out on their website, that means if it's raining, leave Fido at home .
  • If you are headed for a brewery tour, be sure to check the hours. This is not a situation where you can just pop in any time of day. Wednesdays through Sundays each have their own two-hour window that you can come to sample and learn.
  • With only two hours of time, parking fills up quickly. If racking up your Fitbit count is not a priority, then go early. Fridays and Saturdays are usually the busiest.
  • Do check their website for information and specifics. With the passage of Georgia's "Beer Jobs Bill," there are sure to be changes to come in the future with respect to brewery tours in the state.

VIP and more

Grab 15 or more of your craft beer-loving friends for a VIP experience. Starting at $25 per person, you can score your own VIP area, VIP server, catering from a local Atlanta barbecue joint and more.

SweetWater Brewing Company also hosts meetings and other events such as reunions, rehearsal dinners and receptions.

SweetWater shindigs and things to come

Be sure to check the calendar you may see that there is a live band playing on the day you want to visit. The best chances to score a visit that includes free entertainment is on Saturdays and Sundays.

Keep your eyes open. You might just catch some behind-the-scene clues to SweetWater Brewing Company's barrel-aging program.

While in the works, no official details are available. Maybe you'll score some super-secret intel on your tour. Let's just say that even the neophyte beer drinkers on our tour were intrigued for the devilish concoctions that were being tested and imagined.

Look out for their annual events. These people know how to throw a party. April brings their annual SweetWater 420 Festival — a mix of music, beer, and eco-awareness.

Winter brings their "Brew Your Cask Off" Cask Ale Festival from which a portion of the proceeds are donated to benefit the Georgia Conservancy.

SweetWater also partners with the Chattahoochee River Keeper and Waterkeeper Alliance to raise awareness and funds because "you can't make good beer without good water."

12 Things You Should Know About SweetWater Brewing Company

West Coast-style beer first flowed into Atlanta when Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney opened SweetWater Brewing Company in 1997. The hoppy, resinous brews were heavily influenced by the co-founders’ previous brewing experiences in California and Colorado — along with a certain herb that’s popular there.

Starting out selling growlers out of an old Honda station wagon, and guided by the brand philosophy “don’t float the mainstream,” SweetWater made a splash on college campuses, and soon began flowing in Atlanta bars. The brewery has spent nearly a quarter-century crafting out-of-the-ordinary ales (and lagers) that ultimately secured it a spot among the top craft brewing companies in the U.S., at No. 14 as of 2020.

Ready to swim against the current? Dive in with these 12 things to know about SweetWater Brewing Company.

Every Beer Lover Needs This Hop Aroma Poster

SweetWater brews with sticky herbs.

From its long running flagship, 420 Extra Pale Ale, to more recent labels such as Hop Hash Easy IPA and the limited-edition Fresh Sticky Nugs, there’s a clear thread throughout SweetWater’s hoppy, heady beers. (Hint: It’s weed.) It even has a special series of beers dedicated to the medicinal herb, with each beer made to harness the aroma, flavor, and theoretical vibes of various marijuana strains, naming each release according to its corresponding strain.

SweetWater’s weed-inspired series launched in 2018 with G13 IPA, designed to simulate the flavors of the marijuana strain of the same name. Brewed with Simcoe and Columbus hops, the beer also features G13-strain terpenes and hemp flavors. Four other beers later joined the series: Mango Kush Wheat Ale, Trainwreck Hazy Double IPA, Super Silver Haze Lager, and Jack Herer Harvest Ale, named for a cannabis activist.

The 420 Strain Series is like a liquid family reunion.

Hops, or Humulus lupulus, are believed to share ancestry with Cannabis sativa (marijuana). Humulus and Cannabis are two genera in the family Cannabaceae. Both share similar scents and tastes, and SweetWater has been determined to celebrate this heady connection.

(Disclaimer: The ingredients only lend to flavor and aroma. Since there’s no THC, no one’s getting high off the 420 Strain Series. That’s either good news or bad news depending on how you look at it.)

SweetWater arrived in Atlanta with Olympic-level expectations.

Bensch and McNerney met while attending the University of Colorado and scrubbing kegs at local breweries. They graduated and parted ways, Bensch going to California to study brewing and McNerney taking up brewing jobs around Colorado. A few years later, in the summer of 1996, Bensch packed his dog and everything he owned into his van and drove to Atlanta. The city was preparing for the Olympic games, an epic event that made the city shine.

The buzz of activity around the Olympic games appealed to Bensch, who saw an opportunity to bring West Coast-style craft beer to a new corner of the country that had not been exposed to it. While there were a few small breweries operating in the city at the time, the craft beer scene was still pretty fresh — and open to possibilities. He called up McNerney and told him to come east so they could open a brewery. McNerney made his way to Atlanta, and the pair started building out the space to open less than a year later.

Its flagship docked on a special date.

For three and a half months, Bensch and McNerney brewed up a storm. But they had to wait for the perfect day to brew what would eventually become their flagship pale ale: April 20, 1997. Bensch and McNerney brewed 420 Extra Pale Ale with Cascade and Centennial hops, two hop varietals that originated in the Pacific Northwest that deliver floral, herbal, and fresh aromas and flavors. They doubled down by dry-hopping — remember, this was almost 25 years ago — amplifying the aroma with Cascade hops to add a bit of citrus to the mix.

The flavorful but easy-drinking brew grew in popularity fast. By 2002, it had earned a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, which hosts the largest beer competition in the country.

SweetWater to the rescue?

The original brewery opened in a West Atlanta warehouse located on Fulton Industrial Boulevard. The space had previously served as a 911 emergency dispatch center. That meant, for one, they probably had to sage the place. Other than that, there was a lot to do to turn it into a fully operational brewery.

Bensch, McNerney and their first employees got their hands dirty building out the location. Whatever they could do themselves, they did it. They installed plumbing, set up the glycol, and even wired the electrical system. It took a lot of hard work but Bensch, McNerney and their small team pulled it all together in time for their first brew in January of 1997.

Save water, drink beer.

All brewers need good, clean water. Bensch, who studied environmental sciences at the University of Colorado — and then, you know, named his brewery after a local waterway — is keenly aware of this. That’s why in 2006 SweetWater launched its Save Our Water initiative, partnering with nonprofits like Waterkeeper Alliance to raise money toward protecting rivers, bays, sounds, and other bodies of water locally and around the country.

In 2019, the brewery crafted a summer seasonal, Kick Plastic Lager, in collaboration with Costa sunglasses, as a way to raise money for water conservation groups. A percentage of profits from the beer’s sales went to Waterkeeper Alliance, Coastal Conservation Association, and Trout Unlimited.

‘Stop that truck! They stole our beer!’

In 2016, a thirsty thief stole two full trailers of SweetWater beer. They basically just drove off with them from the brewery’s parking lot early one morning and nearly got away with 3,300 cases of 420 Extra Pale Ale, SweetWater IPA, Goin’ Coastal IPA, and Take Two Pils.

Thanks to GPS tracking, the brewers were able to locate the trailers: one at another warehouse while the other was at a private home both were empty. Eventually, with help from Atlanta police, about 20,000 of the missing 78,000 bottles were found. All of it had to be dumped, unfortunately, since no one knew where that beer had been. The rest of the missing beer was never found so either someone drank 58,000 bottles of beer themselves or they had a heck of a party.

Some beers stay fresh nugs, others grow into trees.

When SweetWater expanded its brewery in 2016, it made room for The Woodlands Project, a barrel-aging program that allows brewers to experiment with aging beers in giant oak casks called foeders (pronounced foo-der). That facility, located right next to the production brewery, houses six of these, each designed to hold 88 hectoliters (about 2,325 gallons). All together, the towering barrels are capable of aging almost 13,950 gallons of what will eventually become funky-fresh sours and Belgian-style farmhouse ales. (There are also hundreds of other regular-sized barrels in the “woodlands.”)

Six limited-release brews, including Sinner’s Son, a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout, and Through the Brambles, a blackberry sour, have come from The Woodlands thus far.

A kayak trip inspired the brewery’s name.

During his initial visit to Atlanta, Bensch says he found inspiration while kayaking down a creek. It was (wait for it) the Sweetwater Creek, a tributary to the Chattahoochee River. He chose to name the brewery after the creek, and to camel-cap the “W” in the brand name, to emphasize the very precious ingredient used to brew their beer: water.

Sweetwater Creek State Park, located where the creek flows past the George H. Sparks Reservoir, is a destination for fishing, hiking, and kayaking. It’s located just a few miles from the brewery’s original location.

What’s with the fish?

It’s a rainbow trout, actually, and his name is Trouser. Bensch and McNerney, and many of their early employees, spent a lot of their time together fishing and drinking beer. So when it was time to design labels for the beers they brewed, it made sense to plaster an image of their favorite fish on the bottle. To this day, most of SweetWater’s packages feature a rainbow trout in some form or another. Believe it or not, the fish also has its own theme song.

SweetWater throws a massive, grassy festival every year.

SweetWater hosted its first 420 Fest in 2004, headlined by jam band Tea Leaf Green. Every year since then, the brewery has invited fans from far and wide to join in on the fun on or around April 20 (420). The event takes place at Centennial Olympic Park and draws more than 50,000 people each year, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The 2020 festival has been canceled but SweetWater has already scheduled the next 420 Fest for April 23 through 25, 2021.

‘SweetWater, with a splash of SweetWater, please.’

In early 2020, SweetWater confirmed that the brewery is looking to get into the booze business. The brewery got its liquor license approved, which gives it the ability to craft and sell spirits from its current location. What and how SweetWater will be distilling is still to be determined.

Costa Sunglasses® Partners with SweetWater Brewery to Support Conservation Efforts and Continue to Kick Plastic

Daytona Beach, Fla. – June 25, 2019– Costa Sunglasses is collaborating with SweetWater, an Atlanta-based brewery, to continue to bring awareness and action to the growing issue of plastic pollution in our waterways through its new Kick Plastic Pilsner.

The 2019 summer collaboration with SweetWater expands upon Costa’s commitment to Kick Plastic, an initiative Costa launched in 2015. The beer’s namesake, Kick Plastic, is a program the Costa team created to draw attention to the excessive plastic polluting our waterways and oceans. As part of Costa and SweetWater’s continued commitment to protecting our watery world, a percentage of profits from the sale of the Kick Plastic Pilsner will be donated to various clean water partners, including Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Coastal Conservation Association, Trout Unlimited and Waterkeeper Alliance. In addition, the collaboration is part of SweetWater’s annual Save Our Water campaign, which has donated well over $1 million to organizations who protect natural resources and habitats.

“Protecting the health of our oceans has always been a top priority at Costa and we take great pride in partnering with like-minded organizations who share our passion,” said T.J. McMeniman, vice president of marketing at Costa. “Our collaboration with SweetWater is helping to raise awareness to the growing issue of plastic pollution while also removing plastic from our waterways through cleanup efforts.”

By purchasing Kick Plastic Pilsner, consumers are supporting conservation organizations’ efforts to remove plastic from our waterways. Additionally, fans are encouraged to devote time this summer to their own clean-up efforts. Consumers can win free Costa sunglasses by posting an Instagram photo of the trash they remove, and tagging it #SaveOurWater19. For details and rules, visit terms-conditions.

“SweetWater has always been passionate about the outdoors and fishing, and no one helps us see it better than Costa,” said Freddy Bensch, SweetWater founder. “The mission of their Kick Plastic campaign is to make sure our watery world stays viable for natural habitats to thrive, and for future generations to enjoy. We love having a partner who wants to see our streams, oceans and rivers cleaner and clearer.”

Kick Plastic Pilsner is a refreshing Czech-style pilsner that pops with herbal notes and tropical fruit aroma, balanced by malty, oceanic characters on the palate. View the can art by fisherman and visual artist, Eric Estrada here. Kick Plastic Pilsner is available June through mid-September in bottles, 12-ounce cans and on draft. Learn more at plastic-pilsner.

About Costa
As the first manufacturer of color-enhancing all-polarized sunglass lenses, Costa combines superior lens technology with unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted in Florida, Costa has made the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983, and now its product portfolio includes optical frames. Costa’s growing cult-brand status ties directly to its mission to provide high quality products with a focus on sustainability and conservation as the company works hard to protect the waters it calls home. From the use of sustainable materials to its Kick Plastic initiative, IndiFly Foundation and strong partnership with shark research organization OCEARCH, Costa encourages people to help protect the Earth’s natural resources in any way they can. Find out more on Costa’s website and join the conversation on Facebook, Inst agram or Twitter at @CostaSunglasses.

17 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About SweetWater

Since today is our 17th birthday, we figured we’d fill ya in on 17 random facts you probably didn’t know about us.


Our head Beer Gods are some pretty cool guys who go by the names of Mark Medlin and Nick Nock.

Nick (the dude on the right) is our Head Brewer and was SweetWater’s very first employee. Throughout the past 17 years, he’s had just about every job you could imagine at the brewery before taking the gig as Head Brewer. Nick has developed pretty tasty stuff in his time here, and is most proud of taking home a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2010 for his barrel aged sour. Oh, did we mention he’s got some kind of Spidey-sense that can detect any beer over 9% ABV by making the hairs on his arms stand straight up? Weird, but true.

Mark (the dude on the left) is our Brewmaster. He got his start homebrewing in college at Virginia Tech and began testing out his recipes on his buddies at parties (surely, they didn’t mind). He started out as an engineer installing brewery control systems and knew there was no going back. He hit the books again to get a Master’s in a Brewer’s Program at UC Davis. Mark then got his wings at Goose Island Brewing Co. (pun intended) before joining the SweetWater fam in Atlanta. He’s a hophead at heart and has been known for his mean jump shot (in case you were wondering).


We always emphasize the importance of water. It’s the first, and main ingredient in beer.


Straight from Head Brewer Nick Nock:

When it’s time to create a newborn brew, it’s usually because we (Nick and Brewmaster Mark) are inspired, ready for a new product, or if we think it would be a cool idea. We then study and sample existing beers in this style and concoct prototype recipes. Once we’ve got our formulas finalized, we combine them to make one harmonious method for our new brew. From there, it’s game on and we crank out 220+ barrels.

With the Dank Tank, it is a one shot deal. With the seasonal brews, we brew it more than once so we could tweak it on the second batch, but rarely does that happen.

  • Brainstorm + recipe creation = one week
  • Ingredient acquisition = one week
  • Brew, ferment and condition = 17-30 days (depending on yeast strain)
  • So, we’re looking at about 1-2 months for a new bundle of brew


The friendly folks at Neighbors Pub in Virginia Highlands were the first to put our brews in the game back in 󈨥.


More than 100 types of SweetWater brews have been tapped and tasted since our beginnings in ’97.


You guys feel mighty comfortable paying us a visit at the brewery and we feel mighty happy laying down the welcome mat. It’s estimated that we’ve given more than 12,000 tours since we started, letting curious brew fans peruse the place and wet their whistles. Now that we’ve expanded to make more room for you and your friends, we see about 2,000 smiling fans who are sippin’ on about 35 kegs per week (depending on season). That adds up to more 100,000 folks per year!


Our Big Kahuna, (that’s CEO for all you corporate folks) Freddy Bensch, says it was a simple choice. He and co-founder, Kevin McNerney, loved beer and loved fishin’ for trout.The signature SweetWater rainbow trout goes by Trouser, but he prefers to wear shorts.


We have a Quality Assurance team dedicated to making sure our beers are so fresh and so clean for y’all. On average, our Taste Panel samples and releases 4-6 batches daily (yup, people actually get paid to taste beer). Each batch of beer is physically and chemically tested more than 200 times before released.



Tea Leaf Green was the first official headliner to hit our stage during our early years of 420 Fest.


We send out roughly 45 trucks jam-packed with our heady brews per week. That’s a lot of liquid love on the Southeastern roads headed to coolers near you! These fancy 18-wheelers are a far cry from the original dairy truck that could only load up a couple kegs at a time. And that’s all thanks to y’all, so cheers!


These words to live by came to Freddy in a dream and it’s the way we’ve been running the place ever since.


Believe it or not, we had about 25 different couples get hitched here in 2013. Three of those pairs had deeper ties to our brews as they met during a tour and tasting. We’re going to go ahead and say we weren’t the best at record-keepin’ long before then, so it’s hard to grasp how many many couples have tied the knot over the years. But we can say, if you’re ready to share your beers for the rest of your life with that special someone…the Tasting Room seems to have some real love makin’ powers. So here’s a toast to new beginnings and Happy Endings!


Co-founders Kevin McNerney and Freddy Bensch

From Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch: Back at the original brewery off of Fulton Industrial, we had a 50-bbl tank of beer which had just finished fermenting and underwent two days of conditioning. Suddenly, a pinhole leak developed at the door gasket that we were unable stop, no matter how hard we tried. There was no possible way to move the beer, and after several unsuccessful attempts to stop the leak throughout two days, we just had to drink it! It was the never-ending beer fountain of 420. The dog was on it, everyone was on it. It was either a long, slow death or a big party depending how you look at it.


The inspiration behind the Dank Tank was, and still is, to enable us to continue to be creative as brewers and have fun from a marketing perspective. Of course we love to make the core brands that support the brewery, but at the end of the day, we’re brewers and want to be able to challenge ourselves with new styles and flavors. This one-off series features limited run high-grav beers, and a chance for us to unleash new flavors and styles for our fans.

As for the story on what that crazy lookin’ creature on the bottle, he/she goes by El Danko, purveyor of our strange brews. Always interesting and always down for a good time. The weirder the better for this strange soul!


According to Freddy: I grew up around the water and studied Environmental Sciences in college before heading off to the Brewing School in California. When we arrived in Atlanta to start the brewery, we sought some cool relief in the local rivers. These waterways were, and still are, our community’s backyard where we swim, kayak, paddle board, fish, and drink. We were concerned about the water quality of these rivers based on what we were accustomed to out West. We wanted to use the brewery to make a positive impact on the community and working with Waterkeeper Alliance was one of the most logical ways to give back. Environmental responsibility is ingrained in our personalities and our culture, not to mention the quality of our beer. Plus, clean water makes up 90 percent of it. Reason enough!


That paw print is from Badger, Freddy’s dog who pretty much served as the mascot/office manager/greeter of the original brewery.

Want to help us celebrate 17 years of being older and wiser (well that’s debatable)? Grab your party pants and head on down to the brewery this Sunday, Feb. 23 and help us blow out the candles and break into our cellared stash. We’ll be getting funky with Like a Locomotive and debuting our 17th Anniversary Saison – reason enough to come out and hang. Find us on Facebook for all of the party details.

Watch the video: Postgame-Interview Kölner Haie Aalborg Pirates 3:1. (June 2022).


  1. Polycarp

    I heard this story about 7 years ago.

  2. Polydorus

    In it something is. Many thanks for the information, now I will not admit such a mistake.

  3. Faelabar

    In my opinion, you went the wrong way.

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