I had the opportunity to go to the Brew Your Cask Off Festival at the Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta this weekend. It was an awesome time, there were some great casks, and there were some, well, not so awesome casks. I’m planning on writing more about the festival for HopPress on Thursday.
One of the highlights of my weekend in Atlanta was having lunch at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur on Sunday. The Brick Store is one of the most renown beer bars in the Southeast, if not the country. It’s been on my list of places to go for at least three years, but I’ve never had the chance to make it. Since I was on a beer mission this weekend, it seemed like the appropriate time to swing by.
Meeting our friends and fellow Brewtopians Bobby and Shelly C, Nicole and I arrived around 12:15 pm. In a strange quirk of Georgia law, they could not actually serve our beer until 12:30. So we put our beer orders in the queue and patiently sipped on our water for 15 minutes while perusing the menu.
Being a lover of draught beer and in the mood for a sour, I decided to start with an Echt Kriekenbier, a Flanders Red. It was tart with cherry fruit, a slight funk and a creamy body. It went exceptionally well with our baked brie with apples and cucumber appetizer.
|The lineup of our first beers. In true beer bar fashion, each beer was served in its own special glass.|
The Brick Store boasts of having 17 draught and 75 bottle selections in their downstairs bar. They also have an upstairs Belgian bar, which has an additional 7 taps and 120 bottles. While 24 taps isn’t going to break any records, the Brick Store focuses on quality over quantity.
For instance, Bobby C heard a rumor they had Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Fortune shined upon us, for the rumour was true. What an amazing blend of bourbon, coffee and chocolate. Holy crap it was good. If we didn’t have to drive back to Greenville later that day, I would have allowed that 10% ABV beer launch me into orbit.
The food menu was almost as good as the beer menu. It’s not typical American bar fare. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw they had pierogi primavera. Pierogi are Slavic-Midwestern delicacy, potato and cheese dumplings. You just don’t see pierogi down South too often, so I had to get it.
Nicole chose the Shepherd’s Daughter’s Pie, which consisted of ground lamb, beef and pork, barley wine ketchup, fennel, scalloped potatoes, gruyere sauce, mesclun greens with lemon vinaigrette. Both dishes were delicious, but I have to give the edge to my pierogi.
|The view from upstairs looking down at the main dining room.|
The Brick Store is not that large, but it’s comfortable and has a lot of intricate detail and ambiance. On the downside, I can imagine that cozy atmosphere would get crowded at peak times.
The Belgian bar upstairs is bad-assed. They have a lot of exposed brick and no windows to the outside, so even though it’s upstairs, it has the feeling of a basement or cellar.
|Behind the upstairs Belgian bar|
If I lived in the area, I’d probably be at the Brick Store every night and I’d probably be broke. Broke, but happy…
|Now that’s a doorknob.|
Would you say you were in a “sour mood”?
Just teasing. Brick Store Pub delivered. I thought about moving to Decatur I liked it so much. I had a De Ranke XX Bitter. It’s a very hoppy Belgian ale. Great bitterness. Not too much barnyard. My palette was pleased.
Now that looks like a coool brewpub. I wish we had more of them over here.