Atlanta’s Top 10 Favorite Beers

by JC Whipple

Affectionately known as “Hotlanta” to city residents, Atlanta is the most populous city in Georgia and the state’s capital. Atlanta ranks among the top twenty world cities and is 10th in the nation with a GDP of $385 billion. Though it was originally settled by The Creek Native American Tribe, Atlanta has become home to celebrities, musical artists, and a diverse population of Americans in all demographics.

Not only is Atlanta home to the global headquarters for giant corporations like The Coca-Cola Company and Delta Air Lines, but it also hosts its fair share of breweries. Craft beer culture is alive and well in this Southern state, though, surprisingly, it only ranked 40th out of 50 states in annual beer consumption in 2017. Keep reading to learn more about the beer culture in Atlanta and to see the city’s top 10 favorite beers.

What’s the Beer Culture Like in Atlanta?

A melting pot for culture and diversity, Atlanta is constantly changing, and, in recent years, it has hopped on the craft beer bandwagon. One of the major factors holding the city back has been outdated legislation limiting the amount of product local breweries could sell and distribute – it also prevented them from selling anything other than their own products.

Fortunately, in early 2019, new legislation was introduced to loosen the laws governing Georgia’s craft breweries. Senate Bill 152 will eliminate the daily sales cap and double the amount of beer breweries can distribute each year. It will also allow brewers to sell beer from other local breweries and, perhaps even breweries in other states. These changes have opened up a world of possibility for the craft brewing scene in Atlanta and other Georgia cities.

As the craft brewing scene continues to expand in Atlanta, beer lovers continue to enjoy local favorites like Orpheus Brewing, whose cans feature fun art made by local creatives and fantasy-themed beer names. Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Little 5 Points offers up hazy IPAs as well as their oak-aged English ESB (Extra Special Bitter). Other notable Atlanta breweries include Red Brick Brewing, Arches Brewing, and the long-standing SweetWater Brewing Company.

Atlanta’s 10 Favorite Beers

Though Atlanta might not top the charts in annual beer consumption, it is home to some amazing craft breweries and local bars and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious Southern cuisine and a refreshing beverage.

To give you some deeper insight into the beer culture in Atlanta, we’ve taken data from BeerBoard bars in the city to bring you the top 10 list of Atlanta’s favorite beers.

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  • 01

    Bud Light

    When it was first released in 1982, Bud Light was called Budweiser Light and it was the brand’s flagship light beer. With 4.2% abv and 110 calories per 12-ounce can, Bud Light quickly gained popularity. In the years since its original release, Bud Light has been released in numerous variations including a higher alcohol version called Bud Light Platinum and a lime-flavored version called Bud Light Lime. One of the newest versions is the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, a line of malt beverages that come in flavors like mango, strawberry, and cranberry with 8% abv.

  • 02

    Michelob Ultra

    The original Michelob beer was produced by Anheuser-Busch and released in 1896 as a so-called “draught beer for connoisseurs.” The company tested numerous versions of the original recipe including Michelob Pale Ale and Michelob Honey Lager, but none were so popular as Michelob Ultra which was released in 2002. In the years since, the company has continued to experiment with different flavors, releasing a line of flavored beers that are low in both calories and carbohydrates. Popular flavors include Michelob Ultra Lime Cactus and Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry.

  • 03

    Miller Light

    Introduced in 1975, Miller Light was the first successful mainstream light beer in the United States. Though its predecessors had failed, Miller Light’s heavy advertising approach carried it through to take 2nd place in the American brewing market. Miller Light is an American light pale lager manufactured by MillerCoors out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since its original release, it has been re-released in numerous versions including an amber lager, a blonde ale, and a wheat beer.

  • 04

    Blue Moon Belgian White

    This Belgian-style wheat beer was originally brewed in the Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The story goes that founder and head brew master Keith Villa returned to the United States after earning a Ph.D. in brewing from the University of Brussels. It was his goal to produce craft beers inspired by Belgian styles but with a refreshing twist, and thus his first beer Bellyslide Wit was born. Fans loved the beer and said that a beer that good only comes around once in a blue moon, and thus the beer was renamed Blue Moon Belgian White. It is made with malted barley and white wheat with additional flavoring from orange peel, oats, and coriander. It is traditionally served with an orange slice.

  • 05

    Dos Equis Lager

    Dos Equis lager is easy to distinguish from other beers for its unique label design inspired by the great Aztec leader, Moctezuma. The beer was originally brewed by Wilhelm Hasse, a German immigrant who arrived in Mexico in 1890 where he founded the Moctezuma Brewery in Veracruz. The first brew was Siglo XX, known today as Dos Equis Ambar. The addition of the double-X was to celebrate the upcoming 20th century and it is a designation the brand still carries to this day. Dos Equis Lager Especial was first imported to the U.S. in 1983 and was declared the country’s fastest-growing import in 2009.

  • 06

    Coors Light

    Known for its innovative “Cold Certified” label, Coors Light is a light beer brewed in Golden, CO that clocks in at 4.2% abv. It is marketed as the “world’s most refreshing beer,” particularly when it reaches the ideal temperature of 39°F – that’s when the mountains on the label turn blue to indicate that the beer has reached the perfect temperature for enjoyment. To ensure a refreshing experience, Coors Light is always lagered, filtered, and packaged cold in cold-activated cans.

  • 07

    Yuengling Traditional Lager

    The story of Yuengling began when David G. Yuengling arrived in Pottsville, PA from Wuerttemberg, Germany. He established the Eagle Brewery in 1829 and introduced his first two brews that same year – Lord Chesterfield Ale and Porter. After the plant was completely destroyed by fire in 1831, it was rebuilt and stands in this site today. In 1873, the brewery’s name was changed to D.G. Yuengling & Son and it continued to thrive, staying alive even through the age of prohibition, to become America’s Oldest Brewery. Yuengling Traditional Amber Lager was reintroduced in 1987 and became the flagship brand. In 2012, it was named America’s #1 Favorite Beer by 24/7 Wall Street.

  • 08


    The company’s founder, Adolphus Busch, came to America in 1857 from Germany and wasted no time building the brewing empire known today as Anheuser-Busch. In 1876, Adolphus recognized an opportunity to create something new – a light, refreshing beer perfect for hot summer days (to that point, many Americans were drinking dark, heavy ales). Thus, Budweiser was born and became an instant success throughout America and the world. Not only is it one of the largest selling beers in the U.S., but it is also the most heavily advertised beverage brand.

  • 09

    Modelo Especial

    The second most-imported beer in the country, Modelo Especial was first bottled in 1925. Produced by a large brewery in Mexico called Grupo Modelo, this beer is a rich, full-flavored pilsner that has a crisp and refreshing taste. Though the brand has grown over the years, it continues to uphold its Mexican roots, honoring traditional customs as well as modern celebrations. Modelo Especial has become a part of Mexican culture in particular, being served at major holidays as well as celebrations between families and friends in both Mexico and the United States.

  • 010

    Stella Artois

    First brewed in 1926 by the Artois Brewery in Leuven, Belgium, Stella Artois is a Belgian pilsner. The beer was originally released as a holiday brew for local Leuven residents but became so popular it is now sold year-round. Stella Artois is now one of the world’s best-selling beers, available in more than 80 countries, and has a reputation for its characteristic flavor and superb quality. The Artois Brewery is now owned by Interbrew International B.V., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Though Atlanta is a hotbed for beer culture, residents and tourists seem to rely most heavily on the classics. Restaurants and bars depend on reliable information to guide their purchasing decisions to maximize both sales and profits. With BeerBoard’s advanced solutions, this task has never been easier – contact BeerBoard today to see what this innovative technology can do for your Atlanta business.