It’s hard for many of us to believe that our Atlanta Falcons are in the Super Bowl. Whether they win or lose in their bid for first NFL championship, a celebration is in order, and there’s no better way to celebrate Atlanta than with a crisp, cold, hometown beer.
While regular beer doesn’t need to be hechshered to be kosher, a beer brewed with anything other than barley, malt, hops and water does need certification for those with strict standards.
Here are some of our favorite local beers to toast the Dirty Birds as they take on the New England Patriots. All should be available at your local grocery store or liquor store.
- Monday Night Brewing: Slap Fight and Blind Pirate Blood Orange IPA
Founded by a group of friends over a weekly Bible study, Monday Night Brewing decided to go kosher under the supervision of the Atlanta Kosher Commission last summer. It’s the only brewery in town that’s certified kosher.
All of Monday Night’s year-round beers are kosher and worth trying, but my money’s on Slap Fight, a West Coast-style India pale ale, and Blind Pirate, an IPA brewed with blood oranges. Both beers have a bit of a bitter, hoppy edge that goes great with salty snack foods like pretzels and chips, but Blind Pirate’s fruit addition adds a depth of flavor that can’t be beat.
- Orpheus Brewing: Atalanta
Orpheus Brewing has quietly spread its roots across Atlanta from its brewery on the edge of Piedmont Park. It has quickly become known for some of the most impressive art on its can labels, not to mention its unique beers.
My favorite Orpheus brew is Atalanta, a tart plum saison named for the Greek goddess who may or may not have given our city its name. I’m not usually into tart or sour beers, but the plum flavor pushes through just enough to keep the flavor well balanced.
If you’re superstrict with kashrut and want to try something from Orpheus that doesn’t have fruit, I recommend Lyric Ale. Its hops and yeast combine nicely to mimic fruit flavors and add a touch of spice.
- Three Taverns Craft Beers: White Hops and A Night on Ponce
Decatur’s Three Taverns takes its inspiration from the long and storied Belgian brewing tradition but with a bit of a Georgia spin. By mixing old methods with new ingredients, Three Taverns has created some incredibly interesting beers that are also very approachable.
White Hops is a white IPA, a newish style of beer that combines the brewing methods of IPAs with the ingredients typically used in Belgian beers. If you like Blue Moon, you’ll like this beer, which is infused with grapefruit peels.
A Night on Ponce began as a brewery experiment and has become wildly popular, and it’s one of my favorites. It also fits the category of beers that are kosher without a specific certification, which makes it even better.
- Creature Comforts: Tropicália and Bibo
Creature Comforts brews its beer just down the road in Athens, but there’s no doubt it’s a local favorite and worth including here.
Tropicália features passion fruit, which makes for a legendary brew that was, until recently, almost impossible to find in stores. The brewery has recently stepped up its production to ensure that its most famous beer is always available.
Another favorite, Bibo, is a lower-alcohol pilsner that’s dry, crisp and perfect for enjoying over the course of an afternoon. It is another beer that doesn’t need specific kosher certification.
- Terrapin Beer Co.: Recreation Ale and Hopsecutioner
Terrapin is another Athens brewery that enjoys huge popularity in Atlanta. Its Recreation Ale is one of my favorites. It’s a session ale, which is a beer that’s brewed to have a lower alcohol content so it can be enjoyed all day long.
If you want to go in almost the exact opposite direction and dig deep, head toward Hopsecutioner instead. It’s an incredibly assertive and hoppy beer that packs a punch. Neither of these beers need specific certification, so definitely give them a shot.
Robbie Medwed writes about cocktails and alcohol at koshercocktail.com.