Georgia’s Sweetwater Brewing Company had a successful 2013. The brewery completed a $19 million expansion that brought in larger barrel and fermentation tanks along with a new brew house. The addition to the brewery helped them sell over 144,000 barrels of beer, which was a 32 percent increase from 2012. Sweetwater’s 420 Extra Pale Ale (EPA), India Pale Ale (IPA) and the Tackle Box variety 12-pack were the highest draws in 2013.
Sweetwater Brewing Company currently distributes only to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Sweetwater announced yesterday that it will be adding Virginia and D.C. to its states of distribution. According to a press release, the brewery is also planning on extending its reach to Mississippi, Ohio and Texas later this year.
The first new brew in 2014, called Second Helping IPA, was released on Jan. 14. The beer was brewed with juniper berries in order to benefit The Giving Kitchen. The organization has a mission to provide crisis grants to members of the restaurant community in Atlanta that undergo unanticipated hardship. All profits from the limited release IPA will be donated to The Giving Kitchen. Brewers are also working on a 17th Anniversary Ale to release in February and two craft beers to add to its Dark Tank series, which will be released in April and in May.
Sweetwater Brewing Company will also be hosting the Sweetwater 420 Fest at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta from April 18-20. The festival will feature its brews, live music, an artist market, a comedy tent, local food and activities for all to enjoy. The entertainment lineup has not been announced at this time, but will be available in the near future on its website.