Red Hare Brewing

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So, on a beautiful autumn Saturday, with ample football to watch, I opted instead to go with a friend to visit a local brewery for their “Brewery Tour.” 

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The brewery is located in a small commercial/industrial park NW of Atlanta.  We arrived to find a fenced area with a small crowd, along with a singer and guitar. 

For $10 you get a pint glass, 6 tickets to sample the brews, and a tour.  On tap Saturday they had:

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I started with the Retro-Reserve Chocolate Porter, a beer that they retired, cut its benefits and forced back into production.   ...  This was my favorite of their beers, a dark, chocolaty, roasted malt flavor common to the variety and average or better compared to its peers.  Given a choice with the same, I’d support the local guys.  

An interesting note on small craft breweries is how much space they have to dedicate to “tours.”  Red Hare allows a gracious space, and I’d imagine their weekday evening tours draws more people, but nevertheless, considering rent costs, it’s a lot of space to dedicate a minimal revenue stream.  Not that it isn’t necessary to promote a brand.

They have 8 taps, standing tables, plenty of standing room, and a curious corner den.

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Next up was the Long Day Lager.  This is reportedly their mainstay, as they make the lager year round.  As the brewing process takes longer, most competitors only do this on a seasonal basis.  As a result, Red Hare found an entry point to many of the bars in the Atlanta market.

The beer itself poured clear and golden, light bodied with mellow hops.  I don’t drink many lagers, but it’s a solid choice if I wanted a lower APV and a lighter beer.

This I carried with me to the brewery tour.   I missed much of what was said, as the first tour (there were two) was overly crowded.  But what is there can easily be seen.  Here, our tour guide discusses the brewery, essentially getting paid to drink the Porter.

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Red Hare remains a small craft brewery, now just over one year old.  The company produces over 3,000 barrels of beer, which in a commercial sense means they’ve found an audience but have ample room for growth.  At present, the beer is sold only in Georgia and primarily within the Atlanta market.

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Foregoing the typical bottling operations, the company is leaping from draught directly to canning of its two most popular beers, the Lager and the IPA.

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With a tortoise hare-like production rate of 32 beers/minute, Red Hare is the first Georgia brewery to off their product in cans.  As the new line gets settled in, it’s required some long hours and another measure of quality control.

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Tour complete, I returned for their Watership Brown ale, a clever name given their rabbit motif. It was more amber than brown, and, skipping all the eloquent beer descriptive terminology, was okay.

Red Hare, wisely, has joined in the commercial pursuits of “stuff,” and the neatest was a tin suitable for hanging on a wall behind a home bar.  T-shirts, caps... even a lip balm.

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It’s an affordable way to spend a couple hours.  I might return for a more informative tour, during the week just because beer seems more suited to the evening than the afternoon.  As with other brewery tours, the failing is the absence of pretzels or other snacks to provide relief to the palate between beer styles, not to mention beer is better with munchies.  In any case, it’s a worth addition to Georgia’s fledgling craft brewery scene.

Note: Shame on me for not taking pictures of any of the sampled beers...

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