The holiday posts continue with… growlers! After articles praising the benefits of beer growlers in other locales, in Georgia we finally had the chance to welcome the jugs of alcoholic love that our neighbors in other states have enjoyed. Just over a year ago, the first legal sales of growlers filled with beer were sold in Athens, GA at The Beer Growler (owned by Atlantans!). The pioneers have since opened a location in Avondale Estates with an impressive 40 taps.

What’s a growler? A growler’s a glass container of beer with the appropriate labeling, that’s filled by a retailer with 32 or 64 ounces of draft beer. It’s an ideal size for sharing with friends, or fittingly in December, to bring to a holiday party and give as a gift. In addition to getting a taste of draft beer in your own home — there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a beer that’s in limited supply and not available in bottles.

I have a motley crew of beer growlers from a variety of locations around Atlanta, including the Beer Growler mentioned earlier, and from Atlanta favorite Hop City, but I’ve got to say the “Little Eddie” is my favorite. Eddie is one of the owners of Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market in Decatur. Check out my man Ale Sharpton‘s tour of Ale Yeah! for Thrilllist.

Eddie’s an awesome guy and passionate about beer. Ale Yeah teamed up with the graphic design masterminds at Esperanza for a new design when 32 oz. growlers were introduced to the shop. Although I don’t live in the neighborhood & stop by when I can, he’s always welcomed me by name and pointed out something for me to try. If you’re looking for Miller Lite or Coors, you’re out of luck, as they’re sticking to their guns and selling the craft beer that they love.

The beer in the glass on this page is from one of my favorite local breweries in Atlanta, and isn’t available in bottles. It’s their winter ale version of Wild Heaven‘s beer Ode to Mercy. Ode to Mercy is an imperial brown ale brewed with coffee from Athens roaster 1000 Faces. It’s probably my favorite beer in Atlanta. The winter ale ups the ante as it’s aged on bourbon oak.

Although Ode to Mercy and it’s companion beer Invocation are available in bottles, the winter ale is a draft-only limited offering that I missed out on last year. It was a special offering on Ale Yeah’s taps and I grabbed two growlers of it. Wild Heaven is very active on Twitter and Facebook and that’s the best bet to see where the winter ale will be tapped next. If you’re in Athens, you’re in luck as the Beer Growler location there will be tapping the winter ale on Wednesday (December 14). A few other spots either have received or will receive the very limited batch, in addition to the spots mentioned, Deckard’s American Tavern, Hop City, Ormsby’s, Sprig, The Family Dog & The Porter in Atlanta, as well as 5 Points Growlers & Trappeze Pub in Athens.

Ale Yeah has its full support behind local breweries and you’ll always find at least one on tap. In addition to Wild Heaven, I’m a fan of Monday Night Brewing’s Drafty Kilt, Red Brick Brewing’s Brick Mason series beers, and Terrapin Hopsecutioner. If someone could convince Sweetwater to brew their Exodus beer year-round and in six-packs, I’d be forever in your debt.

Grab a growler or two this holiday season & drink local!

ALE YEAH! CRAFT BEER MARKET 906 W College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030 404-371-4331