On a recent trip back from visiting my family in Florida, Sj and I found ourselves with some time to kill in the Atlanta Airport between flights. In need of sustenance on this busy New Year's Eve, we stopped in at the jam-packed Sweetwater Draft House and Grill. Sweetwater is an Atlanta brewery that opened in 1997, named after the local Sweetwater Creek. It started up after I was done with college at Emory, so I never got to try the beer before I moved back north. I have tried a couple of the beers here and there since, with the 420 and the IPA being most commonly found, and would love to get to the brewery itself!
This particular tap-house was crammed full of people, but we were able to get a small two-top table during the lunch rush. Loud R&B music and the chatter of patrons thundered through the small space. The food options were limited to a small selection of salads, chicken wings, burgers and sandwiches--pretty standard pub fare. We ordered beers, and IPA for me and a Georgia Brown Ale for Sj, but it took nearly 20 minutes to get them. I was starting to feel glad we had a long lay-over as this wasn't looking good for actually getting food. The IPA was fair, but to me seemed more like a pale ale, lacking the strong hop aroma and flavor I expect from the style. When we ordered food our server seemed like he was having a hard time remembering what we wanted (boneless wings for me and a quesadilla for Sj) despite a distinct lack of complexity to our order. A few minutes later he returned to clarify Sj's order again. Twenty minutes later our food arrived: room temperature wings for me and a chicken salad for my wife. Yup, despite re-checking with us our order was still fouled (fowled?) up! A while later the quesadilla arrived and we were able to eat. The silver lining to the extreme time-lag was that I did get to try a pint of the Festive Ale, a pleasantly spiced holiday ale. When our bill came to us it was done incorrectly (chicken salad's revenge!) Do I expect an amazing dining experience in an airport? Not really, but there is an understanding that airport restaurants should be used to moving people through quickly and problem free.
I will not be stopping here again, but still want to visit the brewery itself. When in the Atlanta airport I would suggest trying the small bar in the food court area--they had Sweetwater IPA and a Clown Shoes IPA on tap there without the loud music and poor service!