Sweetwater Brewing Company
An unpasteurized and aggressive West Coast style
Sweetwater Brewing Company was founded in 1997 by Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney, who were buddies and college roommates at the University of Colorado, Boulder. While in school, the guys worked at local breweries and learned the basics of brewing craft beer. Not a bad job when you’re in college! After graduating, they decided to make brewing into a full time career and headed off to the American Brewers Guild in California to perfect the art of fermentation science.
Freddy and Kevin went on to work for a number of west coast breweries, gaining excellent experience and keeping the dream of opening their own brewery alive. That dream came true in 1997 with the opening of Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta, Georgia.
The two had visited Atlanta the summer prior during the Olympics, and quickly realized this town was in desperate need of some quality craft beers. Freddy and Kevin knew they were just the guys for the job, so they scraped up enough money to get started. The name of the brewery came from nearby Sweetwater Creek, which Freddy often kayaked down while the brewery was under construction. The motto “Don’t Float the Mainstream” became the guide, and it’s stuck ever since.
Today, Sweetwater Brewing Company is located in its newer home in Midtown Atlanta in a 25,000 square foot brewing facility. It’s a favorite spot of visitors and locals, and offers a great place to taste and enjoy some excellent craft beers. In fact, many of Sweetwater’s brews have won medals across the country and are recognized for their consistently flavorful and unique creations. Sweetwater’s new home has the capacity to brew 100,000 barrels of beer a year - a level they hope to achieve someday soon.