None But The Very Best Goods Passed Over Our Bar
It’s as simple as looking under your feet to find evidence of Atlanta’s pioneer past. At the site of forgotten dwellings, heirloom plants show signs of an earlier time, marking the town’s history.
Hops are among the many rugged plant verities, tangled yet thriving, near crumbling structures and trace foundations. Appearing in early photos of Atlanta’s dwellings this hardy bine (often confused with a vine) played a role in quenching the thirst of early pioneers. Not surprising to us, Atlanta has consistently supported a pub, bar, saloon, or brewery, even during the times when no other business could thrive.
In researching Atlanta’s relationship to this climbing botanical we discovered Atlanta’s first Brewery, reasonably named The Atlanta Brewery. Also known as the Nelson Davis Brewery, this saloon, brewery and billiard hall opened its doors and respectfully solicited public patronage as early as 1870, if not earlier, only a handful of years after gold was discovered in the area in 1864. The brewery proudly appears in a town view photo dated 1878.
Located in the exact location where the Whistle Stop now stands (now a defunct bar built in 1931), the Atlanta Brewery was a wood sided, two-story white structure built in the shade of a stately pine tree located on Main Street. The brewery is advertised in The Atlanta News (1885) stating that they offered both kegs and bottled beer, along with wine, liquor, and cigars for sale. In 1908, along with other nearby buildings on Main Street (The Atlanta Hotel, Greylock Saloon, and the Butler Store) the Atlanta Brewery burned to the ground, leaving behind nothing but room for the next.
Atlanta has seen fire, fortune, tragedy, hope, hardship, and everything in-between. Much of its tangible history has fallen ruin to time but every summer when the hops climb, the thimbleberries and choke cherries flower we are reminded of the immigrants, the miners, the shop keeps, and brew masters, and the many people who made this rugged, storied place home.
-Rachel Reichert & Amy OBrien