Depending on who you ask, it's been four—"Actually, seven. Wait, maybe only six?"—years since the Shelton Brothers sold beer in Georgia. And in those years since, The Peach State's beer scene has matured in just about every way possible. We've got dozens more breweries now (whereas we had about a dozen period back then), a few beer law updates (direct sales are coming Sept. 1), and more than our fair share of geeks ready to debate both—not to mention get in line for something delicious.
So perhaps it wasn't surprising that 30 or so folks were standing outside The Porter Beer Bar on a Tuesday morning when the Shelton portfolio made its triumphant return to Georgia. (Other tap takeovers are planned around the city this week, and the Sheltons are even bringing The Festival to Atlanta in August.)
There were Atlanta beer OGs in Cantillon t-shirts, business folks in button-downs taking a long lunch or attending an "off-site meeting," and some diehards—OK, just two of them—who showed up at 10:30 a.m. just to make sure they didn't miss out on anything. When the door finally opened, there were more than 40 drafts, myriad bottles, and a bar-wide Fou' Foune toast to kick off the day. I imagine that day was a long one for some of the regulars who took off work.