Thursday, July 5, 2018

Torched Hop Brewing - Midtown - Old Fourth Ward - Atlanta Georgia

You can find Torched Hop Brewing at 249 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 - this is the Southwestern corner of Ponce and Penn Ave (incidentally right across from Nancy's Chicago Style Pizza to the east and Mary Mac's Tea Room across Ponce, both I also recommend - see my last review for Nancy's). The business occupies the former location of "The Old Spaghetti Factory" for those of you familiar with the area. You can park for free at the Camden Apartments garage or you can sometimes find street parking on the blocks nearby. The entry has the Torched Hop logo prominently displayed and there's a sign on the Penn Ave side.

I ended up here with a few friends and fellow Yelpers - as I recall this was one of Michelle T's "Beer UYEs  or Sarah M who organized the gathering - that included several regulars - I'm not quite sure as it was a last minute thing for me to attend  - there were 8-10 of us sharing a big table upstairs. If you haven't experienced this place it's worth it just for the venue - industrial finishes with exposed brick walls, overlaid with rich woods and real hardwood flooring; and expansive views across a huge space. There's a mezzanine second floor (where we sat) that overlooks the first floor littered with tables, a bar and several manual-skill games. If you're looking for a venue for a party you could do much worse.

This is a brewery pub in the purist sense - they make beer here and offer decent food, much in the same fashion as 5 Seasons and New Realm. They also have a nice list of local Micro-brews as "Guest Taps" and a full bar with Featured Cocktails. I started by sharing a flight of the House Drafts - honestly I wasn't too impressed but I think this was more due to the styles offered:
  1. Hops-De-Leon IP - fairly solid IPA, lots of hops with some citrus, this was just tapped
  2. Sherma's Wrath Smoked Porter - I love porters but this one was maybe a bit too smoky and felt flat to me.
  3. Cukes n' Cream - I normally don't care for flavored beers and cucumbers with beer just sounds weird to me, but this one was surprisingly good
  4. Saison in the Raw - nope, I just don't like saisons in general, it's sour in just the wrong way for me, actually in the sour direction past a Dubbel towards the sours I tend to pass on.
I ended up with one of the guest taps, a Westbrook IPA which more than did the job for me.

For snacks we pretty much went down the list and ordered most of the Smalls:
  1. Hummus - Red Lentil, w/veggies and veggie chips - frankly I thought this a bit boring but it did satisfy the vegans among us
  2. Herbed Fries - w/sriracha, smoked mayo, kimchee ketchup - not much to these steak-cut fries and probably the weakest apps we tried.
  3. Redneck Poutine - tots, sausage gravy, cheddar curd and bacon - loved this, but then again throw bacon and cheese on any tot and I-m happy
  4. Cheese Board - Tomme, Sweetgrass Camembert, Hooks Blue - some decent cheeses here but there probably needs to be at least one other, either on the briny-side or bitter side to balance the sweet creaminess
  5. Wild Game Nuggets - Duck and rabbit leg, w/blackberry Meaploy - I didn't get much from these - very crispy but not a lot of flavor.
  6. St Louis Ribs - Sriracha butter, sweet pickled peppers - loved these and could probably finish a few orders by myself
  7. Jumbo Whole Wings - Spicy and sweet paprika, peach chili garlic - not as spicy as I thought they would be and a bit over-fried.
  8. Local Tomatoes - crumbled mozz, basil, croutons - loved these, perfect balance of acid-to-fat
  9. Hot Crawfish Pimento Cheese - oregano parmesan crostini - awesome dip but I would have preferred it a bit spicier (it was perfect for others in our party - I just like really spicy)

I think in general the food is pretty solid if a bit on the "bar food" side but that's to be expected. We ordered a couple of extra items before moving to Nancy's across the street. The service was a little lacking - we were off to one edge and it took some flagging of servers to get water and beer glasses filled. Overall I think the experience was good but not great - more of a 3.5/5 so I'll round it up to 4. I actually like this place quite a bit and want to try the burgers, maybe next time. I'm glad I don't live nearby as I would be spending way too much time here.

(also posted to Yelp)
Torched Hop Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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