Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Road Trip: The Distillery - Savannah, GA

416 West Liberty St., Savannah, GA

Last Friday night Kyle and I had the good fortune to hang out with our friends Danielle and Ben at The Distillery in Savannah, GA. The Distillery is a cool pub. It's a prohibition style bar with appropriately dressed bartenders and some cool period decor. Local musicians can often be found playing live music, and silent movies play in the background. It's open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, so you can drink most of the night away if you so choose.

The menu is good but not great. It's biggest advantage is the last page, entitled "The Quick and the Cheap", which lists inexpensive choices such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and small burgers geared towards "starving artists." This is especially needed in Savannah, a thriving artists' community and home of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Kyle enjoyed his burger, called The Distillery Budget Burger ($5, served with chips and a pickle), and my friend Danielle liked her Prohibition po'boy. This is available in both cod and shrimp. The shrimp was large and golden-fried ($12). I ordered the Annie's Cream of Crab Soup, unable to resist the description that "you will tell all your friends about this soup because it is that good". It was good, but not THAT good. The menu seems to be prone to hyperbole in general. However, I did greatly enjoy the Pretzel Treasures, little knobs of beautifully puffed, round pretzel bites served with a cheese dip made with Arrogant Bastard ale and a spicy mustard. A great choice paired with nearly any beer.

The best thing about the Distillery isn't the decor or the food though, it's the fantastic beer list. Just to name a few, they carry Avery Hog Heaven (from CO), Lagunitas Censored American Amber (CA), Wyder's Peach Cider (Canada), brews from the nearby Moon River Brewing Company, several varieties of Rogue (from OR, and always always great), and several Allagash varieties (ME). The entire list was 3 pages long. Very impressive. I would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of bars in the Atlanta area with such an interesting (and generally very affordable) beer selection.

The Distillery is so proud of it's unique and varied beers that the management has posted a large blackboard inside above the door which states that they don't carry any of what I consider to be the mainstream, crappy brands. Please see my photo for details. I think the idea is priceless.

The only downside of the bar's frequent changes in their selections is that what's listed on the website isn't always available. Ben scoped out the beer list in advance on the site and was disappointed that the first 3 brews he attempted to order weren't in stock. Just don't get too stuck on anything in particular and you'll leave happy.

Verdict: A pub for beer-lovers. Good, bargain-priced food, awesome beer selection.


  1. As a beer drinker and food lover, having a huge selection of alcohol always piques my interests, due to my thirst of trying and appreciating each of them. But whenever I'm on a food road trip with my friends, as the designated driver, I really have to avoid drinking to avoid crashing my car (that I cherish the most, since that is the first one I bought at the dealerships) or even getting stopped by the police. Usually on our food trip, we start in our home town in Burlington, Ontario, and end in Quebec, for 4 days, to totally savor the experience.

  2. I actually like the Quick and Cheap section of the menu. It's actually a nice touch. Some of us don't have the time to stay at a diner for too long on a road trip, and the quicker I can decide on what I want eat, the sooner I can get back to my trip.