By Mallory Bowers
Originally published Spring 2012.
The Brick Store was opened in 1997 by Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher and Tom Moore, three Athens natives looking to fill the Atlanta-area gastropub void. Fourteen years later, it is the #2 rated beer bar in the world according to Beer Advocate magazine and a Forbes Traveler top ten bar. And for good reason – the Brick Store has a Belgian bar upstairs and a large regular bar downstairs with 25 taps, 185 bottles, and the occasional cask tapping. The Brick Store has added to the empire within the last few years by constructing two cellars – one upstairs in the Belgian bar, and another downstairs in an old bank vault. The vintage program has taken years of planning and a substantial investment in rare and limited edition beers. This has inflated the pub’s beer list to 500 different offerings, with prices ranging from as little as $7 or $8 for a 12-ounce bottle of American craft beer up to $300 for a 6-liter bottle of Belgian ale. Although the pub offers an impressively large beer menu, don’t expect to find Budweiser or Coors, and certainly no “light” beer of any kind. If you plan to spend the better part of an evening here (or an afternoon celebrating an exam with a liquid lunch), you will need some sustenance, or at least need to engage your beer munchies later on. With no menu item exceeding $10, aside from Cornish game hen, no graduate student can feel too much guilt imbibing and dining at the Brick Store.
Although the menu has changed a bit recently, most of the crowd favorites have remained. If the shepherd’s daughter’s pie, fish and chips, or brat can’t please you, I will apologize in person (and then ask, what’s wrong with you?). Turkey burgers are notoriously dry – not so at the Brick Store. I like to side it with a field green salad: mesclun greens, roma tomatoes, sunflower seeds, yellow raisins & parmesan cheese, tossed with tahini green goddess dressing. The house pastrami sandwich is as good as any Jewish deli’s and if you’d like something a little more out of the box, I recommend the cup o’ curr “ey” which comes in appetizer and entrée-sized portions. Beer and cheese tastings occur the 1st Monday of every month starting at 6 pm, five beers and five cheeses for $25. Interestingly, the owners of the Brick Store also own Leon’s just down the street. Brick Store neophytes can find nirvana at:
125 E. Court Square
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Monday 11 am – 1 am
Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-2 am
Sunday 12 pm-1 am