Just two blocks south of the Peachtree Center MARTA stop, Max Lager's is a dependable source of tasty craft brews in Hot'lanta. Downstairs hosts the 19 barrel DME brewing system, a bar, and the main dining area while upstairs offers a very relaxed atmosphere. At the top of the stairs lie six 16.5 barrel shiny copper unitank fermenters and six serving tanks along the interior brick walls. 15 feet above, the black ceiling and its tin ductwork glow from the myriad tiny white Christmas tree lights strung about overhead. A light wood "full" bar with wood chairs zig-zags against the far wall, three TVs booming the latest sporting events. Two six-tap towers pour the house beers while Bud bottles lurk out of site below. Rows of 10-place tall tables and stools populate the floor. Two dartboards offer the entertainment attraction while the outdoor patio offers a dozen tables for the UV-appreciative crowd.
Although the full bar does serve Bud bottles, it is the house beers that brings the repeat business. The Max Gold, at 4.9% and 35 IBUs, offers a gold appearance with a delicate and crisp hop bitterness asserting itself on the tongue. The Max Pale, 5.7% and 55 IBUs, is gold-colored, medium-bodied, with a pronounced hop aroma and flavor where the hops bitterness carries into the finish. The Max Red is clear amber with a medium body, dry maltiness and subtle hops (22 IBUs). The ESB is gold with a smooth mouthfeel, mellow hop-over-malt flavor balance and slightly hoppy finish. The seasonal Maibock (18 IBUs & 5.9%) is also gold, with a soft mouthfeel, sharp black patent flavor, slightly roasted character and very dry finish. The ruby-colored Nitro-blend Stout offers a very creamy head with a light creamy body, and very smooth malty flavor.
The lunch menu ends around five but before it does the Salmon BLT is a great treat. The beer sampler offers six four-ounce tasters for $5.95. The ten-ounce glasses are $2.95 and the 18-ounce "pints" $5.95. Wheelchair access is provided via elevator. While service is not "speedy", the staff is very friendly and the Rock & Roll tunes create an upbeat setting for enjoying quality beers in the heart of downtown. A note to travellers: for a $1.50 token you can be at the brewpub within 20 minutes of catching the MARTA at Atlanta's Hartsfiled Airport.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - April,
320 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308