If you’ve ever driven through Georgia, maybe on your way south to Florida or east to Savannah, there’s a good chance you found yourself on Interstate 75. Almost smack dab in the middle of the state lies Macon, the “Heart of Georgia”. While it’s not a small city, in fact it’s the fourth largest in the state, it’s somewhat overlooked in comparison to Atlanta, just a couple of hours north.
So when my daughter, who lives near the Georgia coast, recently suggested we meet halfway in Macon for a little back to college lunch, I jumped at the chance to get to know the city a little better.
One of the things we always look for on our road trips is breweries. We hit the jackpot when we searched and discovered there are three brewpubs in Macon. How do we choose which one? Maybe it was their cute logo or their slogan “Beer is better when it’s Macon Made” that drew us in but I really think it was the pictures of the burgers that helped us decide on Ocmulgee Brewpub.
Named for the city’s Historic National Monument, the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds, their website says they have gone back to their roots, when living off the land and creating things from scratch were the way of life. It appears that’s what they’ve done with their brewing. All of the beer is made in house with the exception of the cider that comes from California, and brewed with quality ingredients.
I really liked the line up of beers they had. With mainstays, seasonals, and experimentals there is something for everyone. One of my favorites was “Gosebusters”. A Gose is a German beer made with at least 50% wheat, a sour component, like in this case, lemongrass, an herbal characteristic and some saltiness. I didn’t think it would be my favorite, but it was very refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. That’s the great thing about a brewpub that offers a flight. You get to take a chance, try a little of several different kinds of beers and maybe find one that really surprises you.
The burger line up is on point as well. They use Georgia’s own, Bentley Farms grass fed angus beef that they grind fresh daily in house to present a variety of tasty, well put together burgers. Another bonus is the sauces they make in house. How about Ocmulgee Ketchup, Jalapeno Ranch or House Made Beer Mustard to go with your hand cut fries?
We didn’t order any appetizers this time, but on my next visit, I’m going to try the Wisconsin Cheese Curds or the Homemade Pimento Cheese.
For the more health conscious and those with food allergies, the menu includes a full range of artisan salads, turkey or veggie burgers and gluten free buns. They also have a gluten free hard cider on tap.
Perhaps the most impressive quality of Ocmulgee Brewpub though, is the people that work there. I can’t even tell you how knowledgeable and friendly the staff was. The attention to detail and their customer service shows how proud they are of their product. From the person who took our order, to the bartender and the server that kept a check on us at our outside table. The service was outstanding across the board and that’s really saying something in this day and time. I felt like they truly wanted you to have the very best experience you could have. That’s the kind of thing that keeps me going back to a place again and again.
The next time you find yourself in Georgia around Macon, take the time to exit the interstate and make a stop at Ocmulgee. I promise you won’t be sorry.
Ocmulgee Brewpub is located at 484 2nd St, Macon, Ga. 31201. It’s easily accessible from I-75 or I-16. They are open seven days a week. Monday-Thursday and Sunday 11 am- 9 pm and Friday and Saturday 11 am-10 pm. Phone (478) 254-2848. If you go on Sunday, remember Georgia has a blue law and alcohol isn’t available until 12:30 pm.
The brewpub is kid friendly. They have tables inside and if you happen to have your dog with you, there are tables outside as well.
Remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.