As with many crafts over the years, locals are finding out they can do them in Helen, too. Brewing is a longstanding tradition in Germany and a lynchpin of Oktoberfest. As the unofficial Georgia Oktoberfest headquarters, regulars to Helen taste a lot of seasonal brews from Deutschland. The palates of the Blue Ridge faithful are exacting! A craft brewery has nonetheless emerged that satisfies those expectations and expands options for beer lovers year-round. Tantrum Brewery embodies the best of the craft brewing tradition: hard work yielding delicious results, designed for all to enjoy.
Located on the Helen Highway just a few miles from town, Tantrum is a family-run brewery founded in 2018 with all three sons, mom, and dad all involved. They have created a family-friendly atmosphere with a wide array of beer flavors, nonalcoholic treats, and a rotating cast of food trucks and events.
It starts with the drinks
Have you ever been somewhere that looked spectacular in terms of scenery or architecture, but the drinks and foods were distractingly bad? This is the bane of many quaint small towns. Not in Helen: Tantrum Brewing Company is Georgia’s first designated agritourism brewery. They have something that separates them from other breweries—their own hops grown right on the property! Hops are a critical ingredient that give beer its distinctive tangy citrus, floral, or somewhat bitter flavor. They can stand out or add depth depending on other ingredients.
Everyone who drinks beer can find something they like here, as can some who don’t usually choose beer as their alcohol (sours, fruit infusions, wheaty beers). And if beer is a hard no, even with fruitiness, try their hard seltzers with flavors such as lime and blackberry. There’s even ginger brew for abstainers. At any given time, you may find up to 16 beers on the menu. You can count on their core offerings all of the time, and in cans:
● Folklore: a hazy, dry-hopped IPA
● 90s Baby: a lighter amber lager with coffee notes
● Gypsy Queen: Mexican-style light lager known as a “crushable, perfect lake beer”
● Look Closer: a higher gravity hazy dry double hopped IPA with tropical notes
● Poems at Midnight: a fruity Berliner Weisse currently made using blackberry and raspberry
● Set in the West: A piney, classic IPA
Their menu could further include exotic IPAs, Oktoberfest classics, fruity sours and goses, or even Irish stouts. Special releases contain their homegrown hops. They have even been known to release local wine-infused brews. Flights, a great introduction, gives you a choice of 8 selections so you can discover your new faves in one fell swoop.
Space to Stretch Out
While you are beer tasting at Tantrum, you’ll also experience the full atmosphere of the Blue Ridge foothills. As a special bonus, Yonah Mountain is visible from the spacious property. Tantrum is a dog-friendly (leashed) brewery that encourages hanging out: Adirondack chairs, cornhole boards, and picnic tables are evenly distributed outside the taproom, which itself rolls open large industrial doors as weather permits.
Every weekend, Tantrum creates festivity with food trucks and live music in the taproom. Enjoy a revolving cast of cuisine from the likes of Eggroll Boys, Brazilian Barbeskewers, Super Tacos, Rollin Chics, and other local wonders.
You can also count on weekly events to sweeten the overall experience: Wednesday Night Trivia, Thursday Bingo, and Friday Cornhole Tournaments.
Thoughtfully Crafted and Brewed
On hot days, Tantrum serves King of Pops popsicles and on cold nights, they light-up fire pits. The special thing about Tantrum is that they make you part of a mountain leisure community instantly. Tantrum is a big breath of fresh air for the family, a perfect counterpart to the hiking, river ratting, shopping, and appetizer touring that makes the core of a truly magical Helen experience.