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Thanks to the Opening of Kevin Gillespie's Cold Beer, the Beltline Just Got Buzzier

Ashton Pike | August 29, 2019 | Food & Drink Feature

What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold—beer, that is.

Cold Beer’s matte black exterior is brought to life with neon yellow accents.

"The BeltLine is all about energy and walkability,” says chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow restaurant and Top Chef fame, “and, frankly, a future of what Atlanta will be—and we want to be a part of that future.” Enter: Cold Beer, the BeltLine’s newest neighbor, named after an old bar in Georgia that Gillespie used to pass on camping trips as a kid. Thanks to chef de cuisine Brian Baxter, the rotating menu is dripping with mouthwatering bites that taste even better with a light buzz (hello, smoked chicken wings), but owner Gillespie gives his own suggestion: Try the charred corn with crab nduja and African blue basil; then opt for an order of the raw scallops, whose perfect partner in crime is either a sparkling Chartreuse gimlet or a pour of Tritonia—“either of those drinks to that dish are almost a dead-on ringer for a pairing,” says Gillespie.


From top: The Georgia Sour, made up of bourbon, peach, makrut lime leaf, kola nut, lemon and muscadine float; grilled green beans topped with red curry and almonds.

To no surprise, local names abound at the new BeltLine hot spot—from Scofflaw Brewing Co. to Creature Comforts Brewing Company to Akademia Brewing Company and more. But for the weekenders looking to swap a bubbly brew for a smooth cocktail, a selection of 15 savory seasonal sips awaits, all of which have been expertly curated by beverage director Mercedes O’Brien. “The initial idea [for Cold Beer] was to give Mercedes a larger stage to perform on,” says Gillespie. “She had been with us for so many years at Gunshow, and her drinks and her program had really evolved. It was time for a new challenge.” Needless to say, the challenge was accepted—and flawlessly accomplished. Bourbon buffs will take solace in The Toasted Old-Fashioned with burnt sugar, bruleed cinnamon and flamed orange adding flavor and flair, while you can never go wrong with a round of frozen avocado margaritas.

Rotating local and international beers are on tap.

As for the environs—because a good drink needs an even better atmosphere to round out the experience—the 7,000-square-foot space flaunts a BeltLine-facing patio and a rooftop, of course. For those making an afternoon of it, indoor seating is yours for the taking—though we suggest a reservation as tables are bound to fill quickly. @coldbeeratl; @chefkevingillespie

Tags: drinks

Photography by: Brandon Amato