Festival Focus | S.U.D.S Beer Festival in Decatur, Georgia, USA

Festival Focus | S.U.D.S Beer Festival in Decatur, Georgia, USA

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I love festivals, and I love beer, so I was very excited when Dorothy from the blog Oz and Other Places wanted to share her experience and tips for the Simply Us Doing Our Share or S.U.D.S festival in Decatur, Georgia (the US state). This was formerly called the Decatur Beer Festival (DBF). The words and photos in this post are courtesy of Dorothy.

Note – the legal drinking age in the USA is 21. Please drink responsibly and have a designated driver or use public transit, taxi or a ride sharing app if you’ve had any alcohol.

The Simply Us Doing Our Share or S.U.D.S festival takes place every October in Decatur, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. It features over eighty stands from breweries around the US and unlimited beer samples with your entry. Of course, you must be over 21 to attend. The festival ropes off the Decatur Square and Main Road, so there’s plenty of space to try the offerings, chat with friends and enjoy live music. It’s my favourite festival of the year, so here’s what you need to know!

Getting Your Tickets

DBF is not just my fave; it is also one of the most popular festivals in Atlanta. This means you’ll want to plan ahead to get your tickets. My friends and I set alarms for the day they release tickets. This is typically a weekday in August or September at around noon. They sell out quickly, so make sure you don’t have a lunch meeting that day! If you do miss the release, you can usually find tickets on neighbourhood forums, Facebook or Craigslist. This is a serious business.

Reuniting with old friends at DBF.

Before You Go

Check the weather! S.U.D.S happens rain or shine or wildly hot Atlanta October weather. In general, Atlanta weather is unpredictable, but in the fall, it is especially so. If you’re from Chicago, like me for example, you may think jeans and a long sleeve shirt would be appropriate in October. You may be very wrong/very sweaty.

Pack snacks! Homemade pretzel necklaces are a very popular accessory at DBF. People string together pretzels and sometimes cheese, sausage or candies around their neck to snack on in between stops. Sometimes if you don’t bring your own, you can make a game out of grabbing other people’s pretzels. This is actually not at all recommended, but to say I haven’t pulled that move before would be a lie.

Get Brunch! Since S.U.D.S has become such a popular event among my friends, we always plan to eat a hearty brunch together before we go. Side note: Did I mention we’ve made a pact to always attend DBF together no matter where we live or where we are in life? It’s that fun! Anyway, you’ll want to have a hearty base of food so be sure to eat breakfast. If you are looking to go out for brunch instead, there are plenty of great food options in the Atlanta and Decatur areas. Some of my favourites in Decatur include Cakes & Ale, Sun In My Belly, Highland Bakery and Sweet Melissa’s, though these may be extra busy around the festival. In Atlanta, there are tons of other options. You can’t go wrong with the original Highland Bakery location, General Muir, Murphy’s, Folk Art or Buttermilk Kitchen.

Getting There

Since Decatur is a suburb of Atlanta, it is a little out of the way. However, the train system Marta runs straight to the entrance of the festival. This makes it very convenient if you are starting near a stop. Otherwise, Uber and Lyft are also easy options. Decatur has limited free parking, and on DBF those spaces are in high demand. Add that to the beer part of the festival, and I highly recommend avoiding driving yourself.

While You’re There

There are two primary areas with beer stands. The first is in the square and the second is in the street, with the food tents connecting the two sections. Typically, the square is more crowded, so I like to start on the street. As I mentioned, there are unlimited samples at DBF, so when you enter you will get a signature glass that will be refilled at each spot.

Enjoying samples at DBF.

There is always a map of the vendors, so if you have a particular brewery in mind, you will be able to find it. I like to mix it up with some that I already know and some I’ve never seen. This is how my friends and I came across Ballast Point and got to meet some of their first employees! There is also water at each station to rinse your glass and stay hydrated.

In general, I suggest doing three things: enjoy some beer, sample the local Atlanta food and dance to the music! TBH not that many people dance, but the music is always good, and I personally love to dance. The real third suggestion is to talk to people. We’ve met so many people at the beer stands or just attending the festival that it’s always worth it.

Hope to see you at S.U.D.S Fest this October!

About the Author

Dorothy grew up outside of Chicago and lives in Atlanta, Georgia now with her husband and two golden retrievers, Hank and Ted. Although she works full time, she loves travelling and planning trips which led her to start Oz and Other Places. Besides that she enjoys exploring new places, eating mac and cheese, hanging in the sunshine, hiking, and reading. You can also follow Dorothy on Pinterest.

Things to Know
If you’re looking to attend this festival you can book your hotel in Decatur here. If you want to stay in Atlanta you can book your hotel in Atlanta here.

Would you check out the S.U.D.S Festival?

10 thoughts on “Festival Focus | S.U.D.S Beer Festival in Decatur, Georgia, USA”

  1. That sounds like a super fun festival! While I’m not really a huge fan of beer, I would still attend Decatur Beer Festival. I’m always up for tasting local food and surely there’s so much to offer in Atlanta. Besides I want that signature glass and trying to sneakily grab someone’s pretzels, hahaha :p

  2. The Decatur Beer Festival sounds like so much fun. I don’t drink beer, but my husband does, and I love the festival atmosphere. Plus, I’m more than willing to try some of that local Atlanta food you mentioned!! I’m not surprised that this has become one of the favorite festivals of the year. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pretzel necklaces? That’s brilliant, but I can’t even imagine how to make it last more than 20 minutes or so. Definitely need the snacks (and the brunch beforehand) if I’m going to be drinking beer all afternoon though!

  4. Even though I’m not a beer drinker, this sounds like a really fun festival. Your tip about having a hearty meal before the festival makes total sense. Love the idea of always meeting up with friends at the festival, no matter what. Will not make it this year, but good to know about it!!

  5. If you were a beer drinker, the chance to try 80 different beer stands at the Decatur Beer Festival would be unresistable! We always like to try the local beers when we travel. And I am sure we would find one or more we liked. Not sure I will plan enough ahead to get tickets in advance. Especially if they sell out so fast. The homemade pretzel necklaces with cheese and sausage sound so great.

  6. What an unique festival! I knew of the one held in Germany 🙂
    I am not a beer fan but I do have some beer crazy friends. Definitely sharing with them.

  7. The first sentence of this blog article could have been written by me. I also love festivals, and I love beer! Fortunately, I live in Austria where there is no shortage of both. That said, the Decatur Beer Festival in Atlanta looks great. Enjoying a hearty brunch before hitting the beer stands is an excellent idea.

  8. That is such an amazing festival. We will surely have lots of fun there and would not get tired of tasting beer, as it is our favourite too. Looking forward to attend this someday for sure.

  9. Jennifer Merloy

    All you can drink beer sounds like a good way to get into some major trouble. The festival does look like an amazing way to try a huge amount of beer. I love places where I can try a lot of different things at once.

    Although after the first couple of hours, I doubt the type of beer matters.

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