Drink in Gwinnett: Community Over Competition

Jan/Feb 2021

Supporting each other has been the mantra over the past year and that goes for the culinary world too! Small business owners know that it’s important to have a plethora of superb eating and drinking establishments, when one succeeds, they all benefit.  A true community over competition mentality. Much like when you are on vacation, you should go where the locals go for good food, drinks and service…we wanted to know where the bar and restaurant owners go in Gwinnett! We asked a few owners where they like to eat and drink when they aren’t on their own turf. Let’s face it, even though they LOVE their places, they probably get tired of their own food and drink too! 

Todd DiMatteo


Good Word Brewing & Public House

When asked what his favorite thing to sip on at his bar, DiMatteo replied, “My favorite thing to drink at Good Word is usually a pale lager. Right now, out of the ones we have, my go to is Any Day Now 5% Italian-Style Pilsner. We made this beer in collaboration with Blackberry Farm.” He’s also fond of a unique draft option called a “Side Pull” that is a special tap from the Czech Republic that creates foam to pour the beer through. (Did you know beer foam protects beer from oxygen? Who knew!)
If he’s not at Good Word, he and the family love Umadio in Suwanee. “They have some of the best ramen around. It’s very small and intimate. The menu is great and varied and they have awesome veggie options for my oldest daughter; (13yrs) she’s a vegetarian,” said DiMatteo. His go to at Umaido is the spicy tonkatsu ramen level 3 (spiciness) and a nice Japanese pale lager.

Ben Bailey Owner Local Republic
Ben and Jerad (LR’s lustrous barkeep) are fond of Local Republic’s T&T, which is Saint George Terroir Gin, LR’s house tonic and a lemon peel. Classic and simple. “If you haven’t had the Terroir, it’s perfect for the holidays because of the woodsy hints of Douglas Fir and other botanicals infused in the gin,” said Ben.

Ben and his family are keeping it low-key due to covid, but when they do venture out, they stay close to home in Duluth and head over to Good Word. “I’m digging a dry Irish stout they are brewing called Wake Up Call. I like lower ABV and Wake Up Call is somewhere around 4%, which is perfect for a sessionable brew, plus it’s dark, dry and has some great roasted coffee notes without feeling heavy,” he noted. 
Mike GreeneChief Executive OfficerSocial Fox Brewing
Mike Greene is a fan of two staples at his brewery in Norcross, the Gold Belt and Light-n-Social, But if he’s not enjoying a flight at Social Fox, he’s sampling flights at fellow breweries in Gwinnett like Indio Brewing in Sugar Hill and Still Fire Brewing in Suwanee. 
When asked for his go-to from fellow brewmasters, he replied, “At Indio, the Sour Patch has been one of their staple beers since their opening. Stillfire, I just like a sampling of all the new and ongoing beers they have to offer. Don’t forget my boys like their park, so it’s an easy sell for the family.”