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Column: Looking for a beer that never fails? Try Six Bridges’ golden retriever-inspired brew, Shelby
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Six Bridges Brewing's Shelby offers a tasty, approachable beer that's as friendly as a golden retriever. - photo by Kelsey Podo

Sometimes I want a break from brews that take my taste buds on a roller coaster. 

Sometimes I just need a simple, solid beer — one that I can always fall back on if I can’t decide what to drink. A beer that is as friendly and approachable as a golden retriever. 

I can always count on Six Bridges Brewing’s American golden ale, Shelby. 

It’s light — but not quite a lawnmower-beer — and offers an easy-drinking balance of wheat, maltiness and acidity. Shelby is a clean, crisp brew that never lets me down. The golden ale offered similar notes to a Märzen-style beer, Oktoberfest’s drink of choice.

It happens to be the first beer I ever tried from Six Bridges when it first opened in Johns Creek a couple of years ago. The brewery is run by a father-son duo, Charles and Clay Gridley.

I haven’t popped by since the pandemic hit, but the space offers quite the welcoming atmosphere. On lazy nights, there’s a warmth to the brewery with its sparkling outdoor and indoor string lights, picnic tables and glossy wooden bar. If you don’t mind taking a 30-40 minute trip over from Hall, it’s worth the visit.

Shelby, which can also be found in Kroger and beer shops outside Atlanta, is a year-round delicious, inoffensive brew that I would recommend to any walk of beer-lovers, even the BudLight acolytes. If you don’t at least remotely like Shelby, there is next to no hope for your palate. I’m a firm believer that there’s a beer out there for everyone, even those who prefer wine or say, “All beer just tastes like beer.” Hearing this sentence only strengthens my fervor to prove them wrong. And, Shelby is the sort of beer that I would recommend. It’s not too sweet, not too bitter and smoother than a newly tumbled stone.

Apparently, the brew is named after a late golden retriever beloved by the owners. Shelby comes in at 4.8% alcohol-by-volume and is brewed with honey malt, which adds a soft malty sweetness. If you’re still looking for a brew that will draw you into the world of craft beer, give Shelby a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Six Bridges is located at 11455 Lakefield Drive in Johns Creek. For more information about its tasty brews, visit


Brewery: Six Bridges Brewing

Alcohol by volume: 4.8%

Style: American golden ale

Bottom line: You can’t go wrong with this beer