If beer/alcohol is going to be on a significant part of the agenda, Buckhead and Midtown are your best bets. Travelzoo often runs promos for hotels in Buckhead (i'm staying at Westin-Buckhead for Dodgers series the weekend of Aug 14 for $109 a night which includes free valet and club floor). They have a complimentary shuttle within 2 mile radius, so you could get to a bar, but would have to cab back, more than likely.
MARTA has TWO stations on either side of Lenox Square Mall, where a majority of the Buckhead hotels are. You already know it's the "money" area of ATL, so most bars won't be cheap. You can also hop on the rail and get off at 5 points station and take the free shuttle to the game. Roundtrip should be about $5 a person. Trains after the game are slooooow, tho. If you're staying in Midtown, just cab it. Would be about the same cost if you have more than 2 going, and MUCH faster.
When you go, school will be in at GA Tech, so expect Midtown to be more crowded then that it is now. Could be a good thing if attractive girls actually went there, right?
That being said, they have an entire block or two that is essentially just places to go out at.
ANY Fellini's pizza is a great choice. The Vortex (Midtown) supposedly has some of the best burgers, ever. Several other popular joints around Midtown.
My recommendations: sign up for travelzoo's weekly email and see what pops up. if there's a football game that weekend, midtown will be more expensive