Beer Issue - Georgia Brewery Watch 2015

Athens, Roswell, Newnan, Kennesaw, oh my! Plus, ITP Atlanta's latest brewpub


The Southern Brewing Company: Athens' newest brewery opened in May, which means the Classic City has doubled its number of beer makers in the last year. (It went from two to four, but still.) Southern owner Brian Roth has worn many hats over the years — sculptor, University of Georgia professor, beer distributor, homebrewer. His new venture opened with a Pale Ale and has an IPA coming next, but it's the wild-yeast world — including Swan Swan Hummingbird, a collaboration with Wild Heaven that was hitting draft around press time — that truly has his heart.

Abide Brewing Company: Newnan's first brewery — the three men behind Abide helped write the ordinance to allow microbreweries there — started distributing beer to six counties surrounding its Coweta County hometown back in February. Local Pale Ale (a "light copper ale with English caramel notes" at 6 percent ABV), Coweta Common Ale (a "brilliantly clear American Blonde Ale" at 5.4 percent ABV), and Asian Persuasion Ale (a "lawnmower beer" with ginger and lemon grass at 5.2 percent) make up Abide's core lineup, but the brewery's Saturday tours (noon-4 p.m.) include nine different selections.



Southern Sky Brewing Company: Jon Near describes himself as "CEO, brewmaster, marketing chair, and taste tester" of Kennesaw's soon-to-open Southern Sky. A Georgia Tech grad who previously worked at Lockheed Martin as an aeronautical engineer, Near hopes to open what will be Kennesaw's second brewery in July. Southern Sky will launch with three beers: Worlds Apart Ale ("a Frankenstein hybrid of a Belgian white ale and an Irish red ale"), Schwarzschild Porter (an English-style Porter with "heavy tones of dark cocoa and espresso"), and an IPA that depends on what kind of hops are available.

Left Nut Brewing Co.: This questionably named Gainesville operation is hoping for a summer 2015 launch. SweetWater co-founder and 5 Seasons Prado brewmaster Kevin McNerney is on board as a stakeholder, advisor, and leadership team member for the project. He introduced the brewery executives to Jason Ford (SweetWater, Oskar Blues, Monday Night), who will be Left Nut's head brewer. President Nilanjan Datta says the brewery "will more than likely stick with lighter ales and full-flavored IPAs as our initial launch items, and then introduce more robust categories as we head into the fall and holiday season."

Abbey of the Holy Goats: "Head Goat" Kathy Davis says her "food-centric Belgian-style" beers are getting closer to becoming a reality. As of mid-June, an "industrial warehouse behind the Verizon Amphitheater on the Roswell side" was in full construction and a brewhouse and fermenters were ordered. Davis will launch a Kickstarter campaign in July to help pay for the Holy Goats tasting and barrel rooms, with hopes of opening to the public in early fall.

Torched Hop Brewing Company: Brothers Stephen and Chris Bivins are opening Atlanta's next brewpub. Stephen has worked in myriad restaurants, and Chris was previously the head brewer at Wake Forest, N.C.'s White Street Brewing Company, where he won a gold medal for his Kolsch-style Ale at the 2014 World Beer Cup. Situated in the expansive 11,000-square-foot space that formerly housed the Old Spaghetti Factory on Ponce de Leon Avenue across the street from Mary Mac's, Torched Hop "will place a heavy focus on brewing IPAs/hoppy ales and Belgian beers," Stephen says. They're tentatively planning for a Dec. 1 opening.

Georgia Brewery Watch is a semi-regular feature that is published as often as Georgia's beer market dictates. Got a new brewery tip? Send it to beer@creativeloafing.com.

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