Atlanta, Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing is putting the finishing touches on a massive new barrel house at their home on Ottley Drive. The brewery hopes it will be among the largest of it’s kind in the United States.
First, let’s start by acknowledging the fact that wild and sour beer production is on the rise in America. (read: On fire.) You’ll find few people upset over this trend. Sour and wild beer production comes with two big drawbacks that need to be overcome if you are going to really go all-in on the styles. The first – keeping the sour and wild beer separate.
Yeah, wild ales are great, but so is SweetWater 420 and IPA. Best practice says those beers need to grow up away from each other. The second is space to let your wild beer sit in peace for long periods of time. Both these problems are most easily solved with more room. Anytime the brewery has needed more space, they just buy the empty building next door.
They’ve done that very thing again. Introducing The Woodlands, SweetWater’s new wild and sour facility, and event space.
The 37,000 square foot space is tacked onto the warehouse end of the brewery. It will house 11 foeders (6 are in place in the images below). The barrel storage area can house around 1,000 wine and spirits barrels.
Back to the discussion of keeping things separate. The new facility will house their own packaging line for bottling and canning.
Let’s face it. Barrels are sexy. For that reason, The Woodlands will serve as an upscale event space, for your beer-forward, stylish events. Care was taken to design the taproom with a grand staircase, detailed lighting, exposed brick, and more.
SweetWater’s Mark Medilin and Troy Montrone will oversee the sour expansion. Beer Street Journal is told the first release is slated to be a raspberry sour ale. Hopefully two releases in 2017, and up to four a year going forward.
SweetWater The Woodlands should be open to public in in January, 2017.
Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing is about to grow. We aren’t talking about distribution either. The brewery is adding a nearly $2 million dollar sour and wild ale facility on a massive urban redevelopment project known as the BeltLine. Honestly, it took the brewery’s fans a bit by surprise.
Monday Night co-founder Jonathan Baker tells Beer Street Journal that it was an idea that pretty much happened all at once. It’s no secret that sour and wild ales are on fire in the states (it’s about time). The downside for a brewer wanting to brew more of the style is the danger wild beer poses to your clean brewhouse. Plus, you need a lot of extra space for barrels to sit for months and years. Throw in the desire to spontaneously ferment, and you’ve solidified the need for a new facility.
We took a trip out to see where Monday Night is building the largest sour facility in the state. The location lies just four miles from downtown Atlanta right off of I-20, where the new sections of the Beltline are currently being constructed. Baker mentions the hunt for a sour facility yielded the warehouse space faster than they expected. When Monday Night found this place, it was hard to say no.
Below is a gallery of the space, pre-construction. Baker mentions dinosaur murals on the walls, big patio space, and a spot for a small orchard that will farm the wild yeast they need to do spontaneous fermentation in the brewery’s future coolship. The space is directly on the [future] Beltine, and will house a new brewhouse, indoor and outdoor tasting rooms, private event space, foudres, puncheons, and an expanded barrel aging.
Due to the time it takes to make quality sour/wild ales, expect a strong battery of kettle soured beers when the facility comes online. There will be a few “clean” beers on tap to cover all tastes.
Apart from being excited for the big expansion to the beer scene in Atlanta, Georgians have to take some action of their own in the meantime. The state’s laws surrounding breweries and beer sales are extremely restrictive. It’s time to fight for your ability to buy a pint at a brewery in Georgia. Reach out to the Georgia Craft Brewer’s Guild for more information on ways to change these restrictive laws.
The yet to be named facility (Baker is pushing for “The Crunkatorium”) should be pouring beers by summer, 2017.
Athens, Georgia based Terrapin Beer Co. is building a new pilot brewery at Suntrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves. The stadium opens in time for the 2017 season.
The build is separated into two parts: The Microbrewery, aka the ATL Brew Lab, and The Terrapin Taproom, which will feature Atlanta famous Fox Bros. BBQ. The Battery, a section adjacent to the stadium that will house both the ATL Brew Lab and the Terrapin Taproom, will be open year-round. Concessionaire Delaware North will be running the Terrapin Taproom.
The Brew Lab is a 5-Barrel system which will serve as a pilot system for the Athens, Georgia brewery as well. Terrapin co-founder “Spike” Buckowski mentioned at a media event yesterday that the brewery has never really had a pilot system, so this addition is especially new and exciting.
Construction on the taproom and ATL Brew Lab begins in November, with completion by the spring home opener in 2017.
Terrapin is already planning a few fun collaborations out of the ATL Brew Lab, including one they hope will be with a few notable ex-Braves players.
Earlier this year, Jester King Brewery (Austin, Texas) announced they had purchased 58 acres of land around the brewery for land preservation. As of this spring, the brewery is farming said land.
To date, the brewery has planted plum and peach trees, blackberry bushes, and a melon patch. Additionally, the brewery has planted a test plot of wheat, in hopes of being able to one day grow the grains (and fruits) used in the brewery’s beers.
Jester King is very tied to the local terroir, using wild caught yeast and bacteria to ferment their expansive wild and sour lineup of beers. The logical next step is growing the fruits, vegetables and grains for future releases.
Work is already being done to maintain an avoidance of unnatural fertilizers and pesticides, as well has efficient irrigation systems.
Images in the below gallery are shared via Jester King.
Read more: Jester King News
The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada is the next home of Goose Island. While the spot doesn’t tout any brewing equipment, the setup will include a full restaurant, and bottles of the highly sought after Bourbon County Brand Stout. This is one of the first new pub builds after the Anheuser-Busch acquisition years ago.
“We’ve been pouring Goose Island beers at our venues for quite some time now,” said Jon Newton, vice president of food and beverage at Hard Rock Hotel. “We are honored to welcome the pub to the Hard Rock Hotel family and are excited to serve the best beers in town.”
In addition to the beer, the food lineup will look a bit like this:
- Cast Iron Chicago Pizza Dip– marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, basil and giardiniera; served with garlic crust on the side.
- South Side Deli– generous amount of corned beef, cole slaw, tomato and mustard made with Goose Honker’s Ale; served on rye bread with house potato chips on the side.
- Shrimp Po Boy– fried shrimp, iceberg lettuce, tomato and creole mayo made with Goose 312 Wheat Ale; served on a hoagie roll with house potato chips on the side.
More on the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. (Opens in new window.)
Deschutes Brewery has revealed their east coast brewery will be built in Roanoke, Virginia today. The final selection process was between Asheville, North Carolina, a few locations in South Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia. Below are some details from the public announcement today.
Deschutes will invest $85 million dollars, creating 105 new jobs for the city. The addition of Deschutes will be the state’s 148th small/craft brewery.
The Governor presented a check to the city of Roanoke for $3 million dollars – an economic stimulus for the build during the announcement.
Deschutes founder, Gary Fish addressing the Roanoke crowd:
- The brewery was founded 28 years ago, to be a gathering place for good people, and good beer
- We never anticipated the growth of craft beer, but grew along with it
- Focus on the people. People are most important to the brewery. We can make beer anywhere. We wanted a home.
- After careful selection, and a desire to expand east, we chose Roanoke.
The Governor of Virginia has taken an active role in enticing the craft brewing industry to build in Virginia.
Access to water played a heavy role as well in the site decision. The state officials believe the brewery will bring $208 million dollars in positive impact to the region (without even considering the increased tourism).
The new location will be called “Brew 4” as it is the fourth brewhouse, after Oregon public house (Brew 1), the production facility in Bend (Brew 2) and the Portland, Oregon public house (Brew 3).
The new brewery will produce approximately 150,000 barrels to start, and will increase as demand requires. The first beer will ship out of Roanoke, Virginia five years from now in 2020 or 2021.
Currently, Deschutes ships to 28 states and Washington D.C. The east coast build will focus on states east of the Mississippi.
This is a developing story… check back for more information was Beer Street Journal receives it.
Asheville, North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing is adding a fourth facility in Summer, 2016.
The brewery is now in their forth year of brewing. It all started with a brewpub located downtown. In 2014, Wicked Weed announced the addition of the Funkatorium, also located downtown, dedicated to wild and sour beer production.
This summer, the new facility has the capability to double the wild and sour beer output. A temperature controlled, 57,000 square foot facility is being constructed on 17 acres, near the Asheville Airport and Sierra Nevada.
“The goal of this expansion is not just to increase our production of these beers. Having more space to focus on process and room to move will help us continue to refine our craft and evolve as a brewery – Walt Dickinson, Owner and Head Blender.”
The brewery hints at the addition of spontaneous styles of beer (lambics) and perhaps even a coolship to support that process.
The new sour facility will be dedicated to training end education of the staff, sales team and retailers. There are no plans to open to the public.
Read more: Wicked Weed Brewing