Carey Falcone got his start in the beer business nearly 30 years ago while working for his family’s distributor. “I worked just about every job in that place over the course of 17 years, from sales to marketing, revenue management and logistics.”
It was the logistics aspect of the job that brought Falcone to Atlanta, working for Americold Logistics. “Basically, I got a great offer and I couldn’t pass it up so my family flew south.” As Carey is explaining his background to us, the smile on his face faded at the mere mention of leaving the beer industry. It’s obvious where his heart is.
“After so many years in the beer business, things just didn’t feel right. It’s not as sexy. It’s not as fun. I had to go back,” he says.
Eight years ago, that fire for beer manifested itself into the form of a business plan that would lead to New Realm Brewing.
Thanks to the logistics game, Falcone had traveled the world. That means a lot of beer stops along the way. “I hit Belgium breweries really hard. I saw amazing rooftop beer garden concepts in London, Berlin, and Munich,” he said. “What if the best of these concepts were put under one roof? Why not Atlanta?” The business plan had really started taking shape.
Carey has known his co-founder Bob Powers for nearly 25 years. They worked together at Americold, at an equity firm after Americold, and now together at New Realm Brewing.
“For us it was about doing something different. It was about taking 3 guys who spent their lives in the beer business and making it their life’s work,” Carey says with the biggest smile of the day on his face.
Taking the ideas from some of the best breweries and beer gardens in the world, Falcone and Powers created a massive strategic plan, partnered with the right financial backers, and got to work.
The duo found a building that wasn’t even publically listed for sale, right on the Atlanta Beltline, turned the 20,000 square foot space into 40,000 square feet with rooftop bars, two event spaces, and a nearly 500 seat restaurant. They turned an old industrial building into a work of art, with exposed steel and iron, and a brewhouse that is already the envy of their Georgia neighbors. Every bit of this build is bold, beautiful and aggressive, but the boldest flourish of New Realm Brewing is not the architecture – it lies in the brewmaster.
This shiny new monument to beer lacked a brewer. One evening over a few too many beers, Falcone and Powers made a power list of America’s best craft brewers. “The list really was an all-star list, but one floated to the top – Mitch Steele,” Falcone said. “The more I thought about it, he really did complete the puzzle.”
Mitch Steele is undeniably one of the best brewers in American craft. He studied at the University of California Davis, wrote “Authoring IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale,” and most famously, the brewmaster for Stone Brewing. India pale ale in America has only improved with Steele at the kettle. So Falcone flew to California, took Mitch out for beers and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. New Realm Brewing now has their very own hoppy rockstar. Sound ballsy? We think so too.
On January 8th, New Realm Brewing will open their doors for the first time, with a true west coast brewer at the helm. The 20,000 barrel annual capacity facility is not only highly anticipated but sets a record for the largest single brewery opening in Georgia history. Every bit of Falcone’s creation is about to pay off. He’s checked all the major boxes, from porches, skyline view, and it’s even on the Beltline. The multi-million dollar operation is nothing short of incredible.
“Georgia is home. We really wanted to give an experience to the craft beer community here in Atlanta. We’ve missed out on so much thanks to restrictive laws. Now it’s our turn.”