Wild Heaven held their first Maryland-style Crab Fest in late July.
Have you ever befriended someone because of a body of water? In my case, it’s the Chesapeake Bay. Let me explain.
I grew up in Delaware. For those of you who are terrible with geography, Delaware is a state. It is actually the first state to ratify the Constitution. They’re pretty proud of that. Sarah Young, the VP, and co-owner of Wild Heaven Brewery in Atlanta, grew up in Maryland. (7th to ratify.) We’ve always talked about growing up in the mid-Atlantic over beers, which actually prompted us to make a Chesapeake Bay-themed beer (aka Old Bae), a saison with Old Bay seasoning. Folks loved it, McCormicks told us to stop. Oh well.
With that over, Sarah wasn’t ready to pack up the seasoning just yet, as it were. Sarah loves beer and crabs and Long John Silver’s drive-through wasn’t going to cut it. We were talking full-on “Bay-Style” crab boil. She brought Maryland to Atlanta in the purest form she could and did it up right.
Young sourced over 800 fresh Maryland Blue Crabs from Harbour House Crabs, which were overnighted to Wild Heaven’s Garden Room at their West End location. Tables were lined up end to end, covered in brown paper, and stacked eye level with Old Bay, crab seasonings, and wood hammers for a cracking good time. Live music started when the first crab hit the table and didn’t stop until the last one was shredded. Beers were cold and plentiful. There was enough low country boil to serve half of Maryland. By the end of it all, couples were dancing along with the band.
All Young wanted was a true-to-life Maryland crabfest in Atlanta and she freaking killed it. ATL’s finest crab-eating pros lined up before noon and when the doors opened, did what came naturally. Hopefully, this will become an annual event for the brewery.
Check out the day below 🦀
NoFo Brew Co opens their new facility in Gainesville, Georgia August 2nd a year after the location was officially announced.
The brewery purchased the building in June of 2022, located on the corner of High Street and the Midland Greenway near the heart of downtown Gainesville. The 18,746 brewery is situated near a pond and a dog park, and boasts a 3,308 square foot patio. NoFo also has a walkup window for beers to-go for walking around the open container district of the city.
NoFo Gainesville also has two private event spaces for parties and celebrations.
“After a year of construction, we are beyond excited to see NoFo Brew Co open here in Gainesville. We look forward to serving each and every guest that walks through our door. I also want to give a very special thanks to the City of Gainesville. They have been so welcoming and an absolute joy to work with throughout this process. Cheers!
– Joe Garcia, CEO & Co-Founder
This third location comes shortly after the brewery acquired Tantrum Brewing in North Georgia, turning it into their 2nd facility and production facility.
NoFo Gainesville is located at 434 High Street SW, Gainesville, Georgia, open 6 days a week, closed on Mondays.
Image: NoFo Brew Co.
New Realm Sound of Our Own Wheels has hit shelves, a collaboration with North Carolina’s Zillicoah Beer Company.
This double IPA is actually a family collaboration, a first for New Realm. Jon Chassner founded Zillicoah in Woodfin, North Carolina in 2017, and Jeff Chassner is the Chief Sales Officer of New Realm. As the name suggests, these Chassners are cousins. Family ties make a beer collab pretty self-evident.
New Realm’s brewmaster and co-founder Mitch Steele, Jeff, and Beer Street Journal traveled to Zillicoah’s home of Woodfin for the first of what would be two brew days. We’re pretty sure Zillicoah’s Jon and John (Chassner and Parks) wanted to brew an India Pale Ale with the man who literally wrote the book on IPA, so an Imperial IPA had to be on the brew sheet.
Sound of Your Own Wheels is a big tropical flavor bomb, brewed with Azacca, El Dorado, and Strata hops. This douple IPA pours golden and clear like a west coaster (Mitch Steele has entered the chat) and 9% alcohol by volume. It is prudent to note that Wheels doesn’t drink at all like a 9% beer. Finish the 4-pack one sitting and see what we mean.
We asked Steele what he thought of the finished beer this week at the launch in Atlanta. “It’s probably the best double IPA we’ve made yet,” he says with a smile. While New Realm’s beer styles have been all over the map, the brewing of imperial IPAs have been reserved for special occasions like anniversaries or friends. You honor the special occasion with high alcohol and hops, naturally.
Sound of Your Own Wheels is bright and sunny like late summer in the South and strong enough to make you forget how drenched in sweat you are as if you’ve been pushed into the deep end of a pool. The Sound of Your Own Wheels might just be you telling yourself to “drink more.”
Available in 16-ounce cans and draft for a limited time.
Style: Imperial IPA
Hops: Azacca, El Dorado, Strata
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: Mid-July, 2023
Atlanta, Georgia-based Second Self Beer will close its doors at the end of this month after 9 years of operation.
Second Self – situation on the city’s upper westside, was the 42nd brewery to open in the Peach State. The brewery had a geeky streak, releasing beers like Maverick & Gose (Top Gun) and Triforce IPA (a legend of Zelda nod.) As the years progressed, founders Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle pivoted the brewery to be more than just beer, with the goal of being a full “beverage company.”
Second Self released “Cirrus,” a line of non-alcoholic CBD drinks, as well as taking on numerous contract brews and beverages for third-party companies.
That pivot was successful for a while until the challenge of the pandemic and rising costs forced the contracts to fold. That was a big financial hit for the brewery.
In a phone call, Santamaria told Beer Street Journal that in an effort to potentially save Second Self, the brewery cut their taproom hours, while Jason himself took himself off of the payroll going back to his previous role at IBM.
“Everything is just so much expensive, it just kept getting more complicated,” he says.
The brewery’s last day will be June 17th, open from 1-9 pm.
On a personal note – I want to say thank you to Jason and Chris. You both have been welcoming of Beer Street Journal even before the Second Self even opened to the public. It has been an honor and a downright freaking blast covering your releases over the years, not to mention canning days, tank pulls, and nerd trivia. You are some of the kindest people I have met in the beer industry. Legend of Zelda for life.
All images: Beer Street Journal
NoFo Brewing, located just north of Atlanta, has acquired Cleveland, Georgia-based Tantrum Brewing. The deal was closed this morning.
NoFo is acquiring the brewing equipment, 10,000+ square foot building, and 5.3 acres of land owned by Tantrum, located just two miles from the base of popular North Georgia hiking spot Mount Yonah.
This is NoFo’s third location in just over three years of operation, as the brewery will open a taproom in Gainesville, Georgia this summer. This move is part of NoFo’s strategy to dominate the North Georgia market.
“North Georgia is a special place for NoFo, and we think our brand will be an excellent addition to White County and the surrounding area. We look forward to serving customers in Cleveland very soon,” says Joe Garcia, Co-Founder and CEO.
Tantrum Brewing will retain its recipes and intellectual property. NoFo will not be brewing or maintaining any of Tantrum’s current lineup.
The Cleveland facility has a 30-barrel brewhouse which NoFo expects to have online by June. The sale will be complete on May 15th and will start re-branding the facility immediately. A distillery will be added to the site sometime this year as well.
NoFo tells Beer Street Journal that their annual capacity will hover around 4,000 barrels annually after this purchase in 2023, only distributing in Georgia through Modern Hops.
The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. NoFo Brewing Cleveland will be located at 1939 Helen Highway, Cleveland, Georgia.
Let’s talk about thiols. If you crave tropical flavors in your beer or IPA, listen up. This bit of fermentation science is for you.
Thiols are aroma compounds and they come in two forms – free form and precursor. The free form are volatile and pungent thiols found in tropical fruits, grapes, and hops. Those thoils boast flavors of passion fruit and guava and fresh grapefruit. When a beer is more “thiol expressive” it is far bolder and big-time tropical.
Sounds good right? Eventually, but some fermentation science has to happen first.
Chicago-based Omega Yeast Labs introduced “Cosmic Punch,” a thiolized version of their British Ale yeast in 2021. This engineered yeast strain biotransforms the massive amount of thiol precursors in malt and hops to free form (expressive) thiols. Ultimately, the thiol output is far greater using this yeast than found in the traditional brewing process.
How? Omega’s goal was to make freeing these thiols more efficient. It’s about the IRC7, a gene in yeast that creates an enzyme that frees thiols from their precursor form. The challenge was that many brewing strains have mutations in the IRC7 gene that disable the enzyme, resulting in low thoil output.
Extremely simplified – Omega developed a yeast that keeps the gene active, and thus the enzyme. The final beer – which so many are IPAs or hoppy lagers are bright, snappy, and quite expressive.
It’s that bit of science behind New Realm Brewing’s new Psychedelic Rabbit Transcendent IPA. While the brewing team had created a few test batches of an IPA with Cosmic Punch, Kane Wille, brewer at New Realm says it was Omega’s Star Party yeast that really made a difference. “We did a 20-barrel batch in Atlanta and loved it, so it became Psyche Rabbit,” Wille says.
Azacca, Cashmere, Citra, and Mosaic hops headline this beer, and with the help of Star Party, you really find out what thiols are all about. The result is truly a burst of passionfruit, pineapple, and citrus flavors, in a beer that looks so much more of a west coast IPA, with a lighter mouthfeel, without having to be overly dry-hopped. “We wanted to bring something innovative to the market this year, and have been overwhemed by the success of this IPA already,” Jeff Chassner, Chief Sales Officer tells Beer Street Journal. “We are very fortunate to have such a talented brewmaster in Mitch Steele and an amazing team of brewers”
The India pale ale has always dominated craft beer, always going through a plethora of identities as the years pass. By the taste of it, the days of quadruple dry-hopping an IPA might be fading, with the rise of these yeasts.
Hops: Azacca, Cashmere, Citra, Mosaic
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Orpheus Brewing’s founder and brewmaster Jason Pellett announced today on social media that the brewery will close their current facility on Dutch Valley Road in Atlanta on April 23rd.
As the brewery closes down its current taproom and brewery, brewing operations will shift into the hands of Bevana, a third-party beverage company based in North Carolina. Bevana has already partnered with notable breweries like Unknown Brewing, D9, and Fatty’s Beer Works. Orpheus Brewing’s beers will continue to be available in-market with no disruptions.
Additionally, Pellett stated it is his intention to eventually find a smaller space for a brewery/taproom in the future.
Orpheus Brewing opened its doors in May 2014.