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 the public in January 2017.