AE- so you’re talking about how you have been here in Peachtree City for 15 years, Is that your home? Is that why you chose it as the HQ?
PAUL- yeah like I said, you know, I’ve been here 15 years. Since I came here the town is evolving. uh It has always lacked a bit of – should I say – Atlanta kind of vibe with breweries and great restaurants. So there’s many people here that want something different to do on weekends or in the evenings. And it’s a very transit population down here – Delta employees, people that have been in the forces and are stationed near here. So people have traveled the world tasted great craft beer – including myself. You know I’ve been around the world and to different breweries. And its always been a dream of mine, you know I’m very passionate about Peachtree City, you know, I’ve called it home like I said for the last 15 years. And i’ve always been passionate about starting a brewery and the fact that there’s not one in our hometown was kind of a no brainer. Once SB85 went through and we could actually attract those people that want to come in and not necessarily do a tour but come in and have a beer after work or just come in and have a beer on the weekend. And we realized we could generate some traffic. Then that kind of made our decision for us.
AE- and if you don’t mind I didn’t include this question in what I had written you before but knowing that your background is from the UK, tell me a little bit about your growing up around beer and what you fell in love with about beer, how that became part of your life?
PAUL- growing up around beer is a hard one to kinda explain I suppose (chuckles). My dad actually kinda I suppose, he got me started. He started a Belgium beer import company. So he was importing all of our duval and chimay, you know, ten years before a lot of these English retailers caught onto these great Belgium styles. He would come home with these big bottles of Piraat and I was intrigued by it and he was doing something very different. He tried to set up a business doing it. But unfortunately, then the EU started and you could essentially just travel to Belgium and get that beer a lot cheaper. So you know when I was traveling with soccer, i would go to Belgium and see what he was doing. I traveled to different countries throughout Europe. And that’s kinda what really spurred my first of the different craft beer. Then kick on another 10 years and I come to America and when I was in college I would be seeking out like Boston beer company and Sam Adams – at the time they were probably one of the biggest craft breweries- that’s kinda what I gravitated towards instead of like Budweiser and the Bud Lights and stuff so.
AE- So and now that we are talking about the specific types of beer. I mean you are talking about the Belgium beer you grew up around, you know they have their Boston Lager up in the Sam Adams brewery. What about some of the beers you guys are going to be making yourselves? What are some of the things you are excited about
PAUL- yeah well me personally, I’ve really enjoyed this New England IPA trend, well hopefully it’s not a trend, hopefully it’s here to stay. I’ve really enjoyed those you know fruit forward, estuary beers, low in bitterness – Our head brewery really likes those as well…So we’ve got one New England IPA going out right now, we’ve got a session right behind it and then we’ve got a double IPA as well. So we realize that we’ve got a big market right now. We know it’s a little saturated, but at the same time we think there is room for some great New England IPAs as well.
AE- yeah, and to interrupt you real quickly/, is that kind of what differentiates you from maybe some of the other microbreweries is the focus on the New England style of IPA? And can you talk a little bit about what that is?
PAUL- It’s more of a Jason question. But I would say it’s our commitment to using the best ingredients we can get out hands on. We dry hop at a very very high pound per barrel. So we dry hop very intensely. We realize that’s not overly done across Georgia. But we feel like once people kind of get the aromas and the fruit forward flavors of our IPA, we know that they are tasting something a little different. We don’t want it to blend in of course. We want our beers to stand out, and that’s why we are firm on using the right ingredients, and really the best ingredients we can. That’s important
AE- yes really important
PAUL- We also don’t want to be pigeon-holed into one style as well (I’m sorry to cut you off as well.) But you know we’ve got a Porter out and a saison coming as well. One we don’t want to be too blanket. We want to throw some different styles in there that can show off Jason’s brewing qualities.
AE- and it sounds like you guys are really ready to respond to the market. You know, it is kind of a saturated IPA market, but it’s also what people really want. You guys are really trying to find a way to put your own unique spin on it.
PAUL- That’s right! And I think we are a great size where we are not big and we are not too small. If there’s demand out in the market then we’ve got a thirty barrel brew house that can accommodate that demand. But we can also do smaller batches. We have a pilot system in house where we can test different batches and do smaller quantities to see if people in a tap room like this style, and then we can move it up to the big system.
AE- Well, as you are messing around with these tap room flavors, please let me know because I’m always happy to be a guinea pig.
PAUL- yeah man, we’ve actually got a new IPA coming out in a few months.
AE- ohhh, very interesting. Alright let’s actually wrap it up here. Well I have actually got a couple more questions here, but I want to lead into one more thing. So you’re talking about using fresh ingredients and that might be a segue (and you can tell me if I am wrong) but It might be a segue into why Georgia is a great place to open a brewery. Are you guys using local purveyors to get some of those ingredients or are you looking nationally for some of that stuff?
PAUL- well, it depends. Certain things like your grain and your hops everyone uses pretty much the same suppliers. But we have things like coffee that we have to bare, absolutely. We’ll use Statehouse Coffee Roasters down in Griffin for our breakfast stout. We’ll continue to use those guys where we can and when we have coffee in our beers. Unfortunately the rest of the stuff like vanilla and really everything else we use in our beers is sourced overseas. But we do, we want to support local farmers. All of our spin grain that comes out of the vents always goes to local farmers and their kettle and livestock to fed on that. So we are part of a bigger, better picture.
AE- Very nice. And kind of in addition to that, is there any thoughts on why Georgia is a good place for you guys to be opening a brewery? I mean the local craft beer community is big as someone who grew up here and knew these things didn’t exist here until about ten years ago. So can you speak to that a little bit?
PAUL- Yeah I think everyone in the suburban community have the thoughts of still being connected. We’re still one of the lowest across America in terms of breweries per capita. So there is definitely room for more breweries and especially in the suburbs. I mean you go to any town in the USA now everyone has their hometown brewery. So why we want to grow outside of Peachtree City is that we want to serve this market first. We want to take care of Coweta/Fayette County first and then kind of see where we go after that.
AE- That’s very interesting. Well the last question then – and its actually just a chance for you guys to plug- I know you are having a big kick off celebration this week maybe you can talk more about it.
PAUL- Yeah, so we have a great event going on this Saturday from 6-10. When we opened a few weeks ago we weren’t able to kind of play it up as much as we wanted. This is our chance to get some live music. We’ve got three amazing food trucks coming. It’s going to be really well attended. The weather looks good, that’s the one good thing. We are going to have seven of our beers on tap so it’s going to be a great chance for people who haven’t come to us to try some of our newer ones. We have a special IPA we made ready for this party as well. But we want to just thank all of our patrons as well. We wanted to give them an event that was befitting of their support this last month and so we just wanted to give them a little thanks as well. So it’s going to be a great time.
AE- It sounds like you guys are going to build a really nice little family in this space.
PAUL- yeah, I really think so. Have you been down here yet?
AE- I haven’t. I’d like to go and I’m talking to Tommy about it. I think more likely towards the end of August is a little more realistic for me. But I am definitely going to come down and do a visit and also stream a little Facebook live so our fans can kind of see what the space looks like.
PAUL- And I just want to back peddle. I know I made it all about me, and I am certainly one of the people in this venture. But I want to make sure the other guys, the other founders get a nod to. They are all Peachtree City, Fayette County guys that have put an amazing amount of work into this. They are really the reason we all connected. Without them we would have never gotten this started. So I don’t want to make it all about me.
AE- No, but that’s important. I’m sure it takes a village to make a brewery
PAUL-oh yeah it does!