Thursday, April 24, 2014

Georgia’s New Beer Mecca

December 3, 2012 11:06 am by: Leave a comment

Q & A with Brian Purcell – founder of Three Taverns Brewing and Tom Stahl – founder of BlueTarp Brewing Company

Local beer lovers are already familiar with the city of Decatur as a destination for quality beers but now in addition to such notable bars as The Brickstore Pub, Thinking Mans Tavern and Twain’s, Decatur is also home to three of Georgia’s newest breweries.

Wild Heaven Craft Beers, Three Taverns Brewing, and BlueTarp Brewing Company have all three selected Decatur as a home for their breweries. Though none of the three breweries is currently brewing in Decatur at the time of this article posting, Wild Heaven’s craft beers are and have been available locally for over a year; Blue Tarp anticipates beginning brewing by year end; and Three Taverns brewery will be operational in spring of 2013.

Brian Purcell – founder of Three Taverns Brewing and Tom Stahl – founder of BlueTarp Brewing Company were kind enough to talk with me about their choice of Decatur as a base of operations and where they are in the process of bringing professional brewing to this growing beer Mecca.

Brian Purcell – founder of Three Taverns Brewing
115 New Street, Suite A
Decatur, GA 30030

www.threetavernsbrewery.com

Q: How did you come up with your brewery’s name?

BP: I wanted a name that had a sense of permanence and was rooted in the deeper meaning of our mission in building this brewery. There was a reference in the Book of Acts to a place outside of Rome on the Appian Way known as Three Taverns, an ancient traveler’s rest whose ties to community, thanksgiving, and the monastic tradition of service made it a perfect choice.

Q: Why did you choose to locate in Decatur?

BP: I live and work in Decatur but more than that, there is a spirit in Decatur – a certain beer mojo that made Decatur our natural choice. It is an opportunity for me to serve the community I have grown to love so well.

Q: How did you get interested in brewing?

BP: I first tried homebrew at a friend’s wedding in Portland 12 years ago. I bought a kit as soon as I returned but it was 2 years later when I moved to Decatur that I brewed my first beer. Once It immediately became a passion that grew to an obsession.

Q: What have been your biggest challenges thus far in opening your brewery?

BP: The biggest challenge has been balancing current job and family responsibilities with the tireless planning and attention a new venture requires. In addition, I decided early on that the only way for us, the Three Taverns way, was to brew our beer in our own facility from day 1. So without contracting our production first to prove ourselves in the market, the effort to persuade investors and raise our capital was even more formidable. But we were certain of our vision, and after 11 months of pitching our vision to investors we raised 135% of our capital in June of this year. We are at the point now where every detail seems to require my involvement so time is always at a premium.

Q: What are your plans for distribution?

BP: We plan on distributing in both kegs and bottles. Initially we will focus on Georgia with plans to expand into other states in 2-3 years.

Q: What type(s) of beer do you plan on brewing? What is first? Why?

BP: We like to combine Belgian inspirations with American creativity. Brewing these big and complex beers in a complete fashion is very challenging. Being able to produce the Belgian styles with a truly dry and dangerously drinkable finish is an art. The Three Taverns Brewery mantra is “Transcendo Mediocris” which translates as Surpass the Ordinary, and that is the spirit and the quality of product that we are excited about bringing to Decatur and the state of Georgia.

Q: How can people track your progress/taste your beer?

BP: The best place to keep up with us right now is our website. http://www.threetavernsbrewery.com or link to us from there on facebook or twitter.

Q: When do you anticipate opening?

BP: We get our equipment delivered end of February so we’ll be brewing our first batch towards the end of March. Our goal has been to be in market by the 2013 American Craft Brew week.

Q: Lots of home brewers dream of opening a brewery. What advice would you offer them?

BP: Driven by passion and a vision, it takes true commitment, time, practice and tireless effort to see it come to fruition. You cannot stop believing in your vision.

Tom Stahl – founder of BlueTarp Brewing Co.
1202 Conway Rd Decatur, GA

www.bluetarpbrew.com

Q: How did you come up with your brewery’s name?

TS: Our First home brewing session was under a blue tarp in the rain and the name just seemed a fitting choice. Although it has been difficult to work with at times it is who we are.

Q: Why did you choose to locate in Decatur?

TS: My wife and I spent a lot of time at the Brickstore Pub and my father had been a builder in Decatur, so I knew the area well. We moved here in 2008 and finally found our current location in 2011 in the City of Decatur (who has been very accommodating).

Q: How did you get interested in brewing?

TS: My background is in biochemistry and I have always been a huge fan of craft beer. I began home brewing while working in a lab in Athens. When I decided to turn my hobby into a business my boss was very supportive and eventually I took some time off and went to study brewing at the American Brewers Guild in Vermont.

Q: What are your plans for distribution?
TS: Our plans are use kegs exclusively the first six months and then add on a canning line. We will focus our distribution around the Decatur area and spread out as we expand production. Serving the local community is our first and foremost goal.

Q: Do growler shops play into your plans?

TS: For the smaller breweries especially, Growlers do make it easier to get your beer out to the public but their downside is that growler shops can go through kegs quickly. We will definitely support our local growler shops and supply them as long as it doesn’t eat into our supply for local bars and restaurants.

Q: What type(s) of beer do you plan on brewing? What is first? Why?

TS: We are starting off with beers at both ends of the spectrum; a more sessionable lower hop lower alcohol red ale called BantamWeight and a hoppy double IPA called Mother Hoppin’.

Q: How can people track your progress/taste your beer?

TS: The best place to follow us right now is on Twitter @bluetarpbrew We will be opening our tasting room sometime in the spring and will be offering tastings along with tours.

Q: When do you anticipate opening?

TS: We have equipment in place now and are just working through some small details but we will be brewing before year’s end.

Q: Lots of home brewers dream of opening a brewery. What advice would you offer them?

TS: Go for it if you really have the passion. There is always room for more great beer as long as you understand that there is a big difference in production brewing and home brewing. With the exception of nano-scale and seasonal beers production brewing lacks a lot of the variety and freedom of home brewing.

Georgia’s New Beer Mecca Reviewed by on . Q & A with Brian Purcell - founder of Three Taverns Brewing and Tom Stahl - founder of BlueTarp Brewing Company Local beer lovers are already familiar with the Q & A with Brian Purcell - founder of Three Taverns Brewing and Tom Stahl - founder of BlueTarp Brewing Company Local beer lovers are already familiar with the Rating: 0

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