Brewing company

Atlanta Brewing Company closes on Defoor Hills Road in Underwood Hills, moves further into town

Atlanta’s oldest brewery, and one of the first breweries to set up shop in Atlanta’s northwest neighborhoods, is closing on July 3 and will eventually move.

Atlanta Brewing Company announced on social media this week the closure of the dining hall and production facility after 15 years on Defoor Hills Road in Underwood Hills. The brewery hopes to move further into the city of Atlanta by the end of 2022.

With the move, President and CEO Alton Shields and his business partner Dave Peterson will wind down operations and partner with another local brewery to produce some of Atlanta Brewing Company’s beers. Shields says the staff has grown from 20 people at the start of 2022 to around four people now. Sources with knowledge of the situation say the brewery struggled to meet the payroll earlier in the year.

Shields did not disclose the name of the brewery involved in the partnership or the new location, saying only that all would be revealed next week.

“We’re heading into an area that’s hungry for more breweries, and really hungry for more retail and restaurants and more interesting things for people to do,” Shields says. “So we’re actually doubling down and moving into the city.”

The brewery’s new location in town offers more seating, food, and will allow the company to return to micro-brewing more experimental beers, as it did in the 2010s under its former moniker, Red Brick Brewing, adds Shields. In the future, the company may consider opening two smaller food halls along the Beltline, he says, possibly in the Old Fourth Ward and where a new portion of the trail emerges along Marietta. Boulevard, on the west side of Atlanta. There is even talk of opening another near the Silver Comet trail in Smyrna.

According to Shields, the closure of Defoor Hills is due to a number of culminating factors, including a significant rent increase triggered after the current lease ended early next year, ongoing issues with a neighboring property now blocking the access to trucks delivering the 30-foot grain silo behind the building, and the costs of repairing the building and upgrading outdated brewing equipment. Much of the brewery’s equipment is older and manually operated, meaning it often sits idle, making it harder to keep up with smaller breweries with much more efficient brewing systems in place, says- he.

“We could have moved to Alpharetta or somewhere in Cherokee County for cheaper land, cheaper building and everything,” says Shields. “We are Atlanta Brewing. We must be in the city of Atlanta. So that’s what we decided to do. »

Atlanta Brewing Company has undergone a number of changes over the past 27 years, including ownership and management changes, its name, and its first location in Midtown.

Founded in 1993 by Greg Kelly, Atlanta Brewing Company was originally located in a converted brick warehouse along Williams Street where it began producing its flagship Red Brick Ale, an American wheat-style beer. When Kelly left the company in 2006, the brewery moved to its current location on Defoor Hills Road in Underwood Hills after the Georgia Department of Transportation announced plans to demolish the building as part of the city widening project. Downtown Connector.

In 2010, the brewery changed its name to Red Brick Brewing Company, a tribute to the company’s roots, to rebrand as Atlanta Brewing Company in 2018.

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