Savannah River Brewing Co. coming to Augusta
Savannah River Brewing Co. to open in Augusta by Summer 2016
As new craft breweries and brewpubs have continued to open across Georgia residents of Augusta have been without one to call their own. That will change soon with the opening of Riverwatch Brewery and the soon-to-follow Savannah River Brewing Company, which plans to open by Summer of 2016. I recently spoke with Brewmaster Mark Walters and Founder and President Steve Ellison about their background and plans.
Mark is no newbie to the brewing industry. His experience spans over 21 years, beginning as an apprentice at a brewery in Florida and including the role of Head Brewer at Abita Brewing Co. in Louisiana. Most recently he’s been working as a “hired gun” building out breweries. After being approached by owners Steve and David Ellison about the Brewmaster opportunity Mark joined the team and they began hunting across the Southeast for a location to open up shop before finally choosing Augusta.
A 21,000 sq. ft. building has been selected for the brewery and they have recently completed demolition, Mark tells me it will require a lot of work to get it ready but will be perfect for their needs. They plan to open with a 30-barrel brewhouse with about 500 barrels of fermentation capacity, a fairly large brewhouse for a new brewery. Equipment began arriving today and they hope to start brewing by May and be ready to open by this Summer.
Steve tells us that the building they selected was a “run-down warehouse” but they plan to revitalize it and make it into a destination, some place that people will want “to come and hang out.” Their hope is that they can become the hometown brewery for Augusta, Georgia’s 2nd largest city. Included in the revitalization and build-out is a 6,000 sq. ft. tasting room, with the remainder of the facility dedicated to brewing operations.
Initially the brewery’s offerings will include Savannah River IPA, Westobou Amber Ale, Dynamite Brown Ale, and Green Jacket Pilsner. They plan to “have a lot of fun” with seasonal and limited releases but said overall they will lean toward more traditional beers. Their initial distribution will focus on the surrounding area to start, with plans to move into the Atlanta market as soon as possible.
Congratulations, Augusta, it’s about time you guys got some breweries!
Savannah River Brewing Co.
EDIT: Corrected some numerical inaccuracies in the initial write-up.
Savannah River Brewing Augusta