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Red Brick Brewing - Georgia's Oldest Craft Brewery

Atlanta's Oldest Brewery - Red Brick Brewing

The Atlanta Brewing Company was founded in 1993 by Greg Kelly, a former Guinness executive. The brewery, a converted old brick warehouse, was originally located at 1219 Williams Street. Pine-sided vats and cold tanks from England were purchased, and the beer was produced using an older traditional style of brewing. The large red malt mill, still used by the brewery today, was found sitting abandoned in a meadow in England. After being shipped to Atlanta and undergoing extensive refurbishing, the mill was put to work readying the grain for brewing.
The name “Red Brick Ale” was given to the brewery’s flagship beer. One suggested (but ultimately discarded) name for the first beer was “John J. Bips Ale”, named after a long-term brewmaster at the historic Atlantic Brewery. Atlanta Brewing Company produced 4,000 barrels of beer in 1994, the first year of production. To maintain this initial demand, the brewery brewed once or twice a day. Peachtree Pale Ale, Spring Brew, Summer Brew, Winter Brew, Golden Lager, and Kelly’s Light were added to the line-up in the early years.

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Although moderate in success, the brewery fell upon hard times as it rolled into the 21st century. Portions of the brewery’s equipment was temperamental and deemed challenging by the staff using them; quality control and management issues were also reported. Due to these inconsistencies, the distributor began to lose faith in the brewery’s survival. Sales began to drop off, and the future of the brewery seemed uncertain. Adding to the frustration, the Georgia Department of Transportation’s planned road expansion project doomed the brewery’s Williams street location.
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In 2005, Bob Budd was brought on by the brewery’s investors as a management consultant to help with ABC’s production issues. Once on board, Budd helped negotiate a settlement with the Georgia DOT. In 2006, Greg Kelly left Atlanta Brewing Company and Bob stepped up as president of the brewery. The remaining staff moved operations to a new location at 2323 Defoor Hills Road.

In 2009, ABC released the newest version of Laughing Skull, changing it from a bohemian pilsner to a well-balanced amber ale. By the beginning of 2012, it had become the their best selling beer, while Red Brick Brown, Blonde, Pale Ale, and Porter were the four standard offerings at the brewery. Inspired by the success of their barrel aged 15th Anniversary Ale, they began producing limited release beers under the Brick Mason series name in special four-packs.

Red Brick Brewing Company
In 2010, Atlanta Brewing Company changed its public name to Red Brick Brewing Company. Brewery legend has it that the name for the original Red Brick Ale, and thus the new name for the company, originated from a historic speech. The Atlanta mayor supposedly gave the speech shortly after General Sherman torched the city in the Civil War. He stated that the city would “rise from the ashes like a phoenix” and be rebuilt “one red brick at a time”.

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In 2013 the dynamic brew team of Garett Lockhart and Steve Anderson took over in the back, and began experimenting with bold new ingredients and flavors. The brewery also introduced a new look and attitude in the packaging that better reflects the direction they are headed. Dynamic products like Hoplanta IPA, Sacred Cow Chai Milk Stout, Hop Circle India Session Ale, A-Town Brown, and Dog Days Ale have replaced the mundane core and seasonal beers of the past. The new team likes to believe that Red Brick is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Atlanta Brewing Company, and today they are stronger and more passionate about what they do than ever before.

Red Brick Brewing Company
2323 Defoor Hills Rd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone:(404) 355-5558

The Book, Atlanta Beer
Atlanta is a unique southern city known for its vast diversity and fast-paced lifestyle. Rarely is it associated with a rich beer and brewing culture, but not for a lack of one. From Atlanta’s first brewery in the 1850s to the city’s Saloon Row and the parched days of local and national Prohibition, the earliest days of Atlanta’s beer history are laced with scandal and excitement. Follow the journey of beer through Atlanta’s development, starting with colonial Georgia and the budding wilderness settlement of Terminus and eventually evolving into the ever-growing metropolis known as Atlanta. Authors Ron Smith and Mary Boyle celebrate the resurgence of beer in a town that once burned to the ground. As Atlanta rose from the ashes of the Civil War, so also has artisanal beer made a comeback in this enigmatic but resilient city.
Buy Atlanta Beer on Amazon - Click Here



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