New Georgia Breweries : 2018 Edition

Georgia Brewery Growth

2017 was an amazing year for Georgia beer.  The passage of SB63 (allowing to go “souvenirs”) in 2015 spurred a wave of new breweries and the passage of SB85 in 2017 (allowing direct sales at breweries) strengthened that growth.  We saw a 28.9% increase in the number of breweries and brewpubs in the state from 2016, and a whopping 70.4% increase in just two years.

With the revised laws, it is much more feasible for a very small brewery to open here.  The ability to sell directly at the taproom means a small brewery can be financially viable by keeping more of their money in-house.   On the opposite end of the spectrum, a brewery can open as a “production brewery” with a restaurant, giving visitors the feel of a brewpub but allowing for higher production and distribution levels for the brewer.  The recently opened New Realm Brewing Co. operates under this model.

Several breweries are already slated to open in 2018, and I’m sure we’ll see even more added to the list as the year goes on.  It’s a great time to be a craft beer fan in Georgia.

  • As of Dec. 31, 2017 there were 48 production breweries and 27 brewpubs operating in Georgia, plus 5 cideries and 4 meaderies (Does not include contract / gypsy breweries.)
  • 2017 | 13 new breweries and 10 new brewpubs opened (38.9% growth from 2016)
  • 2016 | 7 new breweries and 3 new brewpubs opened (22.7% growth from 2015)

Future Georgia Breweries

There are a handful of breweries in the early planning stages right now that may not open this year, some of them may not see the light of day at all, it happens.  Here’s a look at what we may see in the coming years.

Cherry Street Halcyon | Alpharetta, GA

Cherry Street Brewing Co-op will open its second location in a large mixed-use development in the Halcyon development in north Alpharetta.  The new location will feature 16 Cherry Street beers on tap as well as upscale pub food.  Owner Nick Tanner tells us the new location is targeted to open in 2019.


Adapted from Beer Guys Radio, Tim Dennis :