Georgia Passes Direct Sales So Let’s Build Another Brewery

When we started Wild Heaven Beer back in 2010, we did so knowing Georgia wasn’t the friendliest state when it came to our local beer laws. But it’s home, and so it’s Wild Heaven’s home, too for better or for worse. Now, nearly seven years later, our state has caught up to the rest of the country and now (well, on September 1st!) we are free to sell you the product we make.

We opened our Avondale Estates facility nearly three years ago and since then, have left almost no stone unturned when it comes to staying fresh and reinventing ourselves on a daily basis. Proof? When we opened in 2014, the following did not exist: White Blackbird saison, Civilization Barleywine, Emergency Drinking Beer, Wise Blood IPA, CANS INSTEAD OF BOTTLES, barrel-aged beers like Gravitational Wave, Dionysus Cuvee, Funkenrauch and Height of Civilization, a whole new logo and name and our old flagship, Ode To Mercy, reborn as the American south’s first nitrogenated packaged beer.

So we’ve been busy, and you’ve been thirsty!

Looking forward we want to make and sell a LOT more beer than our wonderful Avondale facility can accommodate. Happily for us, people want our beer and now with the economic opportunities provided by Georgia’s modernized laws, plus a nearly perfect building we found on the mind-blowing engine of quality-of-life that is the Atlanta Beltline, we’re ready to expand.

Today we signed a letter of intent to do just that. Here’s the details.

Wild Heaven Beer Announces Plans for Second Brewery & Taproom Location on Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail

Atlanta, GA (March 23, 2017) – With the Georgia General Assembly’s passage of SB85 allowing direct sale of beer by Georgia breweries, Wild Heaven Beer today announces plans for a second brewery and taproom location at the Lee + White development in Atlanta adjacent to the Beltline’s Westside Trail. The freestanding building, including over 21,000 square feet of space with room for expansion, includes a large area overlooking the Atlanta Beltline perfect for patrons to enjoy being outdoors while sipping beer and nibbling food made onsite.  

“We plan to create an incredible beer and food destination in an area of Atlanta whose time has come,” says Wild Heaven President, Nick Purdy. “Beyond that, this facility provides space for our ongoing growth and expansion.” Wild Heaven Brewmaster Eric Johnson explains, “We’ll start with a 15-barrel brewhouse allowing production of new beers plus smaller run beers from our lineup, followed by a 60-barrel system that will take over production of our mainline beers. Then our Avondale Estates facility can become focused on sour and barrel-aged beer production.” 

Wild Heaven’s readiness to make what will ultimately be a $5 million+ investment is facilitated by a long-awaited change in Georgia’s beer laws allowing for direct sale to consumers onsite. “Thanks to the leadership and vision of Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, Senator Rick Jeffares, Representative Howard Maxwell and the efforts of our wholesale partners and persistence of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild, it makes sense to double down on on our home state,” says Purdy. We spent considerable time investigating the possibility of expanding our operation in various neighboring states, but the opportunity to stay at home and the amazing potential offered by the Beltline, combined with a new ability to sell some beer directly to those that want it proved irresistible,” adds Johnson.  

Wild Heaven, makers of the popular Emergency Drinking Beer along with a broad portfolio of unique beers, intends to open “Wild Heaven Westside” in the first half of 2018. With space for at least 10,000 square feet of outdoor patios and decks, it should be a welcoming featured destination on the Beltline’s Westside Trail, which is scheduled to open later in 2017. The facility will be alongside other local producers like Monday Night Brewing, Honeysuckle Gelato, Doux South Pickles and Southern Aged Cheese.

Brewmaster Eric Johnson is already planning a taproom lineup worthy of a visit, including variants on core Wild Heaven beers, a stream of new experimental beers and new taproom-only beers. “Eric’s brewing creativity and innovation has blown me away for over twenty years, and so I personally cannot wait to see what this new context allows him to do,” says Purdy. “Our Avondale Estates facility, which we love and will maintain and evolve, limits what he can do from a production standpoint. Good problems!”  

Wild Heaven’s founders view the Westside facility as a platform to live out the company’s motto to “Serve Your Neighbor.” “I’ve long been inspired by Atlanta’s energy and diversity and am thrilled to see a beautiful, historic part of the city get some needed new amenities. Eric and I can’t wait to get to know our new neighbors and find ways to serve the West End, Adair Park and surrounding communities.  There is a lot of effort ahead of us, including working with the neighboring communities and the city to ensure our vision is helpful and appropriate,” says Purdy. 

About Wild Heaven Beer: 

Wild Heaven Beer is a Georgia brewery founded by lifelong Georgians Eric Johnson and Nick Purdy. Our core year-round portfolio is focused on world-class beers designed to offer something new to the beer landscape—not simply creating our version of what everyone else is doing. Our beers are designed in the great tradition of European brewing but with a distinctly American creative flair. Our all-grain, no adjunct-sugar philosophy creates bigger flavor without excess alcohol. Wild Heaven aims to be one of America’s great breweries as well as helping raise the profile of beer in the south. Our beers are available throughout Georgia and Eastern Tennessee. Wild Heaven’s year-round portfolio includes Emergency Drinking Beer, Wise Blood IPA, White Blackbird Belgian-style Saison, Invocation Belgian-style Golden Ale and Ode To Mercy Nitro Coffee Brown Ale.

Eric Johnson and Nick Purdy pose for a photo at the site of their new brewery on the Westside of Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday March 22, 2017. Photographer Credit: Chris Rank/ Rank Studios

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