Jekyll Brewing

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Craft beer has grown at 10% annually over the last 5 years, at a time in which beer consumption is shrinking by a small margin, as wine and liquor pick up.  Still, it’s a growth market, and whether the motivation for craft beer is dissatisfaction with the major breweries, “buying local” consumer fascinations, or just a growing appreciation for more variety in flavors and higher alcohol content, craft breweries are popping up everywhere.

And now there’s Jekyll Brewing, opening this past August just a hop and a skip away from my office.   This is convenient, but kind of... weird.   I’m used to going to industrial parks or old commercial buildings that have been converted to brewery use.  You come to expect a certain atmosphere in these things.
Jekyll, so far in my experience, is unique.  It’s located, essentially, in an office park.

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A peek inside suggests its perfect for area businesses to hold after-hour get togethers or even host corporate events.

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The names in the background are a visible thank you to individuals who helped fund the brewery through a Kickstarter campaign.  Kind of cool for them in an overly large cornerstone sort of way, but there’s not a festive sense of environment for others.

There are things to do, though.  There’s a small stage for live music, a pinball machine, a couple of X-Box units, and an industrial sized version of Jenga.

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So it manages at least a little personality, but otherwise, it’s a sterile, ho-hum place.   That’s a disappointment, but, fortunately, their beer is not.

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Above is their Hop Dang Diggity IPA, my favorite, in the souvenir glass that is included in the $12 admission for a “tour.”  They also have a Kolsch, Brown ale, Amber ale, and a blonde.  In two visits, I’ve sampled all of these, as well as a limited run smoked porter. 

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Having been to most of the local breweries, I think the Brown, Amber and IPA fare better in these categories.  Good stuff.

Then there’s the tour.  Pretty much, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.  But you learn a little about the history and how much product they make, from the people who make and, obviously, enjoy their beer.

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Jekyll currently brews one day per week, the equivalent of 30 barrels of beer.  At 31 gallons each and 128 oz. per gallon, that’s 9,920 bottles for relativist thinking.   And Jekyll is just beginning to bottle, which will soon increase their brewing to 2-3 days per week.  They’ll initially find their ways into most package stores in the local market, but not the large box supermarkets.  I scored a 6 pack of the IPA this evening from my local package store, so it’s getting out there.

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Otherwise, the brewery is obviously new.  A remarkable difference, though, is that everything is new here.  New tanks, new tools... everything.  Most breweries start off buying starter sets of other breweries that have since outgrown their equipment.  Not here.  It makes you wonder a bit about their business plan.

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Even the sundries are new, as well as things like hand tools, dollies, and furniture.

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Jekyll will provide small cups of pretzels later in the evening.  The tour includes 6 tickets which equate to about 3 pints of beer.  Plan accordingly, such as bringing a sandwich or a pizza.  Overall, it’s a good value, good quality beer, and, for me, much more convenient than other breweries around the city.

Kudos to the City of Alpharetta for encouraging and working with Jekyll to provide a local brewery presence, even if they borrowed the name from Georgia’s first brewery located in scenic Jekyll Island back in the 1740’s.

Other assorted photos:

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