Reformation Brewery

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I first sampled Reformation’s beer over three years ago at the launch party of artists for the North Georgia Art Ramble.  A couple of guys, with some free beer, small plastic cups, and a dream.  They made a Belgian dubbel, which was quite good, and a Brown Ale which was okay.  The others?  Not so much.  But everyone begins somewhere.


They opened a brewery on Reformation Day in 2013, which seems to have failed to take over the more common celebration of October 31st which was already refocused by the Church from its possibly pagan roots.


For a brewery with a fairly inauspicious presence, Reformation got the trappings right, with a sizable “Keeping Room,” merchandise, and places to sit/things to do.

While technically tastings are required to be free, visitors may purchase a Belgian snifter for $12 or a Stange for $10.  I opted for the latter in consideration of available cabinet space…  It’s a nice looking glass with a German heritage but not commonly used with the beers that Reformation makes.


Names and logos go a long way in defining themselves as well as, of course, to developing an affinity with its patrons.  I favor the conservative stylings here.


Shoulda played air hockey.  Next time.


Chris, later our tour guide, raised a toast to… I don’t remember exactly, but we’ll say things that should be appreciated, with a nod towards a brewery tradition of doing the same.


The tour began with a little history and an overview of the brewery’s values.  I’d say it was the values of the owners, which is fine, but failed to connect on a mission/product level.


So the story goes that one of the owners was a pilot and flew frequently to Belgium, from whence he returned with splendid Belgian beers.  His assignment was changed to Africa… which resulted in the two trying to create their own Belgian styled beers.  The friend is a Presbyterian minister, thus the nod to Martin Luther.

   Caution: Nondescript stainless steel brewing equipment depicted:


The flooring section is being finished for equipment to arrive soon, possibly drain lines.


The “tour,” which involved turning your head around once in the production area, was fairly limited beyond the usual necessary ingredients for beer, one of which is malts (German, which they mill, not crudely crushed).  It was noted that the Etowah watershed provides excellent quality for beer.

They have a seven barrel brewing system, which is a fairly standard entry into craft brewing as a business, but a conservative one should their market extend beyond the northwest suburbs of Atlanta (with a geographical hop over to Athens, GA soon).

Apparently in recognition of that, they will be adding a high efficiency brewing system, a term of which I had not heard before.  Apparently, these systems are rare in the U.S., but if quality can be maintained, there seems ample reasons for it.  Following this they will include both bottling and canning lines, a big statement regarding their distribution intent.

Which brings us to the beers.


The anchor beers are their core product lines.  I started with Atlas, their “redeemed” IPA.  It’s hard to rate beers.  There are so many, and it comes down to whether whatever seems distinctive from the norm will either suit you or not.  This one does.  I’d happily order it in a restaurant.  Maybe it’s the rye malts.  Why I can’t hold my phone vertically before the first beer… I don’t know.  Adds character!


Next up was Cadence, their Belgian Dubble (sic).  If I remembered how it tasted several years back, it probably tastes just as good.  This remains their leading product.


Next up was Providence, a Tripel hopped Belgian.  Normally, I’m eager for these.  It just didn’t work for me as well as I had hoped.  I’d try it again, if only to put to words what threw me off.  I hope I have the picture right… this came out fairly bright.


I also sampled the Hopped Brown Ale, which was tasty enough but a beer that I usually don’t favor without food.


The brewery has some other things in the works, including a 12% ABV beer to be called Declaration, a black IPA due out this summer, and a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout.

If I had to do it all over again… I’d bring a pizza.  Georgia’s brewing laws don’t permit food to be served, I think, but that’s not even on the radar as brewers are still trying to be able to sell beer directly to the public rather than exclusively by distributors.


1 comment :

  1. Sorry I missed it. The Declaration is what I would have wanted!