Breweries roll out new beers to celebrate new law

A flight of craft beers at Wild Heaven Brewery. Photo by Travis Hudgons

A flight of craft beers at Wild Heaven Brewery. Photo by Travis Hudgons

 

Local craft beer brew masters and beer lovers celebrated a new law that went into effect Sept. 1 by raising a pint or two and for some byreleasing a new line of brews.

Gov. Nathan Deal signed what’s been called the “beer bill” in May after a long-fought battle that pitted alcohol distributors against owners of the state’s growing craft beer breweries. The law allows commercial beer and liquor manufacturers to sell directly to consumers. Previously these manufacturers of beer and spirits could only sell to wholesalers who could market the product to the public. 

Nick Purdy, co-founder of Wild Heaven Beer, said he and others have been fighting for the change in the law for years. He’s pleased to see it take effect. He said the new law eliminates the middle man and will pave the way for breweries to bring in more revenue. Previously breweries were restricted to only selling small quantities as part of tours. 

“We can work directly with our fans and customers and grow the experience,” said Purdy.

Purdy and his brew master partner Eric Johnson opened Wild Heaven in 2010 at 135B Maple St. in Decatur. It offers “a couple dozen” beers including Emergency Drinking Beer, Wise Blood IPA, Ode to Mercy and White Blackbird. 

“Our beers are designed in the great tradition of European brewing but with a distinctly American creative flair,” states the brewery’s website.

On Sept. 1 Wild Heaven held a celebration of the new law taking affect with patrons and friends and guests such as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagel. They also released a new beer for the occasion, a peach wild ale called Fortreess of Souritude. On Sept. 2, Cagel posted on Twitter: “Celebrating the big day with @BeerWildHeaven. Line was out the door. SB 85 growing jobs in GA! #ServeYourNeighbor #HopToTheTop #gapol”

Since the law took effect, Wild Heaven’s hours have been expanded—it’s open five days a week now, instead of four. Purdy said going forward Wild Heaven will have a series of special craft beer releases.

On Aug. 31 Decatur’s Three Taverns Brewery posted on its website: “September 1st ushers in a new era for GA beer. Breweries, for the first time, can now sell beer directly to consumers. This means our tasting room, The Parlour, now functions differently and for the first time you can actually buy a proper pour of beer. Or several pours of beer.”

The brewery, which opened in 2013 at 121 New St., described its New Monastic “core” beers as a nod to the Belgian tradition. They also brew a “non orthodox” line of beers. Among the Three Taverns beers are White Hops, Quasimodo and A Night on Ponce. It’s website list a variety of 15 beers.

To celebrate the new law, Three Taverns released three new packaged beers, two of which are brewery only releases: Inceptus Blueberry, German Chocolate Helm’s Deep and Enchantress.

Three Taverns also has expanded its hours in recent weeks.

Another commercial beer operation that will be affected by the new law is Blue Tarp Brewing Decatur. It’s been open at 31 E. College Ave. since 2012 and describes itself as Decatur’s first full-scale production brewery. On its website it lists nine beers such as Hopsided, Cascade Killa and Tropic Thunder. It also offers tastings and tours.

 

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