Jekyll Brewing – one year later

Today we feature an article from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

I recently stopped by Jekyll’s brewery on Marconi Drive to see how they were doing nearly one year into business.  I had first encountered Jekyll, owner Michael Lundmark and brewer Josh Rachel last March to discuss their Kickstarter campaign to raise money to build the brewery.  As you may recall, they exceeded their $30,000 goal by many thousands.  The people wanted a local brewery.  How is Alpharetta’s own Jekyll Brewing doing in the first year of business?

Jekyll TastingAs it turns out, very well.  Jekyll has exceeded their lofty goals for the first year and are already moving into their five year plan.  They are brewing at capacity.  They’ve added many tanks and a lot of new equipment and still are having a hard time keeping up with demand.  They’ve nearly burned out their hot water kettle by running it too much.  There are several hot water on demand devices in place and ready to go to replace the giant supernova burner they are currently using.

They’ve installed a bottling system in the back of the brewery that puts out 100,000 bottles a month into the market.  Staggering.  And here’s the crazy thing.  Bottles are only about 30% of Jekyll’s business.  The rest is draught to bars, restaurants, growler stores etc.

There are two semi-tractor trailers that leave Jekyll every week sending the product into market.  Jekyll is in retail locations all over north Georgia down to Macon and on the coast down to Jekyll Island.  They are looking to expand into all of Georgia soon.

Jekyll’s Hop Dang Diggity Southern IPA is by far the biggest seller, accounting for over half of sales.  It placed in the top ten in a recent IPA competition where it went up against 250 brews from around the world.

Jekyll now employees 23 folks mostly full time.  The tap room is very busy on the weekends with live music, video games, tours and of course beer samples.

That’s the past and present, what about the future for Jekyll?  September 1st will see the first expansion of the brewery into an adjoining space adding 150% more capacity as well as a full bottling line.  Brewmaster Josh will be turned loose this year to make one special beer each week that will be available only in the tap room starting on Tuesdays.  It will push Josh’s creativity to the limit and we will all benefit.  Look for a new double IPA called A Hoot n’ a Holler.  I had some at the brewery, and I can report that it’s very good.

One pretty cool product that’s coming out is an English Barleywine called OTG.  It was brewed by Josh and his father, the man who got Josh into brewing, on Father’s Day.  This special beer will be a yearly event, limited batch, and sold only in bombers.  It’s a great story of a father and son sharing a passion and making a great story.

It’s great to see a local business doing well especially in the tough first year.  It’s even better when it’s a local brewery that makes outstanding beer, has a cool facility and very nice people.  So raise your glasses for many more years of success for Alpharetta’s Jekyll Brewing.  Cheers!

9 Responses to “Jekyll Brewing – one year later”

  1. Kevin July 8, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    I supported the Kickstarter after first reading about it here, and it’s really amazing to see how far they’ve come! Several of their beers are genuinely my favorite their respective styles (Big Creek Kolsch and Cooter Brown most of all). I just wish my local Kroger would stock their bottles, and I’m also a little sad they didn’t go with cans as originally planned but I’m sure there were good reasons for going with bottles instead. It would also be cool if they could add some sort of outdoor space like a patio or rooftop bar as part of the expansion, but it may not be allowed in this particular space.

  2. Travis Allen July 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    Which Kroger is your local Kroger? The one at Windward and Hwy 9 has their beer.

  3. Kevin July 8, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Old Alabama and Haynes Bridge. Total Wine has it of course, but I’m not in there every week…

  4. Scsa31274 July 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    That Kroger so far is the only one. Not national yet.

  5. Will B July 9, 2014 at 6:55 am #

    That Kroger has a really good selection of beer, for being a Kroger. Hell, it carries more craft beer than the liquor store next to it.

    Publix on Haynes Bridge & Old Milton needs to step their game up.

  6. S Lee Guy July 9, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    I’ve found that just about any local store that carries craft beer in bottles will have at least one variety of Jekyll beer, usually their IPA. And most local growler stores have them always available.

    My favorite is the Kolsh. Hopefully they will soon offer it in bottles. Their brown ale is a little too hopped up for my tastes.

  7. jb July 9, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    Yes the Kolsch in bottles please. Please. Jekyll if you are reading this…..

  8. Trey Eiland July 10, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    The Kroger at Johnson Ferry and Lower Roswell also has it in stock.

    Kroger
    4880 Lower Roswell Rd
    Marietta, GA 30068

  9. John July 11, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    I love the IPA and the session ale is great when I am grilling outside in the heat. Usually get mine at Red’s.

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