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?
As 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!