Red Brick Brewery: “Beer from around here”
Located on the cusp of Collier Hills, on Defoor’s Place, the Red Brick Brewery is the oldest brewery in the state of Georgia. When you walk in, you’ll hear music playing, smell the “Fruity Pebble” aroma of hops, and probably, get to shake hands with some really genuine people. We joined Garett Lockhart, a brewer at Red Brick to talk about beer and find out what makes their beer so special. “Right now, is like a craft beer renaissance,” Garett explains. “There’s a shift with everything. Restaurants are going from farm to table, and it translates into craft beer, too. You want something you can taste the quality of. So many craft breweries across the country are doing things that no one’s ever done.”
Garett moved to Atlanta about 8 years ago from California, where the craft beer industry was already booming. He had been in food service sales for a while and really started thinking about what he wanted to do. He’d always heard that, “the happiest people on the planet are the people who wake up in the morning and do what they love.” He loved beer and began putting his ear to the ground for opportunities. Finally, he joined the team at 5 Seasons Brewery. He offered to come in and work for free just so he could learn, and they were more than happy to take him on.
Garett also expanded his knowledge at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago at the World Brewing Acadamy. Bet you didn’t know that there was a school where you could learn the art of being a professional brewer. Now, he’s learning from one of the best, Dave McClure, the head brewer, or Brewmaster, at Red Brick. “He comes up with all of the recipes. He’s been doing it for so long that he can come up with a recipe in his head and know what’s it’s going to taste like,” Garett explains. “He’s the guy that tells us what to brew and when to brew it.”
Garett suggests that most people, who are trying to get into drinking craft beer, start with what he likes to call their “gate way beer,” the Blonde, from their line of core beers. Their website describes the flavor as a “good attack, fresh not too aggressive.” And that’s exactly what it is. It’s easy to drink, and it tastes so much better than any watered down beer that you buy at the gas station. It’s perfect for a hot Atlanta summer day.
For all of you craft beer nerds out there, the Red Brick Mason line of beers is right up your alley. They have one called the Vanilla Gorilla, “a smoked porter aged in Tennessee Whiskey Barrels with Smoked Vanilla Beans, courtesy of Fox Bros. BBQ.” Wonder how Dave came up with that one.
Their most popular beer, Laughing Skull, is now, an Atlanta staple. If you want to try it or any of the other beers they, come to one of the tours or tastings Wednesday through Saturday. For under $20, you can taste several of their beers, and they’ll even give you a free pint glass. Sometimes, they have live music, trivia, and games.
Just like their most popular beer, the personality of the company is “definitely someone who’s been around for a while and is making a comeback,” said Garett. Red Brick is a perfect example of what happens when people have pride in what they do. The most inspiring thing about the trend toward craft beer, Garett explains, is that it’s “just a community of people who are so into beer and they want to make the best beer they can possibly make.” The guys at Red Brick are definitely on board with that style of thinking. They want the focus to be about what’s in the bottle and not the label on it.
*For information on where you can purchase Red Brick beer, find out about tour dates/times, and read more about the brewery itself, check out their website at www.RedBrickBrewing.com
Article by: Lindley Knight