Ben Volen, general manager of the Distillery, agrees: Savannah, Ga., is a very traditional city. "For a long time there was nothing on at any of the bars besides Bud draft, Miller draft, Yuengling had just come into town ... Corona in a bottle," Volen reflects. So when the Distillery opened around this time last year, the idea of a craft beer-centric bar was certainly a change of pace.
Volen had attended school in New York when the craft beer trend was gaining momentum. Upon returning south, he brought his love of New York brewers like Brooklyn and Captain Lawrence back to Georgia, looked at the burgeoning beer scene in nearby Atlanta and constructed a plan for his bar.
Savannah reacted appreciatively. "We've been welcomed with open arms," Volen says. "We've completely changed this town and how they look at beer." Since their opening, according to Volen, most restaurants now carry at least a couple of craft brews.
Read more about the Distillery and see yesterday's entire draft list after the jump.
But the Distillery isn't looking to abandon Savannah's rich history entirely. Quite the opposite, in fact.
"Our building was once the only distillery in Savannah," Volen informed us. He took that historical tidbit and ran with it, creating a "pre-prohibition themed bar" complete with high, old brick ceilings and retro-styled fans. He even threw in a brass and copper still.
Another tradition worth getting behind: Savannah is one of the few places in the country where people can walk the streets with an open container any day of the year, so the Distillery serves plenty of beers in to-go cups.
Just because an idea is old, doesn't mean it's bad. Thanks to the Distillery, now the town drunk can stumble the streets with a craft beer. Sounds like a worthwhile upgrade.
Yesterday's draft list at the Distillery:
- Dogfish Head Pumkin
- Victory Golden Monkey
- Terrapin Big Happy Monster
- Bell's Amber
- Bell's Oberon
- Dogfish Head 60min IPA
- Smuttynose IPA
- Victory Prima Pilsner
- Terrapin Midnight Project Depth Charge
- Spaten Optimator
- McSorley's Black Lager
- Victory Donnybrook
- Flying Fish Double Dog
- Harpoon UFO
- Original Sin Cider
- St. Bernardus Christmas
- Harpoon Leviathan
- Highland Gaelic
- Stone Pale Ale
- Abita Purple Haze
- Terrapin Pumpkinfest