As far back as I have memories, those memories include coffee. I grew up in a house where coffee flowed much more freely than beer, and although I was lucky enough to find my way into this crazy craft beer community during my college years, coffee was (and still is) ever present. I've often touted Athens' Terrapin as my "gateway" beer, and similarly, Athens' Jittery Joe's Coffee opened my eyes to the craft side of coffee.
Although I was drinking coffee well before beer, my first attempts to actually source green (unroasted) coffee beans, roast, grind, and brew them didn’t come about until during the startup phase of Dry County. I have been a huge fan of Modern Times Brewing in California, and their founder Jacob McKean, since their early start up phases back in 2012. I followed the Modern Times start up religiously via Jacob’s in-depth blogging, and while many of the posts were instrumental in the formation of Dry County from a beer and business standpoint, I still remember being most intrigued by Modern Times’ foray into coffee roasting. At the time, MT was only the second brewery in America to roast their own in-house cold brew, and while many others across the country have picked up the trend, Dry County is proud to be the first in Georgia to do so. Jacob suggested it as a distraction from the start-up stress (how he got into it), and I took him at his word. He was absolutely right. There is something extremely calming about watching the beans roll around, gradually turning darker and darker, eventually cracking and becoming the coffee that we know. Just like home brewing, home roasting quickly became an obsession. I read everything I could on the topic, sourced beans from every country I could get my hands on, and talked to craft roasters around the country’s close knit craft coffee community.
Needless to say, since the founding of Dry County I have always had the vision to add craft coffee to our portfolio. The passing of SB85, and the changes and improvements you will see in taproom culture across the state have exponentially expedited that process. I have assured our retail and wholesale partners, and will assure you reading this now, that coffee will not take away from our focus on producing the highest quality craft beer we possibly can. If anything, this new access to high quality, fresh roasted coffee will open additional avenues of creativity on the beer side of Dry County, where Steve and Logan (our incredible brew team) do an amazing job, and will continue to dedicate 100% of their time and energy to alcohol, not caffeine. Dry County Coffee will be roasted one pound at a time by me. So, if you don’t like it, or you like it so much that we run out, you know who to blame.
Bottom line: my hope is now you will have access to a little more caffeine to help you #MakeYourRun!
President, Dry County Brewing