IT IS rare that a change in legislation results in an immediate visible effect, but Georgia Senate Bill 85 has done just that.
For those not brushed up on the law, Senate Bill 85 passed in 2017 and expanded breweries’ ability to sell their products directly to customers.
With the passage of such a monumental law, James and Liz Massey decided to follow his dream and open Savannah’s newest brewery, Two Tides Brewery.
As James puts it, the passage of the Bill made opening his own business “a much more feasible idea, as opposed to a million dollar operation” like some of the bigger breweries around town, he says.
Before embarking on his brave quest, James worked as a Certified Public Account, and Liz as a copywriter. Their roles quickly evolved when Two Tides opened its doors; James focuses on brewing his creations while Liz runs the taproom.
But James’ knowledge and skill as a brewmaster did not begin when he opened the doors. James brewed at home for about a decade prior to setting roots down in the Starland District.
To say this renaissance couple loves beer would be an understatement. Even their first date was in Savannah at World of Beer.
James’ infatuation with beer isn’t the only personality trait incorporated into the brew house. The name Two Tides originated with his love of the water growing up here.
He tells me, like many locals, his romance with the water began when he was growing up on Whitemarsh Island and having “his own boat... and...being a river rat.”
The brewery itself is giving back. Not only are they featuring local artists by hanging their work on the walls to sell, but the building itself was once part of the old Starland Dairy.
What was once a production space for milk movers is now where James creates his unique and flavorful drinks. James’ laboratory used to be the bottom floor of an old house located behind the original dairy.
As for the taproom upstairs, James told me that it “was the managers [of Starland Dairy] residence..and one of the owners back in the day lived upstairs.”
Featured year around at Two Tides include the Sixfoot IPA, the Currents IPA, the Chromatose sour, and Tan-Lines, a Pilsner. As for the breweries current seasonal offerings, they offer the Hydrus IPA and the up and coming Two Stroke IPA.
The coolest thing about being the new kid on the block is that they are running a pilot system, meaning they “are able to brew more beers than just our large batches, to kind of experiment with higher quality ingredients” Liz explains.
This gives the brewery the ability to let customers sample new creations without brewing an entire batch, and potentially wasting high quality ingredients.
James’ favorite beer the brewery currently offers is “the Hydrus, our double dry hop, double IPA,” because he is a huge fan of India Pale Ales.
But as you would expect any beer aficionado would, he specifies that he “particularly likes the new school juicy New England style IPA.”
To create this beer, James dry hops the beer once during the fermentation stage of brewing and once after the fermentation is complete. The flavor profile of this brew is a vibrant citrus flavor, with the kick of hops traditional to an India Pale Ale.
The New England style IPA offered at Two Tides is their flagship beer: the Sixfoot IPA. The New England-style IPA beer has become extremely popular and is different than most other IPAs due to its cloudy appearance.
The cloudiness of the beer gives it a smoother mouthfeel, making it taste “juicy” as James explained. For those who are on the fence about drinking an IPA, Two Tides’ Sixfoot is the perfect beer to turn that uncertainty into a love of IPAs.
Setting the Sixfoot IPA apart from the rest of the IPAs offered by Two Tides are its pine and citrus notes.
For an IPA you can drink all day, the Currents IPA is a great option. As a session IPA, it features the full flavor of a traditional India Pale Ale without all of the alcohol that comes with a high-gravity beer, hence the ability to drink as many as you like without leaving the party too soon.
Tan Lines, or ‘the khaki of beers” as James calls it, is a Two Tides’ beer you can pair with almost anything. If the name itself has not clued you in, this beer is perfect for day drinking while sitting on the beach or out in the boat.
James created “a classic German style Pilsner” but made it unique by hopping it “exclusively one hundred percent with American cascade hops, so it has a rich Pilsner malt background, which is balanced by this floral citrusy, earthy hop presence.”
Departing from the style of both an IPA and a Pilsner, the Chromatose blackberry sour is sweet yet tart beer that should appeal to every beer drinker alike. Although Sours are traditionally tart, Two Tides is extremely balanced making the Chromatase beer you catch yourself drinking very quickly (and drinking five more).
The brewery has not forgotten about dark beer drinkers or lovers of Stouts. Just a few short weeks ago, they featured an American Stout that was loaded with smooth chocolate flavors.
Soon to come, the brewery will release a small batch of Imperial Stout that will be “aged in a Four Roses Bourbon barrel, and part of it will be un-barrel aged,” James explains.
To celebrate their quick success, Two Tides will have a Grand Opening block party on May 12, which should feature a new brew, live music, and they have even invited Big Bon Pizza to join.
Beyond that, the brewery plans on featuring live music, working with local food creators, and hosting more block parties.