Carey Falcone, Bob Powers, and Mitch Steele were already well-respected names within the beer industry, all with more than 30 years of experience, but that didn’t stop them from venturing out into new territory.
The three co-owners of New Realm Brewing Company have the need to constantly innovate, and the most recent way to do that was to start their own brewery.
“We’re excited to start something ourselves,” said Falcone, who serves as the CEO of New Realm. “It was the culmination of our life’s work.”
New Realm will be opening its newest location in downtown Savannah, set to open April 20.
The venue is a three-story building at the corner of State and Whitaker streets, and is the former site of Savannah Spirits.
Falcone said he had already spent much time in Savannah distributing his product, and the idea of a Savannah restaurant and brewery made sense.
“Selling our beers in a community in which we live, work and brew is incredibly important to us,” Falcone said. “Going to Savannah gave us the opportunity to go to the opposite side of the state and expand our localness.”
New Realm Brewing Company opened its first brewery and restaurant location in Atlanta in 2016 and a second in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 2018.
“This was more than just creating a brewery,” Falcone said. “We assemble people who think about life and the beer business the same way we do.”
The core brands their website lists are Hazy Like a Fox, hazy IPA , 6.5% ABV; Hoptropolis, IPA, 6.5% ABV; Below, low-caloire hazy IPA – new for this year – 4% ABV; Euphonia, pilsner, 5% ABV; Hoplandia, IPA, 7.3%; and United, craft lager, 4.5% ABV. Both the current Atlanta and Virginia breweries also have their own taplists.
New Realm Brewing Company beers are already available in several Savannah businesses.
When Falcone and Powers, who is also the chief commercial officer at New Realm, decided to start their own company, they knew they needed a renowned brewmaster to be at the forefront. Steele is most known for his takes on the Indian Pale Ale. The author of the book “IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale” and recipient of the Russell Scherer Award for Innovation in Brewing, Steele worked for Anheuser-Busch and Stone Brewing Company before joining New Realm.
“We made a list of who we thought were the top 10 brewers in the world, and we had Mitch on the list,” Falcone said. “We felt like he was a guy who could start with tradition and then twist the hell out of it.”
Falcone also knew great beer should go with great food, and as at their two current locations, the Savannah New Realm needed to be a restaurant as much as a brewery. New Realm appointed international chef Grant McPherson to be its culinary director, who spent a decade in the same role at the Bellagio Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and has cooked for celebrities, presidents and British prime ministers over his 30-year career.
“We’re as passionate about our food as we are our beer,” Falcone said. “Grant is very well-known worldwide – a truly crazy passionate chef. He’s all about food, and [Steele] is all about the beer.”
New Realm offers a casual dining experience highlighted by crafted burgers, sandwiches, tacos and wings.
New Realm will also make use of the distillery equipment left behind by Savannah Spirits. In 2019, the company began making London Dry Gin, Tennessee Bourbon and gluten-free Vodka.
Falcone said the new building downtown will be different from New Realm’s locations in Atlanta and Virginia Beach. The Whitaker Street building provides a smaller, more intimate venue than the other locations, which have their own production facilities and large outdoor dining platforms. Thanks to local artwork provided by the Savannah College of Art and Design to help decorate the interior, the new restaurant will have a unique Savannah vibe to it.
“It feels like a slice of Savannah,” Falcone said.
Jeff Ash, vice president of food and beverage for New Realm, said each of the three floors will be utilized for an array of occasions: an outdoor patio with a view of downtown, the third floor is perfect for large events, he said, and New Realm can expand beyond casual dining with their menu.
“We can be flexible with our menu,” Ash said. “If they want steak and lobster, we can do steak and lobster.”
Ash was in Savannah last week overseeing the hiring process for the restaurant’s incoming staff. New Realm is looking to bring around 100 new jobs to the Savannah area. A hire for a head chef and a general manager has been made, but New Realm was not ready to announce those names at press time.
Walk-in applicants are welcome and can apply in person from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
New Realm Brewing Company will be located at 120 Whitaker Street. Visit newrealmbrewing.com.