A LOT has changed in the Savannah craft beer world over the past six years, but Coastal Empire Beer Company has been there for the ride. Coastal celebrated its first beer at the Distillery on August 28, 2011 during Savannah Craft Beer week.
Since then it’s grown into a full production brewery and now stands on the cusp of the biggest change in Georgia beer as SB 85 goes into effect on September 1. On that day Coastal and all other Georgia breweries will be able to directly serve and sell beer without any odd tours or crazy restrictions.
I spoke with Chris Haborak, co-owner of Coastal Beer Co., about the last six years, beer and what is to come.
How has the last six years felt?
Haborak: Not to sound too cliche but it certainly has been a journey launching with one beer in 2011, to moving into our facility in 2013, and now preparing to have a regular tap room with 16 taps open to the public 5 days a week.
How has Savannah beer culture changed over the past six years?
Haborak: Savannah’s beer scene has grown quite a bit in the last 6 years. In 2011 when we launched there were fewer establishments concentrating on their beer programs like Crystal Beer Parlor and the Distillery. Habersham Beverage and Johnnie Ganem’s were some of the only places to pick up packages. Now it is great to see so many of Savannah’s great establishments carrying and promoting craft and especially their local craft breweries. We look forward to continue to grow and do our part to be part of Savannah’s Craft Beer history.
What is the future of Coastal Empire Beer Co.?
Haborak: We have been busy brewing our cores and seasonals but have been doing a lot of small batch beers that will be available in our tap room. We are having fun experimenting and when our customers really dig a new beer well who knows? It may be scaled up and brewed on our big system. Savannah’s craft beer scene continues to grow and we have had fun doing several collaboration beers with our customers.