Jailhouse Brewery is the kind of place that reminds me why I love the South. Situated in an old jailhouse in the quaint southern town of Hampton, Georgia is this wonderful brewery that exudes passion, care and cool. Hand crafted beer is made here and it doesn't only taste good, its packaging and branding is well designed. A combination I am most fond of...
The Jailhouse Brewery is situated on the bottom floor of this two story brick structure built in the 1920's. This brewery was once home to a jail, a fire station, a courthouse and city hall, all at the same time. Its jail inhabitants were famed to be of the public drunken variety so to paraphrase a line from their website- it seems only fitting that beer is now brewed here.
Randall Veugeler and the Veugeler Design Group team worked with owner, Glenn Golden to integrate the Jailhouse theme into all aspects of the brand. The main inspiration for their look was the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and I really like how they cared about the small details, as even the Jailhouse taps have become a playful ball and chain. And speaking of what's on tap, the Jailhouse Brewery currently hand crafts three different varieties they call their Usual Suspects: SLAMMER WHEAT, an American wheat beer; MUGSHOT IPA, a balanced blend of malt flavors and a mix of cascade, chinook, warrior and sterling hops; BREAKOUT STOUT, a dark roasted malt with a hint of chocolate.
Jailhouse also has a handful of Solitary Confinement brews (brewed once) and an inspiring selection of seasonal varieties. This fall, look out for Smokey. As Glenn explains, "It's a slightly smoked version of our Slammer Wheat. It drinks easy and is great with smoked meats and BBQ." Artist, Jonathan Richter is the ingenious mind behind the label. After he had the chance to taste the beer, which he describes as a wonderful, unique brew that tastes like bacon, he was quickly inspired. After first thinking of Smokey the Bandit, Jonathan realized, "This screams for a highway patrol pig!" The label certainly grabs your attention and makes you smile- which is a win win when you're trying to create a standout beer amongst all the competition.
The Brewery, just 30 minutes or so from downtown Atlanta, proves to be a great afternoon getaway from the city. From 2pm-6pm every Saturday, the Brewery doors are open for tours and tastings. Glenn is passionate about his beers and is often at hand to answer any questions about his favorite subject. The Brewery is also just one block from Hampton's main street, a small and charming focal point of the town that's fun to meander and help walk off any buzz...or keep it going, whichever you prefer.
As any beer drinker can attest, it's always fun learning a little bit about how your alcoholic beverage is made while drinking it at the same time. This one room brewery is a kick-back, relaxing locale to spend an afternoon. (And a handy tip- after the tour, head down the way to McGhin's Southern Pit for some tasty BBQ)
Glenn opened Jailhouse Brewery in 2009, making it only the fourth production craft brewery operating in the state of Georgia. It's also the smallest brewery in Georgia with just one main brewing room and a handful of staff on hand. But that's what makes it a personable, mom and pop brew house that is attracting hardcore fans statewide and beyond.
A delicious and cold Mugshot IPA sits atop the remaining jail bars on the far side of the brewery building. It's a reminder to times past; a flurry of government activity, emergency personnel, criminals and unruly drunks staying for a while or just passing through- generally a place of men, sweat and passion. Not too much has changed, except to say the availability of tasty, cold micro beers makes this jailhouse a bit more of a relaxed, fun hangout than the old days... at least that's my hunch!
Click here to see where you can saddle up to a bar and order a tasty Jailhouse brew of your own.
Photos: Kathryn Kolb and Sweet Peach Content: Sweet Peach