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‘Come have a beer, relax and feel at home.’ Construction is underway on Gainesville’s newest brewery

Published 11/09/22 | By Rachel Estes, The Gainesville Times

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A new depot for craft beer is taking shape with the repurposing of some old, industrial bones in midtown Gainesville.

Renovations are underway on the 18,214-square-foot warehouse slated to house NoFo Brew Co. and Distillery by April 2023, offering liberationists a hoppy, sippable variety of spring flora.

Less than a 1-mile walk from the downtown square, the forthcoming extension of the Cumming-based locale sits adjacent to the Midland Greenway at 434 High St. SW.

NoFo Brew Co. and Distillery head brewer Andrew Greene inspects some brewery equipment Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, inside their newest brewery along the Midland Greenway on High Street in Gainesville. The new brewery is slated to open in spring 2023. – photo by Scott Rogers

Like its Cumming location, Gainesville’s NoFo will house both a brewery and distillery, as well as a fenced-in patio and firepit, a member’s lounge, private event space and a restaurant. 

The restaurant has garnered several applicants, but no tenant has been named for the space, director of marketing Eliana Barnard said.

A recommendation to award the brewery a $700,000 tax incentive for construction costs is pending approval by Gainesville City Council.

At the helm of NoFo Gainesville is head brewer Andrew Greene, who hails from NoFo Cumming, where he’s held the title of head brewer for roughly a year.

NoFo Brew Co. and Distillery head brewer Andrew Greene visits the site of their newest brewery Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, alongside the Midland Greenway on High Street in Gainesville. The new brewery is slated to open in spring 2023. – photo by Scott Rogers

Greene, a Roswell native, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Georgia State graduate, has about seven years of brewing experience under his belt. His immersion into Georgia’s craft beer scene began with a bartending gig at Cherry Street Brewing in Cumming; from there, he dabbled in the packaging side of the trade at Jekyll Brewing in Alpharetta and the brewing process itself at Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta.

“I kind of just got the bug and started working jobs trying to learn as much as I could,” Greene said.

Amongst his first brews at Monday Night stands an IPA labeled “Formal Jorts,” tailored for occasions in which, according to its description, “you want to put your best foot forward.” 

That particular brew, Greene said, was “probably the first one that I did where I was like, ‘Man, that’s not half bad. People might actually like this.’”

NoFo Brew Co. and Distillery is beginning renovation of a building Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, alongside the Midland Greenway on High Street in Gainesville for their newest brewery and restaurant. – photo by Scott Rogers

Though Greene doesn’t play favorites when it comes to craft beer, his natural leanings are toward lagers and pilsners — and he’ll be able to produce both at NoFo Gainesville with the use of new lagering tanks.

Unique to that location as opposed to its predecessor, the horizontal conditioning tanks will refine the brewery’s lagers by “cleaning up” the production process.

“Lagers are kind of a delicate process,” Greene said. “They take some time to do, and we’re doing the best we can with what we have (at the Cumming location). The lagering tanks will allow us, as far as our lagers and pilsners, to be able to do a better quality and help our process overall.”

Lagering tanks aren’t a “specialty” piece of equipment, per se, but they are an expense many brewers don’t make because they aren’t required to produce lager-style beers, Greene said; rather, they’re a tool that, when wielded, produces a noticeably next-level quality.

NoFo Brew Co. and Distillery is beginning renovation of a building Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, alongside the Midland Greenway on High Street in Gainesville for their newest brewery and restaurant. – photo by Scott Rogers

With the opportunity to be part of something “from the ground up,” Greene envisions NoFo becoming not just a fixture of midtown Gainesville, but a gathering place for the community at large.

“Our thing’s not necessarily about being a huge brewery. It’s more about that area and those people,” he said. “We hope to extend what we already have in Cumming — a place people can come have a beer, relax and feel at home. We want to be as immersed in Gainesville as we can be.”

For updates, follow NoFo Gainesville on Instagram.

This article was originally posted by the Gainesville Times, a sister publication to Forsyth County News.

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