Atlantucky Brewing celebrates two years in Atlanta

Atlantucky Brewing founders Skinny DeVille and Fish Scales are members of the Southern hip-hop group Nappy Roots. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Atlantucky Brewing founders Skinny DeVille and Fish Scales are members of the Southern hip-hop group Nappy Roots. Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlantucky Brewing marked its second anniversary recently with a new pizza and panini menu and a celebratory beer dubbed Lord Sauce.

Atlantucky founders Skinny DeVille and Fish Scales are members of the Southern hip-hop group Nappy Roots, first formed when they were students at Western Kentucky University.

“The anniversary is exciting,” Scales said. “The first few years of a business is the hardest. So, us going into our third year, without any major hiccups, is great.”

The brewery is located in a 6,000-square-foot space in Castleberry Hill, with a small brewhouse and a sprawling, multi-level taproom that has a variety of bars, a lounge and, of course, a stage for live music. An anniversary party was held Feb. 3 at the brewery.

“For the first two years, we just tried to zone in, learn how to make beer on a professional level, and learn how to sell it,” Scales said. “Now, this year, we’re focusing on the experience for our customers. You can get a pizza, you can get a beer, and soon we’ll have spirits, as well.”

Among the beers on tap, Lord Sauce is a strong stout aged for 12 months in an Old Fitzgerald bourbon barrel.

Skinny DeVille (left) and Fish Scales, founders of Atlantucky Brewing in Atlanta, talk to members of the media about the brewery's second anniversary. Courtesy of Atlantucky Brewing

Credit: Courtesy of Atlantucky Brewing

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Credit: Courtesy of Atlantucky Brewing

Equally hefty, Lobs Smash, a single-malt and single-hop Belgian strong golden ale, is a collaboration with Leaders of the Brew School, an Atlanta-based organization celebrating people of color in craft beer.

“We wanted to get them involved for the anniversary,” DeVille said. “The number of Black-owned breweries in the country is less than 1%. Right now, there are 83 Black breweries, either in development, or contract, or brick and mortar.”

DeVille is proud of Atlantucky’s growth.

“When we had the grand opening, we only had four beers on tap,” he said. “Last year, for our first anniversary, we ended up having 12 beers on tap. This year, we have at least 18 beers.”

Putting food into the mix has been a major undertaking, including renovating the kitchen over the past eight months. Besides pizza and panini from Executive Chef Michelle Tompkins, DeVille said he also expects to add gourmet sandwiches.

The brewery also will continue playing host to pop-ups.

But music is what brought DeVille and Scales together, and that figured in the anniversary festivities in a big way, with live performances from Young Bloodz, Translee, PBG Grey, King Yoshiman and special guests.

“Making music and making beer is the same kind of thing,” DeVille said. “We’ve figured out how to do both while still being independent.”

Right now, the partners aren’t selling their beer outside of the brewery, and are planning to stay small, while focusing on holding events.

“This place stays pretty booked up on the weekends,” DeVille said. “We’re trying to break it down to where the food is a third, the beer is a third, and the event space is a third. Our goal is to remain a small business, with a small staff, but still make quality beer.”

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