Beer Town: Steady Hand celebrates finally having a brewery to call its own

Steady Hand Beer Co. has 24 taps in its new taproom on Atlanta’s Westside. CONTRIBUTED BY MARY POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Steady Hand Beer Co. has 24 taps in its new taproom on Atlanta’s Westside. CONTRIBUTED BY MARY POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY

In May 2017, when Georgia Farmhouse Ale from Steady Hand Beer Co. first popped up on my radar, I was told that the founders, CEO Kevin Sullivan and his brewmaster brother Brian Sullivan, were getting ready to open a new brewery on Atlanta's Westside in the fall.

In November 2017, when I wrote about another Steady Hand beer I really liked, Flower Business Double IPA, the opening date had been pushed back to spring 2018.

Last week, I finally got a look at the brewery, which has been open for tastings on a limited basis over the past few weeks. And on March 9, Steady Hand will make it official with a grand opening party.

Located on suddenly bustling Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, near the new Bacchanalia and Star Provisions building, the former warehouse space is the epitome of a contemporary craft brewery.

There’s a shiny stainless steel 30-barrel DME brewhouse, with 60-barrel fermenters, and plenty of room to add even bigger tanks. A canning line is scheduled to be installed in April. In the meantime, a mobile canning company is doing the packaging.

The look of the taproom is industrial chic-meets-Colorado Deadhead, with polished concrete, raw metal and reclaimed wood materials, a sprawling bar with 24 taps, and areas for live music, fun-and-games and private events.

“This was literally just a metal shell when we took it over,” Kevin Sullivan said, conducting a tour of the build-out. “We were told this building once housed the city of Atlanta’s Christmas decorations in the ’40s and ’50s. But we put up all the walls, and new restrooms, of course.

“We reclaimed a lot of the materials. We got our brewing equipment from a brewery in Colorado. When they shipped it, they fabricated these holds, so we were able to repurpose that stuff. We had a local friend laser-cut our logo and sign. The wood you see on the face of the bar came from the Big Chicken up in Marietta.”

Steady Hand Beer Co. has opened a new brewery and taproom on Atlanta’s Westside. CONTRIBUTED BY MARY POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Steady Hand Beer Co. has opened a new brewery and taproom on Atlanta’s Westside. CONTRIBUTED BY MARY POWELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Even though the taproom isn’t operating at full tilt, yet, it’s been crowded on the days it’s open, and demand for the event space has been surprisingly brisk, Sullivan noted.

“Private events are keeping us pretty busy,” he said. “We’ve had some small and some pretty big events. We had NBC Sports rent space out during the Super Bowl, which was awesome.”

As far as the beers currently being brewed by Brian Sullivan, most have a culinary bent, which isn’t surprising given a resume that includes stints as the head brewer at 3 Sheeps Brewing in Wisconsin, and the chef at Pyramid Brewing in California.

“Brian’s got a really big culinary background, and he’s a chef, so I think it’s culinary, balanced beers that go with food, and that experience is the biggest thing about this brewery,” Kevin Sullivan said. “We’re excited that with 24 taps, there’s a lot of room for him to kind of play and do some fun stuff, including some taproom-only releases.

“I think right now, if you want to get any kind of brand loyalty, you need to be able to execute across a bunch of different styles, so that people can expect something that’s interesting and well-produced. I think that’s what we’re striving for.”

A STEADY HAND BEER SAMPLER

Georgia Farmhouse Ale — Between a Belgian saison and a French biere de garde, a dry, refreshing, unfiltered farmhouse ale brewed with wheat, oats and organic Georgia grits.

Flower Business Double IPA — At 9 percent alcohol, a surprisingly easy-to-drink double IPA, with a smooth, slightly sweet malt character, and an easygoing, balanced bitterness.
Imperial Coffee Stout — A rich, roasty, very drinkable coffee stout that’s brewed as a showcase for the single-origin coffee from El Salvador and Atlanta’s Brash Coffee Roasters.
EVENT PREVIEW
Celebrate the grand opening of Steady Hand’s new Westside taproom 2-8 p.m. March 9. General admission $25, includes four beer tokens and a branded souvenir glass, plus live music, food trucks, raffles and more. 1611 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW, Suite F, Atlanta. 404-458-5981, steadyhandbeer.com.

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