Beer Town: Skint Chestnut Brewing in Powder Springs off to good start

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

In July 2022, brothers-in-law Mark Henson and Doug Farrell opened Skint Chestnut Brewing Company on Broad Street in Powder Springs.

Historically, Skint Chestnut was once the name of what is now Douglasville. That’s where Henson and Farrell hoped to open a brewery. But local ordinances made it difficult, so they settled on nearby Powder Springs, where they were greeted with open arms.

“They wanted a brewery here, and they rolled out the red carpet,” Farrell said during a recent visit to the taproom. “The mayor and the city council and the community embraced us as if we were long lost family members. It’s been fantastic.”

Before getting into the beer business, Henson was a French teacher and home brewer, and Farrell was a physical therapist. But of course, they both liked to drink beer.

Most of the offerings on draft at Skint Chestnut lean toward classic styles. And interestingly, almost all of their beers are named by style, rather than the usual stab at a clever name.

“I’m really a bit of a traditionalist,” Henson said. “I like to make beers within the guidelines of a particular style, and that’s what I call the beers. I find that’s good for the consumer, too.”

An exception is an American pale ale called Sabrovosspa, which combines Sabro hops with Voss Kveik yeast, giving it a fruity aroma and a tangy mandarin orange flavor.

Henson employs a fairly rare BREWHA BIAC system that’s designed to make the entire brewing process — from mashing to boiling to fermenting to carbonation and conditioning — directly in a conical fermenter.

“The thing that’s really nice about it is that it takes up a very small footprint,” Henson said. “It’s also nice in its simplicity. A brewhouse would typically have three to four different vessels. My beer stays in one vessel from start to finish. And I’m moving the grains out of the liquid rather than the liquid out of the grains.”

In addition to running the taproom, Farrell works a small hand-canning and labeling operation and stocks a refrigerator with beer to go.

“It’s one can at a time,” he said, laughing. “Surprisingly we sell a lot of beer to go. Enough to make it worth it to do it, anyway.”

Beers on the recent draft list included a crisp, refreshing American lager made with a bit of corn, a cold West Coast-style IPA with a substantial hop character, and a creamy-malty Nitro English Porter.

All of the beers I tried were very clean, and pretty in the glass. But I was most impressed with the English-style ESB (extra special bitter). It featured a nice balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness, along with some earthy and herbal notes.

While Skint Chestnut doesn’t offer food in the taproom, it has a symbiotic relationship with SGC Chicken & Seafood. Beyond a sliding wooden door, guests can enter the restaurant and order the likes of seafood baskets, lobster rolls, chicken wings and “gourmet fries.”

“This has been kind of a dream scenario for us,” Farrell said. “They didn’t want to deal with alcohol, and we didn’t want to deal with food. But their customers can come over here and our customers can go over there.”

For a brewery that’s only been open for around 10 months, Skint Chestnut seems to be moving in the right direction.

“We’re super happy and super proud of the way things have turned out,” Farrell said. “I’ll brag a little bit and say we were in the top three of the Best of Cobb in 2023, so that’s a really good start.”

Skint Chestnut Brewing Company, 3886 Broad St., Suite 100, Powder Springs. 678-919-4783,

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