First Look: Biggerstaff Brewing is serious about food and beer pairing

Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is a contemporary brewery restaurant on Edgewood Avenue in Old Fourth Ward. What you'll find includes (from left, top row) a pickles snack with seasonal vegetables, Honey Butter Ribs, Cornbread Bites, Warm Burrata, (from left, bottom row) Smoked Brisket Sandwich and Atlanta Egg. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is a contemporary brewery restaurant on Edgewood Avenue in Old Fourth Ward. What you'll find includes (from left, top row) a pickles snack with seasonal vegetables, Honey Butter Ribs, Cornbread Bites, Warm Burrata, (from left, bottom row) Smoked Brisket Sandwich and Atlanta Egg. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

It was a long time coming, but Biggerstaff Brewing Co. officially opened its doors earlier this month.

The contemporary brewery restaurant from Clay and Sarah Davies is down the block from Staplehouse on Edgewood Avenue in Old Fourth Ward. And Staplehouse chef Ryan Smith helped design the locally oriented, beer-friendly menu.

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Biggerstaff Honey Butter Ribs with fingerling potatoes and mushroom salad. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Honey Butter Ribs with fingerling potatoes and mushroom salad. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff Honey Butter Ribs with fingerling potatoes and mushroom salad. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

In June, when I first met the Davieses for a peek inside Biggerstaff, the brewery and kitchen equipment were in, but most of the space was still under construction, though they hoped to open in late July or early August.

“We want the food to be as important as the beer,” Clay Davies said at the time, echoed by Sarah Davies, who said, “We want people to be excited by tasting and pairing food and beer.”

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Biggerstaff Warm Burrata with country ham, roasted turnips, pickled beets, and arugula. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Warm Burrata with country ham, roasted turnips, pickled beets, and arugula. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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Biggerstaff Warm Burrata with country ham, roasted turnips, pickled beets, and arugula. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

They also explained that the coffee bar would be a major component of the concept. Their son, Cole Davies, who worked at Octane/Revelator, Spiller Park and Steady Hand, is in charge of the program, which features Intelligentsia Coffee, tea, and house-made seltzer, along with pastries from Alon’s.

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The coffee bar at Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is open daily. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

The coffee bar at Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is open daily. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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The coffee bar at Biggerstaff Brewing Co. is open daily. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

The three Davieses make Biggerstaff a family business. But the name comes from Sarah’s mother’s side. They were farmers in North Carolina, with lots of characters, and colorful stories. So the beers are all named for Biggerstaff family members. Hence, Aunt Hattie is a New England IPA, while Redus is a West Coast IPA, and Uncle Clarence is a wheat kettle sour.

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Biggerstaff executive chef Davis King, owners Sarah, Clay and Cole Davies, and director of brewing operations Chris Collier. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff executive chef Davis King, owners Sarah, Clay and Cole Davies, and director of brewing operations Chris Collier. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
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Biggerstaff executive chef Davis King, owners Sarah, Clay and Cole Davies, and director of brewing operations Chris Collier. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

The Davieses are longtime homebrewers, and they brought in longtime Atlanta homebrewer, turned commercial brewer, Chris Collier as director of brewing operations. Davis King, who worked at a string of Atlanta fine dining restaurants, including Seven Lamps, Tavernpointe, Bacchanalia and the Optimist, is the executive chef.

Recently, the team got together at a table next to the bar at Biggerstaff to talk about the food and beer, and the design.

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Caption
Biggerstaff Aunt Hattie beer (left) and Redus beer (right) with Cornbread Bites. The beers are all named for Biggerstaff family members. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Aunt Hattie beer (left) and Redus beer (right) with Cornbread Bites. The beers are all named for Biggerstaff family members. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff Aunt Hattie beer (left) and Redus beer (right) with Cornbread Bites. The beers are all named for Biggerstaff family members. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

“I think the important philosophy behind the menu is hitting on Southern regional cuisine,” King said. “Pickles, cornbread, things that you might find in the South that ties into the Biggerstaff family. And then, also, trying to get away from greasy spoon brewery food.

“It’s a kind of lighter approach to food that pairs well with beer, rather than food that just soaks up the beer. But it’s also about using the highest-quality ingredients. Sourcing our beef and pork locally. And for the pickle plate, all the vegetables are seasonal, the way it was when people were preserving and canning.”

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Biggerstaff pickles snack with seasonal vegetables. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff pickles snack with seasonal vegetables. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff pickles snack with seasonal vegetables. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

The menu is divided into snacks, small plates, sandwiches, large plates and desserts.

Across those categories, you’ll find Cornbread Bites with whipped sweet onion butter; the six-minute Atlanta Egg with lemon pepper chicken sausage and house dill dressing; Smoked Vidalia Onion Rings with barbecue sauce; a Smoked Brisket sandwich with sweet peppers; and Honey Butter Ribs with fingerling potatoes and mushroom salad.

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Biggerstaff Smoked Vidalia Onion Rings with house barbecue sauce and house dill dressing. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Smoked Vidalia Onion Rings with house barbecue sauce and house dill dressing. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff Smoked Vidalia Onion Rings with house barbecue sauce and house dill dressing. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

“We’re doing lots of hop-forward beers,” Collier said. “Not necessarily bitter, but obviously we have two IPAs, we have two pale ales, and we have a coffee session ale.”

“We came out of the gate wanting to make beers that we knew we could make well, and that we wanted to drink right now,” Clay Davies said. “Some of the recipes Cole and I developed over years of homebrewing, and Chris has his own recipes, as well. So we just collaborated, and we’re really happy with how all of them have turned out so far.”

Along with the food and beer, the wide-open, indoor-outdoor space may be the most important part of the concept.

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Biggerstaff Brewing's owners wanted it to have "an industrial-slash-vintage farm-themed look." (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Brewing's owners wanted it to have "an industrial-slash-vintage farm-themed look." (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff Brewing's owners wanted it to have "an industrial-slash-vintage farm-themed look." (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

“Our goal from the very start was that we wanted it to be something that was different from the typical brewpub,” Sarah Davies said. “We didn’t want a tavern kind of dark and dingy look, so we worked with our architect to come up with an industrial-slash-vintage farm-themed look.

“And I didn’t want it to just be a masculine setting. I wanted it to be a place where families could come in, and everyone would appreciate the design. We have a mix of wood and metal and lots of plants. And with the open design, we really wanted people to be able to see into the brewery and the kitchen.”

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Biggerstaff Crispy Pork Belly with creamed farro and seasonal fruit. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Biggerstaff Crispy Pork Belly with creamed farro and seasonal fruit. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Biggerstaff Crispy Pork Belly with creamed farro and seasonal fruit. (Mia Yakel for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Mia Yakel

Credit: Mia Yakel

DINING OUT

Coffee Bar: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Kitchen and bar: 4-10 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.

537 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-796-9919, biggerstaffbrewing.com.

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