Hippin Hops brewery and distillery closes in East Lake

An East Atlanta Hippin Hops location remains open
The interior of Hippin Hops in East Lake.

Credit: Hippin Hops

Credit: Hippin Hops

The interior of Hippin Hops in East Lake.

The East Lake location of Georgia’s first Black-owned brick-and-mortar brewery has closed its doors.

Open since early 2022 at 2380 Hosea L. Williams Drive in the Hosea + 2nd development, Hippin Hops focused on distilling spirits, in addition to beers brewed in the five-barrel Deutsche brewhouse and a menu of grilled bar food including lamb chops, grilled shrimp skewers and blackened salmon.

The original Hippin Hops, which opened in early 2021 on Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta, will remain open. A third Hippin Hops in Stone Mountain, which had served as a production facility with a small taproom since late 2022, closed earlier this year.

Clarence Boston, who owns Hippin Hops with his wife, Donnica, plans to move Hippin Hops’ primary brewing and distilling operations to Charlotte, North Carolina. The couple already owns a bar in the city and has plans to open a second brewery dubbed Another Brewery, as well as a restaurant called Jive Turkey Hut, there in the coming weeks.

He attributed the East Lake closure to a combination of what he described as Georgia’s restrictive laws and business being slower than expected.

Hippin Hops Brewery owners Clarence Boston and Donnica Boston. Mia Yakel for the AJC

Credit: Mia Yakel

icon to expand image

Credit: Mia Yakel

“We loved the Hosea location, but financially, it just made more sense to move it to North Carolina,” Boston said. “It was a tough decision, but if you make $1 million and you give distributors 40 percent of that, that’s a lot of money to put on the table. And with the laws, we can’t sell a keg of beer to the restaurant next door to us without going through a distributor. And East Lake is a great neighborhood, but there’s not as much traffic there as we thought when we leased the property.”

Despite the closure, the Bostons are committed to doing business in metro Atlanta. In addition to the East Atlanta Hippin Hops, they own a Stone Mountain funeral home and are planning to open a Jive Turkey Hut location in metro Atlanta.

Hippin Hops is one of several food and beverage closures for the 2nd + Hosea development, co-owned by Fellini’s and La Fonda owners Clay Harper and Mike Nelson, in part with ReDevStudio. Korean restaurant Salaryman closed earlier this year, while Lake and Oak BBQ closed in 2022 and Mary Hoopa’s House of Fried Chicken and Oysters in 2019.

Current food and beverage concepts in the development include Poor Hendrix, which was recently recognized by the Michelin Guide, Mix’d Up Burger, Perc Coffee and La Fonda. Barbecue concept Gene’s is set to open in the former Salaryman space early next year.

Harper did not immediately respond to The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s request for information on the closure or plans for the Hippin Hops space.

Hippin Hops’ East Lake location is one of several metro Atlanta craft breweries to close in 2023, including Anderby Brewing, Blackberry Farms, Candler Rail Brewery, Orpheus Brewing and Second Self Beer Co.

Atlanta Brewing Company, Atlanta’s oldest craft brewery, scrapped plans to reopen in the Underground Atlanta development after closing its original Upper Westside location in 2022, while Burnt Hickory Brewing closed its location in Kennesaw with plans to relocate.

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