Hippin’ Hops to bring beer, oysters to East Atlanta Village

Stock photo of beer.
Stock photo of beer.

Business would be the first black-owned brick-and-mortar in the state

The former home of an East Atlanta Village pharmacy is soon set to get new life as a brewery and oyster bar

Hippin’ Hops Brewery and Oyster Bar is slated to open as early as September in at 1308 Glenwood Ave. SE in the former East Lake Pharmacy space, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported.

The venture comes from husband and wife Clarence and Donnica Boston, who live in the neighborhood. Clarence, a mortician by trade, previously worked as an intern and apprentice at Meadows Mortuary in East Atlanta. Donnica is a lawyer. The couple also owns three food and beverage concepts in North Carolina, including a hookah bar and a jazz club.

Hippin’ Hops plans to brew a variety of craft beers to sell on-site and to local bars and restaurants, with plans to eventually can its product for retail sales. There’s also the possibility of partnering with Sabbath Brewing, which is slated to open around the corner on Flat Shoals Ave. this fall, on canning equipment.

When it opens, Hippin’ Hops will be the first Black-owned brick-and-mortar brewery in Georgia, according to the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. Black-owned Down Home Brewing and Khonso Brewing have been operating as contract brewers in metro Atlanta. Boston said the distinction is something that makes him “so emotional.”

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Boston been brewing on his own for about 15 years, and started thinking about opening his own brewery about two years ago. When he heard the Glenwood Avenue location was vacant, he jumped on it.

“It’s something I’ve always loved doing,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to own a brewery.”

A photo of tanks being delivered to the location were posted on Reddit last month. Boston said he’s hopefully he’ll be out of the permitting stage soon, after which he said it should take about three weeks for him to renovate the building.

As far as beer styles, Boston said Hippin’ Hops will “do it all,” from IPAs to sours to stouts. While Boston will oversee the overall operations for the business, he’s looking to hire a brewmaster.

The kitchen will be run by executive chef Jamarius “J.” Banks, a former contestant on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” who has also cooked at several Atlanta restaurants including The Optimist.

“I consider myself a very good chef, but he beats me,” Boston said.

Offerings will include oysters, including some from the Boston’s oyster bed in North Carolina, and other seafood items. Boston sees the beer as the main attraction, with the food serving to complement the brews.

The Hippin’Hops space will accommodate about 60, with an S-shaped bar inside, outdoor seating along the side of the building and plans for a rooftop bar.

If the East Atlanta launch goes well, Boston is already eyeing a second location for Hippin’ Hops next to Slim & Husky’s in West Midtown.

Once open, Hippin’ Hops will offer beer to go via growlers, as well as dine-in and carryout service for food. Raw oysters will only be served on the premises.

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