Beer Town: Round Trip Brewing debuts with lots of lagers

CEO and Director of Brewery Operations Craig Mycoskie, shown in the taproom at Round Trip Brewing, previously worked for breweries in Colorado and Texas. Bob Townsend for The AJC
CEO and Director of Brewery Operations Craig Mycoskie, shown in the taproom at Round Trip Brewing, previously worked for breweries in Colorado and Texas. Bob Townsend for The AJC

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

In late February, Round Trip Brewing opened to the public with an impressive array of German-style lagers, including takes on Alt, Dunkel, Helles, Pilsner, Rye Alt, and Smoked Doppelbock, plus a West Coast IPA.

The name Round Trip marks a return to Atlanta for CEO and Director of Brewing Operations Craig Mycoskie, and his wife, Amy. The couple met in college at the University of Georgia. During that time, Mycoskie started homebrewing and volunteering at SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta.

Recently, I caught up with Mycoskie for a tour of Round Trip, which is located in a 26,000-square-foot former chemical plant on Seaboard Industrial Boulevard NW — not far from several other new Westside breweries, including Bold Monk, Dr. Scofflaw’s, and Firemaker.

The build-out features an inviting taproom with an L-shaped bar and two identical rows of 12 taps. There’s also a large private event space, as well as a sprawling patio out front, with an area for food trucks.

“We’re not doing any distribution at first, so it was part of the business plan to be able to have a nice event space to bring in more income,” Mycoskie said. And right now, any beer on tap is available to go in 32-ounce crowler cans, and some beers are available in six-packs, he added.

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CEO and Director of Brewery Operations Craig Mycoskie is shown in the brewhouse at Round Trip Brewing in Atlanta. (Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
CEO and Director of Brewery Operations Craig Mycoskie is shown in the brewhouse at Round Trip Brewing in Atlanta. (Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

The Round Trip brewhouse is a custom three-vessel, 15-barrel system from ProBrew in Wisconsin, with a dedicated mash tun, 30-barrel fermenters, and seven-barrel tanks to supply one-off beers for the taproom.

Mycoskie started brewing professionally at Wynkoop in Denver, took some time off to study brewing science in Germany, then moved to Texas, where he worked at Rahr & Sons in Fort Worth, and helped restart Celis Brewery in Austin.

That combination of experiences is what led to the decision to debut with mostly lagers, Mycoskie noted, though he added that he’ll be brewing all sorts of other styles, as well.

“We did a lot of lagers at Rahr,” he said. “I won some medals at GABF (Great American Beer Festival) with a lot of German stuff we did there, and won some medals at Wynkoop with German stuff. I think just brewing a lot of them at different places, I got comfortable with that style of brewing, and also doing brewing school over in Munich.”

Crowlers and canned beer are available to go at Round Trip Brewing’s taproom on Seaboard Industrial Boulevard NW in Atlanta. (Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Crowlers and canned beer are available to go at Round Trip Brewing’s taproom on Seaboard Industrial Boulevard NW in Atlanta. (Bob Townsend for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Bob Townsend

Credit: Bob Townsend

Tasting through the beers in the taproom, the Straight Outta Munich Export Helles was my favorite. Not surprisingly, it features German Noble hops and lightly kilned Pilsner malt. And it has a little more flavor, body and alcohol than you might expect. But it’s still utterly refreshing, from the first to the last sip.

Every other beer I tried was excellent, too, including a beautiful and aromatic hoppy Pilsner, a malty Munich dark lager called Dunkel Platz, and a surprising Bamberg-meets-Munich smoked beer called Smokin’ Translator that’s based on an award-winning Rahr & Sons recipe.

“We’re kind of doing new ways to look at German styles and ingredients,” Mycoskie said, “but we didn’t want to go with a straight-up German theme and be pigeonholed.”

Looking ahead, Mycoskie said Round Trip plans a slow and steady path into the Atlanta beverage market and beyond.

“I want to make sure we’ve got the beer right, and make sure the culture is right, before we go into distribution,” he said. “And as a marketing strategy, I want people to know who we are first.”

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