By Heather Karellas, contributor
Slated to open on Jan. 8, New Realm Brewing is the newest addition to Atlanta’s beer scene. Positioned directly on the Beltline’s Eastside Trail, New Realm was founded by beer industry veterans Carey Falcone, Bob Powers, and Mitch Steele.
When the three founders first told people that they were searching for a 40,000 square-foot space with 25-foot ceilings directly on the Beltline’s Eastside Trail, the response they typically heard was laughter. However, the trio lucked out by finding a space that hadn’t even been on the market: a giant, industrial warehouse-type facility that had previously been home to an electric company.
In recent years, Turner Broadcasting had been renting the space for storage. Falcone, Powers, and Steele jumped on this prime location and envisioned a brewery, brewpub, and beer garden with a rooftop deck and private event spaces to boot. Along the way, the founders kept sustainability and community in mind; 23 percent of New Realm’s energy will come from solar panels, and they chose to hire local architects and contractors when building their space.
The three founders traveled the world and visited more than 1,000 breweries to gather best practices before beginning their plans for New Realm; Falcone said that they were able to incorporate about 80 percent of the best practice ideas that they observed in some of the world’s top breweries.
For example, their beer garden, which is currently under construction, was modeled after the beer gardens of Munich and Berlin, while the rooftop bar overlooking the Beltline was inspired by a similarly swanky London rooftop bar.
In New Realm’s main dining area, the decor blends rustic warmth with modern industrial style. Beer tanks pour directly into the taps, and large screens and drop-down projectors ensure that sports games are within easy view of those sitting at the bar.
New Realm’s 20,000 barrel brewing operations include canning, bottling, and kegging. With no plans to package beer for retail distribution until April, New Ream is relying mostly on on-site sales for its first few months. However, you can find New Realm on tap at a few select restaurants around town, including Argosy in East Atlanta Village, Ladybird (just a short walk down the Beltline from New Realm), and Brick Store Pub in Decatur.
On-site, New Realm’s “to-go” options include growlers, crowlers, six-packs, and “ready-to-eat” food. While New Realm won’t be brewing sours anytime soon, they will have a barrel program on-site – and Falcone hinted that a sours program could be on the horizon someday in a separate facility (as is standard practice, to avoid cross-contamination).
To celebrate their grand opening, New Realm will be pouring their 11.5 percent ABV Triple IPA, called Radegast. Named after the Slavic god of hospitality, Radegast is New Realm’s “Maiden Beer” and boasts a strong, citrusy hop flavor.
The decision to introduce a high-gravity IPA as New Realm’s signature beer isn’t surprising; their Brewmaster and Co-Founder, Mitch Steele, spent a decade working as Brewmaster for Stone Brewing, a celebrated craft brewery known for their hoppy IPAs. Having also spent 14 years working at Anheiser Busch, Steele has a solid understanding of how to produce beer efficiently as part of a large-scale operation as well as a strong knowledge of the craft beer community.
Steele and his team have created a solid line-up of beers that will be on tap for those who visit the brewery, including Hoplandia (a 7.1 percent ABV IPA with a classic piney and citrusy hop profile), The Commish (a 5.7 percent ABV Belgian Blonde with a slight haze), and Euphonia Pilsner (a 5 percent ABV Pilsner with a vibrant gold color and easy drinkability).
As much as New Realm’s founders pride themselves on their beer offerings, they emphasized that the food served in New Realm’s restaurant will be just as high of a priority.
Executive Chef Julio Delgado spent years working his way through the ranks at several Ritz Carlton Atlanta locations; he has also served as executive chef at Château Élan Winery & Resort in Braselton, GA. New Realm’s approachable menu includes traditional brewpub dishes with southern flair, and an emphasis on local, farm-fresh ingredients from Tucker Farms, Springer Mountain Farms, South East Family Farms, and Ashland Farms.
For those who crave classic gastropub options, dishes like the B-ATL Grilled Cheese and The Radegast Burger will hit the spot. Lighter options, such as the Free-Range Roasted Turkey and Roasted Cauliflower Nuggets will satisfy health-conscious patrons. The hickory-fired pizzas, baked in New Realm’s wood-burning oven, are on par with some of the best pizza Atlanta has to offer.
The desserts, including Grandma’s Warm Banana Pudding and Campfire S’mores, pair nicely with New Realm’s Pilot Coffee Porter, a dark chocolate-y beer with a dry, roasty bite. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free food options are clearly labeled, and New Realm’s 2,300 square-foot kitchen can easily crank out food for the 500 guests that the facility can accommodate.
The process to open New Realm wasn’t easy. Falcone mentioned that the three founders went through 2,000 names over a period of six months before even selecting the name New Realm Brewing – and navigating local brewery laws was a frustration as well. However, to Falcone, Powers, and Steele, the journey of several years has been well worth it. Carey Falcone said, “This is the culmination of our life’s work, and this is the last job we want to have.”
For more information on New Realm Brewing, click here.