Chattanooga residents will soon have more choices of locally made alcohol.
Local resident Brad Lumley and his business partner Steve Ruggiero are planning a local beer brewery, called Good Fences Craft Beer.
“We will launch with one beer,” Lumley said, which will probably be a IPA. “I think we want to put our flagship beer out there first. That is going to get our brand out there.”
This month, owners of The Georgia Winery also announced that after months of work their product, which is made just over the state line in Georgia, is now available in Chattanooga stores.
Both these announcements come on the heels of the unveiling of a Chattanooga-inspired whiskey and the opening of Chattanooga Brewing Company last year.
“We have a lot of great breweries in town,” Lumley said. “People are obviously going to want something different.”
So, Lumley hopes to create a “big and flavorful” beer, he said.
Lumley started brewing in his home a couple of years ago. He started entering and winning contests and friends always asked him to make beer for them.
That’s illegal, so he didn’t do that, but it made him think about creating a business.
He joined forces with his neighbor-hence the name Good Fences-and they decided to start small.
They are currently looking for commercial or light industrial space to set up the brewery and they hope to have their first beer on the market by next June.
Lumley said he will keep his day job and brew during his free time.
“I’m not going to draw a salary (from Good Fences), so every penny we make, we are dumping back into the brewery,” he said.
State and federal licensing plus equipment is expensive, so the initial goal is to break even and then get investors interested, he said.
Just an investment in equipment can cost $25,000, he said.
The Georgia Winery has now officially partnered with Athens Distribution for a Tennessee distributing license, Julie Anderson, with the business, said.
Wines made at the North Georgia location are now available at wine and spirits stores, as well as restaurants.
Athens has purchased 120 cases of the wineries best selling wines including Concord, Chattanooga Blush, Blackberry, Georgia on My Mind, Tailgate Red, Blackberry Muscadine, and Muscadine.
“This is an exciting direction for our business,” Jesse Taymore, third generation manager of the family owned and operated Farm Winery, said in a prepared statement.
“We are incredibly thrilled to team up with Athens Distribution and extend our signature wines into Chattanooga and the rest of Tennessee. The wineries main focus is retail, with the
hope of extending into local restaurants by the beginning of next year.”