AUGUSTA — Augusta’s first craft brewery could be open for business next month.
River Watch Brewery is located near 5th Street and Lane Walker Boulevard.
The owner, Brey Sloan, has been home-brewing beer for more than 23 years.
She learned about the process in Japan when she was in the Army.
She’s since retired and decided to start a commercial brewery in the Garden City.
“Augusta has everything a retiree would want. It has great golf courses, good medical centers, good weather and it didn’t have a brewery so it was kind of a no-brainer,” Sloan said.
River Watch Brewery will produce the beer and put it into kegs for a distributor to sell to local restaurants.
Sloan says she has about 10 recipes she’ll be focusing on.
“I’ll do the IPA. Everybody has an IPA. I’ve got a pale ale, which is very nice and it’s not a really strong taste. It’s not one of those slap you in the face sorts of things, and so people who are not familiar with craft beer, but are interested because there’s a new brewery in town, they might like that one as kind of a gateway,” Sloan said.
Sloan says she’s also working on a blonde ale, a red ale and a lime crystal wheat beer.
The retired Army officer says she will name some of the beers after the Garden City.
“There’s one name in particular that I’m very excited about using, but I’m not going to tell you what it is because I don’t have it trademarked yet and it’s a great name,” Sloan said.
She says the brewing process takes about 3 weeks.
At some point, she would like to can or bottle the brews, but for now, she’s just hoping Augustans will be drinking her beer on Saint Patrick’s Day.
“If it blows up and becomes a huge brewery, that’s great, but that’s not my initial goal at least. I really want this to be where Augusta wants to come. Where Augusta is proud to have a brewery that they can call their own,” Sloan said.
Sloan says she still needs to get a few more licenses and inspections done before she can open for business.
She’s hoping to open in late February or early March.