Recently, we caught up with Michell and Preston Smelt, co-founders of the recently opened Anderby Brewing, right down the road from the ASBN studios in Technology Park, Peachtree Corners. Preston first got into brewing thanks to a birthday present from Michell, which was a Groupon for a learn-to-brew class. After taking the class for around three to four hours, Preston left with his arms full of new homebrew equipment.
That very next weekend, he was back over the stove brewing more beer. Ever since then, Preston has been taking his brewing to new heights. It took four years, and countless batches of homebrew, but they opened shop this past summer in Peachtree Corners.
Initially, Preston came to Michell with the idea to open up a craft brewery and she came on board 100 percent to pursue this dream. She, in turn, began to learn more and more about the brewing process and became excited about the potential for a brewery. Thanks to Senate Bill 85, which was passed in 2017, breweries in Georgia can now operate as taprooms which alleviates distribution burdens and opens up new revenue sources.
Unlike a brewpub, all of Anderby Brewing’s beer is brewed on-site, and while they don’t serve food, they do offer snack items from local vendors. They also allow customers to bring in outside food like pizza, barbecue, or even a cooler full of sandwiches.
Michell says the process of starting Anderby Brewing was scary, but it was completely worth it. Preston jumps in as says their success is largely due to a thorough planning process. Both he and Michell developed detailed business plans, made models, looked for investors, perfected recipes, scouted locations, and address accounting concerns all while holding down full-time jobs.
Their advice to entrepreneurs who haven’t taken that leap yet is to prepare as much as possible and seek out other successes in your industry.
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This has been a JBF Business Media production.