If all goes according to plan, in just a few months, the words “AZAR’S PACKAGE STORE” will be replaced with the word “PILSNER.” And when those refurbished vacuum tubes filled with neon gas are sparked for the first time, and those seven lovely letters emblazon the Atlanta skyline, they'll serve as a beacon for thirsty drinkers, leading them to tasty Lagers as surely as a rainbow leads to a pot of gold. Probably even more surely than that, since everybody knows leprechauns aren’t real. (Or are they?)
What is real—in a few months, anyway—is Halfway Crooks Brewing & Blending. The new project from Shawn Bainbridge and Joran Van Ginderachter will serve as a prominent tenant in the soon-to-be-reinvigorated Summerhill neighborhood in South Atlanta. And it will be the first brewery in Georgia built on an own-premise model, selling 99% of its beer in-house and out the front door with very little distribution. The brewery is currently eyeing a tentative October opening.
At the moment, the construction site isn’t much to look at. It’s really just three or so walls and some dirt, but windows and doors and a floor and a roof and brewing equipment and a bar and a lot of barrels and a bunch of plants and an absurd amount of CRT TVs are coming shortly. Seriously, their plans are weird and exciting. And they involve Saisons, spontaneous fermentation, Belgian Pale Ales, and various lower alcohol beers in addition to the Pilsners.
But that sign, man. It's gonna be great. Just give it a few months.