Savannah River Brewing Company opens to public

Augusta has a new place to view and taste its homemade brew.


After months of work and weeks of social media teases, Savannah River Brewing Company will open its doors to the public for the first time Saturday at 1 p.m.

The craft brewery at 813 5th St., owned by brothers Steve and Dave Ellison and run by master brewer Mark Walters, is the second Augusta-based brewery to open during the past year. Riverwatch Brewery, also located on 5th Street, began selling beer last spring.

Steve Ellison, a home brewer for many years in Monroe, Ga., thought up the idea for a local brewery that could take his creations to the masses. He called on his brother, who has been affiliated with several businesses in the Augusta area, and the idea to commercially brew beer in Augusta for the first time since prohibition was set into motion.

“(Dave) began running numbers and doing flow sheets and doing whatever business people do, and he said, ‘Yeah, I think this could work,” Steve said.

The pair found a location for the brewery near downtown and began working on renovating the facility to the point where the facility, which handles all brewing and bottling, was presentable to the public.

Under current Georgia law, brewers can only sell beer to customers who pay for a facility tour. But a bill working its way through the General Assembly would eliminate the tour-and-taste requirement and give breweries the ability to sell limited amounts direct to the public.

Local ordinances, however, restrict brewers and distilleries to industrial areas.

Despite the regulatory challenges, the brothers believe their Augusta-centric brand – whose beers include Dynamite Brown Ale, Westobou Amber Ale and No Jacket Required Pilsner – will find regional success. Steve said Savannah River Brewery will also do small production batches on occasion that, if successful, will be bottled for sale.

In addition to local bars and restaurants, customers will also be able to find Savannah River Brewing’s craft beers in various grocery stores throughout the area, including Kroger and Publix.

The Ellisons said the Garden City seemed like the perfect place to turn their passion for brewing into a business, given the city’s national name recognition and its growth potential from new industries such as Fort Gordon’s growing cyber defense missions.

“It is a large city and craft breweries are popping up everywhere,” said Steve Ellison, noting the numerous craft breweries that have popped up in Atlanta, Athens and Savannah. “We felt like there was a need here.”

Reach Amanda King at (706) 829-2278 or

Augusta-based beer distributor works to keep up with local demand, changes
Augusta may revise rules for small breweries, distilleries
Craft beer craze brews up wholesale industry changes
Frantom calls to ease state, local restrictions on booze
2 new operations will end city's beer-making drought
Augusta-brewed beer hits taps
Second Augusta brewery welcomes new equipment
Augusta brewery completes state licensing process; second brewery in the works
Jim Hall 10 months ago
No need to point out the downside of alcohol.  The mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, economical, criminal and social prices to be paid.

An SC lottery style hotline is needed for consumers.  Drink and drink wisely.  When you are broke and stoned, call us an we will council you on a not existent problem.  We will help you get back on that horse.
C K 10 months ago
Since you pointed it out even though you said there was no need.  Ill do the same.  Beer has been enjoyed by societies since hunter-gatherer times.  The recent craft movement as a whole, including beer, celebrates history, cultural awareness, mindfullness, community development, sustainability, and local entrepreneurs.   Any substance, including most dangerously sugar, can lead to the problems you mentioned in addition to serious illness and death if not used in moderation.  The US has the lowest life expectancy of industrialized nations because of sugars, carbs and inactivity, not beer.  Beer is the drink of moderation and should be welcomed as an alternative to much stronger wines and spirits.  Cheers Savannah River, all the best!


Around the Web