It all began in 2002, when Tom bought a home on a beautiful mountainside in lovely Fannin County, and thought "This hillside would make a great vineyard."Â
He planted some grapes - all kinds of grapes - and waited.Â Five years, experiments with the deer repellent Buck-B-Gone, and a fence later, he had his first press.Â As he sat in his driveway at midnight de-stemming the crush by hand, he thought, "This is a lot of work."Â
While Tom was waiting for his grapes to grow, he started German Kino Plus, a cable
network targeted to Germans living in the United States. He travelled to Germany frequently to buy movies.Â He was wise enough to plan some of those trips in October, so he could spend his evenings in Munich's biergartens.
With the wine now safely aging in bottles, he now sat at the communal table in the Augustiner BierGarten.Â Lifting his stein and listening to the oompah bands, he daydreamed - "What else can I sell to Germans in the US?"Â Pickles.Â Bread.Â Beer!Â The seeds for Fannin Brewing Company were formed.
Back home, the wine made great Christmas gifts, and was a hit with friends and family, but Tom was on to more bubbly things.Â Enter Fannin Brewing Company.
Tom chose Fannin County for two simple reasons:Â Fresh air and fresh water make for fresh beer.Â Â He hooked up with Pat Walker at Blue Ridge Brewery, who was also planning to produce his own brews.Â Tom bought the equipment, Pat built the space, and they began selling their first beers in October 2012.
By June 2013,Â a deal with Eagle Rock Distributing was signed, and Fannin Brewing Company's beers were on tap in 8 restaurants, then 14, then 24.Â Â In October, FBC became the house brewer for Barnsley Gardens.Â In just 4 months, we had reached capacity - time to move on.Â
In April 2014 we began brewing in our new location - 3758 East First Street.Â We opened our tasting room in May, and signed with Leon Farmer in June, so that our beers could be found in Dahlonega, Blairsville and points east.Â
We won our first award in October 2014 - a People's Choice Award for our Rory's Pumpkin Ale - at the Grayson Beer Festival.
Early in 2015, we signed with both Atlanta Beverage, servicing the city of Atlanta, and Tarver Distributing, serving Tennessee, and we began bottling both Hiawasee Golden Ale and Toccoa Brown.Â We added much more capacity - 15 barrel fermenters! - so that we can keep up with demand. Come visit while there's still room for you in the brew space!
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