Welcome, Night Owls!

Akademia Brewing Company will finally, finally, open its doors on Monday, Oct. 16! We are super excited about joining the Athens community as its newest brewpub, serving up fresh food and beer on tap for both lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

You may have been following our progress for a while, but just in case, here’s a little of our backstory. Owners Matt Casey and Morgan Wireman (who we like to call our brewmaster) met several years ago through homebrewing. At the time, Matt already had it in his mind that he wanted to open a brewery of some sort, and combining his business acumen with Morgan’s brewing prowess, a partnership of Titan-ic proportions was born.

Akademia went through a few iterations before the final concept was settled on. One you may recognize is Big Springs Brewing, a concept originated by Morgan and a good friend.

Morgan and his friend started homebrewing together about 10 years ago and fell in love with craft beer after a trip to Cologne, Germany (our kolsch-style ale came from this trip). Their beer started winning awards, so they started designing a brewery for Oconee County. That’s where the name Big Springs Brewing came from, named after the original moniker for the city of Watkinsville. Unfortunately, Oconee County wasn’t the most alcohol-friendly area in which to develop a brewery, so the two started looking at Athens instead.

The friend chose to pursue a different career path, and a week later Morgan met Matt, who walked into a local homebrew shop with an idea for a brewpub — and no knowledge of how to brew beer. They hit it off, Morgan taught Matt the tricks of the trade and together, the new duo began making strides toward turning Big Springs Brewing from a concept to a real-life brewpub.

Fear of potential future trademark disputes necessitated a new name. Matt and Morgan brainstormed new concepts, and the idea for Akademia was born.

Now that we’re dedicated to the pursuit of higher-gravity education, however, you can rest assured that we aren’t going anywhere. There’s something to be said for a “victory lap” of classes, right?

Just like your professors handed you syllabi when you stepped into your first day of class, we’re going to give you a breakdown of what you can expect from us now, and what we hope to bring you the further along we go.

Our beers are bold, flavorful and a little something different than what you may be accustomed to. We want to provide high-quality beer to tantalize your taste buds. Some styles will be familiar — think IPAs, the kolsch-style ale, sessions and saisons — but others could be your first foray into that particular pint, like our ESB, tart brett saison or tripel, or a return to a style you haven’t had since your 21st birthday.

Our food is taste-tested and brewer-approved, featuring seasonal ingredients from local producers as often as possible. We have protein and veggie options for all palates, whether you’re a staunch Night Owl or just a Young Philosopher.

Akademia is a local, family-owned business and we make it our goal to work with other Georgia and Southern companies as often as possible: aging beer in a barrel from one of our state’s distilleries, using a crowler machine manufactured across the street from the brewpub, decorating our building with murals and woodworks from area artisans.

We are a place for you to call home, whether you’re here for four years, a dedicated “townie” or just visiting for one of those legendary Saturdays in Athens. We’re a place to bring your clients for a working lunch; a pint to gather your friends around after the workday is done; a family-friendly locale outside the hustle and bustle of downtown, but still in the heart of Bulldog Country.

As often as possible, Akademia Brewing will not only just serve you beer and food, but we’ll help you craft an appreciation for it. We plan to launch a loyalty program for our most ardent Night Owls, and we’ll bring you plenty of gear and swag to sport around town. Our event space, which won’t be quite ready opening night, will soon be a place for you to bring your student organization, business or family function. And as we continue to get our feet securely under us, Akademia will start off some “irregular, regular” traditions — new one-off brews, house beers and seasonal releases. We’ll also put together our canning line, but in the meantime, you can enjoy your favorite drafts here, via keg or crowler.

Night Owls, your patience will be rewarded as we wind down construction and gear up production. We’re hop-ping up and down with excitement, and hope y’all are, too. We hope to see you here Oct. 16!

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