Learn the art of beer making with Red Hare Brewing Company

Red Hare Brewery in Marietta, GA

Red Hare Brewing Company in Marietta, GA

Anyone that knows me, knows I love beer! So when I got the chance to visit Red Hare Brewing Company in Marietta GA, I jumped on the opportunity. Head Brewer Bobby Thomas was nice enough to show me around the plant and explain to me how Red Hare makes their beer. He even gave me a taste of one of their lagers and I gotta tell you, Red Hare just found a new customer.

UnderCurrent Atlanta: What’s you’re a name and title here at Red Hare Brewery?

Bobby Thomas: Bobby Thomas and I would be the head brewer here at Red Hare Brewing Company.

UCA: How did you get started in the beer brewing industry?

BT: Me and my partner, we were working together awhile back and decided to start a brewery so once we actually got into business, I became back of the house, he became front of the house so I took over head brewer which is all beer production; anything beer flows through me.

We brewed in the basement for a good three years, we were self-taught a lot, we looked at a bunch of YouTube videos really, a lot of trial and error and over a few years, you get pretty good at home brewing.

UCA: I’ve tried brewing beer before but it doesn’t taste as good as yours. Can you tell me the steps to making your beer?

Milling the grain

Milling the grain

BT: Well the first start of (the) brewing process is milling grain. You get your grain mill together, consists of your base grain which we bring in from a silo now, harbor it in from the silo into a main hopper, where we weigh it out and then mix that with a specialty grains which we’ve come up in the recipes together. Mix your specialty grains in with the base grains or what not and mill it. Basically when you’re milling is what your trying to do is crack the kernels of the grain open to expose the sugary endosperm inside the kernel.

Second steps going to be mashing, where we fill the mash tub full of hot water at a certain degree and then we dump the grain into it, mix it up, let it sit there for a while and then that starts to turn carbohydrates into simple sugars so we can eventually wash the sugars off and turn that into beer down the way. So the second step in brewing is mashing.

After that, you begin lautering, which is basically washing the sugary water or wort as it’s called, off of the grain through the pipes and into the kettle. We are basically moving sugary liquid from the mash lauter time over to the kettle. At that point we’ll sparge, which is washing more hot water at another temperature onto the mash bed and then again, just creating a sugary liquid. We bring that all over to the kettle, once it gets to the kettle, that’s where we begin a boil; we boil it, it sterilizes, it concentrates, there we add hops at different times during the boil to do different things.

Adding hops for flavor

Adding hops for flavor

Adding hops at different times during the boil gives it different bitterness, flavors, aromas… We’ll whirlpool it, which will kind of coagulate all the solids to the middle, all the stuff we put in there kind of comes to the middle of the bottom of the dish of the kettle, we can draw clean wort off the side of that which we have to cool cause it was at boiling temperature. We have to cool that very rapidly so it goes through a heat exchanger which takes it down from boiling to roughly 65 degrees or so instantaneously, we pump oxygen into it and then it pumps over to a fermenter. Once it’s in the fermenters, we’ll add yeast; the yeast is like a live organism that’s going to metabolize all the sugars that we put into the liquid creating alcohol and CO2, so all the alcohol is created by the yeast eating the sugars and it blows off CO2 so you’ll see buckets with an airlock, basically releasing the CO2 into it an airlock so no little buggers get back up in there.

Transferring the beer to tanks

Transferring the beer to tanks

We’ll crash the tank, we’ll take the tanks down to 31 degrees or so, all the yeast flocks out basically falls down to the bottom of the cone, leaving you with bright beer basically. So we’ll harvest the yeast off, re-use that 8-15 times, depending on the yeast and we’ll pump bright beer off of the unit tank to bright tanks. Once it’s in the bright tanks,  it’ll age, mature and carbonate in those tanks and when it’s ready, we’ll package it up, either send it to the kegging line or the canning line and from there it gets stored here for a few days then goes to the distributor and out to the bars.

UCA: What’s one of the reasons you decided to open a brewery?

BT: We want to make really good beers that everybody can drink, that everybody can enjoy. We want to kind of bridge the gap between the crazy hardcore beer and the “Regular Joe” who doesn’t really know anything about craft beer.

UCA: Where can people find your beer?

BT: So now I’d say we are in most liquor stores as far as the cans go. Bars and restaurants, there’s a lot. We’re in all of Georgia and all of South Carolina now. The biggest thing that people tell me or ask me is if you don’t see us, please ask for us cause that’s the only way that we’ve gotten to where we are now is people actually asking for the beer when they go out.

UCA: What’s the future hold for Red Hare Brewing Company?

BT: We do plan on getting bigger this next year or soon after. Hopefully not too big, I wouldn’t want to get too big. Still stay local and regional at best I would say in the next 5 to 10 years.


You can find Red Hare  in most of your local hangouts. You can find out more about Red Hare Brewing Company from their webpage, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram sites.