Chase Medlin, the longtime brewer at Twain’s Brewpub in Decatur, is set to debut a new craft brewery, Locomotion Brewing Co., in Chamblee, which should be open to the public in spring 2017.
A former homebrewer, Medlin was the assistant brewer after Twain’s made the change from neighborhood pub to brewpub, and later worked with David Stein, before Stein left Twain’s to found Creature Comforts in Athens. Medlin took over as brewmaster in late 2012.
Known for his wide-ranging portfolio of beers, including Criminal Sin IPA, and imaginative collaborations with other craft breweries, like 7th Sun, Terrapin, Three Taverns, SweetWater, and Second Self, Medlin often consults with local chefs and uses fruit, herbs and spices in his creations.
“Last year, I did 67 different recipes,” Medlin told me earlier this year for a story about brewpubs. “It’s nice with the local community and having close friends that are in the culinary world to find what’s fresh or in season to incorporate into our beers.
“We’ve done summer seasonals with infusions of fruit and spicy peppers and all sorts of other things. But what I love about our brewpub is that we have something for everybody, from a session amber to a crazy hopped-up imperial red.”
At Locomotion, Medlin will have a much bigger three-vessel, 30-barrel brewing system to work with, and a capacity to produce an even wider variety styles on a production scale for packaging draft and canned beer.
The brewery and tasting room will take up some 21,000 square feet in a Chamblee warehouse at 3588 Broad Street, not far from City Hall, where city officials are working to make the surrounding area more attractive to new restaurants, shops and residential projects.
“In 2014, we had our sights set on a property in Doraville,” Medlin said during a phone call today.“And then we looked at being one of the anchor tenants at the former GM plant redevelopment called the Yards. But then we found the property in Chamblee and it was everything we wanted and more.
“It was the right space in a growing area and we just saw it as being a good move longterm because of everything that’s happening in the area right now.”
Medlin and his partners have plans for more than just a brewery, though.
“We’ll have a climate-controlled art gallery,” Medlin said. “And we’ll also have a tasting room with comfy furniture and bar games and other kinds of entertainment like shuffleboard and corn hole.”
As to when you might see the first Locomotion beer on draft at a pub near you, Medlin said it all depends on if everything goes according to plan.
“We’re planning on February,” he said. “But we’re not planning to do tours and tastings at the brewery until we’ve been open for a couple of months. I’d say April or May would be a safe bet.
“That’s just so that we can focus on launching the beer out in the market. I think the quality and flavor of our beer and our ties to the community will set us apart, and we want everything to be right from the start.”