In early November, Atlanta restaurant veteran Tim Stevens opened From the Earth Brewing Co. on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell.
Stevens, formerly of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, and more recently Cook Hall in Buckhead, has a long history as a front of the house presence on the Atlanta fine dining scene.
And while From the Earth certainly is a brewpub, it aims to elevate both the atmosphere and the menu well beyond beer and burgers.
Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun is among the investors in the concept. And SweetWater Brewing Co. co-founder Kevin McNerney, who is currently the brewmaster at 5 Seasons in Sandy Springs, was the brewing consultant.
Stevens hired architecture firm Office of Design of Decatur to assist with the build-out, which transformed the large shopping center storefront to accommodate both a restaurant and a brewery.
The open design features wood, steel and concrete finishes in the contiguous bar, main dining room, and semiprivate dining area. Prominently situated behind glass walls, the 10-barrel, stainless steel brewhouse custom-designed by Craftwerk Brewing Systems is visible throughout the space.
Stevens’ culinary and brewing team includes executive chef Matt Meacham and brewmaster Jamie Parker.
Meacham, a Roswell native who most recently worked at Aria in Buckhead, oversees a menu that ranges from snacks, oysters and small plates, to sandwiches, entrees and a la carte steaks and chops.
Parker currently has four house beers on draft, including the food-friendly Golden Spiral ale and the dark and rich Cosmonaut Imperial Stout, with a double IPA and a Belgian triple in the works.
Even though From the Earth has been open for only a few weeks, Stevens has been surprised by how busy the restaurant and bar have been almost every day.
“The welcome Roswell has given us has been very kind,” Stevens said. “My wife and I live out here, my kids go to school out here, but it took us awhile to find the the exact location we were looking for. We kept coming back to this one because of the parking, and I think that’s been a big factor.”
Speaking of his transition from fine dining to opening a brewpub, Stevens said it was exactly the kind of move he was ready to make at this point in his career.
“The beauty of this is that I wanted the elevated dining experience in a more casual setting,” he said. “I don’t want to wear a suit anymore. I want this to be casual but still have the same level of service and food you would get in a more upscale restaurant.
“The whole brewing side is another experience. And having Kevin McNerney as our guiding light has really shown us the right way to go with that. Of course, Kevin Rathbun, who I first met way back when we both worked at Nava, was a big help, too.”
The menu, which includes both a house-made Bavarian pretzel with IPA mustard, and a steakhouse-style 10-ounce spinalis of rib-eye, was specifically designed to have a wide variety of price points.
“We went heavy on the small bites to be more like a brewpub,” Stevens said. “We’re also giving people the opportunity to come in and get spinalis, which is the best filet, and on things like that, we’re giving people a good value, as well.
“Our menu will change seasonally. We’re a brewpub, but we’re not just a beer bar. All of our wines are served by the glass via Coravin, so the third glass is going to be as good as the first glass. We’re doing some really interesting cocktails. Even our coffee is fresh ground and French pressed.”
Asked if there was a word to describe the type of dining at From the Earth, Stevens said it was a question he was still pondering.
“We try not to put a bunch of labels on what we do,” he said. “I hate the term farm to table. But From the Earth is about trying to do that whole circle, from farm to table to table to farm. We’re using local products and sending our spent grain brewing out to the farmers. And we’re trying to put love into every aspect of our cuisine.”
1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. 770-910-9799, ftebrewing.com/
More images from a First Look at From the Earth