Pretoria Fields starts brewing first craft beer in downtown Albany

Pretoria Fields starts brewing first craft beer in downtown Albany
Inside the tasting from, with a view into the brewing room. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
Cool fact: the spent grains are later used for cattle feed. (Source: WALB)
Cool fact: the spent grains are later used for cattle feed. (Source: WALB)
Brewmaster Eric Kirchner. (Source: WALB)
Brewmaster Eric Kirchner. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Anticipation is growing around Albany's new craft brewery in downtown. And, there are many signs that an opening date might just be around the corner.

Although nothing official has been announced, one clue about a possible launch date can be found in the beer the brewmaster is making right now.

Brewmaster Eric Kirchner said that the team brewed its first beer on Tuesday.

"We brewed all night," said Kirchner.

And, with little sleep, Kirchner was in full motion on Wednesday.

"There are so many moving parts in a brewery, as you are building it you test what you can and you can't really test it until you put it all together," said Kirchner.

But, finally with the machinery together, tested and now making beer, the pressure is on to open a brewery to the public.

With an exclusive first look at the tasting room, there are new and reclaimed woods mixed in with exposed brick and wood bars.

Outside, is a bright and sunny beer garden area, with fresh sod.

But, back inside is where people will be able to gather, sip a fresh beer and view the brewing process.

"It is a great learning process. In fact, it is funny, the more things that are wrong in the beginning, the more you learn in the process," said Kirchner.

In one of the giant handcrafted vessels, the first stout beer is fermenting and it offers a clue to when Albany's long-anticipated craft brewery will finally open.

"Twenty-one days is what I prefer (to ferment a stout), but if I really push a little faster on some of the beers that aren't dry hopped, 19 days is about what I like to ferment my beer at," said Kirchner.

MORE: From field to foam: How one brewery is keeping it local

It will take 19 to 21 days from Wednesday for the first beer to be ready for consumption, that means that Pretoria Fields will likely have something to taste the first full week of December.

But, the owners are not ready to confirm an official opening date just yet.

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