ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dozens of people finally got the chance to taste South Georgia's first-ever handcrafted beer.
After more than three years, city and community leaders got a sneak peek of the new Pretoria Fields Microbrewery during Thursday's soft opening.
City leaders said the event marks the start of downtown Albany's revitalization.
"Pretoria Fields stout and we have our Shoalie IPA."
Those beers will be first of many that will be brewed from South Georgia backyards.
"A little strong but I guess that's what it's supposed to taste like, I'm not a real beer drinker, but to the beer," said an attendee.
Thanks to the public-private partnership, and the dream of Tripp Morgan, local brewmasters served it up by the pint.
"It's like opening a Christmas present that's been sitting on the shelf for about three years," Morgan said, adding that sharing his present with the community was icing on the cake.
"No amount of money could ever give you the enjoyment of seeing somebody drink your product and have a smile on their face," explained Morgan.
"To think that I'm going to be able to serve beer that is absolutely grown...or made a half mile down the road is pretty cool," said City Commissioner BJ Fletcher.
Commissioner Fletcher will be selling Pretoria craft beers in her new barbecue restaurant, Jabs.
"Not only will it keep our locals here, it will bring people to us," Fletcher added.
It's also a new tourist attraction that City Manager Sharon Subadan said some doubted.
"It puts Albany on the map. The economic impact is more than what tax revenue we may gain," said Subadan.
But all of the other residual benefits will stimulate the heartbeat of the city.
"The center point of the area so hopefully other things will sprout up," Morgan added.
Pretoria Fields Microbrewery will officially open to the public on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
And if it's anything like Thursday night, it's an event you don't want to miss.
WALB News 10 will bring you live team coverage throughout the day.
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