Ed. note: Since publication of this story, New Realm has put out a somewhat vague statement that offers a few additional details without specifically making it clear whether they will open a second brewery in the Virginia Beach location.
Atlanta’s New Realm Brewing Co. is unique in a few ways. Not many new craft breweries these days open with the kind of pomp and circumstance that was possessed by the Atlanta standout when it opened its doors in January. That’s the kind of attention you get in this industry when you have a superstar brewer at the head of the beer program—that would be former Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele, who we interviewed only a few months ago.
But New Realm also had a lot of other things going for it from the very beginning—namely, no shortage of funding that was invested in a facility that immediately became one of the most complete and opulent in Georgia when it opened. Also on the horizon for New Realm from the very beginning was the idea of rapid growth and expansion. It’s just that no one really expected either to be this rapid.
Only four months after opening, New Realm is apparently expanding. According to a story in the Virginian Pilot, the Atlanta brewery is purchasing the former Green Flash facility in Virginia Beach, taking over what most seem to have regarded as a very nice space. This opportunity of course comes on the heels of the disastrous collapse of Green Flash in 2018, which most recently saw the brewery’s largest lender foreclosing on its loans. They would be taking over the 58,000 square foot facility, according to a representative of the Miller Group, which currently owns the building. The same source suggested that multiple breweries had interest in the space. Other, unnamed sources confirmed the same to Brewbound.
Likewise, according to the same story, “a filing made with the state of California on Monday confirmed the equipment was sold but didn’t name the buyer. The assets list the brewing equipment but not the lease for the brewery and tasting room.”
EDIT: New Realm has now put out a statement on the news, which specifies that they have purchased the Green Flash “brewing equipment” but makes no comment about the Virginia Beach facility itself. The statement is a bit odd and opaque, stating that “New Realm is currently exploring options for the location of the equipment and a potential new taproom” without specifically suggesting the possibility of it staying in its Virginia Beach facility. A quote from Mitch Steele goes on to suggest that the current brewery is already operating at capacity.
“We continue to invest in our Beltline brewery and restaurant with additional team members and new 60-bbl expansion tanks. But the reality is that, thanks to the incredible support of New Realm’s patrons and fans in Atlanta, we are capacity and space constrained in our current location,” said Steele. “We are excited about the ways this new equipment and capacity will enable us to deliver the same high-quality beers while increasing our ability to innovate and create new beers for local fans.”
New Realm is owned by ex-Anheuser Busch executives Carey Falcone and Bob Powers, along with Steele. Their first canned beers—Hoplandia IPA and Euphonia Pilsner—hit the market in the Atlanta area only a month ago. It seems safe to say that the ownership is very confident in the brewery’s continued growth, if it’s already expanding to a second location.
We’ll provide further information on this developing story as it shows up.