The craft brewery business has exploded in Georgia over the last ten years. One Carrollton couple, Alex and Tori Griffin, decided to jump in and open Local Ties Brewing Company in Downtown Carrollton in May and haven’t looked back since.
“The name Local Ties comes from us being local,” says Alex. “Our family is local, our kids go to school here, our parents went to school here, my grandfather taught at the university, our sister’s a teacher, we’re all local.”
Breweries have been a hobby for the couple for the last ten years. They have visited most of the breweries in Georgia and many across the country.
“After visiting SweetWater in Atlanta for the first time, we said, ‘this will be us one day,’” said Alex. He began brewing his own beer at home and making plans for a brewery of his own.
Alex says that the brewery will utilize a five-barrel system. Each time the barrel is empty, a new kind of beer will be brewed in its place, offering customers something new each time they visit.
“Our goal is that every time you come, we have a different style of beer,” he says. “We don’t want to shoehorn ourselves into one style.”
The couple signed the lease on the 119 Bradley Street location over a year ago and have been hard at work restoring the space ever since.
“We don’t have investors, we don’t have millions of dollars behind a big company,” says Tori. “It’s just us. What you see has been done by us and our best friend, Justin Schellhorn.”
“Our goal for the building was to restore it to what it was before with a nice industrial feel,” says Alex. “I want it to feel like we were always here.”
The space will be divided in two with one side will have the brewing equipment and the bar and the other will be a gathering space with comfortable seating.
“We want this to feel like the coffee shop vibe, but beer,” says Tori.
While Local Ties is almost complete, the journey hasn’t always been smooth for Alex and Tori.
“We had a building that used to be Nuway Cleaners behind the presbyterian church under contract,” says Alex. “With Carrollton’s laws, breweries have to be in an industrial zone. During the rezoning process, a lot of people spoke out against us being there and we were denied 0-10. They turned us down unanimously. That put us down for a few months.”
However, their current location was a dream come true.
“As soon as I walked in through the door I said, ‘this is it’” says Alex. “Right across from the amphitheater, you can’t beat it. We always wanted to be near downtown. Location is everything.”
Local Ties is about more than just beer for the couple.
“All my life I wanted to be a part of something that gave back to the community,” says Tori. “We want to give back in a positive way, somewhere where everyone is welcome.”
“I’m not in it for the money,” says Alex. “I’m in it cause it’s what we like to do, and we want to share it with everybody. I want to host a beer run. I want to give back to animal shelters, anti-bullying, and stuff that’s important to us.”
“We want to teach our kids the value of being a part of a community that cares,” the couple says.
Local Ties is set to open in mid to late May.