Brewery Spotlight: Elixir Brew Co.

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Elixir Brew Co.:Downtown Buford’s first brewery adds an innovative flair to historic Main Street.

By Tiffany Belflower / Photos courtesy Elixir Brew Co.

The idea for Elixir Brew Co. was concocted when coworkers Ryan Keysar and Chad Davis shared a beer after work. One beer led to regular outings, each one at a different brewery. These beer stops unleashed their passion for craft beer, leading them to the ultimate experiment: homebrewing. Many recipes later, in May of 2024, Keysar and Davis opened the doors to Elixir Brew Co., downtown Buford’s first brewery. This newly opened community hub adds an innovative flair to Main Street, created with a passion for craftsmanship, and to celebrate the art of brewing. We interviewed co-owner and brewmaster Ryan Keysar to learn more about the story behind Elixir, their brewing approach, and how they landed in Buford.

How did you get involved in the craft beer industry? My journey into the craft beer industry began during my college years, right in the heart of the southeastern craft brewery boom. It was an exciting time to be a part of the beer culture, as new breweries were popping up seemingly everywhere, each with their unique twist on traditional brewing methods.

During this period, I was introduced to a wide variety of craft beers, each offering distinct flavors and stories behind their creation. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the art of craft beer. What fascinated me the most was the creative artistry involved in making a craft brew. I was drawn to the idea that brewing wasn’t just about following a recipe; it was about innovation, experimentation, and a deep passion for the craft. It’s an idea that my colleague Chad Davis shared as well, then it was a slippery slope! We started by visiting local breweries, talking to brewers, and participating in tasting events. The more we learned, the more intrigued we became by the process of crafting unique beers. The blend of science and creativity required to produce a high-quality brew was captivating. Then one evening at a coffee shop, Chad and I started talking about unleashing our inner mad scientists. The glorious jug homebrewing began. We began experimenting, testing out recipes, trying out different ingredients and techniques, which further deepened our appreciation for the craft. From the jug we went to a legitimate homebrew system, with chilling, CO2 and a tap system. After much feedback from friends and family, we decided to share our passion with the masses.

Why Buford? The true sense of community. Buford is different in the best way, from its history to its schools, but most importantly its people. We wouldn’t want to start this anywhere else.

What is the story behind the name Elixir? The story behind Elixir is to bring creators or “mad scientists” together. Masters of their craft sharing their creations. It’s why the branding of Elixir is centered around the yet-to-be named scientist. It really drives back to our ethos of featuring the best of people.

What has the community support been like? Incredible. For starters, the city was helpful in moving this forward and instrumental in making this happen. In addition, the local businesses of Buford are some of the most friendly, supportive entrepreneurs and business owners you’ve ever met. Finally, we have to give a ton of the credit to the local residents of this amazing town. What an awesome example of stand-up residents, business owners, and creators.

What is your favorite beer in the tap room? It has to be the caramel macchiato stout. It definitely was a labor of love. We tossed five batches before finally landing on the flavor profile we were aiming for while keeping it “crushable.”

What sets Elixir Brew Co. apart from other Georgia breweries?

Historic Location: We are proudly located in the historic Bona Allen factory in downtown Buford. This iconic building, with its rich history and architectural charm, provides a distinctive atmosphere that blends the old with the new. Our brewery embraces the character of this historic site, offering a unique backdrop for our patrons to enjoy.

100% Board Game Nerds: At Elixir Brew Co., we are kind of complete board game nerds. Our love for board games is deeply ingrained in our culture, and we plan to regularly host game nights, tournaments, and events that bring together enthusiasts of all ages. This passion for gaming creates a lively, inclusive environment where people can connect over a shared love of craft beer and games.

First Brewery in Buford: We take pride in being the original brewery in Buford. Our roots in this community run deep, and we are dedicated to contributing to the vibrant local culture. Being pioneers in Buford’s brewing scene allows us to set the standard for quality and innovation in the area. We’ve met with the Buford museum and are excited to feature historical photos and tidbits about the city.

Creative Artistry in Brewing: What truly sets us apart is our commitment to the creative artistry of craft brewing. We continuously experiment with new ingredients, techniques, and flavors to create unique brews that you won’t find anywhere else. Our passion for innovation and excellence ensures that every beer we produce is a masterpiece.

Community Hub: Elixir Brew Co. is more than just a brewery; it’s a community hub. We offer a welcoming space for creators, crafters, and experimenters to gather, collaborate, and share ideas. Our events, from game nights to community gatherings, foster a sense of belonging and engagement that makes Elixir Brew Co. a central part of Buford life.

If you could recommend a seasonal beer for people to try this summer what would it be? Our Praise the Sun Lemon Shandy of course! This was one of the first iterations we completed in our garage days that just made sense.

Are you currently hosting any events in the taproom? We are! We’ve got a busy initial schedule of private events, and we will be hosting consumer favorite events, including “The Office” trivia. Tell us a little bit about your brewing team. It’s both of the owners, Chad and Ryan. We’ve gotten a ton of help from the brew team at Elsewhere Brewing in downtown Atlanta, scaling our homebrew recipes for the big leagues!

Elixir Brew Co. 115 E. Main St., C12 Buford, GA 30518

ElixirBrewCo.com

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