Good Word Brewing & Public House is a place to meet up, to connect, to commiserate, to celebrate and enjoy real-time moments with friends and family – over great food and great drinks.
By: RACHEL PILLOW | Photos by WALT WOODEN
When Todd DiMatteo and Ryan Skinner began working at the legendary Brick Store Pub in Decatur over a decade ago they had no idea they were laying the framework to pursue a lifelong dream – and that was to open their own restaurant and beer bar. It also led to the realization of new aspirations: owning and operating a brewery. After three long, tedious years of plotting and planning, DiMatteo and Skinner officially opened the doors of Good Word Brewing and Public House in downtown Duluth in November of 2017. But, admittedly, the Good Word Co-Owners would not be where they are today without the fundamental relationships and partnerships of Mike Gallagher, Tom Moore and Dave Blanchard of the Brick Store Pub. “Those guys have been nothing but supportive: they are our business partners,” said DiMatteo. They also have Andrew Case, CFO and Kyle Geppesen, Head Brewer to thank for making Good Word a reality.
When DiMatteo and Skinner began searching for the perfect place to open a brewpub they searched all across metro Atlanta, in and outside the perimeter. Then one summer night, Skinner, who lives in Suwanee, had invited DiMatteo and his family to an outdoor concert in downtown Duluth to see Atlanta southern rock band, Drivin’ N Cryin’. That night it hit them. “There were literally thousands of people out here. People were walking around with beers in hand, hanging out with friends and family…it was safe, it was clean, it was fun…we knew this is where we needed to be, that this was the community we wanted to be part of,” said DiMatteo. Both Skinner and DiMatteo have young families of their own and creating a familyfriendly environment was of the utmost importance to them. “You don’t need to get a babysitter to come here. Bring the family, bring the whole group,” they said. Insider tip: the kids on the mural inside the restaurant are theirs.
The name “Good Word” and the typewriter logo stem from their core concept of communication. “We want to set the backdrop for people’s evenings: a place for them to meet up, to connect, to commiserate, to celebrate. We chose the typewriter icon because it speaks to a time before cell phones took over,” said Skinner. In a nod to their Brick Store Pub roots, you will also not find any TVs inside Good Word Brewing & Public House. “Conversation is king and TVs distract from that,” explained DiMatteo. While the approach may seem unconventional for a modern bar, really it is just about getting us back to connecting, unplugging and enjoying real-time While the approach may seem unconventional for a modern bar, really it is just about getting us back to connecting, unplugging and enjoying real-time moments with friends and family – over great food and great drinks.
The guys at Good Word Brewing know their beer: they have been living in that world for years. They have long-established relationships with nearly every brewery in Georgia and are not shy about collaboration either. While you’ll find several hoppy IPAs on rotation, you’ll also always have some “easy drinking pub beers” as they like to call them. At just 3.6% ABV, Rocksteady is an English Mild that they claim you can “drink all day and still party all night long,” or you could go for a “super crushable” Nose Dive Pale Ale at 5% ABV that is made with Motueka and Centennial Hops, orange zest and cantaloupe. Don’t worry though, hop heads, they’re making brews for you, too: Weak Fantasy Imperial IPA comes in at 8.8%, “a hop monster throwing massive dank and a healthy bitterness.” The Good Word bar is also mixing up some unique southern-inspired cocktail specialties as well to pair with their Southern and Puerto Rican inspired menu. In another communal effort, they encourage guests to share dishes like the Puerto Rican Poutine braised pork shoulder with fries, gravy, melted cheese, fried poblanos and pico de gallo.
It is evident that Skinner and DiMatteo genuinely care about their guests, taking the time to greet and speak to each one of their patrons. “You will never hear anyone say, ‘I’ll let your server know.’ Everyone is here for them, for whatever they need,” said Skinner. Currently, Good Word Brewing & Public House is open for dinner from 5pm – 11pm on weekdays and 5pm – midnight on weekends, with plans to open for lunch later this spring. On any given day, guests are able to take drinks to go if they’d like to walk around downtown Duluth and enjoy the shops or one of the events going on in the Town Green. “We are really looking forward to being a part of the events in Duluth this summer – this place is really alive and we are excited to be part of this community.”