A new craft beer retail store and tasting room is coming to the North Shore in July.
Decatur, Ga., residents Joe and Kathryn Winland will be promoting their new business, Heaven and Ale, at the upcoming Chattanooga Craft Beer Festival, which they are also sponsoring.
"We both love the North Shore," Joe said. "We feel like it's the creative, artsy, hip, boutique-driven [area]. We looked into the Southside as well, but we felt like the Southside wasn't quite revitalized to the point where we wanted to open our first store."
The duo's new store will offer 24 rotating taps—with room to grow to 30—of local, domestic and international craft beer at the 304 Cherokee Blvd. location.
A craft brewer is defined as a small and independent brewer with an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less and with no more than 25 percent of the craft brewery owned or controlled by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not themselves a craft brewer, according to the Brewers Association.
They will have 32- and 64-ounce growlers that customers can purchase and take home, and they will have two options to help customers decide what they want to buy.
Customers can get two free 1-ounce samples, or they can purchase a "tasting flight" of four 4-ounce samples.
"My wife and I, over the course of the last six or seven years, have been lucky enough to travel through American wine country," Joe said. "We really love the tasting room experience. I see what's happening in the American craft brew scene, and it's parallel to the wine-making scene. We want to marry my love of craft beer with our love of the tasting room experience."
The couple watched growler stores take over Decatur and Atlanta and saw an opportunity to bring it to Chattanooga.
Chattanooga Brewing Company will move to a new Chestnut Street development this summer because it has outgrown its North Shore space.
New beer market and bar Sturm Haus, which also specializes in craft beer growlers, recently opened on Houston Street.
And other businesses, such as Riverside Beverage Company and Whole Foods, offer growlers.
Livability.com named Chattanooga the 10th of the top 10 beer cities.
Joe said that he will be reserving space for all the local brews and will be working with a number of distributors to have access to 750 breweries nationwide.
"We will highlight our tap wall with brews that these breweries are conjuring up that you can't buy anywhere else," he said.
Joe found investors and got funding through a bank in Dunlap, and he hopes to be profitable by the end of the first year, he said.
He will start with two part-time employees, in addition to himself, and will probably add a third or fourth part-time employee by the end of the first year. By the end of the second year, he hopes he'll be able to hire a second manger.
He is giving up his career as a schoolteacher and thinks his skills in managing the class will translate well into managing a business.
His wife works from home, and the couple will be moving to the North Shore this summer with their two small children.
Eventually, he wants to have educational programs and partner with local restaurants to have food pairing events.
He's planning a grand opening June 22.
"We want to try to recreate the kind of mom-and-pop tasting room where people can come and explore as many different takes on a style as possible and allow them to take home what they love most," he said.