It’s 9:00am on a dreary, overcast Saturday morning in Savannah, Georgia. Mentally, I am somewhere between drunk and hungover. Physically, I have found myself at the steps of Southbound Brewery.
25 year old Tour and Event Manager, Natalie Alexander turns the key and leads us into the 13,000 square foot brewing facility, bar, concert hall, and event venue. Upon getting settled, Natalie cranks the house music and Led Zeppelin fills the entire place.
I am instantly enchanted by the sight of beer taps, barrels and incredible murals. As the brewery also serves as a concert hall, there is quite a bit of space. In fact, today Southbound is hosting a VIP acoustic show with Savannah bred bands Passafire and Perpetual Groove. So there is a big day ahead for Natalie and the rest of the brewery staff.
Southbound Brewing Company was founded by Smith Mathews and Carly Wiggins, two childhood friends with a love of beer and the ambition to establish Savannah’s very first production microbrewery. Three years later, the enterprise has had so much success, there truly is nothing “micro” about Southbound these days. Chances are if you have ever visited Savannah, at least one of Southbound’s seasonal beers have been on the beer list at any given bar or restaurant.
A: You studied Advertising at Savannah College of Art and Design, would you have ever guessed you would end up working at a brewery?
N: “I always wanted to do marketing campaigns for breweries. SweetWater Brewery’s brand specifically motivated me to focus on getting into the that side of the brewing industry. Coincidentally, Carly and Smith both volunteered at SweetWater during college, so it seemed natural I would end up at a brewery that is somewhat of an offspring of SweetWater in a way.”
A: You have a pretty coveted position at the brewery, how did you become part of the Southbound family?
N: “I knew about Southbound through working in the service industry in college. The more I grew aware of Southbound, the more I really fell in love and appreciated their brand. I mean, in addition to brewing the best craft beer Savannah has to offer, they are also a musically inspired brewery, which I love. I had known Carly for awhile, but it was really at Wanee Fest in 2014 when I stumbled up to the Southbound tent, chilled for a few beers and got to know both Smith and Carly. The friendships alone didn’t get me the gig though. I really owe a lot to local restaurant manager and wine connoisseur, Matt Daniel, for putting me up for the position.”
A: So be honest, do you really just sit around and drink beer all day?
N: (Laughs) “Well as Tour and Event Manager, I do have plenty of things to coordinate. For example, today’s event with Passafire and Perpetual Groove has been months in the making. We got to collaborate with Live Wire (an Athens, GA based production and promotion company) to put together a really intimate experience for fans of both of these bands.”
The event truly went off without a hitch. Natalie really showed her skills in simultaneously managing and mingling with the guests and artists. There were specialty brews in honor of Passafire and Perpetual Groove, a low country boil, and awesome acoustic sets from both acts. Teal Cheese had a blast and even managed to land an exclusive interview later this week with Passafire as they record their fourth album!! Special thanks to Natalie and the rest of the Southbound crew for a top notch Saturday!!
A: What kinds of events do we have to look forward to at Southbound in the months to come?
N: “During the fall, I really aim to have something happening here once a week. We, of course, have our public tours and tastings 4 days a week, but it’s also fun to host something a little more extravagant. Every other Saturday we host Pints + Poses, a 90 minute yoga session with local Savannah instructor Melissa DeLynn. We try to incorporate the new food truck scene by having them at most of the events we hold at the brewery. Pink Talking Fish (A Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, Phish cover band) will be performing in November, as well as a couple bigger name acts we haven’t announced yet. We host Toast of the Towns for local businesses and charities, pre-parties for larger acts in town, Laughs and Drafts comedy nights and much, much more. I can assure you as Southbound grows, so will it’s events…and it’s going to be quite the trip.”
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Follow Southbound on Instagram @Southboundbrews
For more information on hosting an event at Southbound Brewing Company email Natalie@southboundbrewingco.com