Jackie O’s is busy. Really busy.
New 375ml bottles. New brewing tanks. A new canning line. Razz Wheat coming in cans. Playing with its yeast strain. And an upcoming expansion.
The highly regarded Athens brewery is overrun with positive news.
For many fans, the biggest news will likely be that some of Jackie O's most sought-after, Athens-only exclusives are now going to be available statewide in 375ml bottles.
Dark Apparition has been bottled and distributed. Bourbon Barrel Dark Apparition will be released in the coming weeks, along with five other barrel-aged options during the rest of the year. Brick Kiln Barley Wine will hit the scene soon. Oil of Aphrodite will be released toward the end of June. And Pawpaw Wheat will be available through the early fall.
“Very exciting to see these special beers that we have been crafting for years finally make a statewide presence,” brewer Brad Clark said in an email. “At the brewpub, we would release 20 to 30 cases. We now have the capability to release 400 to 700, depending on the yield. Wild!”
Here are the other exciting developments:
• Canning: A new canning line is slated to be delivered and installed in two months. “This machine will increase the efficiency of our canning operation, allow us to date stamp our cans, and increase the overall quality and stability of our product,” Clark said. “We will then add a fifth can to our portfolio, Razz Wheat.”
• Production: The production brewery has maxed out its capacity. The overall capacity is 9,500 barrels and Jackie O’s hopes to hit 7,000 barrels this year. Since opening about 14 months ago, the brewery has added a 40-barrel fermenter, a 20-barrel fermenter, an 80-barrel brite tank and a whirlpool.
• Yeast: “The brewpub has been moving along nicely playing around with some new yeast strains to us producing abbey style ales, saisons, hefeweizens, and lagers, too,” Clark said. “Many favorite recipes have been surfacing recently as well. It is rare that we have less than 20 different Jackie O’s taps uptown.”
• Expansion: Jackie O’s is working on a 4,000- to 5,000-square-foot addition to the production brewery. The expansion will include a lab, space for a 120-barrel tank farm, and a dedicated sour room, Clark said.