We had the good fortune of connecting with Craig Mycoskie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Craig, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After 12 years in the brewing industry, I had some friends here in Atlanta that called to see if I wanted to start a brewery of my own that they would support opening. Honestly, I was apprehensive. However, Amy had the foresight and sold our house before I quit my job in Texas. She knew this was my best opportunity in life to do this and wasn’t going to let me pass on it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Round Trip Brewing Company is a new craft brewery in the emerging “brewery district” in Atlanta which is now known as the Upper Westside. We specialize in German styles. We do make sure we nail the classic styles such as Helles, Dunkel. Hefeweizen, and Pilsner. However, we are elevating those styles and German ingredients to create new hybrid styles or using German ingredients where you would normally only find American ones. The beers I felt I excelled in the past were these German styles, so I’m gravitating to my strengths. I started this brewery after working at 4 others, which were all of various sizes. That varied experience, along with Brewing School, gave me the tools needed to go off on my own. It is hard to believe that other brewers start without experience in the field. Even with that experience the 3 year road it took to get this started was very difficult. You really don’t realize how difficult it is to get through all the finance, permitting, legal, etc., until you do it. The only way to learn how to do it is to have done it the first time. I think the biggest lesson is to look at the negatives through a positive lens. We lost our funding at the start of COVID, and I honestly think it was the best thing. If we didn’t we would have opened in the middle of last summer, and that would have been terrible. The name Round Trip comes from my wife Amy and I leaving Georgia and coming back to after 12 years to start this brewery. Living in other parts of the country has given us a varied perspective and we are excited to build the brand and culture in Atlanta. Also, we love to travel. We plan to incorporate that into our story by helping our team and consumers travel and experience other places. From a personal perspective, I believe you don’t fully understand where you are from until you have experienced some place else that may offer a different view of life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a big golfer and I highly recommend Bobby Jones Golf Course. It is very unique in that it is a reversible 9 hole course. Two flags on each green which can be played in opposite directions. Many of the holes are more similar to what you would see in Scotland that here. There is even a grass putt-putt course that is based on the one at St. Andrews. To eat, my favorite brewpub in town is Hopstix. It is a brewpub with an Asian food concept. I love concepts that are done with a purpose and executed with passion. The food and beer are awesome, and I love how you can see right into the kitchen. If you like to get outside, head north and get on the trails. One thing I missed while I was living in Texas, after leaving Colorado, was great places to hike. There are some great waterfalls to see that are pretty easy hikes. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Fritz Rahr, my old boss at Rahr & Sons Brewing Company. After I told him I was starting a brewery he was the first to tell me he would invest and joined my board. He hired me as a brewer and after a few years trusted me with controling the entire production operations of his brewery. By the time I left we were one of the largest breweries in Texas and won numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
Credit William Rudolph