Check it out! Derrell is in the News!
Although he has been brewing his own beer at home for the last 16 years, it took Derrell Winowich five years to get it right.
Now, Winowich will be sharing this newfound success with a new brewpub he will be opening called the Chattahoochee Brewing Company on 505 13 th Street in Phenix City, which is slated for a soft opening on Monday, Feb. 4. The establishment will feature Winowich’s own beer as well as over 35-40 types of craft beer, as well as wine and pub food, such as sandwiches and chicken wings.
“My real goal is to create fresh, locally made beer and have a continually rotating tap selection so I can provide a wide selection of beers for anyone’s tastes,” Winowich said.
One aspect of his brewpub that Winowich would like to see stand out above the established norm is to change up what the list of beers will be for any given day. He said that a regular brewpub like his would only serve four or five different types of beer and occasionally throw in a seasonal beverage for the holidays
“I’m basically going to brew whatever I want to, whenever the mood strikes me,” Winowich said. “The styles will be constantly changing in an ever-rotating tap selection.”
When he first started home-brewing, Winowich became discouraged because he felt like he couldn’t brew the perfect beer and that good beer couldn’t be brewed in the home. However, after learning more about effective brewing and buying new ingredients from specialty stores, things began to change for the better.
“I went from brewing once a month to brewing sometimes twice a week,” Winowich said.
Winowich had wanted to open his own brew pub for some time, but due to restrictive laws in the state, it was not feasible. At the time, brewpubs in Alabama were under the supervision of the Alabama Brewpub Act of 1992, which stipulated that brewpubs had to fulfill certain requirements in their daily operations, such as seating no fewer than 80 patrons, had to be a fully-functioning restaurant and had to be housed in a historic building on the National Registry.
“Those restrictions made it very difficult to make a living,” Winowich said.
With many of those restrictions removed with the Brewery Modernization Act in 2011, Winowich decided that he would have to capitalize on the growing popularity of craft beer and brewpubs and decided to finally open one of his own.
“Craft beer is booming all over the country, and if you’re going to do it, now is the time,” Winowich said. “If I kept waiting two or three more years, I might’ve missed it.”
The name of the brewpub comes from another brewery of the same name that operated in Phenix City in 1880. Winowich said that at its peak, the company distributed beer in seven states.
“It was a substantial enterprise for something back in the 1800s when you had horses, buggies and trains,” Winowich said.
Another aspect of the brewpub that has its own unique stamp is how artists are encouraged to take a ceiling tile, paint or draw on it and give it back to be displayed on the ceiling.
“I think it would be a lot more cool and funky to have original art pieces on the walls and ceilings that someone did to make the place look really cool,” Winowich said.