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Meet Brian Borngesser of Gate City Brewing Company in Roswell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Borngesser.

Brian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Entrepreneurship has always been a goal of mine but I did not have a passion strong enough for anything to even attempt to make a go of it. That all change when my wife purchased a homebrew kit for me as a gift. Having a great love and appreciation for cooking, this new hobby fit right in. I was fascinated with the ingredients needed to brew a beer and how subtle changes could make such a big difference in the resulting product. I was hooked after my first batch.

My partner, Pat Rains, and I started home brewing around the same time and he had just as much passion as I did. We slowly started to work through the pipe dream of opening a brewery and all that it might entail. as we started to check things off our list it became to come clear that we might actually be able to make this happen.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth road? Do though even exist? I think that we had some stretches along the way that went pretty smooth but for the most part, our road was everything but. Not having deep pockets to get off the ground we had to get creative. Gate City was and I think is still the only Brewery to operate as an Alternating Proprietorship inside the state of Georgia. This meant that we could sublease space from an existing brewery to brew our own product. Doing this grossly reduced our upfront capital cost and allowed us to establish ourselves. This was a great thing but was a struggle to get the regulatory agencies to understand what we were trying to do. Eventually, we made it high enough up the ladder for approval.

Please tell us about Gate City Brewing Company.
Gate City’s name derives from Atlanta, Georgia’s nickname, the “Gate City.” As early as the 1800s, Atlanta has been the center of commerce in the south. Once known as Terminus, Atlanta served as a hub for railroads heading north, to the port of Savannah, south, and ultimately west. A dream realized by co-founders Brian Borngesser and Pat Rains, Gate City Brewing is a humble (& tasty) testament to the power of independence and value of resilience.

My Partner and I met in a Roswell Rotary Club meeting roughly ten years back. In 2012 the vision for Roswell’s first craft brewery evolved into a business plan, and in 2015 the business plan evolved into Gate City Brewing Company.

Gate City specializes in crafting an amazing array of beers and sharing them with people that make up our community. We don’t want to just be known for one style of beer.

One thing that sets us apart is out taproom space. We are very proud of our taproom space and exclusive beers that we serve. Out taproom has six large glass front garage doors that when the weather permits we can open them up and bring the outside in. We feature live music on most Friday’s and Saturday’s and we have become a pillar in the nightlife scene in Roswell.

At Gate City, we are most proud of our dedication to the city of Roswell and we put our money behind that. In the last two years, we have donated over $30,000 to a handful of local charities. Giving back is a founding principal of Gate City and we are very happy to be able to do.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have liked to have had access to more money. Sounds obvious right? Our organic growth has been phenomenal and in the long run, it has been great for our brand. But… I would have liked more funds that we could have put behind a strong marketing plan.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Heidi Frampton

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. James Duckworth

    February 1, 2018 at 2:20 am

    I really enjoyed reading your interview. I will definitely visit Gare City.

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