A Family Affair: Rome City Brewing Company Canning What Could Be Its Final Edition | Local News


Daughters, stepfathers and friends turned out on Tuesday for what could be the last canning at Rome’s only brewery.

“The reality is this could be our last canning, obviously hopefully not,” co-owner Jay Shell said, looking at the labels on the cans. “Today, we hope to prepare approximately 350 cases for distribution.”

As they stacked pallets of Downtown Brown and Short Hot Blonde – some of Rome City Brewing Co.’s iconic beers – they canned, labeled, and prepared the beer for shipping.

They had also contracted with a local distributor – Beverage South in West Rome – to get the product to consumers.

But the economic downturn has not been favorable to the company, which in all respects was doing well, Shell said. They had expanded distribution from locally to northwest Georgia and then to Alabama, but sales dried up.

“There is a lot of beer going out of date and we haven’t had any luck with the insurance companies covering the loss,” Shell said.

Now they take it week after week and day after day.

Looking at their stock, they decided to do the last canning.

“Let’s fight if we can,” Shell said. “We had enough beer and enough labels for a canning.”

So they called on Marietta-based IronHeart Canning for this last race. Combined with the new distribution deal, Shell said, they will be putting local beers on grocery store shelves.

“Ninety-five percent of this will go to Northwest Georgia,” he said, pointing to a pallet of Short Hot Blonde cans.

There is still hope for a small business loan, he said, and the River City Bank has been good to them so far.

“They deferred payments from the start,” Shell said, but despite low overheads, falling sales hit them hard. “We are not yet ready to give up.

The brewery company’s property at 333 and 331 Broad St. has been on sale since April and one of the plans, if the building sells, is to eventually relocate the business. Everything is on hold at this point.

Whether it works or not, Shell said it is looking to diversify its personal portfolio.

“I’m looking for a job,” he says. “If you are looking for (someone to hire), I have a good CV.

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