Inner Voice Brewing opens in Decatur after pandemic delayInner Voice Brewing owners Josh Johnson (left) and Rhett Caseman (right). Photo courtesy Inner Voice Brewing.
By Patrick Saunders, contributor
Decatur, GA — Inner Voice Brewing is open for business in the former Big Tex location on West Ponce de Leon Avenue in downtown Decatur.
And it’s been a long time coming for owners Josh Johnson and Rhett Caseman. They signed the lease in January 2020. Right around when they would have started construction, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Johnson and Caseman couldn’t get approval for their plans because many city of Decatur offices closed for several months.
“So we were stuck with an empty building we couldn’t do anything with,” Caseman told Decaturish. “That was one of the most difficult times. We’re first-time business owners, we’re young guys, we’ve got a lot on the line personally and as far as our investors go.”
Johnson and Caseman met in 2013 while working for Monday Night Brewing. They later worked part-time at Variant Brewing Company in Roswell while planning to open a spot of their own.
The pair took advantage of a state law passed in 2017 that allowed breweries and distilleries to sell directly to customers.
Caseman said they decided to go the brewery route instead of a brewpub because they’not required to produce at least half of their revenue through food sales.
“We’re beer guys and we don’t have a big background in food services, so it made more sense to us to license as a brewery and then go out and find a secondary food vendor,” he said.
That vendor is going to be Glide Pizza, which has a location at Irwin Street Market. Johnson and Caseman connected with Glide owner Rob Birdsong on Instagram.
“We wanted someone that we trusted to make consistent food that we really love,” Caseman said. “He was pretty much interested from the jump. I showed him the space, and demo had just started and it looked like a mess, but it piqued his interest enough, so we dragged him along for the road.”
Glide will open a walk-up window and offer delivery from Inner Voice later this year.
The brewery opened its doors on Sept. 17.
“It’s going great,” Caseman said. “Decaturites love their craft beer. Everyone’s welcomed us with open arms.”
“It’s been good for us to meet people in the community and start fostering this neighborhood bar vibe,” he added.
Inner Voice is open Wednesday through Sunday and currently offers a Kolsch, a lager and several IPAs and sours.
“Our aim is to have something for everybody,” Caseman said. “We’re trying to be pretty inclusive with our beer list and give people options.”
And they opened just in time for a big weekend in Decatur. Downtown will be bustling with people as the AJC Decatur Book Festival, Amplify Decatur Music Festival and the Decatur Artists Market take over the city Oct. 1-3.
Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.