Kevin Haborak started homebrewing in 1995 when he received my first homebrewing kit as a gift. From early on he dreamed of opening a brewery (as I think a lot of homebrewers do), but usually he did little to pursue the dream. Back in 2009, his family moved from Atlanta to Savannah and that’s when everything finally got put into motion.
By the spring of 2010 he had put together a skeletal plan of how to get things started and he convinced my brother to invest in the dream. He decided the first beer would be an American Brown Ale as a nod to his homebrewing roots, since this style was developed by American hombrewers as an hop forward adaption of the English Brown Ale. In February of 2011, Coastal Empire began producing test batches at Blue and Gray Brewing in order to scale up the recipe from 5 gallon batches to 20 BBL batches. By summer of 2011 they had perfected the recipe and set a date to bring the beer to market.
Coastal Empire’s Savannah Brown Ale was first shipped to Savannah Distributing on August 25, 2011. They officially launched at the Distillery Ale House on, Sunday, August 28, 2011. The following Saturday Savannah Brown Ale took home first place in the People’s Choice Award at the Savannah Craft Brew Fest. Coastal Empire outgrew the production capabilities of Blue and Grey within six months and eventually moved their gypsy brewing to Straight to Ale in Huntsville, Al. They quickly grew annual production to approximately 800 BBL and then opened a production facility in Savannah, GA.
They have since become Savannah’s most award winning production brewery by earning 13 medals awarded in international beer competitions. The international competition awards include:
- 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver medal awarded for Savannah Brown Ale in the American Brown Ale category
- 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze medal awarded for BA Savannah Brown Ale in the Barrel Aged Dark Beer category
- 2014 Great American Beer Festival Bronze medal awarded for Dawn Patrol Molé Stout (entered as Dawn Patrol Breakfast Stout) in the Herb and Spice Beer category (156 entries in the category)
- 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold medal awarded for BA Savannah Brown Ale in the Barrel Aged Dark Beer category
- 2015 U.S. Open Beer Championship Gold medal awarded for March to the Sea (collaboration with Burnt Hickory Brewery in Kennesaw, GA) in the Barleywine category
- 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze medal awarded for White Caps Imperial White IPA in the Specialty IPA category
- 2016 U.S. Open Beer Championship Bronze medal awarded for Dawn Patrol Molé Stout in the Strong stout category
- 2016 Best of Craft Beer Awards Silver medal awarded for Coco-Piña Gose in the contemporary gose category
- 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver medal awarded for BA Savannah Brown Ale in the Barrel Aged Dark Beer category
- 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship Silver medal awarded for Blood Orange Citrus Breeze in the Specialty IPA category
- 2018 Great American Beer Festival Silver medal awarded for Coco-Piña Gose in the Field Beer category
- 2020 Great American Beer Festival Gold medal awarded for Rum Barrel Aged Coco-Piña Gose in the Experimental Beer category
Coastal Empire holds regular tours and tastings at our production facility, so please check the taproom link for times and a map to our location.
We hope that each of you enjoy our beers as much as we enjoy crafting them!