Social Fox Brewing sees growth in its cozy space in downtown Norcross
The idea for Social Fox Brewing, a microbrewery operating in historic downtown Norcross, began in the same place many other breweries have started — a garage.
Kevin Keyes, the brewery’s Chief Operating Officer, said the brewery’s founders began as homebrewers. He and Mike Greene had success in brewing competitions. Feedback from their friends developed the idea into a potential business, Keyes said.
“We enjoyed brewing and the science of brewing and just really had a good time brewing and enjoying the brew stuff,” Keyes said. “It was just constantly talking about the brewery for a couple of years just, you know, ‘Maybe we should do something with this.’ Our friends try our beers, our neighbors try our beers and tell us, ‘You guys are really good, you should do something with this.’
“The next thing you know the plan starts coming together and we look at each other and say, ‘Hey, maybe we should do this.’” Keyes and Greene joined co-founder Scott Norwood to make the dream a reality.
Keyes said Social Fox founders started with a five-gallon brewing system in their garage and later graduated to a one-barrel system. That allowed for some testing of styles and some the Social Fox team transferred their recipes to a larger scale and adapted to their commercial-level system.
“Once we got into the brewery, it expanded,” Keyes said. “It helped us get a grasp on our recipe because it’s a lot different going from the smaller system to the larger system. We kind of had to get used to the recipes at the smaller lever and then once we got to the bigger level it was just easier to understand it.”
That started to come together in 2019 when the team started constructing the space for a brewery. Today, the space is occupied by a taproom that seats about 60 at full capacity.
The brewing system currently produces an output of seven barrels (nearly 300 gallons of beer), but Keyes said there’s room to grow.
“We’ve already started to grow in that space now, believe it or not,” he said. “We have space to grow. We can grow a bit bigger.”
Social Fox’s flagship beers have been the Tumblefield IPA and the Light ‘n Social American Pilsner.
“Those were our babies at the beginning and kind of morphed into what they are today because they started as something a little bit different at the beginning,” Keyes said.
Keyes said regulars also seem to gravitate to stouts and sours. Even as the Berliner Weisse has changed flavors during its run, customers seem to enjoy it as much as the previous flavors.
“That’s one that remains popular with the different flavors we add to it, from coconut to strawberry,” Keyes said. “We just keep adding flavors to the Berliner and people still love it.”
Social Fox offers something for the craft beer connoisseur as well. Social Fox’s menu includes two styles of oenobeer, a beer and wine crossover. Social Fox has two versions of this style of brew, one that resembles a pinot noir and another of a champagne variety.
Craig Smith, Social Fox’s head brewer, said the flavor depends on the kinds of grapes you introduce to the brewing process.