Atlanta's Second Self Beer Company was founded by home brewers-turned-pros Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle. We stopped by the brewery to ask Santamaria a few questions about his venture.
1. Where did you come up with the name Second Self?
Creating this brewery has taken up every second of our life for the past several years. There’s a lot that goes into opening up a brewery besides the creation of beer. Beyond that, all of our beer has a second self, too. For example, the Thai Wheat, while some may see it as a simple wheat beer, it is brewed with ginger and lemongrass, a bit uncommon for wheat beers.
2. So many breweries have opened up in Atlanta in the last couple of years. What makes your stand out?
A couple things. We’re focusing on beer that pairs well with food. For example, our IPA is not overly hoppy, which helps it to pair well with food. And our Saison pretty much goes with everything.
3. How did you and Chris meet?
We met at Georgia Tech, where we went to school. My family was in the restaurant business, and I had a catering company in college; Chris was one of my employees. We’ve been home brewing together for nine years. I’m very entrepreneurial and Chris has an operations mind-set, a perfect match.
4. One of your flagships is the rye. What’s special about it?
Red Hop Rye is our oldest recipe. It is a great mix of the spice of rye but with the floral quality of an IPA. It’s a higher rye percentage than most rye beers out there (17 percent) but again, the IPA balances it out and makes it a great pairing for spicy foods.
5. What’s different about your Saison?
Saison’s my favorite beer style. It’s peppery and simple. I wanted a beer that would pair well with almost any food and this Saison does that.
6. What kind of beer will you be offering next?
The next beer will be a mole porter, which comes from a family recipe, brewed with chocolate and chilies. And LIPA, a twist on an IPA, will include a juniper-rosemary IPA, perfect for spring.
7. Is your beer on tap at any Atlanta Restaurants?
Yes, we are on tap at 64 local Atlanta restaurants.
Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers' Guide to Atlanta and founder of Atlanta Restaurant Blog. She has been a contributing writer to USA Today and Urbanspoon and has been featured on the Huffington Post. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including Taste of Atlanta. She is the president of the Association of Food Bloggers, and you can follow her on Twitter @ATLEatsNTweets and on Instagram @malika_bowling.