Ology lands state sanitizer contract, opens third location
Two days, two big announcements from Tallahassee's youngest brewery on the area craft beer scene.
Ology Brewing Company, which opened in June 2017, dropped big news on Wednesday with an announcement that they had landed a State of Florida contract to produce hand sanitizer to help address the shortage of the product locally and around the state amid the coronavirus crisis.
But Ology wasn't done.
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A day later, Ology posted on their Facebook page Thursday afternoon that they were planning to open a third Tallahassee location just six months after launching their second location. Ology's newest spot will be at 2910 Kerry Forest Parkway on the Northeast side of town, while their second location at 2708 Power Mill Ct. off the lower half of Capital Circle NE, opened in October 2019 to serve primarily as a production facility to keep up with demand.
"Ology Northside," as they're calling it, will debut Saturday, April 18, and offer online ordering and curbside pick up to-go only for the time being. But they have big plans for that new location to eventually have a restaurant, tasting room and a storefront to sell spirits from their recently launched distillery, Olgoy Distilling. Ology made the announcement that they were opening Tallahassee's first distillery earlier this year in February, although the global pandemic pushed their reveal of its location until now.
Ology co-owner Nick Walker said their O.G. spot in Midtown would remain open — as would its Power Mill Road spot — and that Ology Northside will become the best of both worlds.
"We've been talking about this for a while and the opportunity arose with one of the only Northside spaces zoned appropriately for our operation," Walker said. "The idea that each space is different on its own is something we love and are eager to show once this space is built out. Having a space north of I-10 that will be so convenient for so many people was really exciting and a big reason we wanted to invest in this project. (Our beer is distributed) in seven states now and will soon come from three different locations. The growth is natural and going really well for us."
Speaking of growth, less than two months ago, Ology didn't know it would be growing and expanding in the hand sanitizer business. But when hospitals and key medical facilities began running low on hand sanitizer, Ology sprung into action and began producing it with their distilling equipment, even though they are still a ways off from officially opening Ology Distilling.
Co-owner Paul Woodward said the State of Florida reached out to anyone and everyone capable of producing large quantities of hand sanitizer, and after they got the call, Ology was in.
"The State Emergency Operations Center was looking for hand sanitizer and calling distilleries, chemical suppliers, etc. As the state, they have records for what each business in Florida does and so from what I understand they just started calling down the list," Woodward said of how Ology became involved. "I assume they have tapped several sources for hand sanitizer at this point, and the sanitizer we sent the state will get used wherever the EOC needs. All we know is it's going to a help a lot of places all over Florida.
"We are currently filling an order and then we will be on call for more should they need it. A lot of credit goes to our amazing and burgeoning distillery team who jumped in on this project in a big way. It's a crazy time for us all and we are glad we can help!"
On Wednesday, they sent out a truckload of 2,500 gallons of FDA-approved hand sanitizer to the State of Florida, and Ology is already making more
"Many hours managing the project, lots of hours from our bar and production staff producing it, and not a small amount of capital has been dedicated to provide the State with the protection it needs," Ology wrote in its Facebook post announcing the partnership with Florida. "Thank you to our State Government for recognizing the need quickly and working with us to keep Florida safe. This is only the beginning and we are working hard on the next step. Stay safe, we have your back (hands), Florida."
Running the distilling operations for the sanitizer is longtime Ology employee Jason Grant, who will also be the primary brewer of the vodka, gin and rum products being offered once the distillery is open off Kerry Forest. Like its counterpart Proof Brewing - which just opened a new location in February 2019 with Proper Brew Pub inside - Ology also plans to have a built in restaurant, taking their "FoodLab Food Truck" concept they launched last year and making it a full-service kitchen at Ology Northside.
"This location will be our largest yet, featuring a brewery and taproom, distillery storefront and the exciting return of Ology FoodLab as a permanent kitchen," Ology wrote on Facebook on Thursday. "We had big plans to have a Grand Opening for the taproom and kitchen; but, for health and safety reasons due to COVID-19, this has been delayed. So for now, we will open the new location as a convenient curbside pickup location for Northside residents starting this Saturday (April 18). We really wish we could invite you in and show you the space as we continue construction, but until we can party on the inside, we hope you will order at ologybrewing.com and come see us with curbside pickup this Saturday."
To kick off the celebration Saturday of this news, Ology will be releasing bottles of their "Irrefutable Logic: Maple and Black Walnut Imperial Stout," which is aged in Willett Rye Barrels and described as a "sweet, rich maple syrup meets thick imperial stout with rye barrel notes and black walnuts to round out the flavor."
Ology Distilling, which had already donated lots of sanitizer to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and craft beer fans during the crisis, also plans to give out a free 2-oz. bottle of hand sanitizer with each online beer order, in addition to having larger quantities available for sale.