Meet brothers-in-law Marty Mazzawi and John Reynolds. The pair are unlikely brewery owners—Mazzawi is a dentist, Reynolds is an IT guy—but together they have the drive (and the thirst) to bring their vision to fruition: Gwinnett County’s first craft brewery.
Slow Pour Brewery, set to open in early May, will be housed in an historic textile factory in downtown Lawrenceville, and will be the first of its kind in the county.
Considering the feverish rise in craft beer popularity across the nation, “it’s surprising the largest county in Georgia doesn’t have a brewery,” says Reynolds. “It’s the perfect intersection in time and space to start one of our own.”
Reynolds, Slow Pour’s brewmaster, is a self-proclaimed beer nerd. “Beer has been brewed for thousands of years. Every time you try one, it’s like drinking a bit of history. I love experimenting with new beer recipes and being a part of that.” Reynolds has six beers in his line-up at Slow Pour: a stout, brown, tripel, blonde, IPA and pale ale. “This is just our starting point,” Reynolds says. “But I brew things that I’m passionate about. And I believe when you craft styles you’re most passionate about, it shows in the product.”
As it turns out, the beer was the easy part. Pioneering the county’s first brewery—and the zoning codes to make it legal—was a trial in itself. Mazzawi and the city didn’t have any precedent to follow. “We had to navigate many unfamiliar hurdles,” he said. “We had to write new regulations, alter our architectural designs and make changes to meet fire code and capacity issues. Fortunately for us, both the city and county have been extremely supportive.”
The ultimate goal, though, is not just to make beer, but to “create a space that inspires a slower pace,” says Mazzawi.
“In our culture where technology and instant gratification rule, we’re constantly on our phones,” Reynolds says. “We wanted to create an atmosphere where people slow down, unplug and enjoy some beer and community.”