are you at least 21 years of age?
We’re a collective
of brewers and farmers
to produce slow beer
with ingredients sewn
in the Georgia soil.
Who we are
If you had told Dr. Tripp Morgan twenty years ago that he was to be the founder of Albany’s first craft brewery, he might have smiled and told you that this wonderful and wild idea didn’t exactly fit into his plans.
As a fifth generation Georgian, Tripp grew up on farmlands in Camilla immersed in agriculture. His appreciation for the rich landscape of the South was instilled at a young age, but he followed in his Father’s footsteps to study medicine and graduated from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in 1997. Dr. Morgan worked briefly as a pharmacist before attending the Mercer University School of Medicine from which he graduated in 2001. With an interest in craft beer, he enjoyed home brewing while in school. However, between starting a family and a medical practice, any opportunities to spend a full day crafting beer in his garage ceased to present themselves. After completing his surgical residency and a two year Vascular Surgery Fellowship, he developed the Albany Vascular Specialist Center.
Nearly fifteen years later, Dr. Tripp Morgan sat on the porch of the family’s farmhouse in Albany with his father, Harris, overlooking their 200+ acres of organic wheat. He began to dream of resurrecting his love for creating delicious beer and creating a place for his community to meet and enjoy the flavors produced in this rich Southern soil. He envisioned the fields in front of him filled with barley varieties, wheat, hops, and fruit for seasonal additions. After more than three years of planning, transforming and building, Pretoria Fields Collective had found its home in Downtown Albany and awaited the arrival of its brew house and fermentation tanks in the Summer of 2017. Harris oversees the day to day operations on the farm and carefully monitors the selection, planting, organic maintenance and harvesting of our ingredients.
After meeting Eric Kirchner in 2015 (who was lead brewer for Russian River Brewing Company at the time) on a bus at the Craft Brewing Conference, the Pretoria Fields team told him about our aspirations to grow our own organic grains for Albany’s first craft brewery. Eric was impressed and excited by this plan, and he began to develop recipes for Pretoria Fields while still living in California. In 2017, after traveling to Albany to oversee the arrival of the brewhouse, he made the decision to join the team and move to Georgia. Eric was inspired by the goals of the collective – to organically farm as much of our own input as possible.
While our Pretoria Fields crew met in local restaurants for much needed lunch breaks during the final planning stages, a familiar face inquired about what we were working on. That familiar face was Billy Mann, who has managed some of Albany’s most adored and revered restaurants. At the time, Billy was the president of this restaurant group and expressed his excitement for the opening of Pretoria Fields. Much like the details of a first date, little is important to recall except how it ends. Billy came on board as General Manager for the collective just as we prepared our doors for the grand opening.
In weekly meetings, our collective comes together to discuss what’s happening on the farm, what’s happening in the brewery and what’s being served to our community. From the fields to the fermentation tanks and all the way to the glasses of our patrons – we are proud of what we’re doing. We couldn’t be happier to see conversations develop around tasting room tables, friendly competitions over a chess match and live music in our courtyard – as these all represent the vivacity of our community here in Albany. We hope that you’ll think of the Pretoria Fields Collective tasting room as your place – as it was designed to serve our community.