Downtown LaGrange took a huge step this past Saturday night, September 23rd, when after months of planning, preparations, and dedicated work, Wild Leap Brew Co. opened its doors with a grand opening and huge crowd of people eagerly awaiting the doors to open. From visualization to preparation, conceptualization and finally completion, the intertwined story of Wild Leap and the City of LaGrange will forever go down as one of the best marriages and partnerships in the history of our community and it blossomed fully this past weekend.
The story behind Wild Leap is a bold, adventurous one that started with some friends leaving their careers in Atlanta to pursue their dreams of creating craft beer. Co-founders Rob Goldstein and Anthony Rodriguez and Head Brewer Chris Elliot started out on this incredible journey, first looking for a community that would embrace a craft beer festival. Eventually the trio found La-Grange to be that community and began making plans to purchase the old Westbrook Tire Building near the intersection of Bull and Main Streets. The idea was born in January and after complete reconstruction and redesigns of the building, Wild Leap was born. After many months, it opened to the public this weekend.
The grand opening was certainly a happening, with crowds lining up all along the sidewalk before the opening at three o clock. There were different vendors, food, a live band, a rock wall, several games, and the indoor area had a huge projector for college football. Currently, Wild Leap has three different beverage options, including the Local Gold Blonde Ale, the Chance IPA, and the Sunvale Raspberry Wheat. All of these beers were on display at the grand opening as people continued to pour through.
Wild Leap is the next and perhaps most significant step in revitalizing downtown LaGrange, with respect to the south end especially. The Sweetland Amphitheater, the Courtyard by Marriot hotel on the square, a proposed new skatepark, the District 4 Public Health Center, and now Wild Leap are bringing in a fresh crop of faces and attracting more people to downtown LaGrange than ever before. This is in part to the amazing working chemistry between entities that include the city, the county, the Callaway Foundation, the development authority, and private business owners. As the relationships continue to strengthen and grow, La-Grange and Troup County will continue to grow in wild and unexpected ways.