After years of working in the restaurant and beer industries, Joe Uhl decided to open a brewery in Kennesaw, Georgia. The goal was a local tasting room that directly serves the surrounding community with a place to enjoy a pint with family and friends. Instead of pursuing broad distribution, the people and restaurants around it would be the focus. Our family, friends, and neighbors would be the customer.
The passage of Senate Bill 85 in September 2017 provided the ability to support a successful brewery business, and we got started. After several setbacks in finding the right location, we are moving forward with Horned Owl Brewing in Downtown Kennesaw.
Why owls? It is the meaning or translation of our German last name Uhl. And, the different names with “owl” in it provide some great names and ideas for breweries and beers!
Joe Uhl has over 40 years of senior management experience in the restaurant industry. This experience includes major roles in multi-unit QSR management and operations in a wide variety of U.S. markets for such brands as El Pollo Loco, Cinnabon, Church’s Chicken, Popeye’s, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants and Wendy’s. Most recently was the Chief Operating Officer for FSC Franchise Co., LLC which owns and operates Beef O’Brady’s and Brass Tap locations in 23 states.
Joe’s passion for craft beer started over 15 years ago when his son introduced him to craft beer at The Brick Store in Decatur. From that point on he has enjoyed acquiring a taste for all styles of beer. One of his favorite things about a brewery is how it brings together a local community. There is nothing better than to sit down with family, friends or someone you just met to share a pint and a story.
Max Vanderlip was born and raised in Marietta, Ga, attending The Walker School from kindergarten to twelfth grade. After high school, Max went to Indiana University in Bloomington, IN where he received a BA in Psychology and met his future wife, Madison. During his junior year of college Max took a job washing kegs, bottling beer, and broadening his palate as an intern in Williamsburg, Va. After the internship, Max began thinking back to childhood memories, watching his father enjoy traditional beer brought to him by Belgian business partners from their local pubs and knew his fate had been sealed.
Once his career path had been established he set out to successfully complete a degree in Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation Studies from Asheville, NC. After completing his degree, Max moved with his wife to Louisville, KY and began his search for employment in the brewing industry. The past two years Max has worked at Gravely Brewing Co. growing to understand more about the ever changing community of craft beer. Although he loved Louisville he couldn’t help but feel his time in Georgia wasn’t complete. Serendipitously, Max was introduced to the Horned Owl through a mutual contact and was called home. Max and Joe have a shared vision for the future of the brewing community- locally based, community driven, and artfully adventurous. Max is overjoyed to bring fine craft beer to the community that raised him.