Moon River Brewing Company
|Founded||April 10, 1999|
|Headquarters||Savannah, Georgia, USA|
The Moon River Brewing Company is a brew pub - restaurant, bar and brewing facility.
Moon River Brewing Company opened to the public in 1999 on the site of the former Oglethorpe Brewing Co. Its current owners are Gene Beeco and John Pinkerton. In 2010, the brewery won a Gold Medal for its Rosemary India Pale Ale in the "Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer" category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. In 2003, the brewery was voted #28 on the "Top 50 American Brewpubs" in the United States by BeerAdvocate.com.
History of the building
Moon River Brewing Company is located in the former City Hotel. Elazer Early, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, built the City Hotel in 1821. Not only was it the first hotel in Savannah, but it was also home to the first branch of the United States Post Office in Savannah, as well as a branch of the Bank of the United States. Many notable people stayed at the City Hotel, including War of 1812 hero Winfield Scott, the Marquis de Lafayette, the first three commodores of the U.S. Navy and naturalist James Audubon. Audubon stayed six months while attempting to sell books full of his wildlife sketches.
In 1851, Peter Wiltberger bought the City Hotel. He renovated it and put a live lion and lioness on display to draw attention to his business. City Hotel's final guest checked out in 1864, just before the arrival of General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Civil War and the subsequent closing of the City Hotel. At the turn of the century, the building was used as a lumber and coal warehouse. As the use of coal slowly died off, the building was used for general storage. In the 1960s, the space was renovated as an office supply store, complete with a large printing press. Hurricane David forced this business to close in 1979 when it blew the roof off the structure. The building sat empty until 1995 when it was renovated into its current configuration as a brew pub.
The building is alleged to be haunted, is a feature of local guided tours, and claimed by staff members to be a site of hauntings and poltergeist activity. In 2005, the brewery was featured in the Ghost Hunters Halloween special, and in 2009 on Travel Channel's paranormal television series Ghost Adventures.
- "GABF Winners". Great American Beer Festival. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
- "Top 50 American Brewpubs". BeerAdvocate.com. Archived from the original on August 1, 2003.
- Roberts, Nancy (2002). "Mystery at the Moon River: Moon River Restaurant and Brewery, Savannah, Georgia". Ghosts from the Coast. UNC Press. pp. 149–152. ISBN 978-0-8078-4991-0.
- Adams, Cate Mafera (October 9, 2008). "Moon River: Watch out for ghosts throwing bottles". Savannah Morning News.