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About Us

The Origin Story

Southern Sky Brewing Company is a 100% family owned and operated brewery. We have a small team, consisting of our Brewmaster, Jon Near, our Head Brewer, Josh Ingle, and our Marketing & Promotions Coordinator, Melissa Near. The brewery also receives help from the rest of Jon's family and some close friends. We believe this not only makes us unique, but also gives us a special quality that we can bring to the Atlanta beer community. We do not have any investors, so all decisions can be made by the brewmaster to benefit the beer and help fill a specific need in the metroAtlanta area.

The size of our system and our streamlined decision making process gives us flexibility to create new one-offs that are a little bit out there. We want to work with the community to bring a wider variety of craft beer to the Georgia market. We are open to collaborations with other members of the beer community, from home brewers to established local breweries.


The Team

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Jennifer Near, Rachel Near, Melissa Near and Jon Near

Jon Near
Master & Commander, CEO, Brewmaster & Paperwork Guru

Jon graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After working at Lockheed Martin for five years, he decided to pursue his true passion: beer. Jon started brewing beer with a couple of his fraternity brothers in college in 2008. In this time, he experimented with everything from a Mint Chocolate Stout to a Jasmine Green Tea White Ale. After four years of honing his craft brewing skills, he decided to take it from a hobby to a career. On October 12, 2012, Southern Sky Brewing Company was founded. Since then, he has been laying the groundwork for an unconventional brewery. As the brewmaster, he likes to experiment with one of a kind tastes and delicious combinations.

Josh Ingle
Chemistry Nerd (aka - Head Brewer & Quality Control)

Josh has worked in many different trades, from being a cook to performing helicopter rescue during offshore boat racing. He worked all the way through school until he received his degree in Chemistry at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has always had a passion for beers of all kinds and loves to experiment with new flavors and different types of beer. He started helping out in the brewery on his off days from his job as a chemist in the field of phosphonate chemistry. As time progressed, he became more involved with the brewery, and he is now working full time as our Head Brewer, helping Jon with the brewing process and ensuring quality standards. Josh has a natural talent for brewing beer and approaches brewing from a chemist’s viewpoint, which is extremely valuable to the Southern Sky team. He also volunteers as a lieutenant with a search and rescue group called Hamilton County STARS in Chattanooga.

Melissa Near
Brewery Siren (aka - Marketing & Promotions Coordinator)

Melissa also graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She took many graphic design & layout classes throughout high school and college, and gained experience in graphic design through yearbook, Architecture classes and her sorority officer position. After graduating from Georgia Tech, she worked as a Consulting Engineer at an MEP Engineering design firm. However, she decided that she wanted to work in a design-related career. In January 2016, she left her position in engineering and joined the Southern Sky team. She is now responsible for the marketing and event planning aspects of the brewery.


Life At Southern Sky Brewing

Fractals (The Art & Maths)

When first trying to conceive of a theme or logo for Southern Sky, we wanted to find something that was abstract, flexible and reflected our nerdy personality. It needed to be easily recognizable yet adaptable to different beers. It also needed to represent our celestial theme. That’s how we came up with fractals.

Fractals are a form of computer generated art created by infinitely repeating a mathematical equation, forming a pattern unique to that particular equation.