Crooked Culture Brewing boasts 14 brews at Cumming City Center

Owner/brewer Patrick Leonard brings experience from Jekyll and Gate City Brewing

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Courtesy of Crooked Culture


Crooked Culture owner Patrick Leonard has been brewing beer for 20 years. He’d be home-brewing in his garage and notice the police come by “and do the slow roll. My neighbors thought I was doing something shady or illegal,” he says. So when he finally opened his own brewery—along with business partner Nick Estes—in early November 2023, he named it Crooked Culture. Located in the new Cumming City Center, alongside Los Rios Cantina, Juke N Jive Creamery, Pieces & Peaches Boutique, Wright’s Fish & Chips, and more, Crooked Culture is designed to be a social space.

“I’ve been putting this brewery together in my mind for the past 10 years. I wanted a place I could come when I was single, with a baby in a stroller, and now with my 13- and 14-year-olds,” Leonard says.

We spoke to him to learn more.

Courtesy of Crooked Culture

How is Crooked Culture different from other breweries?
We are truly focused on making great beer—beer that makes people want to drive past three other breweries to come here, and then come back next week to try more [beers].

What style of beer do you serve?
We’re trying to be innovative but not forget about the traditional styles. I got into brewing because of West Coast IPAs. I want it to be a home-brewery times 10. We focus on the details, make it enjoyable to drink, and stay on the lower side of ABV because we want people to try more and hang around.

How often do you change your offerings?
We have 14 beers on tap: 12 are made on 10-barrel system. That includes five heavy hitters that stay on and about seven seasonals. Everything comes in unique glasses. The five staples include Everybody Has a Tractor, a hazy IPA with Citra and Mosaic [hops]—that’s our #1 bestseller—and Ken vs. Ryu, a cherry lime sour based on the Street Fighter II video game. Our Mexican lager, Esta Bien Conmigo, is a super-light beer with a corn flavor. Our other two taps are for one-barrel batches that last two weeks at the most. Those are good for testing, and we’re always rotating them.

What non-beer options do you have?
Legally, we can’t sell alcohol that we don’t make, so we don’t have wine or cocktails. We want to do a cider. Right now, we carry sparkling water and soda.

What about food? What’s available onsite?
We usually have food trucks Friday through Sunday: Black Market Barbecue, Ghost Pizza for calzones, and the EggRoll Boyz. In next few months, we want to partner with one group to establish a commissary kitchen in a permanent food truck/trailer, so you can order from your table in the brewery. 

Inside Crooked Culture

Courtesy of Crooked Culture

Where else is your beer sold?
Just here. We have crowlers and are starting cans for sale in early February. We will distribute, but we’re not trying to get into every grocery, gas station, and restaurant in the state.

What does the space look and feel like?
It’s 7,000 square feet including a taproom, lounge with giant Restoration Hardware leather couches and TV, the production and lab space, and bar. The lounge has a window looking into the lab and another into the production area. It’s the space we rent out for parties. Outside, we have another 7,000 square feet for a 21-and-up rooftop beer garden and two side patios with picnic tables and low seating. We’re planning a fire pit near one of them.

It’s darker with a lot of wood, but it feels cozy. We have concrete floors and black walls behind the bar.

What kind of activities are available?
We have a board game shelf. Geoff [Gardner, Crooked’s head brewer] and I have been playing Connect Four for six years. It gets very heated and competitive. Every Monday, we have a Connect Four tournament. From 6-7 p.m. is what we call registration. You buy a beer, and if you beat Jeff or I, you get a free beer. From 7-9 p.m. is the tournament. It’s free to participate, best out of three, double elimination. The winner gets $50, but if Jeff or I wins, the pot rolls over. We also have trivia on Wednesdays.

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