5 Seasons Brewmaster Crawford Moran may have been and raised in fairly beer-friendly Atlanta, Georgia, but (as for many an unsuspecting tourist), it was on a backpacking trip in Europe that Moran fell in love with all things beer. After traipsing around the continent and tipping back some of its centuries’ worth of brewing tradition, Moran returned to the U.S. and started home-brewing, stirring hops and malts into the true beginnings of a life-long passion.
And it was largely a self-driven passion. Because Georgia’s limited brewing culture didn’t offer much in the way of training, Moran was primarily a self-taught brewer, finding his way around the wort-chillers, styles, and various beer ingredients with a fearless hands-on approach. Having no mentor hasn’t stopped Moran from making headway in the emerging Atlanta market. As head brewer and part-owner of 5Seasons, along with partner, and 2005 Atlanta Rising Star Chef, Dave Larkworthy, Moran undertook the challenge of opening a restaurant in a tough economic climate. Five years later, 5Seasons is a bonafide success, with three brew-pub locations. And Moran is in charge of producing nearly 70,000 gallons of beer per year, earning him a 2012 Atlanta Rising Star Brewer Award.
Thoroughly ensconced in Atlanta, Moran still looks to his earliest inspiration, European-style beers, when it comes to home-brewing. Well-paired with Larkworthy’s fresh, seasonal cuisine, his beers range from Belgian farm house-style sasions and smoked session ales to barrel-aged pilsners—as much a tribute to the Old Country that inspired his palate as a testament to one brewer’s ability to dive into his craft independently, and passionately.