A Mercer alum pours beer and love in downtown Macon

As a student at Mercer University, Kaitlynn Kressin discovered a passion for community development. Today, she continues to help improve Macon through her three businesses – Fall Line Brewing Co., Ocmulgee Brewpub and Just Tap’d, a craft beer store and bar.

“The breweries are a nugget of what the culture is like in this region. So when you go to visit a local brewery, you can really learn a lot about the town it’s in,” said Kressin, who owns the businesses with her husband, Nate Kressin.

“We hope people have the same kind of experience when they come to our breweries, where they feel welcome and have a great customer service experience. They see how passionate Macon is about food, beer and atmosphere.

Kressin, known as Kaitlynn Jones when she graduated in 2015 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, majored in psychology and sociology. Her experience as a student with the College Hill Alliance – a group dedicated to improving an area between Mercer and downtown Macon known as the College Hill Corridor – led her to community development.

As part of the organization, she helped coordinate events such as Second Sunday in the Park, including Percy Sledge’s sold-out concert; Mac Party, which showcased local businesses to area students; and the creation of Reunion Zero, the premier alumni gathering for new Mercer graduates.

“I’m from Macon, and I’ve always had a passion to see him succeed and see him grow and to share my love for Macon with other people, even when that was the unpopular opinion at one time” , said Kressin.

Kaitlynn and Nate Kressin. Photos courtesy of Kaitlynn Kressin

Shortly before graduating, Kressin met her husband, who already owned Just Tap’d. Together they opened Ocmulgee Brewpub in 2016 and Fall Line Brewing Co. in 2020, just days before having to close due to the pandemic.

“It was tough, but what always impresses me about our companies is our ability to adapt quickly. So we quickly adapted to take-out orders. We quickly adapted to a lot of distribution,” Kressin said. “We would literally sell beer to anyone who took it.”

The move paid off, and Fall Line was able to expand distribution outside of Macon much sooner than it would have had it not been for the pandemic, she said. The weeks of physical business closure also gave them time to secure missing products, complete construction, complete the beer garden and finalize procedures for the adjoining event venue, Fall Line. Station.

Today, Fall Line beers are distributed throughout Georgia, and you can find them in cans and on draft at your local bars, restaurants, and package stores.

Kressin said she and her husband “divide and conquer” business duties. He handles operations and management while she oversees marketing, event planning and social media, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes operations.

Her parents, who together own a restaurant at Warner Robins, served as positive role models for Kressin’s marriage and business relationship.

“They have a great marriage, but they also have a great working relationship, and that was something that was important to me,” she said. “My husband and I really enjoy working together. That’s one of the best things about our job is that we can work together.

It also helps her maintain a good work-life balance.

“I would probably be working every hour, every day for the rest of my life if I didn’t have a husband who was so willing to say, ‘We need to turn off our phones and go do something fun,'” he said. she declared. said.

This fun includes playing pickleball; walking their dogs – an Akita named Hanson and a three-legged chocolate Labrador named Kairi; and drink Fall Line Lager at JBA, a small downtown music venue.

Since graduating, Kressin has stayed in touch with Mercer, turning to her contacts at the University to answer questions, point her in the right direction or offer advice. It also works with Mercer Athletics to supply beer at football and baseball games. The Athletics recently announced the “Fall Line Section” for the upcoming football season, in which section season ticket holders receive two free drinks with every home game.

In addition to her role as a business owner, Kressin is an active community volunteer. She is currently Vice Chair of the Bragg Jam Board, a member of the Cherry Blossom Festival Board of Directors and a member of the Macon Rotary Club. She was a board member of the Loaves and Fishes Ministry, past treasurer of the Magnolia Soap Box Derby, and past president of the Downtown Macon Community Association.

In previous years, Kressin has been named Emerging Leader by NewTown Macon, Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, and on Macon Magazine’s 5 Under 40 list.

“I’m very grateful for my involvement,” she said. “It’s always an honor.”

Mercer Made is a series in which we feature notable people, companies, products, and inventions related to Mercer University.

David H. Henry