Photos by Cameron Flaisch

WHEN YOU THINK OF A BAR, what comes to mind? Do you picture a smoky room with pool tables in the back? Are there surly men at the bar, neon signs in the windows and peanut shells on the floor?

But what if a bar was designed to be more than just a place to have a few drinks? What if its atmosphere was carefully cultivated and crafted? What if it was built on passion and community? A bar like that might not look like the bars we are used to. Instead, it might look like Rome’s newest craft beer establishment. That bar would look a lot like The Foundry.

Designed to feel more like a coffee shop than a bar, The Foundry features handmade tables and a beautiful wooden bar built by owner Gorg Hubenthal, who also loves wood-working.

“We want people to come here and work on their computers and relax,” he says.

The bottoms of the tables are large gears Hubenthal salvaged from an old building on Broad Street, creating a purposeful balance between the newness of The Foundry and the history of Rome. “My wife and I love Rome,”he says. “We hear people from bigger cities ragging Rome and we don’t understand where that comes from.”

Hubenthal wants The Foundry to be a place for community, relaxation and even education.

“I want people to come here and really learn about beer,” he says.

Based on the size of the selection at The Foundry – with more than 250 individual beers available – there is plenty of opportunity for the casual craft beer drinker to learn and explore. The Foundry also offers growlers, a method of transporting beer that is over a century old.

Growlers, or larger containers that can be filled from your favorite tap, originated in the late 1800s. Pub owners would fill small galvanized pails with fresh beer for patrons to carry home. As the suds sloshed about in the container, the CO2 would seep from the lid, creating a growling sound. So, the name was coined.

The Foundry has growlers for sale, or locals can bring in their own containers to be filled from one of their 30 taps. If the draft variety isn’t your flavor, there are also over 225 varieties of bottled beer available in store.

“ ...with more than 250 individual beers available –there is plenty of opportunity for the casual craft beer drinker to learn and explore.”

For Hubenthal, it is all about helping people discover the joy and passion he feels; he aims to show his customers “how vast and wide beer truly is.”

“People don’t realize that they like beer,” he says. “Some have not had good beer; they have had mass-produced domestic beer, which values quantity over quality. We carry beers that are about quality, not quantity.”

The Foundry even has craft root beer on tap for kids who may come in with their parents. “I love kids,” he says. “I want them to be able to come in with their parents and not feel out of place.”

The owner’s goal is threefold: to get people to open themselves up to new experiences with new people, to educate the community about beer, and to facilitate a culture of relaxation and fun in Rome; including holding festivals during the spring and summer to engage the community. “We will rope off the parking lot and have music and games,” he says. “We will bring out food vendors that pair well with our beer.”

And The Foundry does not plan on stopping at beer. Hubenthal already has a walk-in humidor for cigars and plans on adding wine very soon. Just like many of the establishments in our growing food and beverage scene, Hubenthal hopes to elevate the level of products and services in our fair town. With his family-friendly plan, chances are good that he’ll fit right in.

For a list of services and store hours visit “The Foundry Growler Station” on Facebook or call them at 706-528-4699.