It all began with a European road trip. The summer of 1994 found three friends rattling around the continent in an old Peugeot, affectionately dubbed “Hotel Le Car.” An improvised itinerary landed the trio unexpectedly in Belgium, on the night of Brussels’ Ommegang festival. It was here that Brian Purcell—today Three Taverns’ founder—first discovered the wonder of beer brewed by Trappist monks. It was in that moment a seed was planted, though it took many more years to take root.
Two subsequent moments of serendipity continued to tug at Brian’s heart. In the late ’90s, an unexpected stop at Decatur’s Brick Store Pub and a glass of Le Trappe beer stirred his dormant memories, reawakening the wonder that first surfaced in Brussels. Shortly after that experience, Brian would travel to Portland, Oregon for the wedding of another member of that road-trip trio.
Experiencing this friend’s home-brewed beer in the context of Portland’s legendary craft beer culture inspired the purchase of his first homebrew kit… which spent the next few years gathering dust.
It wasn’t until 2005, after Brian moved to a Decatur neighborhood within walking distance of his now-favorite pub, that the homebrew kit came off the shelf. With the first batch, Brian marveled that brewing satisfied something in his soul that he didn’t know was missing—and a love affair was born. This revelation became an obsession. Eventually the conviction that this hobby could be his vocation took root and strengthened. So after years of brewing and planning, a return trip to Belgium, and finally finding a perfect location, Three Taverns Craft Brewery was born. The first official beer was poured to a welcoming public on July 19, 2013.