Oysters and craft beer make for a dynamic combination, refined with hearty and comfortable. Clarence Boston’s new restaurant Hippin’ Hops in East Atlanta Village celebrates this pairing, supplied by Boston’s own brewery — the first Black-owned brewery in the state of Georgia. Also a mortician with a successful funeral home business, Boston’s enthusiastic about bringing his business talents to living, eating and drinking in the heart of Atlanta. He joined “City Lights” engineer and contributor Shelley Kenneavy to talk about the new venture and what inspired it.
“I own four funeral homes, and the fifth one was going to be in Stone Mountain, which we actually turned it into a production brewery, now,” Boston said. “We were sick and tired of dead people, and we really enjoy making beer.”
The idea to pair beer and oysters was a natural one for Boston, who happens to own an oyster lease out of Stump Sound, North Carolina. “That was our retirement plan, we were just going to open this big ol’ oyster farm,” Boston said. He and his wife, Donnica, hope to expand into other areas of fine foods, including a future winery. In the meantime, their restaurants reap the benefits of quality oysters. “I really enjoy oysters, and my kids do. I know it’s not about what I enjoy… but we just decided to make it happen.”
The brewery in Stone Mountain supplies original craft beers to Hippin’ Hops, and Boston described the select menu of brews — with buckwheat, IPAs and sours. “We don’t have, like, fifteen, twenty beers, because when we’re finished it’s just too many beers to have… We just want to focus on quality, versus quantity.”
The Bostons live in East Atlanta Village, co-owners and operators of their restaurants and funeral homes. Hippin’ Hops will be their first restaurant location in their own neighborhood. “I used to walk up and down these streets, every day, go to Flat Iron and get something to eat, and cold beer over there. So we were just looking all over, but when we’d seen this building, I’m like, ‘Hey, it has sentimental value to me… Let’s give it a shot.’”
The new restaurant is located next door to Holy Taco on Glenwood Avenue in East Atlanta.