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Cabarrus Brewing, Concord’s first large-scale craft brewery, to open soon

Charlotte’s craft brewery explosion is rippling into Concord.

Steve Steinbacher, 49, one of the owners of Cabarrus Brewing Company, says the $1 million brewing facility should open by mid-March. About two years in the making, this is the first large-scale brewery in Cabarrus County and Concord.

It has potential to brew 124,000 gallons of beer a year next to one of the largest antique malls in the Southeast.

Located in the historic Gibson Mill, the rustic charm offsets the industrial feel of the renovated 15,000-square-foot space. Throughout the brewery, reclaimed materials double as décor. The expansive, 20-foot ceilings house a taproom, a mezzanine and private event space.

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There also will be a patio, a full menu, live music and lots of promotional events and clubs that cater to adults with an active lifestyle: running, biking, yoga.

If all brews according to plan, patrons will be able to choose from six draught beers that honor the area’s history:

Cabarrus Cotton Blonde: American style cream ale, light bodied, crisp golden ale.

Reed’s Gold: American golden ale, medium bodied golden ale.

Red Hill Amber: A medium bodied, red ale.

Rocky River IPA: A medium bodied, copper colored ale.

Boll Weevil Brown: A classic English brown ale.

Mule Spinner Stout: A full bodied, oatmeal stout.

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Jason McKnight plans to ease consumers into drinking craft beer. He aims to provide a bridge from popular domestics to a locally made product. He’ll also host educational brew sessions and brewery tours.

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From left: Brewmaster Jason McKnight, Steve Steinbacher, Operations and Distribution Director Mark Thompson of the Cabarrus Brewing Company.

“Jason’s objective is to brew a broad selection of ales and lagers that will appeal to seasoned, craft beer drinkers and those new to the craft beer scene,” Steinbacher said.

Steinbacher sees the brewery as one that enhances the community and one that showcases the area’s racing, textile, mining and manufacturing roots.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Steinbacher moved to North Carolina when he was recruited to play as an offensive lineman for UNC Chapel Hill, where he met his wife, Erika. The two spent some time in Seattle but have lived in Concord for 21 years.

“Having not grown up here, I realized there was a lot of history, a lot of character and a lot of culture that I think a lot of people don’t realize,” Stenibacher said. “So, it’s cool to showcase that. Whatever business we can partner with to showcase what comes from this community, we’ll do it.”

Cabarrus Brewing Co. is working with the Historic Cabarrus Association. Its beer will be on tap at Kannapolis Intimidators games and it’s looking to partner with The Speedway Club and S&D Coffee and Tea. There are plans to create some sort of nitrogenated coffee drink as well as possibly serve hard cider, kombucha and wine on tap.

“Maybe we could even make some sort of Sundrop Shandy,” Stenbacher said.

High Branch Brewing Co also operates a 1,400-square-foot brewery inside Gibson Mill while Redemption Brew Works crafts non-alcoholic Ginger Beer and a Lemongrass Brew in Concord.

Photos: Lukas Johnson

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