2 breweries open near Lake Norman

The Lake Norman area received a couple of belated Christmas gifts as it recently welcomed two new breweries to the area. Primal Brewery, at 16432 Old Statesville Road, in Huntersville, opened its doors the day after Christmas; Bayne Brewing, a few miles away at 19507 W. Catawba Ave. in Cornelius, did the same the very next day.

Primal Brewery set up shop not in an industrial area – as is so common among breweries, due primarily to less expensive rent and/or zoning requirements – but in a small building that more resembles a house than a place where beer is made.

Beneath five hanging lights runs the semi-circle of a bar, covered in long slats of reclaimed wood. And behind that bar are a dozen taps through which they will rotate a variety of beers.

Though managing partners Ray Steimel and David Hoy are wont to name a flagship, they do expect to frequently have on tap their Lawn Boy, an American adjunct lager, and Obsidian, a black lager.

Both Primal and Bayne are nanobreweries, which brew in batches that are usually smaller than three barrels (or 93 gallons). Primal Brewery will be brewing on a three-barrel brewery, though they are operating on a one-barrel system while awaiting parts.

Brothers Sean and Chris Bayne are brewing on a two-barrel system that is visible behind the bar. Their small taproom and brewery is in a strip of businesses marked by alternating pastel-colored facades. Venture past the purple and into Bayne’s space and you will find a clean and simple taproom with olive walls and a beautiful, L-shaped wooden bar.

The Bayne brothers opened with a hefeweizen, pale ale, IPA, rye IPA, brown ale, stout and coffee porter (with the latter being my favorite of the evening). On deck are a Winter Ale, Irish Red and Maple Wheat.

Bayne Brewing is open 4-10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2-10 p.m. Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. Sundays. Primal Brewery is only open noon-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through January, but plans to expand its hours later.