What's In Store

New brewery targets spring opening in a bustling part of Plaza Midwood

Rachael Cardwell at Pilot Brewing’s spot at 1331 Central Ave.
Rachael Cardwell at Pilot Brewing’s spot at 1331 Central Ave. Courtesy of Rachael Cardwell

A new brewery is planning to open in spring 2018 on a busy, quickly changing strip of Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood.

Pilot Brewing Co. will open a 1,900 square-foot brewery and tap room at the new One305 Central apartment development at 1331 Central Ave., across the street from Midwood Smokehouse. It’s less than a block from the Thirsty Beaver, a quirky dive bar that’s surrounded by hundreds of apartments under construction.

The new brewery is owned by a husband-and-wife duo, Jeff Hudson and Rachael Cardwell, who are renovating the building to create an open and casual space in which customers can sit at the bar and watch the brewing, Cardwell said. Pilot’s space will also open up to a small patio that will be dog-friendly, she added.

“PBC will offer a sociable tasting room; a comfortable, casual bar and meeting place where friends can come to enjoy a pint together, watch local music, and engage in friendly social interaction in an actual brewery setting,” Cardwell wrote in an email to the Observer.

Pilot Brewing Final - CHARLOTTE, NC Circle
Pilot Brewing’s logo Courtesy of Rachael Cardwell

Cardwell last month left a job at NoDa Brewing Company to focus on Pilot – the name of which is a nod to Hudson’s job as a pilot.

The Pilot name is also meant to reflect the brewery’s style, Cardwell said. Pilot will focus on small-batch, experimental brewing using locally sourced ingredients. Every beer recipe is different, Cardwell said, and Pilot won’t have any year-round or “flagship” beers like most breweries.

Pilot’s beer will be sold on-site only at first, and the brewery won’t distribute to other vendors, she added.

One305 Central, backing up to the train tracks that cut across Central Avenue, is a $50 million project that includes 281 new apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail space.