Charlotte’s far from “peak-brewery” – despite the fact that taprooms and warehouses-turned-craft-beer production facilities are turning up left and right around the city.
Enter Artisanal Brewing Ventures, maker of Victory and Southern Tier, which broke ground Wednesday on its 28,000 square-foot brewery and taproom in the old Bowers Fiber facility near Olde Mecklenburg Brewing.
In a fact sheet distributed by the joint venture, establishing a major new production facility here is aimed at “solidifying Charlotte as a regional destination for the craft beer industry.”
Charlotte’s come a long way since Olde Meck opened as Charlotte’s first brewery in 2009 – there are now almost 30 breweries operating throughout the metro area.
Bill Covaleski, co-founder of Victory Brewing Company, notes that Charlotte is a city of transplants, many of whom are already familiar with the two east coast brewers: Southern Tier, maker of beers like Pumpking Imperial Ale, is based in Lakewood, New York, while Victory, known for Golden Monkey Ale, is based in Downington, Pa., near Philadelphia.
The newcomer brands will complement the craft beer already available in Charlotte, he says.
“I think we can help elevate, to some extent (Charlotte’s craft-beer scene), with our reputation, with the investments we’ve put in in terms of technology, with the beer we’re going to produce. I have found, in my 26 years of brewing, that breweries tend to push one another to more successes,” Covaleski said.
With a capacity for nearly 700 people, the Charlotte facility will include a production brewhouse, tasting room, patio with a skyline view, a beer garden and ABV’s corporate offices. It will brew Charlotte-specific beers that’ll only be available here and in surrounding markets.
The plan is to open the facility in March 2018.
Covaleski notes that craft accounts for about 14 percent of all beer consumed nationwide – a sign that there’s opportunity to grow market share, especially when you consider “crazy markets like Portland, where it’s a 38 percent share,” he adds.
“That tells me there is additional room for growth here, especially when you look at the migration of people into Charlotte,” Covaleski says. “We are happy to be part of this brewing community.”