A new brewery called Town Brewing opens this summer off Charlotte’s quickly developing West Morehead Street, right behind Rhino Market and about a five minute drive from uptown.
Longtime friends and attorneys George Sistrunk, Allen West, Mark Kutny and Richard Morton – who all used to brew beer in their garages before starting to plan their own brewery about six years ago — are developing the project.
Doerre Construction is handling the renovation that’s underway at 800 Grandin Road, a 10,600 square-foot building formerly occupied by an industrial equipment supplier called Lubromation Inc. Work on the building, which will include roll-up garage doors that lead to an expansive outdoor patio, is expected to wrap up in June.
In addition to a rotating and fixed selection of sours, lager, stouts and other craft beers, Town will have a full-service kitchen serving small-plate dishes.
Town owners acknowledge that Charlotte’s experienced a brewery boom of sorts in recent years – a trend some may even consider “brewery fatigue,” West said.
Several new craft-beer makers are slated to open in coming months around the city.
The maker of Victory and Southern Tier will open its first local facility in the renovated Bowers Fiber building in South End, for instance. Legion Brewing recently announced plans to open a location in SouthPark. Divine Barrel Brewing opens in NoDa in March.
Still, Charlotte’s probably far from having “too many breweries.”
Forbes ranked Asheville, with 26 breweries and a population of 89,000, No. 1 in the country for breweries per capita in a 2016 ranking. If Charlotte, which has a population about 10 times that of Asheville, had that same saturation, there would be about 260 breweries here. There are currently around 30 in the Charlotte metro.
In an interview with the Observer this week, Sistrunk and West described Charlotte’s craft beer scene as a tight-knit community of small business owners that offers more than just booze. Breweries, West said, have become hangout spots for families, yoga, corporate events and run clubs.
“We love how breweries have developed into getaway spots and not just bars,” Sistrunk said.
The stretch of West Morehead where Town is opening is a rapidly changing area dubbed FreeMoreWest, a neighborhood with industrial roots, stout brick buildings and old manufacturing facilities. Town owners say the brewery’s name is meant to evoke a sense of neighborhood
Matt Browder of Browder Group Real Estate bought the Town property for $1.17 million last May, property records show. Browder also owns the property where Rhino Market and The Burger Co. sit nearby. Town will be the neighborhood’s first brewery, and West said the three adjacent businesses will have a nice “synergy” once Town opens this summer.