What's In Store

Ahead of first anniversary, Sycamore announces expansion plans

Sycamore Brewery at 2161 Hawkins St. in South End.
Sycamore Brewery at 2161 Hawkins St. in South End. Google Maps

The owners of Sycamore Brewing in South End have purchased the property and plan to expand the production, capacity, taproom and beer garden just one year after opening.

Justin and Sarah Brigham opened the brewery at 2161 Hawkins St. in a space that once was an automotive garage. The building is 8,000 square feet and situated on a 1.6-acre lot behind Atherton Mill on the other side of the Lynx Blue Line.

The two are in the “very early stages” of planning the expansion, Sarah Brigham said. They are working with David Furman, the Charlotte architect behind some of the city’s most prominent projects including the Trademark condominiums uptown, to determine the feasibility of some of their goals.

One of those goals is adding on to the popular beer garden, which includes a stage and a picnic table area that leads out to a grassy area that’s become a cornhole hot spot among patrons, many of whom live in South End.

“It’s a young, dynamic and rapidly growing neighborhood. I think a huge percentage of our guests live in the neighborhood and walk or bike here,” Sarah Brigham said. “It has worked really well for us.”

Brigham added that Sycamore’s neighbors have been “really supportive,” and her team welcomes the additional retail developments coming into the neighborhood. Anthropologie, which sells home goods and women’s apparel, accessories and shoes, opened in Atherton Mill in September. Men’s clothing store Silverfly Sport opened on South Tryon in June. The popular French bakery Renaissance Patisserie, a longtime farmers market fixture, opened its first store on South Boulevard in May.

Over the past year, the brewery’s business has been good, Sarah Brigham said. Just four months after opening, Sycamore had to triple its cellaring capacity because it was running out of beer.

“We never anticipated that we would have to expand so quickly,” she said.

Sycamore’s expansion plans come in a time of growth for Charlotte’s craft-beer scene. NoDa Brewing Co. opened a second location on Thursday at 2921 N. Tryon St. Fortune magazine recently declared that Charlotte now contends with Asheville as the hub of craft brewing in North Carolina.

To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Sycamore will host a festival-like celebration from noon until 10 p.m. on Oct. 24 that includes live music, special releases of Sycamore beers and four food trucks.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta