Fall/Winter 2016

Great Growth

New Breweries & Notable Expansions

by Jason Boys and Sam Rozzi • September 1, 2016



Since the last issue of Gravity last spring, the already brewery-booming Queen City has gone bonkers with new breweries, distilleries and several notable expansions.  But we aren’t complaining!  Here’s a handy rundown of what’s new, and what’s to come.


New openings-Breweries


Blue Blaze Brewing Co.

Opened in Summer 2016

528 S. Turner Ave • Charlotte

Even though the revitalization of Charlotte’s Historic West End is in the early stages, this brewery is blazing a path for new businesses and up-and-coming neighborhoods.  The brewhouse sits at the end of the 100-year-old Savona Mill redevelopment project.  Co-founders and longtime friends Craig Nunn and Sven Giersmann were looking for a space that would allow them to expand, while also representing their love of the outdoors.  The taphouse itself feels like you’ve just stepped off the Appalachian Trail: There’s reclaimed wood everywhere and lots of windows.  The brewery is conveniently located next to the Stewart Creek Greenway, which leads to Frazier Park..


The brewery’s five flagship beers, crafted by master brewer Steve Turner, are named after the different trail markings.  These approachable beers range from the Yellow Blazer Kölsch to a creamy Black Blaze milk stout.  Music is also important at Blue Blaze.  Nunn and Giersmann’s love of homebrewing often led to nights on the front porch playing music and enjoying beer.  They intentionally tried to recreate those moments by offering musical instruments to play and a row of rocking chairs outside.  On any given night, you might find a few artists jamming together outside the taproom.


Thirsty Nomad Brewing Co.

Opened in Summer 2016

4402 Stuart Andrew Blvd., Suite A • Charlotte

 Thirsty Nomad might be one of the most unique breweries to join the ranks of new additions to hit Charlotte … and we’re not just talking about the beer they brew.  Located off Stuart Andrew Boulevard, the brewery is nestled in a little business park a short drive from Sugar Creek and OMB, adding to that area of great breweries.  Walk in the door at Thirsty Nomad, and you immediately pick up on the steampunk vibe, complete with eclectic décor. The beer is as distinct as the taproom.  Expect the usual suspects, such as the Seeker IPA, the Noble Saison, a Valkyrie Chocolate Sweet Stout and the Femme Fatale Brown … but watch for their launch of new beers on Sundays.


The 1,000-square-feet brewhouse features a 3-barrel system, and president, founder and brewer Brad Ledbetter hopes to produce as many inventive styles as possible.  Beyond that, the goal at Thirsty Nomad is to bring life to the beers, literally. Each beer has a persona. Ledbetter wants these beers not only to portray a style, but to eventually make each beer part of a larger game. Instead of bottle caps or markings on a board, the owners want to hand out trading cards with each beer’s statistics, evolving into a collectible game … because who really wants to save a stack of stickers when you can have a one-of-a-kind trading card collection!


Ghostface Brewing

Opened in Spring 2016

427 E. Statesville Ave. • Mooresville

A stone’s throw from downtown Mooresville, Ghostface Brewing shares space with Davidson Pizza Co.  After 11 years of homebrewing, Mike Cuddy aims to brew beer for all different palates.  With up to 20 taps, there will be a style for everyone, including gluten-reduced beers and even mead.


The DreamChaser’s Brewery

Opened in Spring 2016

115 East North Main St. • Waxhaw

Despite several setbacks, Neil and Anita Gimon finally opened a beautiful taproom in the heart of historic downtown Waxhaw, in a former firehouse station.  Many of the American Style beers are based on Gimon’s 20 years of homebrewing experience. Head brewer Skyler Lachenmayr also has been hired to add his award-winning talents to the brewery.


Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Co.

Opening in Fall 2016

7285 Westwinds Blvd. • Concord

Located in a business park near Concord Regional Airport, Twenty-Six Acres will open its doors to a 15-barrel, 8,800-square-foot brewhouse in September.  The brewery was born from a collaboration of three friends who are longtime homebrewers: Joel Padgett, Wes Ports and Eric Troutman.  Troutman will be the head brewer and plans a wide variety of styles, including his famous Oatmeal Stout.  And here’s an interesting historical fact: The name Twenty-Six Acres comes from the compromise between the Germans and Scots-Irish settlements in the late 1700s, when they founded the city of Concord on a 26-acre site.


York Chester Brewing Co.

Opening in Fall 2016

1500 River Drive, Suite 250 • Belmont

Like many, York Chester Brewing Co. started out as a homebrewing operation. The goal is to bring craft brewed beer to the city of Belmont, using locally grown ingredients.  York Chester Brewing is taking over the space formerly owned by the Rivermen Brewing Co.




New openings-Distilleries

Dragon Moonshine Company

Opened in Summer 2016

516 E. 15th St., Suite 14B • Charlotte

 The company’s Silver Rum is now available in select ABC stores.


Seven Jars Distillery

Opening in Fall 2016

6148-A Brookshire Blvd. • Charlotte

Visit the website to schedule a tour.





Expansions & Relocations


Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

Re-opening in Fall 2016

3000 S. Tryon St. • Charlotte

Lenny Boy has called Charlotte home since 2012, starting with kombucha, then adding a microbrewery in 2013.  The new location at 3000 S. Tryon St. is coming in at 31,000 square feet, which dwarfs the old 5,000-square-feet spot.  The sheer size of the taproom gives Lenny Boy the ability to accommodate a lot more people and events with, of course, more beer. They’ll have 24 taps for their assorted brews, ranging from kombucha and wild beers to more traditional styles. The brewhouse has expanded from a 3.5-barrel system, which they’ll keep for small batches, to a 10-barrel system (previously owned by Birdsong Brewing).  If that doesn’t excite you, they’ll also be adding a 20-barrel foeder to help take their sour beers to a whole new level.  The new location sports an enormous parking lot, which is becoming somewhat of a rarity in Charlotte. With approximately 85 parking spots, Lenny Boy can now host plenty of food trucks, live music and other events. Owner Townes Mozer wants the brewery to be a cultural center for the local community.


New Sarum Brewing Co.

Opened in Spring 2016

109 North Lee St. • Salisbury

Tucked away in a wonderful old building in the heart of Salisbury, N.C., you’ll find New Sarum Brewing. For the first few years, New Sarum was on a very small-scale system and only distributed to a handful of local restaurants.  You might not want to call them small anymore … they’re now on a massive 30-barrel system. New Sarum cans also are hitting the market with a handful of options, ranging from the 142 Blond Ale (brewed with Southern grits) to the Robust Porter.  One of their best-sellers, the Blood Orange Wheat, is sometimes hard to find on the shelves.  Brewmaster Andy Maben aims to combine old favorites with new styles using modern ingredients … resulting in a unique blend of bold flavors.


Rivermen Brewing and Cafe

Re-opening in Fall 2016

52 Ervin St. • Belmont

 Downtown Belmont now has its own brewery.  Pat Brennan moved his brewery from its previous small location outside of Belmont to a brick warehouse complex in downtown Belmont.  The brewery will include a 10-barrel production system and serve up to 24 taps. Alex Shoenthal is taking over the head brewer duties, and plans to offer a variety of styles. Expect LOTS of IPA variations! Rivermen’s restaurant will share space with the brewery and will be run by executive chef Cassie Parsons.  The menu will emphasize local ingredients with an international twist.


Southern Grace Distilleries

Re-opening in Fall 2016

130 Dutch Road • Mt. Pleasant, NC

 Makers of the award-winning Sun Dog 130 plan to move into a truly one-of-a-kind location, the former Cabarrus Correctional Facility.  Their new home will be over 20,000 square feet, including a 1,500-square-foot visitors’ center.  Public tours begin in October and can be booked at Southerngracedistilleries.com.


Full Spectrum Brewing

Re-opening in Fall 2016

2180 Carolina Place Dr., Suite 101 • Fort Mill

 In just one short year after opening, Full Spectrum is expanding from a one-barrel system to a 30-barrel system.  Their taproom and brewery space is just down the street from their original location, and is growing from 1,700 square feet to 6,000 square feet.


Barking Duck Brewery Co.

Re-opened in Summer 2016

4400 Morris Park Dr.

Mint Hill

 Barking Duck moved to their new space during the summer. They now have 12 taps, and the taproom/brewery space is over 4,000 square feet. The brewery hopes to upgrade to a 3 or 5 barrel system in the near future.


Coming Soon

Cavendish Brewing Co.

Coming in Winter 2017

207 N. Chester St. • Gastonia

Scott Cavendish plans to open a 16-barrel brewhouse in Gastonia later this winter.


GoodRoad CiderWorks

Coming at the end of 2016

117 Southside Dr. • Charlotte

Brian Beauchemin and Kevin Martin are aspiring to bring artisan ciders and small batch meads to South End by the end of 2016.


Bold Missy Brewery

Coming at the end of 2016

610 Anderson St. • Charlotte

Owner, founder and head keg washer Carol Waggener plans to open her 15-barrel brewhouse and patio by the end of 2016 in the NoDa area, right near the Sugar Creek light rail station.


The Commoners Brewing Co.

Coming at the end of 2016

1048 Copperfield Blvd. NE, Suite 101 • Concord

Jonathan Woodward, Marty Jackson and Thomas Murry plan to open by the end of 2016.


Temple Mojo, Carolina Beer Temple and Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar

Coming in Summer 2017

Rob Jacik, the founder of Carolina Beer Temple, has announced plans to open a new bar and growler shop called Temple Mojo in Matthews, as well as a second Carolina Beer Temple location in Ayrsley. He is also bringing another restaurant to Matthews called Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar. It will boast 24 taps, and 1,200 bottles of wine.  He hopes to add Matthews’ first local microbrewery inside Seaboard by the summer of 2017.







Photo by Eric Gaddy

Photo by Wendy Raymond

Photo by Sam Rozzi

Photo by Scott Stockton

Photo by Michael A. Anderson

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