Posted by Dave on October 1st, 2011 | Comments Off
Here are some of the biggest North Carolina Beer stories to hit the net in September. We’re going to start off with the news that a Colorado brewery is eying Asheville as a possible location for an East coast brewery:
ASHEVILLE ON SHORT LIST FOR NEW BELGIUM
New Belgium Brewing Co. is considering opening a new brewery in Asheville, N.C.
Bryan Simpson, media relations director at New Belgium, said the brewer has narrowed its search for a new brewery on the East Coast to four cities, and Asheville is on the short list. Simpson declined to reveal the other three cities under consideration.
The Fort Collins brewery, known for such beers as Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat, has been exploring locations for a second brewery this year.
New Belgium sent a team to Asheville to talk with city officials, and Simpson said they received a warm welcome.
He said Asheville made the cut because of its central location on the East Coast, providing an easy jumping off point for distribution along the eastern seaboard that New Belgium is eyeing for expansion.
In addition to the prime location, Simpson said the city provides access to a high-quality water supply and a savvy beer drinking population.
“At this point, it’s on the short list; a few others are on the list,” Simpson said. “It’s not a decision we make lightly. … This is a big chapter for us to open a new brewery.”
Earlier this year, New Belgium expanded its distribution into Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, making New Belgium’s beers available in 28 states plus the District of Columbia.
The brewery hopes to have a final decision on where it will open the new brewery by the end of the year.
NC BEER IS BIG NEWS
The News and Observer points out what we already know: North Carolina Breweries are seeing growth. There are about 49 breweries and brewpubs in North Carolina – a number that has been quickly growing, said Anna Lockhart, executive director of the N.C. Brewers Guild.
“In the Southeast, we’re really ahead of the curve,” Lockhart said. “Our craft brewing industry got a late start compared to states like Oregon and California. Even though we’ve come onto the scene a little bit later, in the next 10 to 15 years or so we’ll catch up.”
Most of the state’s breweries and brewpubs are concentrated around Asheville and the Triangle, where there are more than a dozen.
The LoneRider Brewing Company in Raleigh started more than two years ago with a dream and a plan.
Now, the small microbrewery is a success story, churning out three core beers, including Shotgun Betty and the award-winning Sweet Josey Brown.
“We were home brewers and beer geeks,” founder Sumit Vohra said of he and his two business partners.
The three combined their passion for microbrews and a booming craft beer market in North Carolina.
“Just in the first six months of the year, the revenue is up 15 percent,” Vohra said.
The LoneRider Brewing Company was one of 25 small businesses from across the state recognized as one of 25 “Companies to Watch” by the Council for Entrepreneurial Development during a ceremony at the American Tobacco campus in Durham on Wednesday. The CED recognized businesses with between 10 and 100 employees.
NATTY GREENE’S CONTRIBUTES TO GREENSBORO ECONOMYNatty co-owner gets nod from DGI for improvements to Greensboro.
DGI named Chris Lester, co-owner of Natty Greene’s, as the 2011 Jim Roach Downtown Person of the Year for his work promoting South Elm Street, where Natty Greene’s is located.
Lester is in Denver for the Great American Beer Festival, and Daniel Craft accepted on his behalf. Craft, president of Craft Insurance Center, and John Lomax, president of Lomax Construction, took the initiative to remodel the building at 345 S. Elm St. that now houses Natty Greene’s.
Craft noted that the stretch of South Elm Street from the 200 block to the 800 block contains a wealth of historic buildings, but unfortunately some are poorly maintained.
“It’s a shame that we don’t care more about that core street,” Craft said.
MOTHER EARTH NAME CONTROVERSY
Another story has surfaced, this time from WITN: VIDEO
A popular Kinston brewery says it won’t have to change its name, even though it lost a trademark dispute with another closely-named brewery on the other side of the country.
The owners of Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston aren’t saying much about last month’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision which dismissed its trademark invalidation case against Mother Earth Brew of Vista, California. The California company says it can now ask Mother Earth Brewing to stop using the name. Both are microbreweries.
Daniel Love, from the Mother Earth in California, tells WITN News that he trademarked his name 30 days before the Kinston Mother Earth did so in 2009. Love says the trademark case was dismissed on August 22nd “with prejudice”, according to Love that means the Kinston company cannot appeal.
When contacted Monday, Trent Morgan in Kinston said he couldn’t speak with us about legal matters.
© 2013 Craft Beer Collective / Away Team Media