CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte is known for quite a few things, among them banking and NASCAR.
What about beer? If the trend continues, maybe we’ll add that to the list.
The latest brewery to set up shop in the Queen City is on the edge of Charlotte’s South End neighborhood.
“We’re a couple of blocks from the light rail station,” one of the owners, Chris Harker, said.
In a few months, a building that most recently housed a furniture outlet will become Harker’s pride and joy.
“The area where we’re standing in is going to be the actual brewery. This is our loading dock entrance,” Harker said pointing to a floor plan.
Triple C Brewing Company will have a large tap room and offices inside.
“Hopefully, I’ll get one with a window,” Harker joked.
Outside, there’ll be a patio to enjoy the fine Carolina weather. And behind the building, Harker sees opportunities for live music and a place to grow the brewery’s own hops.
“We’ve got the room and I think it would kind of set us apart a little bit,” he said.
Harker thought about opening a barbecue restaurant. But when you hear his and the other owners’ experience, this venture made sense.
“I’ve home-brewed for a number of years now and so have my partners,” said Harker. “Triple C name comes from Chris, Chris and Christina. Chris and Christina are married friends of mine and we’ve all been home brewing for a few years now and one night in their kitchen we said, why don’t we do this for a living?”
The three will get help from a professional.
“I don’t feel comfortable making the beer myself. We just hired a professional brewer who is getting ready to move to Charlotte,” he said.
The brewer is coming from Colorado where he’s worked with other breweries, but Harker joked he’ll still have a say.
“I’m definitely going to have input on it. Definitely been drinking beer for a while,” he laughed. “We’ll be self distributing to local bars and restaurants.”
Already, the group has come up with the name of the first brew.
“It’s the Light Rail Pale Ale,” Harker said. His mother painted art for the label. The name, obviously, is an ode to the brewery’s location. It’s in an area where new apartment complexes are popping up.Those could be built in customers. “We’re excited about the location.”
He’s also excited about what’s happening all across Charlotte. By our count, there are five other breweries. Harper hopes to collaborate to set up brewery tours and other ventures.
“We’re really hoping that with the addition of this brewery and some of the other new ones in town, Charlotte will become a beer drinking destination for people,” he explained, pointing out folks who travel to Asheville just to hop from brewery to brewery there.
Right now, some demolition is underway in the building that will house Triple C. Harker hopes construction will begin in the next couple of weeks with an opening date now set for early summer.
“We’re really hoping people will come spend more than a couple beers with us,” he said with a smile.
Look for Triple C to be dog friendly as well. Harker’s labradoodle, Maggie, is hanging out there now.
“We have this huge outdoor area, so we hope people will bring their dogs with them,” he said.