CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In an area known for banks, barbecue and burning rubber, there's a big push to brew beer in Charlotte.
Craft, micro-breweries and brew pubs are making a splash. There are five up and running, and two in the works including Jason Alexander's Free Range Brewing.
"Making beer in a neighborhood is fairly tricky with the antiquated zoning regulations the city has right now,” said Jason Alexander of Free Range Brewing.
Brewers told city leaders they need barley, hops and fewer regulatory roadblocks to become successful. Heist Brewery in NoDa struggled to get approval.
"They didn't want to have a manufacturing or a business considered manufacturing, my brew house, attached to retail space. So I had to go through a lot of red tape to get that to happen,” said Curt Hogan of Heist Brewery.
Tuesday night brewers brainstormed ways around those regulations.
"It's our lives. It's our livelihoods, our careers,” said Hogan. “So, it's important to show our faces."
North Carolina ranks 28th in the number of breweries per capita; the hope from local brewers is that one day Charlotte will join the ranks of Milwaukee and St. Louis as bastions of beer.
“We're trying to grow the industry, because it is booming here and it's important to help businesses grow and stimulate the economy,” Hogan said. “It's proven to be a very effective industry in other cities, so hopefully Charlotte can recognize that.”