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'It's like a new beginning' | Cornelius brewery grateful for the chance to celebrate 1st anniversary

Lost Worlds Brewing got creative to stay afloat and will keep many of those initiatives in place going forward.

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Imagine opening a business, and a brewery at that, just as the world was shutting down.

Lost Worlds Brewing in Cornelius is celebrating its one-year anniversary after surviving an incredibly uncertain year.

They literally opened and then closed. They had to get very creative to keep the beer taps flowing, and now they’re celebrating.

It’s an unusual problem. Lost Worlds Brewing in Cornelius is trying to figure out when to celebrate its first anniversary because they were forced to close not long after they opened.

"It's really hard to put an exact date to it. This last year was not at all like we planned," owner Dave Hamme said.

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The brewery is designed around an adventure theme but COVID-19 was not the adventure they’d planned for.

"The big change was we had to focus on safety," Hamme said.

They also focused on keeping all of their staff employed. No one was laid off and despite everything, they managed to turn a small profit.

"Our goal was to be break-even this year and I’m happy to report we have a little bit of profit, to me that’s a success," Hamme said. 

They made it happen by getting creative.

"We had a large beer garden so we could do outdoor things, run club, yoga, cardio dance class," Hamme explained.

All things they plan to keep doing.

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They’ve also been strategic in forming community partnerships, they actually work with the Carolina Raptor Center who made a special beer for them that will be sold at the center and the brewery

"This first year was kind of hanging on," Hamme said. "You’re in white water rapids and getting bounced around. And we’re in smoother water so we can start doing things we wanted to do early on that we couldn’t so we're ecstatic."

Ecstatic to finally start the business plan they’d hoped to start last year.

"It's like a new beginning, it’s a completely new beginning. We've survived now we can begin to prosper and thrive," he said. 

 Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

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