Middle James Brewing is now open in Pineville with 200 seats, TVs, elevated bar food and eight original brews on tap — eventually they’ll have a beer garden.
The concept comes from home brewer Mike Smoak and professional Andrew Viapiano, a duo who met while working at one of Charlotte’s biggest breweries and wanted to do something more sports-focused.
“We wanted to be a heavy on sports type of brewery,” Mike told the Agenda. “You can go to try to watch a game at a brewery, but they might not be playing the game you want. We knew we couldn’t be the only ones who felt this way.”
The doors officially open at 11 a.m. Friday, August 23.
Background: Mike won a home brew competition which landed him the opportunity to make his beer at a local brewery where Andrew was working at the time; and Andrew got his start as a professional brewer five years ago with an internship at Triple C. The two became fast friends and wanted to do something of their own.
Beer: They have eight original beers on tap, including a pale ale, lager, two Hefeweizens, two IPAs and a red ale. They also have three ciders, two from Red Clay Ciderworks and one from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Red and white wine and rosé is also available.
Food: The menu has salads, handhelds, shareables and kids’ items priced under $15. Mike said the aim is to deliver upscale bar food that goes beyond the usual freezer-to-fryer technique.
Expect the Pulled Duck Totchos with tater tots, gruyere cheese, duck confit, kimchi mayo, green tomato mostarda ($13.50) and the Beef Krunch Wrap with slow braised beef, fried potatoes, cheddar cheese, fried corn tortilla, k-slaw and spicy ketchup on a flour tortilla ($14) to be very popular.
Here’s the full menu.
Layout: The main entrance is on the side of the building with the taproom around back; it holds around 220 people total with 18 bar seats, 160 seats at tables and 40 seats on the patio. The brewery is toward the front of the building, and there’s a roughly 800-square-foot event space upstairs that you can access from the brewery. TVs are all around, too.
The interior is beautiful with blue walls, natural wood tones and textures throughout and a concrete bar top. The tables were all made by Andrews dad.
Eventually they’ll add a massive beer garden, but for now they’ll tent the grassy area for special events/as needed. There’s no set timeline for this piece of the puzzle yet.
The location: The exact address is 400 N. Polk St., Pineville. They open at 11 a.m. daily. In the 90s the building was a club house for the Golf Village which has since downsized, but there’s still a par 3 and driving range.