Dozens of new breweries have opened in Charlotte over the past few years. 10 more plan to open within the next 6 months. I’ve noticed that each new brewery opening, for a variety of reasons, prompts a great deal of handwringing.
How predictable, some say.
Charlotte has too many breweries, others grumble.
This is getting monotonous, I’ve heard.
The other day, the Agenda shared news about Charlotte’s newest brewery, Sunstead, opening near Bank of America Stadium. I tweeted about how surprised I was to hear so much complaining about Charlotte’s brewery boom.
I should have been clearer about my use of the word “surprise.”
I understand why some people may roll their eyes at the prospect of more breweries: More investment in rich neighborhoods like South End. Breweries are by no means the only kind of small business growth that the city should be encouraging. To suggest as much would be short-sighted.
What I meant by “surprise” was: People say all the time that Charlotte doesn’t have much of a personality. Many complain about the surge of national chains moving in — as well as the fact that the city doesn’t always do a great job of preserving its history.
Breweries are actually the ones often rehabilitating old buildings — giving new life to dilapidated places like auto-body shops and aging warehouses. Town Brewing opened in an old building once home to an industrial equipment supplier called Lubromation Inc. in 2018, for instance. Heist opened in a former textile mill in 2012.