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N.C. beer industry overflowing despite bad economy

Posted June 19, 2009

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— The economy has been tough on many businesses, but one North Carolina industry’s cup is overflowing – the beer industry. New breweries are opening, and more are on the way in the state.

In his spare time from his job at Cisco, Steve Kramling and two partners pulled together equipment and created Lonerider Brewing Company in a Raleigh warehouse.

“We are living the dream,” Kramling said.

Beer N.C. beer industry overflowing

Lonerider Brewing Company opened in January, despite the bitter economy. It is one of a handful of new Triangle breweries to open in the past couple years.

While consumers may hold back on other purchases, Kramling says his beer, Shotgun Betty, is moving and the company is growing.

“We have had some success here even in the hardest of times,” he said.

Sean Lilly Wilson said he hopes to add his own flavor to the Triangle beer scene with his unique Southern tastes.

“We think there is an opportunity to create a beer that goes with barbecue,” he said.

Wilson’s brewery, Fullsteam, should open at the end of the year. Fours years ago, he helped lead a charge to lift a state cap on alcohol content allowed in craft beers – from 6 percent to 15 percent. Wilson says relaxed laws have helped to encourage the recent growth in the Triangle.

“Craft beer is an affordable luxury,” he said.

To drum up business, many local breweries have free tastings and tours.


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  • Alert5 Jun 22, 2009

    Requires further testing............

  • Timbo Jun 22, 2009

    Beer brewing overflowing, baptists losing members.


  • SME2 Jun 22, 2009

    mmmm barbeque and beer...good enough reason to move to NC!

  • PaulRevere Jun 22, 2009

    People drink more when the economy is bad. Also, donut places report higher sales during recessions as well!

  • canesnut Jun 22, 2009

    Buy local beer and other locally produced products!

  • ncwebguy Jun 22, 2009

    Beer already is taxed, but don't let that stop you from making a fool of yourself. People like *good* beer, not the mass-produced swill that was the only option before the silly 6% cap was popped.

    It is sad there hasn't been a story on how "the children" have NOT been adversely affected by the higher limit, or how stronger malt liquors have NOT destroyed certain communities.

    I've supported the local breweries for a while -- Carolina Brewery in Holly Springs, Big Boss in Raleigh, even Greenshields before they moved to near Preston and failed miserably.

    I hope this new wave does well, including the two mentioned in the article and the new brewpub near the Boylan Bridge west of downtown Raleigh.

  • MakoII Jun 22, 2009

    Aviator Brewery in Fuquay-Varina is AWESOME!!!

  • gingerlynn Jun 22, 2009

    Duh, people are drowning their miseries.

  • Eduardo1 Jun 22, 2009

    OVERFLOWING, hey Bev, you are missing the boat TAX- TAX - TAX- TAX