Goldsboro set to welcome its first breweries
Posted October 3, 2019 11:45 a.m. EDT
Updated October 4, 2019 11:26 p.m. EDT
Goldsboro, N.C. — Prying old boards off the walls and sledge hammering the rest: That's what life has been like for Tom Anderson since he bought a building that's been sitting empty for more than 30 years in downtown Goldsboro.
"To see this building come back to life, folks around here are very glad it wasn't torn down," Anderson said.
Anderson bought the building that once was home to the popular Le Carousel Restaurant in May. It will be the future home to one of Goldsboro's first microbreweries.
"There's been so much growth that's taken place in the last couple of years, and this is just going to be something that sky rockets the town even further," said Rosanna Anderson, Tom's wife and co-owner of Anderson Brewing.
She plans to open a bakery in the same building which will use hops not used in the beer.
The new business plan is made possible because of changing times in the city. Goldsboro's zoning laws have long prevented breweries in the downtown area, but the city council voted to amend the unified development ordinance on July 15. That paved the way for entrepreneurs to start planning and the city to look for feedback. Goldsboro had a public hearing in September and will hold a final vote on Monday. It is expected to pass.
"It will help mark a milestone in the revitalization of our downtown. I mean, this is something that the community has wanted and expected and now we are going to be able to deliver," said Julie Metz, Goldsboro's director of downtown development.
Zak Fein is the co-owner of Goldsboro Brew Works which has been a popular place to grab a beer in downtown Goldsboro since 2016. The hope was always to transition to brewing beer, but local law made that challenging.
"For me, just four years ago, if someone was going to talk about opening a brewery in Goldsboro, it would have sounded like some silly pipe dream," said Mitchell Kohne, co-owner of Goldsboro Brew Works.
It's now looking more like a reality. Goldsboro Brew Works bought an old gas station which has been sitting vacant for several years with plans to turn it into a brewery.
The idea is to create a tap room, an outdoor beer garden and a place for live bands to play. It could be a destination stop for beer lovers who are traveling from the Triangle to the coast.
"Breweries give people from out of town a reason to come by and, you know, put us on the map a little bit more," said Fein.
Goldsboro could be the latest city in North Carolina to cash in on a booming economic opportunity. Craft brewing contributed almost $80 million to the U.S. economy last year according to an annual report.
"Based on our data, there's a large market to be had," said Scott Satterfield, Goldsboro's business and property development specialist.
City officials said they have had next to no objection to the breweries coming to town. In the final public forum, not a single person spoke out against the proposed law.