Olde Mecklenburg opens new location, challenges craft brew laws

By: Blake Hanson


Olde Mecklenburg Brewery held a grand opening for its new $8 million facility on Yancey Road in South End.
Its managers ' goal is to keep up with a rise in demand for craft beer but said obstacles are still in the way.
North Carolina law sets a 25,000-barrel self-distribution limit for breweries and if a brewery makes more than that, it has to pair with a distributor.
Craft breweries said part of the art of the industry is setting the grounds for how the beer is transported and sold.
"It's sort of incredible that there is a law on the books that says if your business grows, you must immediately do business with another private company," said Ryan Self of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. "It's the strangest government regulation."
Self said the new Olde Mecklenburg location could produce 100,000 barrels a year, but can’t because of the restrictions.

Eyewitness News reached out to several organizations that represent distributors nationally and locally.
The organizations have typically supported the cap.
North Carolina Beer and Wholesalers Association Executive Director Tim Kent couldn’t discuss it at the moment but released a statement saying "Congratulations to Olde Mecklenburg on today's grand opening."

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