• Charlotte brewers hit snag in expanding production

    By: Allison Latos


    Two Charlotte breweries are selling beer so fast they want to expand and hire more employees but NoDa and Birdsong breweries told Channel 9 they're facing big obstacles from the city.
    Anchor Allison Latos learned rules the city has been debating for years that could force the breweries to move if something doesn't change soon.
    Chris Goulet and Todd Ford are friendly competitors in Charlotte's craft beer industry.
    The two breweries are neighbors and their beers sell so quickly, they need to expand production.
    “We've grown 300 percent from 2012 to our projection for this year,” Goulet said.
    Ford said, “Now we're looking for somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 square feet.”
    They said finding property to brew more beer and offer patrons a place to sample is very challenging.
    Industrial zoning rules require taprooms be 400 feet from residential zones.
    Since 2011, Charlotte officials have been working on a new restaurants, bars and nightclubs ordinance that would cut the industrial zone distance rules to 100 feet.
    Two-and-a-half years later, nothing has happened with the ordinance.
    Birdsong leased the North Davidson Street location to expand but until City Council acts, it can't open a taproom at its location.
    They will have to rent two locations to sell from the tap to customers, as a result.

    “We'd be paying rents opposed to salaries,” Goulet said.
    Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy welcomes breweries to his town.
    In fact, the board recently updated rules to attract them.
    “We tried to adapt the codes so that we could be as receptive as possible to these entrepreneurs,” Gilroy said.
    Charlotte City Council won't decide where breweries can sell craft beer until late July, at the earliest.
    There is a public hearing on the bars, restaurants and nightclubs ordinance at Monday night's council meeting.

    Click here for the rezoning petition.

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