• Taproom boom: Why several of Charlotte's best-known breweries are headed in new directions

    By: Jennifer Thomas, Charlotte Business Journal


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte’s experiencing a taproom boom as breweries continue to push to expand market share. A growing number of breweries are planning second — and even third and fourth taproom locations. And it’s likely more will follow suit.

    [ALSO READ: A guide to Charlotte-area breweries]

    “Charlotte is growing at an exponential pace, so why wait? Why not invest and continue to grow Charlotte,” says Phil Buchy, co-founder of Legion Brewing Co. “We’re far from saturated.”

    Legion started with a 15-barrel brewery and taproom in Plaza Midwood in 2015. Last year, it spent $3-plus million to add a taproom, restaurant and brewing facility in SouthPark.

    Next is a $9 million investment in two new taprooms and brewery locations in the upcoming year. 

    Further expansion is a necessity, Buchy says.

    “We’ve run out of beer,” he says. “We’re basically at the point, we can’t make another drop of beer here (at the Plaza Midwood brewery).”

    Legion joins a growing list of breweries looking to grow with additional taprooms. That list includes: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, D9 Brewing, Legal Remedy Brewing Co., Free Range Brewing, Suffolk Punch Brewing. The combined investment will total nearly $23 million, for those that have disclosed financial details.

    [ALSO READ: Inside Wooden Robot Brewery's new NoDa location]

    Others, such as NoDa Brewing Co. and Wooden Robot Brewery, have already opened their second facilities.

    Read this week’s CBJ cover story for an in-depth look at how the thirst for market share is driving many of Charlotte’s long-standing craft brewers into expansion mode. 

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