The established PA and NY breweries are opening a taproom and production facility in the increasingly crowded South Atlantic region.
The craft beer world has always been about following trends. From the '90s excitement surrounding Belgian Wits to the current obsession with double dry hopping, the industry tends to follow the innovator. But one of brewing's biggest trends in recent years isn't a style, it's a place... the South Atlantic region to be exact. An incredible number of breweries with national aspirations have opened or are opening breweries in North Carolina and Virginia. And two more, albeit as a collaboration, have just jumped into the mix: Pennsylvania's Victory Brewing and New York's Southern Tier Brewing.
Business opportunities have apparently been on the two breweries' minds as of late. Last year, Victory and Southern Tier – each respected and well-established craft beer institutions in their own right—joined forces to form Artisanal Brewery Ventures (ABV) to help them better compete in an increasingly crowded beer market. Now, about 18 months later, ABV has announced plans to open a jointly-operated innovation and production brewhouse in Charlotte, North Carolina. The brewery, which is expected to have enough capacity to churn out an additional 10,000 barrels a year (on top of the 234,000 barrels the two breweries already sold last year) with a focus on "new innovations specific to Charlotte and the Carolinas." Overall, the approximately 700-person capacity facility will feature "an expansive tasting room, a front patio with skyline view, indoor/outdoor private event space and a flexible beer garden," as well as a packaging line, a lab and ABV's new corporate offices.
The new taproom is scheduled to open in March 2018 in Charlotte's Lower South End on the corner of Yancey Road and Old Pineville Road. Beyond the regional specialties, the breweries promise to also serve established favorites and flagships like Victory's Prima Pils and Golden Monkey and Southern Tier's Pumking and Nu Skool IPA.
The South Atlantic region has been a hotbed for breweries looking to open additional locations. Colorado's Oskar Blues and New Belgium and California's Sierra Nevada, Stone and Green Flash are just some of the big names who have flocked to the area since 2012. It's reaching the point where you start to wonder if the area can sustain so many brewers. Is this all just a fad or is it here to stay? Well, do people still drink Belgian Wits? No, seriously... Do they?