Charlotte’s largest craft beer maker, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, pulled out of its $130,000 investment in Greensboro, NC only one year after expanding into the Triad market.
OMB cites the reason for the retreat is North Carolina’s barrel cap on craft beer breweries: Once a brewery makes 25,000 barrels of beer in a year, it must turn over distribution to a third party. The brewery is opposed to the NC law, and has committed to staying under the 24,999 annual barrel limit, even though its brewery could potentially produce 100,000 barrels per year.
OMB’s founder stated they would preemptively pull out of Greensboro in order to avoid underserving its home market of Charlotte. “Every drop counts. It’s one of those laws of unintended consequences,” he adds. “It takes OMB from something that is growing every year as an employment and tax creator and puts us in a holding pattern.”
Demand for OMB’s beers continues to grow, but the current production cap limits the brewery’s ability to release additional varieties and seasonal brews.
Original article ran in the Charlotte Business Journal.
Additional details on current opposition to NC’s production limit can be found at CharlotteBeer.com.
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