Follow the Beer to Neighborhood Development in Charlotte

The Charlotte Observer details how breweries act as “pioneer businesses” in certain areas of town, seeking buildings to renovate and reuse, and bringing neighborhood revitalization along for the ride.

Full article:


N.C. Tribe sues Anheuser-Busch for”Unscrupulous” Trademark Infringement

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This week the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina filed a federal lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev and R.A. Jeffreys Distributing Co., claiming infringement of a tribal trademark and slogan in advertisements at gas stations.

The lawsuit alleges that by using the Lumbee circular tribe logo and the “Heritage, Pride & Strength” slogan in beer advertisements at gas stations, AB InBev is creating the false impression that the tribe is affiliated with Bud Light.  The Lumbee logo is visible at the top left of the photo, consisting of a circular shape that “is symbolic of the Circle of Life.”

The lawsuit claims AB InBev’s use of its tribal trademark in advertisements is “immoral, unethical, oppressive, (and) unscrupulous.” Counsel for the plaintiffs further noted that as alcohol and drug abuse are often associated with Native American culture, AB InBev’s use of these marks to promote alcohol is “particularly offensive to Lumbee people.” The plaintiffs are seeking court costs and profits derived from using the tribe’s trademark.

The Lumbee Tribe is the ninth-largest in the United States, and calls itself the largest tribe in North Carolina. They are largely centered in the eastern part of NC in Robeson County.

Thanks to the Charlotte Business Journal – link to article is here.



13,000+ bottles of Charlotte beer going to World’s Largest Trade Show

The Charlotte, NC region is preparing to serve thousands of glasses of local craft beer at the world’s largest industrial trade fair, the Hannover Messe, in Germany.

The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery sent over 13,000 bottles of its locally-made beer to Hannover, with the help of Kuehne + Nagel logistics and the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Charlotte.  560 cases of Charlotte’s craft beer will hopefully land in the hands of thousands of lucky trade fair attendees, including President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. Secretary of Transportation (and former Charlotte mayor) Anthony Foxx, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

The Charlotte Business Journal writes, “At a Charlotte Chamber event this morning at The Olde Mecklenberg Brewery, the chamber, the Charlotte Regional Partnership and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina announced they will lead a delegation of more than 20 people representing private companies and public-sector organizations to this year’s Hannover Messe. It is the world’s largest industrial trade fair, slated for April 25-29 in Hannover, Germany, and expected to draw 6,500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors.

My firm, BridgehouseLaw LLP, will be attending the Hannover Messe as part of the official Charlotte Regional Partnership Delegation. A full list of the delegates can be found in the CBJ article here. We are honored to assist in the region’s economic development activities, and look forward to welcoming even more jobs, businesses, and investment to Charlotte and the surrounding counties.  Cheers and Prost!

Slushies Are So Yesterday – How One Convenience Store Brand uses Growlers to Grow Business

I found this industry-themed article today, published by NACS – The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing – which highlights how a North Carolina convenience store chain has used craft beer growlers to grow its business.

Triangle Stop is a 10-unit chain in western NC, but four of its locations offer growler taps and on-premise beer and wine permits that allow customers to sample on site.

In May 2014, the Mountain River Tap & Growler bar opened inside the Mills River Triangle Stop, becoming the first convenience store in North Carolina with a growler bar after NC legalized the containers.  Other locations followed – with a Saluda location in October 2014, Brevard in 2015, and the newest location at the Asheville Regional Airport.  The beer business has been good: In the next two years, the company plans to demolish and rebuild at least one other current Triangle Stop location to add a growler bar.

This is no ordinary convenience store – two of the growler bars offer limited seating, providing an experience more like a small neighborhood bar, and plenty of local Asheville brews and ciders on tap. Monthly events are hosted at each of the Triangle Stops with a growler bar, and partner events with local breweries are common.  Customers have three options: 32-oz and 64-oz glass growler fills, and a 32-oz sealable can for single use.

Triangle Stop VP Beau Waddell states, “Overall, customer response to the growlers and bar has been “wonderful. Folks who come in can’t believe we offer such a variety of local beer on tap,” he said. “It’s unexpected but welcomed by the community.”

Full article by NACS Magazine contributor Sarah Hamaker can be found here



Charlotte Tops in Craft Beer Real Estate Growth

The Queen City’s commercial real estate market continues to be thirsty for more craft beer!

Real estate firm Colliers International compared the growth of craft breweries in 29 markets and found that Charlotte, NC is among the industry’s fastest-growing areas in the country.

The Charlotte Business Journal article cites, “The survey showed Chicago had the largest craft-beer footprint at 1.6 million square feet of space, while Charlotte ranked 21st in size. But Charlotte had the highest growth rate from 2013 to 2014, with its footprint growing by 77%, much higher than the 20.7% growth rate for all markets.
According to Colliers, the Charlotte footprint grew to 167,624 square feet in 2014, up from 94,687 square feet in 2013. Today, the number stands at 229,281 square feet, according to the firm.
Asheville’s footprint ranked eighth in size overall but ranked first on a per-capita basis at 1.58 square feet.”

Several of Charlotte’s breweries can be found in the South End and NoDa neighborhoods, which offer older industrial buildings and warehouses capable of housing large brewing operations.

NC Law Caps Olde Meck Brewery’s Growth in Triad

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

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