Almost feels like cities and states are battling to show which is really the most friendly for craft brewers by passing new pro-craft brewing regulations. The latest entrant: Charlotte, N.C.
The most recent change, approved unanimously Monday, allows breweries to open in urban zoning districts such as mixed-use development and transit-oriented development areas. The breweries had previously been only allowed in industrial areas, and city staff said that restriction made it too difficult to open.
This development looks like it is going to ramp up the city’s brewery population fairly quickly:
“We have anywhere from seven to 10 breweries looking at different locations, primarily in Plaza-Midwood and South End,” said Bridget Dixon with the city’s planning department. “They couldn’t go in those areas.”
The rules allow for tap rooms and off site selling, and the maximum size for a brewery is 15,000 sq ft. The change in the rule helps the city and the industry in a few ways. For one, the city will have more inquiring entrepreneurs to open up shop in existing, empty locations. Also, less restrictive rules could mean more breweries, which in turn could help develop the local appreciation of craft beer and mutually grow all the local brewing businesses. The NoDa Brewing Co. echoed that thought:
Todd Ford, a co-owner of NoDa Brewing Company on North Davidson Street, applauded the change. He said the new regulations won’t impact his business, unless he decides to move. But he said the changes would encourage growth of microbreweries, which would increase awareness of the trend.
Don’t forget that the entire state of North Carolina OK’d growler fills and sales this month, too.