Feb 23, 2017 - Food and Drink

SouthPark needs a brewery. The neighborhood is cool enough, right?



With little competition and the rise of “breweries as the new park,” a SouthPark brewery would be mega-successful.

Sure, SouthPark doesn’t have the same young, hip vibe as South End, Plaza Midwood and NoDa, but it’s full of potential brewery lovers. Suburban dads love breweries. 

Recently, we polled our 23,000 daily Agenda newsletter subscribers and 93% said that breweries will be as popular or more popular this year than last year.

Charlotte brewery growth will continue in 2017, but all the planned breweries continue to be in the same core neighborhoods. Bold Missy Brewery is going into NoDa. Divine Barrel Brewing is also going into NoDa. Hyde Brewing is going into South End. Catawba Brewing is going into Belmont/Plaza Midwood.

In fact, you can see a geographic pattern in our current 17 Charlotte brewery locations. SouthPark is a brewery desert.

A fancy two-story Starbucks with a drive-thru will debut in SouthPark later this spring. Your reaction? “Of course! That’s a perfect fit! How did SouthPark not have a standalone Starbucks?!”

Starbucks fits SouthPark like a glove. A brewery, on the other hand, is more of a stretch. I get it. But, hear me out.

Breweries are the new park.

I went to Olde Mecklenburg Brewery a few Saturdays ago and was floored by the popularity and diversity. For example, there was a 30-year-old’s birthday party and a 1-year-old’s birthday party within 30 feet of each other. Kids running and player soccer.

[Agenda story: Charlotte is becoming an alcoholic and it’s a bad thing]

A SouthPark brewery should focus more on space and family-friendliness than on beer releases designed for hardcore beer nerds.

A pilsner with a 4% alcohol volume is the perfect type of beer for SouthPark.  In High Point, Brown Truck Brewing recently won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their #10 American Lager which is 3.6% (Bud Light is 4.3% as a comparison). A light SouthPark beer gives moms and dads something to enjoy after shopping that won’t leave then too intoxicated for a sophisticated a dinner party.

It’s easy to picture a brewery with a strong brand (OMB, Sycamore and NoDa) opening a second location in SouthPark.

Where would you put a brewery? By SouthPark Mall of course. Specifically, I’d work with Simon Properties (owner of SouthPark Mall) to develop the brewery deep into the Dick’s Sporting Goods parking lot near Symphony Park. This location would draw neighbors, after work happy hour crowd and shoppers.

This parking lot looks a whole lot better with Sycamore II on it…

Breweries are no longer just for the hip, young and cool — they’re mainstream now. And consumer demand is still growing.

A SouthPark brewery makes sense. Right?


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