Friday, December 22, 2017

Charlotte Craft Beer Industry Fuels Urban Development

Chad Faglier draws on experience in both residential and commercial property development to serve as a project manager in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the property manager of the NoDa Street Market in Charlotte’s North Davidson neighborhood, Chad Faglier has played a significant role in spurring the city’s urban development. 

The growing popularity and accessibility of craft beer have been key drivers of urban development in Charlotte. In 2005, then-governor Mike Easley signed the Pop the Cap initiative, which raised the alcohol-by-volume limit for beer sold in the state to 15 percent. Previously, producers and retailers could only sell beer that did not exceed 6 percent ABV. 

Brought about in large part by public campaigning at the grassroots level, this significant change has greatly expanded the professional possibilities for individuals interested in the craft brewing sector. Pop the Cap ushered in a new wave of breweries, cideries, and meaderies in North Carolina, with many of them springing up in and around Charlotte. 

Since 2010, the number of licensed breweries in the state has increased from 45 to approximately 160, More than 30 of these establishments are in the Charlotte area, which produced an impressive 93,000 barrels of craft beverages in 2016 alone. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce estimates that this bourgeoning sector has created over 500 new jobs and allowed Charlotte to exceed the national average for brewery employment by 22 percent. Statewide, the number of new brewery jobs is closer to 3,000. 

One of Charlotte’s newest breweries, Divine Barrel Brewing, highlights the importance of the industry to North Carolina’s urban development. Offering an array of sour and wild beer varieties, as well as an expansive patio, Divine Barrel will serve as one of the anchor tenants at NoDa Street Market, a new mixed-used development in the North Davidson neighborhood. The area will offer dining, shopping, and entertainment in a fun and highly accessible atmosphere, and it will rely partially on the presence of the new brewery to help draw crowds to the art-and-entertainment district.