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Old 02-26-2014, 07:18 AM
 
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Article in the DR about the new microbrewery coming to Dickinson Ave.

Quote:
Things might get a little more hoppy on Dickinson Avenue, thanks to two East Carolina University graduates with stout hearts.

Bobby Schultz and Gray Williams have been best friends since kindergarten and grew up together in Raleigh. And now they are going into business together in Greenville.


The pair of 24-year-olds want to bring a brewery back to Greenville. The last brewery in the city was Ham’s, which was demolished in July.

Now Williams, working for a local commercial brewery, and Schultz, working at Evolve Inc., a marketing firm in Greenville, want to bring brewing back to the city with Longleaf Brewing Company at 703 Dickinson Ave. Williams and Schultz were awarded a $15,000 small business grant by Greenville’s Redevelopment Commission that can be used as working capital, to purchase equipment, improve real property, expand an existing business’ services or products, or other approved uses.

Inspiration

Williams said a home brewer in town was teaching a beginning class at the East Carolina Bartending School/Home Brew shop on Cotanche, and he had just turned 21.

“Signed up and really got into it,” Williams said. “After my dad and I went on a brewery tour in Asheville, I decided that is what I want to do. I was lucky to see what people were doing with these small brewing systems everywhere in North Carolina and I thought, ‘How can I do this too?’”

Dreaming into reality

As students, Williams and Schultz said they developed tastes for craft beer. When Schultz came to ECU for his master’s degree in business administration, the two quickly realized there was an “untapped market right here in Greenville.”

As someone who has not been a risk-taker, Schultz said the decision to move forward with Longleaf was not easy.

“But with no risk, there is no reward,” Schultz said. “I am constantly reassured by my business partners and those in the community who have supported this concept along the way that Longleaf will thrive as the hub of craft beer in Greenville.”

The friends said all of the beer they produce will be ales: pale ale, IPA, Imperial Stout and Rogginbeir are staples that Williams and Schultz said they have been perfecting.

With the smaller brewing system that comes along with having a smaller brewery, Williams and Schultz said they will be able to afford to experiment and rotate beer selection based on customer demand. Larger breweries lack that flexibility, they said. Brewing fewer than 15,000 barrels (a unit volume of about 50 gallons) of beer per year classifies a brewery as a microbrewery, Williams and Schultz said.

“Technically speaking, we are considered a nanobrewery, which is even smaller than a microbrewery,” Williams said.

Williams and Schultz said the dream for Longleaf is to be a unique and relaxing gathering spot for those who enjoy beer, art and local culture.

“Uptown lacks many outdoor spaces, so our large patio will be a great spot to relax,” Williams said.

Making it happen

The building that Williams and Schultz are interested in at 703 Dickinson Ave. was built in 1924, they said, and has many special characteristics they hope to retain.

“The plans are to renovate the space into a modern facility while keeping and restoring the historic characteristics that make the building unique,” Williams said.

At least at first, Williams and Schultz said only beers made in house will be available in the brewery taproom, but they plan to include a selection of snack items and are considering allowing customers to bring takeout from other restaurants.

Entertainment also is something Schultz and Williams said they are considering for Longleaf, but the brewery will be limited to smaller acts with the smaller size of the space on Dickinson. A larger live music venue could be in long-term plans, they said.

Williams said he wants people to think “Wow, this is what Greenville needed — a great space to relax and enjoy a craft beer brewed right in front of me,” he said.

Brewing in Greenville

“Greenville is the largest city in North Carolina that lacks a brewery,” Williams said. “Dickinson Avenue is fascinating because it is like the forgotten corner of Uptown Greenville. There is a lot of potential along Dickinson.”

Williams said he thinks with the help of the city and others, Dickinson Avenue can develop into a thriving area.

Part of that comes with the city’s consideration of a text amendment to city code that would specifically allow breweries in the downtown area.
While the discussions were preliminary, Greenville’s Redevelopment Commission talked earlier this month about a potential amendment to allow microbreweries downtown and they did not stop there.

City staff suggested creating a definition of microbreweries, likely at two scales located within west Greenville or center city redevelopment areas and in the existing local or national historic districts, except the Skinnerville District.

While staff presented an amendment with various restrictions on size and buffer zones, requiring different permits, not allowing cover charges, and others, the commission worried this would be too limiting and generally were in favor of attracting both microbreweries and larger brewing businesses, especially in areas with history of heavy commercial or industrial use.

Staff mentioned at the meeting that other communities — like Farmville and Kinston — already have successful microbrewing businesses.

Greenville even has hosted a craft beer festival, “in a city that currently doesn’t allow it,” staff said.

City leaders and staff have discussed pursuing the beverage sector, particularly to take advantage of what staff calls one of the largest watersheds on the East Coast, offering a high quality, sustainable water source.

Economic Development Officer Carl Rees said if discussions go well with other departments, he expects text amendments to be ready to go before the council as early as next month.

Schultz and Williams, understandably, are happy to hear it’s a consideration, since the existing ordinance classifies breweries as private clubs or bars, like many other bars downtown.

“We believe a microbrewery taproom is much different than a private club or bar,” Williams said. “There are countless examples of small and medium-sized cities in North Carolina that have experienced economic progress directly from breweries and Uptown Greenville should be no different.”

Schultz and Williams have been thinking about opening a brewery in Greenville for about three years, they said, but serious planning for Longleaf started in November 2012.

According to friends, Williams is “the brains behind the beer,” and Schultz is the “brains behind the business.”

With the fluid nature of business dealings, Williams and Schultz said it is hard for them to pinpoint an opening date, but they hope to open this fall.

After going through hundreds of potential names, Williams and Schultz said they chose Longleaf because the Longleaf Pine is a symbol of North Carolina as the state tree and is in the first verse of the North Carolina State Toast, adopted by the General Assembly in 1957.

But no matter the name or the beer, Williams and Schultz said the one thing they never wavered on was where they wanted to bring their brewery.

“No other cities or towns have really been considered,” Williams said. “Greenville is home, and Greenville needs a brewery.”
This is a great thing, IMO!! This may spark the change needed in that area.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
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^ Agreed! I'm not an avid beer drinker these days but this is something that Greenville certainly lacks for sure. This is something that while I lived in Raleigh, I enjoyed going to places like this is downtown Raleigh or Five Points.

Hopefully this will spark a resurgence of that area. It could be a really nice area to walk, shop & eat if it can clean up one building at a time. I know it won't happen over night but this is another great step forward.

I hear so many people that say Greenville needs to get rid of the crime before investing in downtown but in my opinion with investment & growing businesses downtown the crime will slow. If you get a different type of consumer downtown at all hours & get rid of the blighted buildings crime can drop, along with the 10th street connector helping as well.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
As far as a performing arts center, I would rather Uptown focus on a larger facility. The current theater sounds promising, but I don't think it would hold more than 100 people. It would be better to try to sell it to the Magnolia Arts Center, or a group of Performing Arts organizations to hold all of their PA activities. That theatre would be perfect for housing indie films, and other smaller performances.

To attract bigger/better plays/concerts, etc. A facility with at least 800-1,000 seats should be the goal.
I think/assume the City is presuming ECU is building a Preforming Arts Center on 1st Street. I don't know if the City could help fund it or how that works with allocations and everything.

That would make the theater on 5th St more of a Art house/niche market place. ECU's would bring in the big mainstream stuff, while the other one focus on the edgier, independent type stuff. I think both could thrive together.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:42 AM
 
3,323 posts, read 5,185,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Article in the DR about the new microbrewery coming to Dickinson Ave.



This is a great thing, IMO!! This may spark the change needed in that area.
A few images:


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Old 02-26-2014, 08:44 AM
 
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Would the city or anyone ever make a "play" to relocate Duck Rabbit (in Farmville) or Mother Earth Brewing (in Kinston) to Greenville? I would love to see Longleaf thrive along with these other two.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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Pretty sure I've been to a few of the brewing meet ups we use to have a couple years ago at the brew store. I really miss the Hams Brewery and their Peg Leg Ale. Hopefully these 2 guys can make it work here in Greenville.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MrBojangles View Post
Would the city or anyone ever make a "play" to relocate Duck Rabbit (in Farmville) or Mother Earth Brewing (in Kinston) to Greenville? I would love to see Longleaf thrive along with these other two.
That would be nice. I'm sure a couple of other breweries may pop up in that area. Maybe a small cafe will move across the street from Long Leaf (since they won't be selling food). Then little by little, boutiques, and other shops will fill in.

Also, Isn't a portion of the block where LL will set up going to be refreshed like the OP, Rumors, etc. on 5th street?
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:06 AM
 
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I don't think its a good thing to strip those micro's from those communities, the idea should be to grow the market in Greenville. It's certainly a welcome sight when I go to a Bobcats game in Charlotte and they have these beers from Farmville and Kinston that people are lapping up. Sending money to the eastern part of the state. Longleaf can be added to the mix.

I think that site can work...believe that is part of the Community Smith project, I wonder if the three store fronts will be combined though? And actually that building on the corner (Antique store) would be a great building for this type of proejct, with the three properties shown better suited for office/service oriented businesses. This building is also adjacent to the proposed Go-Science Center and a block from the future multi-modal transportation center. When these 3 facilities get going, it can jumpstart the entire area.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by HP91 View Post
I don't think its a good thing to strip those micro's from those communities, the idea should be to grow the market in Greenville. It's certainly a welcome sight when I go to a Bobcats game in Charlotte and they have these beers from Farmville and Kinston that people are lapping up. Sending money to the eastern part of the state. Longleaf can be added to the mix.

I think that site can work...believe that is part of the Community Smith project, I wonder if the three store fronts will be combined though? And actually that building on the corner (Antique store) would be a great building for this type of proejct, with the three properties shown better suited for office/service oriented businesses. This building is also adjacent to the proposed Go-Science Center and a block from the future multi-modal transportation center. When these 3 facilities get going, it can jumpstart the entire area.
Good point. One thing I could see is those breweries bringing a taproom to that area. So those breweries would have a small presence there where people could have beer and hang out. Maybe some business would come along and have their own taproom where Beers from lots of local and regional breweries could be served.

Last edited by michealbond; 02-26-2014 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by michealbond View Post
Good point. One thing I could see is those breweries bringing a taproom to that area. So those breweries would have a small presence there where people could have beer and hang out. Maybe some business would come along and have their own taproom where Beers from lots of local and regional breweries could be served.
Like an East Carolina Beer Collective. There are nine breweries in Eastern NC. Have a "Winslows" type place sell only? (or majority) of their beers.

The nine are:
  • Beer Army, Trenton, NC
  • Front Street Brewery, Wilmington, NC
  • Full Moon Cafe & Brewery, Manteo, NC
  • Huske Hardware House Restaurant & Brewery, Fayetteville, NC
  • Mother Earth Brewing Company, Kinston, NC
  • Outer Banks Brewing Station, Kill Devil Hills, NC
  • The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery, Farmville, NC
  • The Mash House Brewery and Chophouse Restaurant, Fayetteville, NC
  • Weeping Radish Farm Brewery, Grandy, NC
Brewery Map | North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild

Or add in the 16 wineries in the east, as well.
Vineyards & Wineries in North Carolina | NC Wineries & Vineyards

Might as well add the three distilleries in ENC to the list as well.
http://reports.abc.nc.gov/uploads/re...e94011a13e.pdf


Could be a fun concept. Bring in local agriculture and meat as well, etc etc etc.
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