The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Buys 24 Acres in Downtown Cornelius, NC
OMB growth dependent upon Craft Freedom & the limits imposed by the NC legislature
CHARLOTTE — February 21 (press release)- The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is pleased to announce the purchase of the old “Curtis Screw Premier Precision” property in Cornelius. The former manufacturing occupant recently relocated to a new facility in Mooresville, enabling OMB to acquire the 24-acre wooded site, with a 51,000 square foot building, situated in the heart of downtown Cornelius.
OMB’s founder, John Marrino: “We are extremely excited about this property. We have a long-term commitment to the Charlotte region and we believe that this site will allow more Charlotteans to experience OMB and our beers first hand.”
Plans for the site hinge on what the North Carolina General Assembly does during its current 2017 session. A movement called Craft Freedom plans to bring legislation to the floor to remove the arbitrary 25,000-barrel production cap law that restricts the growth of self-distributing breweries throughout our state.
OMB brewed over 21,000 barrels in 2016 — after having to preemptively pull-out of the Triad in 2015 to avoid exceeding the cap. If the legislature lifts the barrel cap in 2017, OMB plans to invest an additional $7 million in the Cornelius site to expand its brewing and wholesale operations, in addition to building a spectacular Brauhaus & Biergarten. This will create well over 100 new local jobs in Cornelius (on top of the 133 currently employed by OMB in Charlotte), and generate millions of dollars of additional economic activity here in our region. However, if the law does not change, the future of the new site will be significantly impacted; OMB will only be able to build a Brauhaus & Biergarten in Cornelius, resulting in fewer new jobs in the lake region. And, OMB will have to further restrict its sales territory to avoid exceeding the production limit, leaving millions of Charlotteans without easy access to OMB products.
As a business, OMB must look ahead and continue driving towards its core goal of enriching the quality of life in the Charlotte region. Cornelius represents an enormous opportunity but also a risk due to the uncertainty created by this misguided state law.
OMB’s founder, John Marrino: “We hope we can make the Cornelius site everything it can and should be. We also hope this announcement will bring more awareness to Craft Freedom’s efforts. The current law protects wholesalers and foreign beer from free and open homegrown competition. It’s truly un-American and unfair. We hope the North Carolina legislature will change the law in 2017 so we can continue to invest in our local community, increasing jobs and economic opportunity.”
On February 27th look for the OMB Spring seasonal release of Früh Bock. Früh means Spring in German — and this seasonal “Spring Bock” captures the promise of warmer days ahead, combining a slight malty sweetness with a refreshing touch of citrus aroma from its noble Bavarian hops.
MORE ABOUT THE BARREL CAP FROM CRAFT FREEDOM
The antiquated 25,000-barrel cap law requires small breweries to relinquish control of their path to market and transfer ownership of their brand to a state-sanctioned cartel of 23 wholesale distributors should they exceed the production cap. This anti-free-market government intrusion exists in no other industry, and punishes success. Small local brewers take enormous risks to start and build a business, create good manufacturing, sales and distribution jobs, and boost their local economies. But once they achieve a small measure of success, the state dictates that another private entity should reap the rewards of that effort and inspiration.
Sign the Craft Freedom Petition: craftfreedom.org/petition/
MORE ABOUT THE OLDE MECKLENBURG BREWERY
Founded in 2009 in Charlotte, NC, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery believes in delivering fresh, local beer and adhering to Germany’s oldest beer purity guideline, known as the “Reinheitsgebot”. Five beers are available year-round and at least 8 others make seasonal and holiday appearances — always delivered in refrigerated trucks to preserve freshness and meet the demands of ultra-premium beer consumers. OMB is one of only nine craft breweries included on the Inc. 5000 list, and the only one in North Carolina. The Brewery has received numerous regional and international medals in North America and Europe. OMB was also named Best Brewery Tour in the country by the readers of USA Today, and receives many accolades for its multi-acre Munich-inspired Biergarten, which seats over 1,000. For more information, visit oldemeckbrew.com or @oldemeckbrew on social media.