CHARLOTTE, NC (Ely Portillo/The Charlotte Observer) - A major brewery plans to open in a former industrial building in South End, bringing two prominent brands of craft beer to an area that's still changing rapidly as development spreads down the Blue Line light rail.
Artisanal Brewing Ventures, maker of Victory and Southern Tier, has leased 28,000 square feet at the Bowers Fiber facility, located at Yancey and Old Pineville roads, near the Scaleybark light rail station. Now called Bowers, the facility is undergoing a major renovation by developer White Point Partners, which bought the site for $7.9 million earlier this year.
ABV will open a taproom and brewery at the facility, as well as a private event space. And the company will move its corporate headquarters, now on Tyvola Road, to the facility as well. The space will be ready for occupancy in mid-2018, the developers said.
"Charlotte is a perfect fit for ABV's corporate offices because its central location perfectly matches our mission to build brands and brew world-class beers here on the East Coast," said John Coleman, ABV's CEO. "Charlotte offers a lot when it comes to quality of life, entertainment and, of course, its growing craft beer community."
Victory (flagship beers include HopDevil IPA and Golden Monkey) and Southern Tier (Southern Tier IPA, Pumking) merged in 2016 to create ABV, a new company backed by private equity investors. They were both founded in the Northeast – Southern Tier in Lakewood, NY and Victory in Downington, Pa.
ABV plans to hire 100 full- and part-time employees. The facility will have space for almost 700 customers, and will include a custom-built brewhouse, fermentation cellar and packaging lines. Southern Tier and Victory will brew new brands and regional releases at the facility.
The decision to locate in Charlotte was based in part on the number of people who have moved to the city from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Ohio, the core markets for Southern Tier and Victory, the company said.
"Victory has been in North Carolina since 2005 and Southern Tier entered in 2011. Since then it's become one of our top states and one of our fastest growing, so it seemed natural to take that next step of laying roots here," said Victory co-founder Bill Covaleski.
The area around Bowers has become a hotspot for new restaurants, breweries and distilleries. Nearby, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery operates its flagship location, while Queen Park Social has added games, bowling and food in a new facility across the street at Southside Drive and Yancey. The Broken Spoke, Sugar Creek Brewing Company, GoodRoad Ciderworks and Doc Porter's Distillery are also in the same two-block radius.
"The Bowers development serves as the gateway to Charlotte's preeminent brewery and entertainment district, making ABV's corporate headquarters and flagship taproom the most visible anchor of the district," said Jay Levell, partner at White Point.
SentryOne, a software technology firm, has also leased a big chunk of space at Bowers. The company will relocate its offices from Lake Norman into 31,000 square feet, which it said will help it attract and retain employees.
"Creating this type of office space in a thriving neighborhood like lower South End is one way of investing in our people and staying true to our core values," said Greg Gonzalez, CEO of SentryOne, in a statement. "This move holds great potential for our teams and our company."
Those leases account for 85 percent of the space available at Bowers. There's still 10,500 square feet available at the development, which Childress Klein is marketing for a creative office user.