There seems to be no end to the thirst for local beers. There are more than a half dozen breweries in the works from Clayton to Saxapahaw. Here's a little bit about each one:
Haw River Farmhouse Ales (http://hawriverales.com/) is the work of graphic designer Ben Woodward and his fiancee, Dawnya Bohager. Woodward's dream of opening a restaurant transformed into a brewery after he became interested in home brewing and sold his design business. The couple are close to finalizing a location in Saxapahaw to produce and serve their Belgium-style beer with a Southern influence. "We're a signature away from hiring a brewery consultant and signing a lease," Woodward says.
Deep River Brewing Co. (http://deepriverbrewing.com/) may open its brewery with a small tasting room in Clayton this fall, says owner Paul Auclair. He and his wife, Lynn, have wanted their own business for awhile. After consistently getting a good response to their homebrewed beer, they decided to open a brewery. Auclair, a civil engineer, says they don't focus on any one beer style instead trying to produce excellent versions of many styles. They plan to offer a rye pale ale and a Belgian witbier on a regular basis. He says they hope to finalize a deal on their location next week. "Once I make my first batch of beer in the place, I'll be really happy," Auclair says.
Steel String Craft Brewery (http://steelstringbrewery.com/) is the work of three friends: Cody Maltais, Will Isley and Andrew Scharfenberg. Isley, the head brewer, says they hope to finalize a location in Carrboro next week and at least open as a North Carolina beer bar by September. Isley says they are planning to produce four main beers: black IPA, West Coast-style IPA, a session ale and a brown porter.
Sub Noir Brewing Co. (http://subnoir.net/) in Raleigh was almost up-and-running this spring as Sub Rosa Brewing Co., says owner Michael Stagner. Then they got a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer representing Sub Rosa Spirits in Oregon, he says. Now they've changed their names and waiting for federal officials to approve their new labels. "We're making beer. We just can't sell it yet," Stagner says.Stagner says they hope to start selling and open their tasting room at 2039 Progress Court by the end of July.
With a small brewing system, Stagner says they can make whatever they want. Right now, they are making a Saison-style beer and a Hefeweizen.
Starpoint Brewing (http://starpointbrewing.com/) hopes to start delivering beer to Chapel Hill bars and restaurants next month, says owner Tim Harper. Harper tasted a lot of beer while travelling in Europe as a sound guy and production manager for the Raleigh band, The Connells. But the beer that inspired him to get into homebrewing seriously was when he tasted Russian River Brewing Co.'s Pliny the Elder in northern California.
He has spent the last six years trying to recreate those flavors and he focuses on producing these styles: IPA, American Pale Ale and Double IPA. Harper works in information technology at the University of North Carolina and plans to keep his day job. He has a production brewery on his property and doesn't plan to open a tasting room. "I don't want to be in the bar business. I want to make beer," Harper says.
Also Fortnight Brewing Co. (http://fortnightbrewing.com/) is looking for a location in the Triangle to produce English-inspired ales. White Street Brewing Co. (http://whitestreetbrewing.com/) appears to be close to opening in downtown Wake Forest. I'll share more news about those last two as details become available. And for those who head to Asheboro, there's a nanobrewery in the works called Four Saints Brewing Co. (foursaintsbrewing.com/)