One of Fuquay-Varina’s four craft breweries is closing, but another one is ready to take over its space.
Owners Scott Wood and Scott Palmieri, the owners of Draft Line Brewing Co., announced on their website and social media that the brewery will close Saturday, April 29, with a farewell party. The brewery has been open since 2014 in a former warehouse on Broad Street, just a few hundred feet outside the main downtown stretch.
“This is not a decision we have been forced to make, nor is it one that we take lightly,” the owners wrote. “It’s a choice that will allow us to focus on our full-time jobs, streamline our daily obligations, and most importantly, refocus attention on our own families.”
But there won’t be much downtime at the brewery. The Mason Jar Tavern will take over the space, continuing its expansion in western Wake County and marking its entry into the brewing business.
The new brewery will be called Mason Jar Lager Co. With plans to open early this summer, it will be led by Adam Eshbaugh, who is also part of the 919 Beer Group that’s best known for hosting the annual Beericana festival in Holly Springs.
The Mason Jar Tavern first opened in Holly Springs in 2015, and the owners – including founders Maggie and Jonathan Pierce – opened a second location in Fuquay-Varina last year. They offer a range of craft beer and high-end pub food.
The tavern plans to start a food truck, called Mason Jar Mobile. Expect to find it at the brewery often.
“Mason Jar Mobile will be serving up beer-inspired snacks at the brewery like chili-spiced boiled peanuts, spent grain pretzels and even a new spin on chicken and waffles,” the brewery wrote on its Facebook page.
When Draft Line opened, it was the first real competition for popular local watering hole Aviator Brewing Co. When Draft Line opened, it proved the town of 22,000 people could support more than just Aviator.
Soon two more breweries opened up – Lincoln Brewing and Fainting Goat Brewery – and now Fuquay-Varina has more breweries than larger towns like Apex and Cary. The town’s southern location helps its bars draw visitors from around Wake County as well as Harnett County and other points south.
Wood and Palmieri frequently rotated their beers on tap, and Draft Line entertained visitors with a ping-pong table, games, food trucks, live music and a run club.
While Draft Line lasted less than three years, it can claim some credit for helping establish Fuquay-Varina’s reputation as a craft-beer destination outside of major Triangle cities.
As for Mason Jar, the focus on lagers will be something different in a town with three existing breweries competing for attention. Some craft breweries don’t make any lagers, and others have just one or two on draft at any given time.
It’s not the first time a suburban brewery has gone this route. Southern Peak Brewery in Apex also brews mostly lagers.
The expansions in town aren’t limited to just breweries. Aviator is working on opening a distillery.
Info: The brewery is at 341 E. Broad St., Fuquay-Varina. Keep up with the new brewery’s progress at facebook.com/masonjarlagers.
Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran