The Triangle region boasted 15 breweries in June 2012, making it the most concentrated brewing scene in North Carolina. This March, the owners of Raleigh Brewing Company opened their doors off Hillsborough Street in hopes of setting the brewery apart from the rest.
Raleigh Brewing Company’s 20,000-square-foot warehouse sports a brewing supply store and a tasting room in addition to its brewery—and the brewers think the beer isn’t half-bad either.
Raleigh Brewing Company president and CEO Kristie Nystedt acknowledged the necessity of standing out in the Triangle’s growing craft beer scene.
“With so many breweries popping up, in order to stay in the market you need to make sure you’re making consistently quality beer and making your [brewery] a little unique,” Nystedt said.
Raleigh Brewing Company, owned by Kristie and her husband Patrik, was unique from the start. The couple owns Atlantic Brew Supply store, located in the brewery’s warehouse, which sells ingredients and accessories for home-brewers and larger-scale breweries.
“Through Atlantic Brew Supply we do sell supplies to several local craft breweries, so we are collaborating and working with those folks all the time,” Nystedt said.
Using a used cooler from Bell Tower Mart on Hillsborough Street, they plan to expand Atlantic Brew Supply to stock products necessary for people to make yogurt, cheese and coffee. The company hopes the expansion will further set their business apart.
“The same people who like to brew their own beer and make their own wine like to do these other things as well,” Nystedt said.
Through Raleigh Brewing Company, head brewer John Federal creates quality beer. Federal is an N.C. State alumnus who worked at American Brewmaster, a homebrew and wine making supply store, for four-and-a-half years. Federal uses his experience in sales, marketing, brewing and team management to help both businesses.
Raleigh Brewing Company is located in a prime spot. It sits between PNC Arena, Carter Finley, N.C. State and Meredith College. Although the Nystedts do not see many customers from N.C. State, they hope to see it grow over time with the atmosphere they are trying to create.
“I can see where the folks from N.C. State and Meredith could use this as an offsite meet-up place for group study or hanging out,” Nystedt said.
Hoping to avoid the clutter and mix of downtown but also have a central location, the Nystedts think they have found the perfect place.
“We looked through many warehouses, but when we came in here we knew right away this was where we wanted it,” Nystedt said.
Raleigh Brewing Company hopes to start canning its beers in the next six months. Currently their beers are only available on site or in growlers and kegs. After canning they hope to sell their beers in local grocery stores.
As the Raleigh brewing scene continues to evolve, Raleigh Brewing Company’s employees hope their quality will set them apart from others. Some believe the scene is a passing fad, but Nystedt believes it is here to stay and thinks that the rapid growth is helpful.
“It’s going to make everybody stronger, and it will strengthen the community because people won’t have to settle for whatever brewery just appears. The competition keeps the strongest breweries in business,” she said.