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Downtown Holly Springs may get its own beer soon.
The town is weighing a proposal to allow brew pubs, or bars that brew their own beer, in the downtown village district. Town staff drafted the rule change at the request of Mitch and Laurie Woodward of Cary, who hope to build a nano-brewery near Town Hall.
This would be a small, family-owned and operated artisan ... brewery, said Mitch Woodward, a 52-year-old N.C. Cooperative Extension agent.
So far, the idea has found traction in town government. The Planning and Zoning Board on Sept. 25 approved the idea of small downtown breweries, sending it to the Holly Springs Town Council for consideration as early as Oct. 16.
Its not something that the town is proposing, but the town is supporting the request, said town planner Mark Zawadski. Its a use we believe will be great for the downtown.
The proposed new rule would allow a downtown establishment to brew and sell beverages of any sort, from sodas to beer and liquor. Other areas of town would need their own exceptions to the rules.
The change would put Holly Springs on the same path as its neighbor Fuquay-Varina, where Aviator Brewing Company is building a small empire. The company brews and sells beer out of a warehouse and operates a bar and a restaurant downtown.
Holly Springs already hosts a brewery, Carolina Brewing Company. The company retails beer from its home in the Holly Springs Business Park and serves samples during tours.
Its unclear how soon Burbs Brewing might set up shop in downtown Holly Springs; the Woodwards, who have homebrewed for 10 years in Cary, arent counting their beers before theyre bottled.
The business likely would start as a brewery and taproom that sold only pints and growlers, large glass bottles that are filled from the tap.
Local brewing is a rapidly proliferating and maturing industry, said John Szymankiewicz, an attorney who specializes in brewing operations and represents Burbs Brewing.
Breweries have required several changes to local and state laws; the Pop the Cap law raised alcohol-content limits in North Carolina, for example.
Fuquay-Varina also changed its laws to allow Aviator to serve beer at its brewery.
Thirty years ago there were a handful of breweries in the country, Szymankiewicz said, and now were getting close, in North Carolina, to having a local brew pub or a local brewery providing local beer to the locals.
Under the proposed ordinance amendment, a brewery in downtown Holly Springs would be allowed to produce up to 15,000 barrels, or about 3.7 million pints, of beer each year.