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131 MAIN opens pop-up beer garden

Paige Douglas is the manager of of LKN Beer Garden

Oct 3. By Dave Yochum. Capitalizing on the growth industry that is craft beer, 131 MAIN has opened a pop-up beer garden across Bailey Road next to the Cowboy restaurant. Restaurateur Joe Douglas says the seasonal operation will include beers from Primal, Triple C, Catawba and Birdsong among others.

The 3,750 square foot LKN Beer Gardenin a white tent fitted out with TVs and games—opened for six to eight weeks this past week.

Douglas says the pop-up beer garden will be seasonal and have a “laid-back vibe for plenty of social interaction for kids, families and pets.” In addition to 131 MAIN locations here and in Blakeney, South Park and Asheville, Douglas also started the Tenders chain and launched Cowboy last year.

The LKN Beer Garden has live music, as well as lawn and board games and food.

Craft beers and beer gardens are the economic development darling of North Mecklenburg, and October means Octoberfest. The  number of brewery establishments continues to grow after years of consolidation in the industry nationwide.

Craft brewing has an artisanal component, steeped in tradition, process and quality that is appealing to a younger generation raised on technology and consumerism.

There are 3.7 breweries per 100,000 people in North Carolina compared to 2.1 per 100,000 in South Carolina.

The NC Craft Brewers Guild is expected to bring upward of 600 people to the sixth annual North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference in Winston-Salem Nov. 5-7.

It is the premier brewing conference of the Southeast.

According to the national Brewers Association, small and independent craft brewers contributed $79.1 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, a 4 percent increase from 2017.

In 2018, the craft brewing industry provided 559,545 total jobs, with 150,055 jobs directly at breweries. In addition, more than $5 billion in wages and benefits were provided to brewery employees through 2018.

Lake Norman Economic Development announced  in 2017 economic development incentives for Olde Mecklenburg Brewery’s plan to open a craft brewery and beer garden on the old MacLean Screw property site on Zion Street near Antiquity.​ ​ It is expected to open sometime next year.

Bayne Brewing on West Catawba closed in July last year.

Cornelius residents Ginger and Larry Griffin Jr. have announced they will open Royal Bliss Brewing in Denver later this year.

Both are entrepreneurs, but with separate endeavors. The website for Royal Bliss says they “have created babies together, but never a business baby.”

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