Business

D9 hops into Charlotte

Durstewitz: Craft breweries infuse the state’s economy with more than $1 billion annually

April 8. By Katie Piccirillo Sherman. D9 Brewing has registered D9 Brewing NoDa with the NC Secretary of State, suggesting the Cornelius-based brewery has set its sights on Charlotte. Following the hugely successful opening of a larger taproom in Cornelius last fall, an expansion into a market replete with Millennials is a powerful strategic move.

D9’s Andrew Durstewitz did not return phone calls for this story, but in a 2018 interview he said: “We’re getting to the point where our brands are preceding the company, so people are looking for our beer.”

Indeed, D9 will open an outdoor brewery with a beer garden and concert pavilion on Stonewall Street in Charlotte this summer. D9, founded by two engineers and a doctor, opened their popular Lake Norman brewery in 2014,

Craft beer continues to grow and thrive. Retail sales of craft beer rose 7 percent in 2018, bringing in $27.58 billion. USA Today said microbrewers account for nearly 25 percent of the $114.2 billion U.S. beer market.

D9 Brewery will have plenty of competition within the Charlotte region with 30 local microbreweries occupying some 400,000 square feet of retail space.

NoDa alone has a third of popular brands including Birdsong Brewing, NoDa Brewing Co., Heist Brewery and Bold Missy Brewery.

Even so, D9 is a stand-out.

D9 created a scientific method where the brewers add their microflora at different stages to enhance and create flavor profiles desired.

After aging the beers in oak, they use a centrifuge that spins at nearly 8,100 revolutions per minute to clarify the brew, rather than the standard process of filtration. The beer has minimal contact with the open air, minimizing contamination.

“We create distinctive crafted ales by sciencing the shit out of them,” Durstewitz said in 2018 interview.

Craft brewing is an economic development phenomenon, attracting other businesses and creating jobs and economic success stories.

Indeed, mMicrobrewers and craft brewers are a “target industry” for the Lake Norman Economic Development Corp. Lake Norman is home to a half-dozen craft brewers with additional production coming to the area in the next few years. Brewers are like yeast around tax base, jobs and visitor spending.  And jobs: 10,000 in North Carolina at last count.

Ryan McDaniels, CEO of the economic development corporation, said the state’s 200 craft breweries pump more than $1 billion into the economy annually. A decade ago, there were but two dozen statewide so the growth trend is obvious.

Eleven Lakes Brewery is a success story in Hyde Park Storage Suites less than a mile away on Bailey Road.

Ass Clown Brewery has also established a regular following with a wide variety of craft brews in Huntersville. Meanwhile, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery says it will begin building a massive complex at the old Curtis Screw factory on Zion, just north and east of downtown Cornelius later this year.

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