North Carolina’s Craft Beer Boom

Saturday October 22, 2016 – Ryan Trask, with Durty Bull Brewing Company, in Durham, NC, pours a Sour Blonde Ale at the taproom in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Editorial and Commercial Photographer Alex Boerner is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  These images are from his project ‘Beer‘.  To see Alex’s body of work  click on any image.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Wednesday July 7, 2016 - Cody Welch, left, and Charlie Ewing look over brew sheets during beer production in the Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina.

Wednesday July 7, 2016 – Cody Welch, left, and Charlie Ewing look over brew sheets during beer production in the Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Wednesday July 7, 2016 - Ponysaurus Brewmaster Keil Jansen sprays out the mash while cleaning out the grain used while brewing their Rye Pale Ale Wednesday morning at the Ponysaurus in Durham, North Carolina.

Wednesday July 7, 2016 – Ponysaurus Brewmaster Keil Jansen sprays out the mash while cleaning out the grain used while brewing their Rye Pale Ale Wednesday morning at the Ponysaurus in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Saxapahaw, North Carolina - Wednesday July 13, 2016 - Ben Woodward, founder of Haw River Farmhouse Ales, talks with brewer Nick Williams while at the brewery in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.

Wednesday July 13, 2016 – Ben Woodward, founder of Haw River Farmhouse Ales, talks with brewer Nick Williams while at the brewery in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Wednesday July 7, 2016 - Eric Lebsack loads bags of grain into a conveyor while preparing to brew a batch of the Ponysaurus Rye Pale Ale Wednesday morning at the brewery in Durham, North Carolina.

Wednesday July 7, 2016 – Eric Lebsack loads bags of grain into a conveyor while preparing to brew a batch of the Ponysaurus Rye Pale Ale Wednesday morning at the brewery in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Prohibition was repealed in the United States in 1933. North Carolina, however, kept its own 1908 prohibition law on the books until 1937 when it created and passed the Alcoholic Beverage Control bill. The ABC bill established the State Board of Control known as the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, more commonly referred to as ABC, through which alcohol sales would be permitted. Alcohol would now be available in the state, but heavily regulated. Regulation on brewing included a 6% ABV (alcohol by volume) cap on beer brewed and sold within the state, and banned selling beer on the premises where it was brewed, making brewpubs illegal. In 1985 the NC state legislature passed an amendment to the ABC law permitting brewpubs to be established in the state, but the 6% ABV limit on beer still existed, limiting the scope of the types of beers that could be produced.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Monday July 11, 2016 - Bags of Epiphany Craft Malt ready to be distributed out of the Durham, North Carolina facility.

Monday July 11, 2016 – Bags of Epiphany Craft Malt ready to be distributed out of the Durham, North Carolina facility.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Monday July 11, 2016 - Malted barley from Epiphany Craft Malt in Durham, NC.

Monday July 11, 2016 – Malted barley from Epiphany Craft Malt in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Wednesday July 7, 2016 - A sample of in-process Ponysaurus Imperial Stout and a container of hops sit on a control panel while a batch of their Rye Pale Ale is brewed at the Ponysaurus Brewery Wednesday morning in Durham, North Carolina.

Wednesday July 7, 2016 – A sample of in-process Ponysaurus Imperial Stout and a container of hops sit on a control panel while a batch of their Rye Pale Ale is brewed at the Ponysaurus Brewery Wednesday morning in Durham, North Carolina.

 

2003 marked the beginning of what would be a two-year push by NC brewers and beer enthusiasts to convince the NC state legislature to raise the ABV on beer brewed within the state. In 2005 their efforts were rewarded when NC Governor Mike Easley signed into law House Bill 392 which lifted the 6% ABV cap to 15%. Known as “Pop The Cap,” the legislation kick-started what would become a craft beer boom in the state creating an estimated 10,000 new jobs in the industry and making North Carolina a destination for those interested in craft beer.

These photos document the results of that legislation in the area surrounding Durham, North Carolina.

Reference: “Beer in North Carolina,” by Bryan LeClaire, 2010. www.ncpedia.org/culture/food/beer

 

Carrboro, North Carolina - Sunday July 10, 2016 - Taps at the Carrboro Beverage Company in Carrboro, North Carolina, feature local brews and imports with their information listed below.

Sunday July 10, 2016 – Taps at the Carrboro Beverage Company in Carrboro, North Carolina, feature local brews and imports with their information listed below.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Thursday August 18, 2016 -Sean Lilly Wilson is the owner of Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina and a key player in the Pop The Cap legislation.

Thursday August 18, 2016 -Sean Lilly Wilson is the owner of Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, North Carolina and a key player in the Pop The Cap legislation.

 

Durham, North Carolina - Saturday October 22, 2016 - Matt Pennisi, with Durty Bull Brewing Company, in Durham, NC, fills a growler from tap in their new tap room in Durham, North Carolina.

Saturday October 22, 2016 – Matt Pennisi, with Durty Bull Brewing Company, in Durham, NC, fills a growler from tap in their new tap room in Durham, North Carolina.

 

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By Alex Boerner

 


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