Plaza Midwood’s brewery scene continues to grow with Concord-based Southern Strain Brewing’s expansion to Central Avenue.
Why it matters: Expansion was crucial for Southern Strain after a challenging year, the brewery’s co-founder Jake Allen tells me.
- Unlike larger breweries, Southern Strain couldn’t brew enough beer to can and turn the same profits. “Distribution was a tough game to win,” Allen says. “We needed to expand to last.”
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What to expect: Allen plans to open the 2,500-square-foot tasting room by the end of the year.
- It’s located in the new 1800 Central building next door to Harris Teeter.
- There’s parking for about 50 vehicles (woo!).
On tap: None of Southern Strain beers will be brewed at the Plaza Midwood space, but it will carry at least 16 beers on tap.
- It’ll have a variety of styles of beer, including a number of light, fruity options. My favorite is Strawberry Lunch, a seasonal fruit lager.
- There’s no food menu, but expect regular pop-ups from food trucks like Hot Box Kitchen, the street food concept owned by Michael Bowling, which has a permanent location inside Southern Strain’s Concord brewery.
Background: Founded by Allen, Bart Roberts and Ford Craven in 2019, Southern Strain only opened a few months prior to the pandemic. The former Cannon Mill building has become a community hub for locals in Concord since the brewery opened.
Zoom out: For years, Legion was the lone wolf brewery in Plaza, but now the neighborhood is poised to become one of Charlotte’s most notable brewery districts with additions of Resident Culture, Catawba, Pilot, Burial (retail sales for now, taproom coming soon), and now Southern Strain.
[Related Axios guide: The 5 best brewery crawls in Charlotte, ranked]