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Carrboro brewery finds a home downtown

By Rose Laudicina
Staff Writer

A place to see music, to go after a jog, to catch a movie, to grab a locally brewed craft beer – these are all things Eric Knight, hoopla czar for Steel String Brewery, said he hopes the brewery’s newly acquired space in downtown Carrboro will become.

“That’s what I am really excited about – to have the taproom be kind of a community center, so when people get off work there is a place for the locals to come over and have a beer,” Knight said.

While eventually the brewery’s new home at 106 S. Greensboro St., next to Glasshalfull, will also serve as a space for Will Isley, Steel String’s brewing czar, to craft Steel String’s own beer, it will open first as a taproom where people can come to enjoy a variety of North Carolina beers.

“We want it to be a cultural hub for Carrboro,” Isley said.

“I think craft breweries always bring people out, and even before we’re brewing we just wanted a gathering place for the community,” he added.

In contrast with bars where people go just to grab a drink, Knight said he hopes to have some sort of event or activity going on at the bar every night, so, as he puts it, “It won’t just be open – something will always be going on.”

Steel String started leasing the building in August, and although they are still in the permitting process, with hopes to start construction in the next couple of weeks, Isley and Knight said they anticipate having the taproom open by early November.

“It’s been an awesome and huge learning experience for us,” Knight said. “We have definitely gotten a lesson in regulations and how slow things can be in this part of the process.”

However, while they wait for permission to begin construction, the guys of Steel String – Isley and Knight along with Cody Maltais, financial czar, and Andrew Scharfenberg, logistics czar – are staying busy brewing beer at Isley’s house, dreaming up ideas for the taproom and connecting with other local businesses to form collaborations.

Isley noted their proximity to Open Eye Café and Carrboro Coffee Roasters, right across the street from Steel String, and said they have already begun talking with the owner to create a beer using their coffee.

And although taproom patrons will have to wait a while to enjoy Steel String Brewery’s beer, Isley said he’s excited that the brewery will further accentuate the local feel of the space.

“Once we get our Carrboro beer in there, it becomes exponentially more meaningful.”

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