WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- What looks like a run-down abandoned store on the outside is transforming. The old building that used to be the Angelo Brothers Wholesale Supplies store just off North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Winston-Salem is being renovated from the inside out, remade into the Wise Man Brewery.
“None of these walls are square, none of these floors are level so it’s kind of been a challenge all along the way,” said Taproom Manager Harvey Williams. “But we're almost there, we hope to be open in November and welcome everybody in and revitalize this part of town.”
Williams says the building has been empty for more than a decade. After a year of renovation and years of planning, they’re in the home stretch. Most of the equipment is in place in the brewery portion of the business, divided by a crafty wall of windows made from re-purposed wood from the building’s roof. The taproom’s bar had just been installed, it’ll hold 16 taps.
The craft beer business is catching on in the Piedmont Triad, with more than 15 local breweries in the area, many of which were founded over the past 10 years. Greensboro currently has the largest concentration, but Winston-Salem is not far behind with the addition of Wise Man.
Williams attributes the success and growth of the craft beer business to the customized beers and local lure.
“People are really interested in seeing where their products are coming from and especially so with beer,” he said. “Our beer is gonna be brewed right over there and it's gonna be served right over here.”
He hopes to host events, and groups as well, with a space for food trucks and a patio for games like corn hole.
It’s a business model Brown Truck Brewery in High Point has been following for the past seven months it’s been around.
“I think Brown Truck Brewery has been sort of a kick-start a spark to this area, it's created some energy in the area, brings people together,” said CEO and President of Business High Point, Inc. Patrick Chapin.
Brown Truck and Wise Man will only add to the growing industry and their incorporation in the Piedmont Triad is part of what makes North Carolina the second fastest growing state for craft beer in the country, behind California.
The industry rakes in more than $791 million annually and supports more than 10,000 jobs. Wise Man Brewery will add to that job total, looking to hire at least eight employees ahead of opening in November.