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LEXINGTON, N.C. — The first brewery in Lexington is open again under the rules of Phase 2 in North Carolina. Goose and The Monkey Brewhouse had only been open for a few weeks when the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down with every other non-essential business across the state.

Brent and Ashlee Moore spent years planning the business, dealing with setbacks, like the 2017 fire that ravaged the old Dixie Furniture plant where the brewery was being built.

“Finally after all this work, because it took a long time to get here, we’re flying high, this is good, we’re opening, and then we get the word we’re shut down and so we just scrambled, like, what are we going to do,” said Brent Moore, of their short time open before the shutdown.

What they did was stop and breathe.

“It took us years but it all happened so fast, so we didn’t really get to do that, we didn’t get to sit in here without it being finished and enjoy it, uh, we’ve gotten to do that,” Ashlee said.

They were able to sell their existing products and didn’t throw anything out. Now they have even hired back some of their pre-shutdown employees.

“We love the space, we love working with everybody, we’ve gotten to know our team really well, we’ve all had to learn how to trust each other,” Ashlee said.

With a little planning, they opened for outside-only service when Phase 2 started. Then with this week’s rain, they accelerated their plan to invite people inside.

“We were nervous because we didn’t know if we were going to get a rush of people and we didn’t necessarily want that, we want to be open but we want to do it responsibly,” Ashlee said.

Now, with social distancing, lots of reminder signs and constant cleaning, people can come in and get their brew of choice.

“I think people just want to be back with other people. People want community. People, that’s what they need and that’s why we’re here,” Brent said.

“We’re very grateful to be able to open in this phase,” Ashlee said.

Goose and the Monkey is located on Railroad Street at the end of East Fifth Avenue in Lexington.

They are dog- and family-friendly and plan on having food trucks on site as often as possible.