This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Raise a glass to the local brewery.

They’re not just places people can grab a refreshing craft beer, they are becoming marketing and revival tools for not just neighborhoods but entire downtowns.

“Breweries – especially the smaller breweries – tend to have become community centers,” says Richard Cox of UNC-Greensboro. “I think a lot of people are also beginning to realize what a brewery can mean to an up-and-coming neighborhood.”

Kiel Jansen of Ponysaurus Brewery in Durham knows all about that.

“Durham, as a city, as a whole is growing by leaps and bounds and I think we’re a part of that,” says Jansen. The truth is, Ponysaurus has been key for the development of that vital part of Durham that includes DPAC, the American Tobacco Campus, and the Durham Bulls baseball stadium

That’s true of smaller communities, too, like Saxapahaw in southern Alamance County.

The old, revitalized cotton mill there has made it a hip destination and Ben Woodward with his Haw River Farmhouse Ales is in the middle of it.

“We wanted the Saxapahaw brand to be part of our brand,” Ben said.