Hob Knob Brewing Company

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hob Knob's Future Location

Hey folks, looking for advice on Hob Knob's future location! We've almost settled on a system, and are about 90% sure we'll be going with a 3BBL system built around speed to double/triple batch. We just checked out another location that was PERFECT, but it's in Statesville...which if you know the area, the craft brew following is in question, though the city did just invest a few million to spruce up the downtown area, and it actually looks pretty nice. It's within walking distance of where I work (2 blocks), but the city is questionable, and don't really want to be away from home 6-7 days a week (which is in huntersville). Right now, it's just 4-5 days a week. Anyways...seriously considering it because it was dang near perfect with hardly any upfitting costs, and with a little tweaking, rent could be reasonable. As for the building itself, it's a little rundown in certain areas, but it has an incredible amount of storage space with the 2500sq ft that make up the main floor...It's got a cellar that would be perfect for the fermentation tanks and possibly barrel aging, and it's small enough that a window unit could keep it at a constant temperature. Building has pretty nice old-timey character. The only work that has to be done is partitioning a wall for a cold room and the bar, which could be done in less than 2 days I think. Please check out the attached pictures of the building. Location is questionable and risky. It's in the middle of a small downtown area, but the town has no real beer 'yuppie' factor that I know of. Since we'll be primarily production based, and I commute 30 minutes a day, delivery to accounts up and down my commute won't be any real issue. There's about 6 towns in between where I work and live, though our biggest market, Charlotte, NC, would be about 40 miles. I suppose we could always look at a distributor, though that would probably exceed the capacity of a 3bbl system. There are NO other brewerys/brewpubs within about 25 miles, which is a good factor, and only one other small brewery within about 40 miles. I think the brewery could host some pretty large parties...the tasting room had to be close to 1200sq ft by itself. The biggest question is, can the local market support it? Would that even be an issue with a production brewery and delivery radius of 50 miles? It allows us room to grow if we need it, and has 15' ceilings that could hold some serious tanks. A drawback is no garage door, so making sure everything would fit is priority #1. Here's a link to google maps, you can use street view (drag the little yellow man to the location marked by the blue pointer) to see what the surroundings look like. It's the building with the open flag. Click Here. Images of the site: Tasting Room 1:
Tasting Room 2:
Brewery Floor 1:
Brewery Floor 2:
Brewery Floor 3:
The other location we're considering is much less public than the Statesville location and off bailey road, $800/month, includes 1200sq ft, and is about 1 mile from my house. You can walk across the parking lot to Assclown Brewery, which is currently getting setup as well (not entirely sure that would be a good or bad?) It's in the heart of yuppieville central and 3 towns, but not in any real type of retail area (in a business park). There's not really any room for a tasting room though, and we could run into an issue with parking as well for any type of large groups. Upfitting wouldn't be any major cost, as they already have a separate room that could be used as a cold room by just adding the insulation. Here's the link to this location. Click Here Pics of the building are here: Cornelius Location The problem that we are seeing is that there are no real ideal spaces around the area we really want to be in which is the cornelius/davidson area. I don't want to go south of cornelius because of where I work and live, so it has to be between exit 25 & exit 49 on I-77. If you look at retail locations, they all want $14/sq ft or more, which just isn't in the budget. Everything else that has around 1500-2000 sq feet either has a crappy location or they want too much for the space. So what's a brewer to do?


  1. As a beer-centric business owner with an office in downtown Statesville, I think this location would be perfect for you, and I would love to be able to walk there to meet clients or just hang out. Have you noticed Wine Maestro's new shop right across the street? It is under new ownership and is carrying more craft beer now than wine - you can't beat that delivery route.

    Being in Statesville, you would have more traffic from travelers passing through - those going to Asheville (which is only an hour and a half away), those going to Charlotte, and also those going to Raleigh, or the coast. Having the crossroads of two major interstates gives Statesville a huge advantage.

    I won't argue about Statesville being a podunk town, but with the addition of the four new box stores , the upcoming improvement of the cloverleaf intersection at I-40 & I-77, the restoration of downtown and Friday After Five Summer Concert Series, progress is slowly, but surely happening. Wouldn't you rather be the first brewery in town instead of the last?

    Keep in mind Huntersville & Mooresville were podunk towns not so long ago. All it takes is a few people to invest in the area and others will follow. Whenever I’m in Charlotte, Hickory, Winston, or any other surrounding city, I run into people from around Statesville who have no alternative but to go out of town to drink good beer. It would be nice for those of us who live here to have a reason to stay.

  2. I live in Cornelius and I agree with everything that Michale just posted. I am a homebrewer and you are living my dream! Maybe you could have a pro am slot open sometime with me. Best of luck, Gary (Ogsgrogs) Johnson

  3. As the owner of the Wine Maestro in downtown Statesville (right across the street from your prospective location)- I think you would be pleasantly surprised to see the following you would have here. The craft beer market in my store is growing by the day - people want great beer. I personally am a huge beer lover and I pledge my support if you come to the area! As Michael stated - you would much rather be first than last! Good luck on your venture and I hope to see you soon!

  4. My husband and I belong to Iredell Brewers United home brew club. The club consists of serious craft brew drinkers all from the surrounding area and surprised everyone with how fast we grew. We are always looking for places to go for craft beer for ourselves and for the club (for our meetings and events) and usually have to go out of the area. We live in Statesville adn would love to have you here. I think you would have more support than you realize. Plus there is always the opportunity to change non-craft brewers over from the dark side :-)

    1. Meant to say "change non-craft beer drinkers"

  5. Well, Statesville is certainly making it's case! :D

  6. You should name the tasting room "The Cornhole". You can have Cornhole events on the patio. Then, you can change the blog title to "Chicks love the knob, especially in the Cornhole"

  7. HA! That's pretty good! We're probably going to nick name it "The Snobbery" for beer snobs. After all, that's how we got our name..."You don't want to hob nob with snobs!" :D

  8. Hi, I found no contact info of yours, so wrote as a comment here.
    when will you start brewing according to your plan? and have you got the brewery equipment? I work for" Zhongde Equipment Company"- manufacturer of brewery equipment in China, I'm wondering if you are interested.



  9. Have you spoken with some of the city leaders in Mooresville or even looked at the old Mill in Mooresville? He's got loads of space he might be willing make available. Plus, they're opening a wood-fired pizza restaurant in the PowerStation. I can make introductions...