Lelanders have long-awaited their first brewery. In just over a month, locals can expect to sip on Leland-crafted brews for the first time, saving them a trip across the bridge.
Brunswick Beer and Cider aims to open on Oct. 1, according to owner Jud Watkins. The true opening date is flexible depending on how construction progresses, he said.
The sister brewery of Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Brunswick Beer and Cider will be similar, Watkins said, but will also feature unique drink and menu items.
The brewpub is currently under construction
at The Villages at Brunswick Forest at 1313 S. Dickinson Drive, where Watkins said he sees regular visitors checking in for updates by bike weekly.
At about 13,000 square feet, the Brunswick brewery is roughly 25% larger than Wrightsville Beach Brewery, Watkins said. “We’re very excited. We’re ready to crank out some more beer,” he said Monday as he was installing piping in the new build. “We’re bursting at the seams at Wrightsville, which is a good problem to have, but still a problem.”
Overall capacity is tight, he explained, due to a lack of cooler space left in Wrightsville Beach Brewery. “We can’t make enough beer fast enough and don’t have enough cold storage for it,” he said. Brunswick Beer and Cider opening will help alleviate some of that pressure for the Wrightsville brewery, Watkins said, but will focus on Brunswick-branded brews.
Some menu items will be familiar, Watkins said: “We’ll definitely be taking some of our favorite pizzas over.”
Complete with a full restaurant, the new build is also a brewery (as opposed to simply a taproom) and will add cider into the mix.
As construction nears an end, Watkins said he is gearing up for a big hiring spree: The new brewery needs 100 employees to get going. Wrightsville Beach Brewery employs 92, he said. “We’ll be posting jobs here soon,” he said.
Once open, Brunswick Beer and Cider will be the Leland area's first brewery. Another planned brewery, formerly called 7twenty6 Brewing Co., will rebrand as Leland Brewing Co. and open next year across from Leland Town Hall, according to its website.
Watkins said they're excited to be the first, "but we are also excited to see more breweries in planning and under construction in the Leland area.
"We are an 'all boats with the raising tide' kinda brewery," he said. "More than anything, we excited to be a part of a fun, fast-growing community."