Despite Phase 2, Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, shown here in a pre-coronavirus photo, is in no hurry to restore an environment that may now endanger public safety. Its founder, Sean Lily Wilson, has not yet reopened Fullsteam in order to avoid a “free-for-all celebration.” Photo courtesy of Fullsteam Brewery.
Fullsteam Brewing in Durham is opting against opening their taproom immediately despite Phase 2 being put in place, Photo courtesy of Fullsteam Brewery.

In this episode of The Kicker, Richard Greene, executive director of the NC Craft Brewers Guild, discusses the recent clarification on Phase 2 reopening impacting breweries in North Carolina, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the brewing industry, with Carolina Public Press News and Community Partnerships Manager Stephanie Carson. Because of mandated closures North Carolina’s brewing community have seen a significant reduction in sales. Many shifted over to increased package sales during the closure, and as Phase 2 begins, are carefully exploring how to open their taproom in a safe way.

North Carolina is home to more than 300 craft breweries, the largest number in the South, according to the Guild, making it seventh in the country in terms of the number of breweries. Before the pandemic, they employed more than 10,000 people. The annual economic impact of the state’s breweries is more than $791 million annually, and in addition to small breweries is home to the east coast locations of three national brands including Oskar Blues, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada.

For more information on brewing in North Carolina

Read more of CPP’s recent reporting on Phase 2 reopening and its impact on restaurants and breweries here.

For more information about the NC Craft Brewers Guild you can visit their website.

About The Kicker

The Kicker is a production of Carolina Public Press. Send an email to if you would like to contact the staff of Carolina Public Press about The Kicker.

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Stephanie Carson is the former news and community partnerships manager at Carolina Public Press.

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