CLEMMONS — Craft brewing is coming to Clemmons.
Have Another! Brewing Company is expected to open in May in an 1,800-square foot building off Ramada Drive, becoming what is believed to be the first brewery in Clemmons.
Earlier this month, the Clemmons Village Council approved a zoning request from brewery owners and Clemmons residents Lynn Johnson and Jon Cornatzer.
The two men are new to the brewing business, which is exploding in North Carolina.
According to the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild, there are 180 craft breweries and brew pubs in the state, the most of any in the South. The craft brewing industry is concentrated in Asheville and the Triangle, with a few in Winston-Salem. The city will get another in the next few weeks when Wise Man Brewing opens downtown.
Johnson, an engineer, and Cornatzer, a musician, have been working on the brewery’s opening for about three years, with the goal of keeping it in Clemmons. They are refurbishing an existing building on Commercial Park Court where they will brew the beer with the possibility of eventually opening a tasting room, Johnson said.
Initially, Have Another! will be equipped with three barrels, with each barrel holding 31 1/2 gallons of beer.
“We’ve worked on about 10 recipes and will probably brew about three or four different recipes and see what people like,” Johnson said.
Some of their brews include a vanilla bourbon porter, a wheat beer with a little rye, an amber ale and golden ale.
Johnson became intrigued with the idea of opening a local brewery from a friend, who lives in Charlotte. Johnson later took that idea to Cornatzer, his banjo teacher.
“I was telling him about it, and a few lessons later, he said, ‘Are you still thinking about that craft brewery thing? I’m interested,’” Johnson recalled.
The two began learning everything they could about the brewing business, invested in equipment and began experimenting with recipes, starting with an Oktoberfest, a lager.
“We’ve refined the process and have gotten better with our technique,” Johnson said.
Once production begins, Johnson said he hopes the beer will be available at local restaurants and such places as Lowes Foods, which has added “Beer Dens” featuring craft and local brews in its renovated stores.
Beer will also be sold in kegs, he said.
“We will be looking to put it wherever we can find a spot for it,” Johnson said.
As the brewery grows, Johnson said he hopes there will jobs in sales and quality control.
In the meantime, Johnson and Cornatzer will be applying for their commercial brewers permit, a four- to six-month process they must go through before opening.