The journey began 5 years ago, when Neil Gimon looked at the positions he had with some of the largest companies, and how many times he had been laid off, and decided to work to be in control of his own destiny. After being a home brewer for over 20 years and winning awards as well as thumbs up from people that drank his beer, Neil looked at the growing craft beer movement and thought ‘there are great breweries up in Charlotte, but nothing down here in Waxhaw. In fact, the closest brewery was over 20 miles away in Charlotte, and there is a beer hungry audience in the area that was looking to have a great craft brewery in their backyard!
After sharing his idea with his wife, Anita, they began to plan out the brewery, listening to advice from other brewery owners, as well as Neil taking classes for the International Brewery and Distillery test. They both centered on Waxhaw as the place for the brewery. Both loved the town, as well as the history.
It took them a year and a half to find the perfect location. Right on Main Street of Waxhaw, in the old Volunteer Fire Department building. It was perfectly located, and had a floor that was 8 inches thick concrete, enough to support several fire engines, or a 10 Barrel Brewery!
They were turned down by 9 banks for their Small Business Association Loan, before getting approval from a local bank. From there it took 6 months to close the loan, as well as 4 months of construction. The Fire House had great bones, but every electrical line had to be pulled out of the building, all of the existing plumbing had to be upgraded, a new air conditioner and heater had to be installed, as well as other improvements needed to brew beer.