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Southern Pines Brewing Gets Underway on Expansion

The Buggy Factory, the latest expansion of the popular microbrewery Southern Pines Brewing Co., had its groundbreaking ceremony June 9th in downtown Carthage.

Borrowing heavily from the history and iconography of Carthage’s signature past, The Buggy Factory by Southern Pines Brewing Co. will be a restaurant, taproom and small-scale brewery.

CEO Micah Niebauer announced his plans for the historic 1856 Tyson and Jones Buggy Co. building last September after decades of the building’s sitting in disrepair.

“It’s really going to help with our downtown revitalization,” says Carthage mayor Jimmy Chalflinch.

The Tyson and Jones Buggy Co. was once the most well-known carriage factory in the world, giving Carthage its nickname “buggy town.” Tyson and Jones reached its peak in 1890, putting out around 3,000 carriages a year. The last buggy from the factory was delivered in 1925.

The factory buildings themselves are no longer standing. What remains is what was used as an office building for T.B Tyson.

“We can’t wait for the opportunity to shepherd this building through its next use for future generations,” says Niebauer. He hopes to have the new taproom ready by the end of the year.

“We go to a lot of ground breakings,” said State Sen. Tom McInnis, whose district includes Moore County. “Usually there’s only a handful of people, but look around at this crowd. We’re all here to celebrate the American dream.”

The town of Carthage itself is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance. Though it is the county seat, the town until recently has not enjoyed the same sort of commercial, business, and residential growth as its sister municipalities in southern Moore County.

Chief among the new projects in Carthage is a massive $53 million expansion of the county courthouse in the center of town. Once completed, the new building will be connected to the existing 47,000-square-foot courts facility, which is being renovated to accommodate probation officers, jurors, and members of the district attorney’s office.

Several local business owners also have invested in the courthouse square area downtown, fixing up storefronts and bringing a mix of new merchants.

Elsewhere, new neighborhoods are being built just a short distance from downtown, and developers have gotten approval for a large apartment complex on N.C. 22 just south of the main town.

And the town last year approved plans for a large-scale mixed use development in the former Little River golf community off U.S. 15-501. When built out, it could double the town’s population to more than 5,000 residents.

All that has required the town to invest in itself. It is adding or improving water and wastewater capacity, and it is looking at a series of other expansions of services to accommodate the growth.

As for the brewery’s plans, the renovated building’s interior calls for exposed beams, a bar, restaurant style seating, four gas-log fireplaces and more, all paying close attention to the historic integrity of the building.

“It’s such a neat old building. We wanted to figure out ways to preserve a lot of it,” says Niebauer. Many of the tables will be made out of the building’s old doors by a friend of Niebauer’s from their days serving as U.S. Army Green Berets.

Niebauer plans to have 30 taps and some offerings unique to The Buggy Factory location. He also wants this location to focus on lagers.

The restaurant menu is underway, but Niebauer intends to have wood-fired pizza ovens and offerings that provide a quick meal in Carthage. That’s due in no small part to the several Moore County offices located a block away. When Niebauer announced his plans last fall, countless workers within the county courthouse complex began dreaming of a new walkable lunch option.

The renovated property will have an outdoor covered beer garden, a handicap accessible ramp and outdoor stage to be used for live music and events. The entire property will be fenced in so people can wander throughout.

“We’re ready to have the community gather in a way that maybe hasn’t been possible for Carthage yet,” says Niebauer.

Half of the building’s basement will house a brewhouse around a third of the size of the main Southern Pines brewery’s size. The other half will feature a small bar focused on serving canned cocktails the business has recently begun rolling out.  Southern Pines Spirits will feature six canned cocktails. The downstairs space can also be used to accommodate private parties.

The Carthage expansion is just a small part of the company’s growing footprint. In addition to The Buggy Factory and Southern Pines Spirits, Southern Pines Brewing Co. is also working to open Southern Pines Brewing Co. on Hay Street in Fayetteville.

“It’s incredible to see how many people showed up today and we’re not even pouring beer yet,” says Niebauer. “Fostering community is what it’s all about.”

(Story by Emilee Phillips, The Pilot)


> Read more about Micah Niebauer in our Success Stories in the Small Business category!



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