2014 NCBMF will be held on May 10, 2014. Look for further information to come.

Previous NCBMF Brewers, 2011 – 2013




2013 NCBMF Brewers of the Year

History is filled with stories of brothers who let their imaginations run wild. The Brothers Grimm. The Wright Brothers. And now, Jeff and Jason Alexander, the sibling artisans behind some of the best beers you’ll ever taste. Beers finished in small-batch blue corn whiskey barrels. Aged with backyard figs. Or infused with thyme and ginger. Basically anything their imaginations can come up with. And while they may not be as famous as those other brothers yet, the fruits of their labor have them off to a nice start.


With business acumen, rather than history in mind, Billy, Jetta and Scott Pyatt  acquired their first brewing equipment over five years ago. While pieces of a defunct  Boulder, Colorado brewery gathered dust in Billy and wife Jetta's garage, the Pyatt  brothers scouted additional equipment and searched for an affordable building in  which to begin their brewing business. They settled on the basement of an old,  two-story brick building, originally a textile mill, on Highway 70 in Glen Alpine. An  Antique Mall works the retail trade in the upper level. Definitely not the consummate  brewery building, it's functional nonetheless.

Though still a hodgepodge collection of various and sundry tanks, pumps and  jury-rigged systems, Catawba Valley Brewing Company released their first beer in July  1999. With four non-brewing years to sample and research the market, their  homework is paying off. Mostly a one man effort - brewer/salesman Scott has opened  keg-only accounts from Hickory to Asheville. While the younger Pyatt is an extremely  likable, persuasive fellow, it's his beer that does the real selling. Indian Head Red is a  mild, highly quaffable amber ale. Its lighter, little brother Wooden Nickel Ale plays the  golden angle, a pleasant training wheel brew for beginners and experienced craft beer  drinkers alike. Brown Bear Ale, a dark, softly hopped English recipe touts its sweet  malty profile, while Fire Water IPA, another take on a UK style, puts hops flavor and  bitterness to work. Neither sweet nor overpoweringly bitter, this deep golden brew  makes a satisfying session beer.


“We opened our doors on January 23rd, 2009 and since then we have been impressed with the enthusiasm of craft beer aficionados we meet daily. The craft brewing industry is booming and you can find a tremendous variety out there.

North Carolina has undoubtedly become the Southern State for beer with Asheville reigning supreme and Raleigh/Durham/CH not far behind.

We hope you continue to support the variety and encourage new brewers to experiment with and craft new styles for everybody’s pleasure.”


District 9 Brewing Company is a craft microbrewery located in North Carolina with the purpose of brewing and sharing outstanding beer that unites people together. First envisioned in July 2009 over a pot of boiling wort, the founders (below) believed that every person, and beer, has a story and decided to start a brewery where both could be shared.


Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, is Highland Brewing Company. Asheville's first legal brewery rolled out its first kegs in December 1994. Built almost entirely of retrofitted dairy equipment, the original brewery in downtown Asheville could produce up to 6,500 barrels per year. At the current location, 10 minutes from downtown, they now have capacity to brew over 30,000 barrels annually, with room to grow. Highland's fresh, finely crafted ales are available in seven southeastern states. As North Carolina's only regional brewery, Highland produces an impressive array of beers, from the best-selling Gaelic to their popular winter seasonal, Cold Mountain Ale.


2011 NCBMF Brewer of the Year

“NoDa Brewing Company opened its doors to the world on October 29, 2011 and is one of Charlotte’s newest home-grown microbrewery for beer lovers in the Carolinas! This unique production brewery in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood crafts small-batch premium beers, offering something for nearly every beer drinker. The North Davidson (NoDa) neighborhood is known as the creative center of Charlotte: as a natural extension of NoDa’s artistic spirit, there isn’t a better place for a microbrewery to call home.

NoDa Brewing is a 15 barrel brewery creating the highest quality beers for local restaurants and pubs, as well as our tap room. Our beer styles will have a Northwestern feel, showcasing American Pale Ales, India Pale Ales, and Porters. Our small size gives us the flexibility to introduce many unique and artistic recipes as well as our renditions of classic varieties such as Imperial Stouts, Wit beers, and Winter Warmers. Our Head Brewer frequently traveled to Europe over the past couple years. He has been fortunate to have experienced the wonderful beers that have historically defined many current craft beer styles. As we pay homage to these great and historic beers, we’ll add an American Flair that will be embraced in the Carolinas and beyond.”


“We have conceived, created, and built, from the start; a meaningful brewery in the heart of Charlotte to celebrate your growing demand for hand crafted quality beer. With a focus on the revival of artisan brewing, we strive to create the highest quality products available.

Brewing techniques as timeless as beer itself are used to create a uniquely handmade product. We craft the finest possible beer in small batches normally not found in the industry today which is typically dominated by mega mergers of international breweries. Is this difficult and more time consuming? Yes. Does it require more manual labor? Yes. Is it worth it? Unequivocally, YES. As beer is a “living, breathing” product made from precise strains of active yeast cultures, it just makes good sense to nurture the product in very manageable small batches. We believe that the extra care and attention devoted to each batch produces the best possible result and you as our friends deserve no less.

We hope that you will have the opportunity to experience the limited quantities of hand crafted beer that we produce in Charlotte. When you do, please notice the complexities of the aroma, the silkiness of its body, and the explosion of flavors as the grains merge artfully with the yeast cultures and noble hops blended meticulously for each variety. Join us in celebrating the pleasures of hand crafted beers and life in the Queen City finally merged into this moment in time and allow yourself the pleasure of enjoying a uniquely Charlotte experience.”


“Birdsong Brewing is one of Charlotte’s newest microbreweries. Birdsong was founded in 2011 with a quest for better beer and a 5 gallon soup kettle. Our vision is similar to many of our favorite craft brewing mentors who have inspired us to open our own brewery: We strive to brew flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers for distribution in the Charlotte, NC area.

We are located in NoDa at 26th & North Davidson and we started retail distribution and tap room sales in December 2011. Our goal is to create outstanding beer, to have a low impact on the environment, and to create personal relationships and ties to the local community.”


Triple C Brewing is the newest addition to a burgeoning craft beer movement in Charlotte, NC. Located in the historic South End district, Triple C is dedicated to hand crafting the finest Ales imaginable with a focus on the community as well as the environment. Our goal is to bring people together with a constant array of beer styles, new and old, accompanied by great live music. We are a group of Craft Beer lovers fortunate enough to take it to the next level. We love variety as much as you do, so along with our core beers and seasonals, we'll be showcasing our small batch series. These beers will only be served in our Tasting Room, where we invite your input and will be giving scheduled tours. From session to extreme, we believe there is a beer for every occassion.


Heist Brewery is Charlotte’s newest contemporary brewpub in the NoDa Neighborhood. At Heist, bold, exquisite and unexpected culinary combinations are the norm. Aside from our award winning handcrafted beers and made from scratch sodas, Heist will also offer an array of Artisan breads, shared plates and wood fired specialties. While rewriting the rule book and striving to crush “corporate practices” Heist will bring Charlotte an experience that is truly unparalleled to any other.


Fonta Flora operates out of a small but intentional space in Morganton, North Carolina. What we lack in size we make up for in enthusiasm and experimentation. Our beer is inspired by European tradition but steeped in American innovation. We brew Saisons, Tables, Sours, Ales, Stouts, you name it, all in small batches.


Howard Brewing - Our 15 barrel brewery is producing super fresh craft beer for enjoyment all throughout Western North Carolina and our taproom Downtown Lenoir is OPEN!


Red Oak Brewery

Fresh, Pure, Bavarian-Style Lagers!

Pure...   Brewed according to the 1516 Law of Purity using only Bavarian Hops, Malted Barley & Yeast. Brewed without any of the 400 additives & preservatives allowed in US beers.

Fresh...   Real Bavarian-Style Lager that has neither been filtered or pasteurized... all this difference makes for a Rich, Smooth Taste


Beech Mountain Brewing Co.

The newest craft brewery in Western North Carolina has opened in the Alpine Village at Beech Mountain Resort. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. has the capacity to brew up to 100 gallons per day and will be open year round to serve skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers and other resort visitors.

The brewery features three distinct ales created on-site, with consulting from award-winning brewer Will Young of Blind Squirrel in nearby Plumtree. Heading the list of beers is the 5506 Pale Ale, followed by the Cream and Scotch Ales. Patrons may purchase these high-quality craft beers by the pint or the growler. Flight tastings are also available, along with brewery tours, which include a pint and a keepsake glass.

"The brewery is yet another amenity added to the resort as part of our effort to become a year-round destination,” said Ryan Costin, general manager. “With the growing popularity of craft beer in North Carolina, we believe our customers will enjoy the experience."


Big Boss Brewing Company

Big Boss Brewing Company was started in 2006 and shipped it first beer in the 2nd quarter of 2007 in the triangle area of North Carolina. It was formed as collaboration between Geoff Lamb, a UNC graduate, who returned to North Carolina in 2006 to join forces with Brewmaster, Brad Wynn, who has 12+ years of brewing experience including several years with Victory, Wild Goose and Native Brewing Company.


Natty Greene

From a dream shared by two college friends, Natty Greene’s Brewing Co. has grown into a well-respected craft brewery whose award-winning beers have made it America’s 30th fastest-growing craft brew brand (New Yorker website, June 7, 2013).

The Greensboro and Raleigh brewhouses offer a full selection Natty’s styles on tap, from the popular beers found in stores to our master brewers’ latest inspirations – not to mention a great selection of high quality, nicely priced food.

As the Natty Greene’s brand continues to grow, Chris and Kayne hold true to their original dream: Create great beers for beer lovers everywhere to enjoy.


2012 NCBMF Brewer of the Year

Ass Clown Brewing Company

“We believe in making a product that is NOT based off of a profit model, but uses the best local organic ingredients (when available) We also believe it is important to know what is in the beer you drink and that it is made in an environmentally responsible way. Ass Clown Brewing strives to be a "green" brewing company that uses alternative energy and finds uses for brewing waste. For example, our warehouse will have recycled items, lights, furniture and equipment. Local ingredients will also be a focus for Ass Clown Brewing Company. We grow our own hops. As our production expands we will be looking for North Carolina hop growing farms, malting farms, spices and fruits.”


Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery

“We are a small packaging microbrewery located in Farmville, North Carolina. We sold our first beer in August of 2004. We specialize in beautiful, delicious, full flavored dark beers. When we brew, we’re happy and we dance. During fermentation, we sing softly to the yeast. Please try our beer and enjoy a taste of contentment!”


We are proud to feature a variety of hand-crafted beers brewed in downtown Winston-Salem by Brewmaster Jamie Bartholomaus. We believe drinking truly fresh beer is one of the greater pleasures in life. We guarantee that Foothills Beer is as fresh as nature allows because it flows directly from our serving tanks to your glass. You just can’t get beer that tastes any fresher.
Foothills brewing recently acquired the rights to produce two other Carolina favorites you may be familiar with, Carolina and Cottonwood Beers – both of which will be on hand at this year’s festival.


Raihouse Brewery was officially founded Dec 1, 2010, in the historic town of Aberdeen, North Carolina. Started by military veterans Brian Evitts (U.S. Navy), and Mike Ratkowski (U.S. Army). They met as managers of the same company and were drawn together by the same home brewing passion to make excellent beers. Brian has been an avid home brewer for almost 15 years, while Mike has always enjoyed the culture of breweries. They both felt there was a lack of thier style of beer–beer focused on the malted barley and not so focused on the hops.


Primal Brewery was founded in 2013 and is a micro-brewery focused on the production of a variety of quality small-batch beers. 
Webster’s defines the word “primal” as being essential or fundamental and from our perspective quality beer IS essential and fundamental to a good quality of life.  To that end, we will brew beers infused with flavor and attitude seeking to satisfy the appetites of Traditionalist’s and Progressive’s alike.
Our brewery and tap house is will be located in Huntersville, North Carolina.  Our facility is currently under construction and not scheduled to open to the public until July/Aug of 2014.  When we open our facility will be at 16432 Old Statesville Road just north of the Huntersville town square.  For more information and to keep track of our progress please follow us on Facebook at Primal Brewery.

RJ Rockers Brewing Company became Spartanburg's first brewery in 1997, when owner and brewer Mark Johnsen set out on a mission to provide the people of the Upstate with the best microbrewed beer they had ever tasted. Mark, a New Jersey native, had loved brewing beer for his friends and family for years.

Following his service in the 1991 Gulf War, Mark was stationed in Germany as a member of the United States armed forces, and he took this opportunity to learn as much as possible about brewing from the experts. By the time he was honorably discharged from the service, he was ready to take his beer to the public.



Carolina Brewery is a locally-owned brewery and restaurant that has drawn international attention for its handcrafted beers, all brewed in-house by Director of Brewing Operations Jon Connolly and his team. Founded in Chapel Hill in 1995, Carolina Brewery is the oldest brewery in the Triangle area.

Carolina Brewery’s Flagship India Pale Ale won a Gold Medal in the 2006 Great American Beer Festival and the Copperline Amber Ale is a Gold Medal winner in the World Beer Championships. Both of these beers and our Sky Blue Golden Ale are offered year-round, along with special limited-edition seasonal specials.

Carolina Brewery is equally dedicated to flavor on the plate. Our expanding menu raises the bar on traditional pub fare. With core items of burgers, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches plus seasonal menus featuring local ingredients, there’s something to please everyone in your group.


Take the goodness of garden-grown products, the warmth of small town life, the earthy ethic of rock 'n roll, a deep respect for a time-honored craft...and you have the ingredients of Mother Earth Brewing. Born in the summer of 2008, Mother Earth is the dream-child of Stephen Hill and Trent Mooring, two guys from Kinston, North Carolina, a sweet southern town in the heart of the old tobacco belt….

….From beer-drinking conversations and taste testing, brewery tours and beer festivals, their vision evolved: make a world-class product, but keep the process local. "Kinston is home to us." Both Stephen and Trent grew up going to school in the little city of under 25,000, and have centered their business careers there. As a local businessman and outdoor enthusiast, Trent shared Stephen's interest in arts, preservation of a down-home lifestyle, and community revitalization. "Like a lot of modest hometowns across the nation, Kinston is searching, trying to grow and attract new folks and new businesses without losing that neighborhood feeling that makes living here so appealing. This has always been a hub of an active farm area. We thought, wouldn't it be great to make a product that has its roots in the land?"

When it came time to christen their homegrown business, they sat down and listened to rock 'n roll. "All my vinyl albums from 1965 to the present-we went through them, listening to the great sound and writing down words and phrases that spoke to our philosophy. Finally, on an old Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album, we found Mother Earth. And we knew, that was us."



Brooklyn Brewery makes beer. Good beer. Not only does it taste good and make your meal better but we like to think that since its founding in 1988, Brooklyn Brewery has brewed flavorful beers that enrich the life, tradition and culture of the communities it serves. Its award-winning roster of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers have gained the Brewery notoriety as one of the top craft beer producers in the world. While striving to brew the best beer possible (and make time for our growing families), The Brewery promotes the proliferation of good beer and good food whenever it can. Brooklyn beers are currently distributed in 25 states and 20 countries. Throughout 2011 The Brewery underwent an expansion that will double overall capacity in 2012 and quintuple by 2013. http://brooklynbrewery.com/verify
In the mid-90’s, Master Brewer Mark Thompson returned to his native Virginia from Portland, OR, having learned two things: First, that the craft of artisanal brewing was one part science and one part art; and second, that making delicious beer was a lot cooler than anything he had ever done as a biology student. After several years of apprenticing with other master brewers, Mark was ready to begin crafting beer using his own recipes.

He found the perfect spot in Charlottesville, VA – a historic storefront on Main Street that was once home to the state of Virginia’s first craft brewing operation. In September 1999, Mark re-opened the doors and introduced the “Starr Hill” Brewery. Named after the local neighborhood, the brewery shared its historic building with the legendary Starr Hill Music Hall, and it was there that Mark's delicious craft beers became a favorite to visiting beer lovers, musicians, and music fans from around the world. Nineteen prestigious awards later, Mark’s brews continue to be a hit at beer and music festivals nationwide.

In 2005, in response to the growing demand, Mark moved from this small brewing operation to a larger brewing facility several miles outside of town, nestled in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Starr Hill's house and seasonal brews are now enjoyed in restaurants and music clubs throughout the Mid Atlantic and Southeast, and are also available at many grocery and convenience stores in the region.

Mark is proud of the awards his microbrews have earned, and the experts agree that he is among the best craft brewers in the country. But at the end of the day, what still matters most to Mark and his team of brewers at Starr Hill is giving people the gift of great beer.


In operation since late 2002, Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, has grown to produce around 50,000 barrels of beer annually. The hand crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom.

Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn started the brewery with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2002, with equipment gained from the purchase of the Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Southern Tier Brewing Company began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside of Lakewood, New York. By 2003, select varieties of small batch ales were locally distributed, and by 2005, sales covered the majority of New York State and Pennsylvania. Before launching a successful roster of seasonal beers, the brewery produced Pilsner, Mild Ale, and India Pale Ale.

Southern Tier immediately garnered regional attention and demand for the product quickly outgrew what their modest facility could handle.  In 2009 a new 20,000 square foot building was built for the purpose of brewing innovative, high-quality beer to accommodate an expanding customer base. In this new facility, the small brewery was able to grow and offer the product both nationally and internationally, while still satisfying its loyal fans.

Steadily growing, throughout 2010 it became clear that more beer needed to be produced to satisfy a growing customer base. 800 barrels of fermentation vessels were added to the production area and a 7500 square foot addition was added for use as a conditioning room. The constantly running brew house has also been expanded and updated from 20 BBL to a 50BBL system. In keeping pace with the expanded brewing capacity, the company replaced its bottling line with the most high-tech, state of the art bottling line of its size in North America. It fills, caps and labels an impressive 10,000 bottles per hour at full speed. Our cellar has been expanded to allow for more than 3200 BBL of fermentation space as of late 2011.


THE FULL STEAM MANTRA: We hold these truths to be self-evident: That not all beers are created equal. And neither are the breweries that create them. That we, the 47 employee-owners of the Full Sail Brewing Company,  proudly proclaim ourselves to be  I N D E P E N D E N T. That to be Independent is to be free. Free to live a life less ordinary somewhere extraordinary. Where the sirens are sounded by blue jays, and the skyscrapers have names like Hood, Adams and St. Helens. Free to measure our lives not in dollars and cents, but in waves carved and powder runs tracked, in music made and meals shared, in pint glasses lifted and bonfires burned. Free to pursue the perfect balance.

Between work and play, art and commerce, inspiration and perspiration. Free to amp up the creativity and craftsmanship of everything we do. No matter how big. No matter how small.
Free to celebrate and support Independents everywhere: The sail maker in Hood River,
the pub owner in Seattle, organic grower in Flagstaff.  The bike shop owner in Moab, the carpenter in Tahoe, the board shaper in Santa Cruz. Free to make everything we do not just good but insanely great.



Lake Norman Brewing Company is a family owned and operated microbrewery proudly located in Mooresville, NC. It was specifically named “Lake Norman” due to the Lake’s prominence and the vitality it represents to the population that thrives around it. 

No matter the reason that you love Lake Norman as your home or get-away, for the boating, the sunsets, the hiking, the biking, the camping, the watersports, picnics, the swimming or the fishing, we are excited to be part of the community.