Wilmington leaders want to know what the public thinks about craft beer breweries coming to the city.
City staffers say that right now Wilmington is a brewery desert because the city simply doesn't have many of the establishments. Staffers think that bringing in breweries could provide an economic boost to the region.
According to a presentation from staffers, 8 businesses have already contacted the city about brewing in Wilmington. The city staffers hope that the breweries could set up shop in old dilapidated buildings around the city.
Zoning is a concern for bringing brewery business to the Port City. Staffers said that right now the city is not zoned for breweries, so most breweries would probably have to open in areas zoned as ‘industrial'.
Many in attendance at Thursday's meeting seemed on-board with bringing the business practice to Wilmington.
"We're in the early phases. 10 years from now, it's going to be 20 breweries in North Carolina. It's going to bring in $30-40 million to this impact, economic impact to the City of Wilmington," said Ted Coughlin, a brewery investor at the meeting.
The city's planning commission will consider the specific brewery zoning on July 9th.
If approved by the planners, the Wilmington City Council would vote on the final zoning ordinance.
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