As soon as NC started taking the pandemic seriously and closing businesses back in March, I knew the brewery industry would be in for it.
Fortunately, no breweries have closed in my city, which is amazing! But three have closed in the next town over, including heavy hitter Natty Greene’s, which supplied the ballpark, its downtown pub, and nearby bars and restaurants, and was one of the first to start brewing in NC after Prohibition.
Natty’s filed for Chap. 7 bankruptcy this month, while Gibb’s folded in September. Preyer, a favorite among those in the Fisher Park neighborhood, chose to close in February, which probably was a good decision considering what came after.
Since my friend’s suicide last year, I’ve been particularly reflective and sentimental around Halloween. It gives me an opportunity to remember those who have passed, and now it’s helping me grieve places I’ve loved, too.
I remember having my engagement party with friends on the second floor of Natty’s pub, buying Red Nose 6-packs every Christmas, and checking out some of the taps at Revolution Mill during a random workday for an article I was writing.
Then there was that one birthday when I treated myself to the St. Petersgourd imperial stout with a marshmallow fluff rim at Preyer. And I’ll never forget interviewing members of the Battleground Brewers Guild at the new location of Gibb’s Hundred for a story I was working on for 1808: Greensboro’s Monthly. By the time the club posed for a portrait, they had dubbed me an honorary member and were pressuring me to be in the picture with them.
I have many more memories, of course, but these stand out. I hope we don’t lose any more awesome breweries in the Triad — even before the pandemic, the market hadn’t reached saturation, although some individuals complained on social media that we didn’t need more breweries. (I disagree, and I’m glad I’m no longer on social media.)
My next post will be about breweries I miss in Portland, which I learned had closed long before the pandemic. It’s just that time of year to remember the good times, with the intention of never taking the present for granted.