Beer boom fuels neighborhood growth

(NBC News) Small breweries can mean big business for local economies.

Chris Harker is president of Triple C Brewing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina. When he opened the doors and the taps at his brewery in the city’s South End neighborhood in 2012 the neighborhood was not a hangout for the hip. That quickly changed.

“We got surprised, even with the warning we got from a couple of other breweries that started out before us. We just hadn’t really been in the industry before or even the service industry. The first day there was a line the whole time,” he recalls.

Triple C’s neighborhood is now hopping. With the help of a light rail line, new apartments have opened, there are new restaurants, and of course, more breweries.

“A lot of people tell us they choose their homes because of proximity to a transit station, but of course they use the breweries more often than they use transit,” says Megan Liddle Gude of Charlotte City Partners.

The new construction, however, is costly. South End is now among the priciest areas in the market.

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