LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. -- As a booming industry, every county in North Carolina seems to have its own brewery and Lincoln County is joining in with its first brewery opening later this year.
The Eureka Mill building has been a staple on Lincolnton's Water Street. It first opened in 1910 as a cotton mill, but has sat empty for years other than as a small storage building.
Rhonda Hunter with the Lincoln Economic Association can see the building outside of her office. Years ago decided it was time for new life.
“I work with small businesses and entrepreneurs and every conference trip I went to every brewery said, 'every time a brewery opens, other commerce and other businesses are attracted to it,” Hunter said.
Shooting for this fall, Eureka Mill will be home to the county's first brewing company, 3 p.m. Brewing.
A long way for a community which was used to be a dry county.
“I think it’s all about the attitudes of the government, of the investors, the economy has been bad for some time, but the last 3 years it been picking up,” city manager Steve Zekefoose said.
With a $1.2 billion industry in North Carolina annually, county leaders say its good business.
“I'm looking at it as a long range plan, and that is to work with other small business who would want to come to town, or restaurants who want to pair up with the brewery,” Hunter said.
The building will also include a pottery museum and have an upstairs loft available for to rent for gatherings.