Preliminary development plans have been submitted to the city of Wilmington for a 9,000-square-foot commercial brewery and small tap room at 1002 Princess St.
The proposed brewery, Tidewater Brewing Co., would be a part of a redevelopment of the area known as the Soda Pop District. Within the past two years, Jim McFarland of Osprey Lands LLC, has purchased several buildings within the district, which includes Ninth through 11th streets from Chestnut to Market streets.
The plans for Tidewater have been a collaboration between, among other investors, award-winning brewmaster Ethan Hall, Lydia Berzonski and John Horton, who was the founder of the Cape Fear Beer Festival and Cape Fear Brewing Co.
"We basically got together and decided we wanted to combine forces because we had basically the same vision," Horton said Thursday.
He said the main focus of Tidewater is as a commercial brewing operation, selling kegs to restaurants and cans to grocery and convenience stores, while also offering a small, family-, dog- and community-friendly tap room with 2,500 square feet inside and 2,000 square feet outside.
"We intend to distribute and market the beer in a regional area, and not just Wilmington and North Carolina but surrounding states. We're starting with significant capacity," Horton said.
The Tidewater Brewing Co. proposal will be reviewed at a Technical Review Committee meeting Nov. 2. McFarland said he does not foresee any issues with the plan’s approval. In addition to the brewery, McFarland said two restaurants are planned for the district, the details of which are soon to be finalized.
McFarland is also in negotiations with several grocery chains to bring a grocery store to the district as well. Additional plans
include the transformation of part of the former Coca-Cola Bottling property, at 920 Princess St., into a 26,000-square-foot, two-story class-A office space.
The Cape Fear region is now home to more than a dozen breweries, and several more, including Flying Machine Brewing Company, 3130 Randall Parkway, and Edward Teach Brewing
, 604 N. Fourth St., are currently in the works or under construction.
Editor's note: This version has been updated to include more information about Tidewater Brewing Company.