Baton Rouge-based Tin Roof Brewing Co. will mark the new year with the start of construction on a microbrewery at 5401 North, a 400-acre planned community under development in Raleigh, North Carolina by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s real estate company, Commercial Properties.
The facility, previously announced in August, will be adjacent to the campus of Wake Technical Community College and will serve as both a classroom and laboratory for students at the college, who are learning to brew craft beer through the college’s brewing program.
Significantly, the facility will also be the first commercial establishment—with a brew pub and restaurant— in the mixed-use 5401 North development.
Tin Roof owner William McGehee says work crews will break ground in the next few weeks and that the brewery should be open by early fall, in time for the start of the 2019 school year.
“We’ll be the classroom and will have a lab in there and a brewing system, where the students will get to learn, in real time, how to brew beer and analyze beer and all kinds of fun stuff,” McGehee says. “We’ll also serve the beer at the brew pub and restaurant.”
Closer to home, Tin Roof will concentrate on developing more specialty releases and small batches in 2019, which is something customers are demanding, McGehee says. Tin Roof makes four year-round beers and five, rotating seasonal brews, as well as occasional small-batch beers.
“Those small batches are what we’re really trying to ramp up in the new year,” he says. “Customers are demanding different flavors and want to try interesting new things so that’s what we’ll be giving them.”
Tin Roof has been brewing locally since 2011, and its tap room has been open since 2015. In that time, competition in the market has increased. But McGehee says there’s still plenty of space for others to jump in.
“We’re still sort of in the stage where if a brew pub opened up next door to us it would be good and there would be synergies,” he says. “We sort of believe a rising tide lifts all ships.”