Welcome back to the third, and final, post in our Sustainability Series. If you haven’t read the first and second parts in the series (on environmental sustainability and social sustainability), be sure to click the links and start reading from the beginning. Up next, we’re tackling the topic of economic sustainability. According the the Brewers Association, “economic sustainability is the ability to support a defined level of profitability and growth to continue at an acceptable rate.” While we opened our doors in 2011 because of our passion for the craft, we also opened our doors in the hopes that we could make an actual economic impact on our community. To assess economic sustainability efforts, we’ve addressed a few questions below.

How has Charlotte’s brewery industry and NoDa Brewing Company changed Charlotte’s economic landscape?
While it was always our goal to contribute as much to our local economy as possible, winning the Gold Award for Hop Drop ‘N Roll at the World Beer Cup, less than three years after we opened, truly expanded our opportunity to make an economic impact and encourage tourism for the sole purpose of visiting breweries (beer-cations!). Thanks to national exposure, we’ve been able to make a more significant economic contribution to our community than we ever imagined. Each year, our production has increased, and in turn, so has the number of people on our payroll. The really amazing thing is, we’re not the only ones contributing to the vibrant and award-winning craft beer culture in Charlotte. So many breweries that have opened after us have established themselves in big ways, adding even more to our city’s economic landscape.

How has NoDa Brewing Company changed its community’s (NoDa/North End) economic landscape?
As Charlotte’s second oldest craft brewery, we’ve been in the incredible position to help influence the wave of growth that has propelled the Charlotte’s craft brewing community to national attention. We always try our best to be as supportive of every subsequent brewery that has come along since we’ve opening our doors. We try to do our part to share advice, offer assistance, such as selling raw materials at cost (particularly hops during the shortage years), and washing kegs while they waited on equipment arrive. We are always striving to be a positive member of the local brewing community, including our involvement in groups like the Charlotte Independent Brewers Alliance (CIBA).
Additionally, one of the ways that we’ve made a big impact on the NC economic landscape has been our championship of self-distribution through the Craft Freedom initiative. For more information on the history of self-distribution rights in NC and our current legal efforts please visit http://craftfreedom.org/

Is your brewery locally owned and operated? If not, who owns and operates your brewery?
Yes, we are owned and operated by Todd and Suzie Ford and Chad Henderson.

Does your brewery’s top-level leadership live in Charlotte?
Yes, all of our employees and owners live in Charlotte. In fact, all of our owners, and many of our employees, live in the NoDa neighborhood. And nearly all of our other staff lives right in Charlotte’s city limits.

What opportunities do you offer to your staff to advance their careers, develop their skill sets, and/or move upward in the organization?
We strongly believe in upward mobility at NoDa Brewing Company. We fit the, wonderful, industry cliché of promoting people from keg washers and line-cleaners to delivery, sales and brewing positions. Additionally, we send our staff to a variety industry conferences, training seminars and education programs each year. We have also hosted free education events with industry leaders like MicroMatic at the brewery and invited all the other breweries in the area to attend.

Thanks again for reading our sustainability series! We will continue to do our best to support sustainability opportunities within our brewery and our communities.