Just across the street from the Greensboro Coliseum, a tiny strip mall is slowly being converted into retail space. Big Dan’s Brew Shed moved here in May from its previous location off Highway 68, “with intentions to open a nanobrewery next door,” owner Dan Morgan said.
Around the corner from Natty Greene’s Bunker on Gate City Boulevard and named for its address at 1111 Coliseum Boulevard, Leveneleven will operate a three-barrel system to brew and sell beer on site.
In contrast, Gibb’s Hundred uses a 15-barrel system, and Preyer and Joymongers use a 10-barrel system.
Given Morgan’s presence in the local homebrew industry and his propensity for helping his customers become award-winning brewers, the news is epic.
A brainchild of Morgan’s for more than two years, the planned 49-person taproom will have a neighborhood bar feel and offer four main taps: “Something light, dark, hoppy and something else,” Morgan said.
Initially, Morgan and brewer Derrick Flippin will focus on classic styles. Flippin honed his skills under Morgan’s tutelage and won two bronze medals in the US Open Beer Championship last month, in addition to the coveted Ninkasi Award last year.
“I do Belgian beers and lagers really well, and Dan does kölsch and German styles,” Flippin said. “Between my brewing ability and his, we can brew everything.”
Morgan said Flippin has “the best nose and the best palate” for brewing.
Flippin currently makes the duo’s recipes in his home kitchen. The most recent lineup included a delicious smoked helles, a West Coast saison, an American-style tripel and a not-so-British golden that uses an experimental hop.
The small size of the brewery will give them the opportunity to “take a lot more chances as homebrewers than pro brewers,” and their connection to the homebrew supply store means they have access to “stuff big breweries don’t,” like the hop in the British golden and exotic malts they don’t have to order in bulk, Morgan said.
There will also be a guest tap, and with Morgan’s connections to Four Saints, Joymongers, Wise Man and Gibb’s — having met many of the brewers as customers through the Brew Shed — the options are plenty.
A brewery license prohibits the making of cider and mead since they are considered wine, but Morgan said they will offer both on the menu “because not everybody likes beer, God bless ‘em.”
Several food trucks have already expressed interest, and Morgan said there are “good delivery options” like Grub Pub, Jimmy John’s and Ghassan’s. They’ll also have bar snacks but “still need to come up with the menu.”[pullquote]Visit Big Dan’s Brew Shed at 1113 Coliseum Blvd. (GSO). Leveneleven will open at 1111 Coliseum Blvd. (GSO) later this fall. Find them on Facebook.[/pullquote]
Morgan hopes a restaurant will set up shop in one of the still-empty storefronts nearby.
Right now, most of the equipment sits in the back room of Big Dan’s Brew Shed, awaiting renovation of the adjacent space. Although Morgan received his federal license to open a brewery in May, there’s still much to be done, like installing plumbing and electrical outlets.
“We’ve had the equipment for two months,” Flippin said. “Approval from the city is a drawn-out process, and we could have to go through a second review later.”
The pair intend to open the brewery in late October or early November.