MOORESVILLE – It’s not his marketing pitch, but Andy Prascak poses a good question for craft-beer connoisseurs:
“If you’re a beer drinker, why wouldn’t you try a local beer made just a few miles away?” asks Prascak, who operates the Lake Norman Brewing Company with his father, Mike.
The two started the Mooresville-based craft brewery in July.
Mike Prascak had spent some time around the brewing industry and figured this year was the time to get further involved. He brought up the concept to his son last spring. Andy said he was on board from the start.
They began selling beers in August and have gotten their product out to several locales, including Duckworth’s and J.J. Wasabi’s in Mooresville, the Davidson Beverage Company and the Galway Hooker in Cornelius. The two also took part in the Lake Norman Beer Festival on Sept. 21 and Charlotte Oktoberfest on Sept. 28.
“That was our coming-out to the public,” Andy Prascak said. “At those festivals, we were getting thousands of people seeing our name. We’ve heard people say they can’t wait for more. We’re a really small-scale brewing company right now. We brew about 100 gallons per week.”
Three beers populate the Prascaks’ offerings: the best-selling Outboard Amber Ale, Dockside Blonde Ale and the new Pontoon Pale Ale.
“We’ve realized how the local brewing scene has grown,” Prascak said. Since Carolina Beverage Group, there hasn’t been a lot of brewing here, but we figured this was a great opportunity and we were going to jump on it.”
Prascak knows he isn’t the only local brewer to get into the industry. Matt Glidden’s Ass Clown Brewery in Davidson also got off on solid footing, thanks to a lake population increasingly interested in craft beer.
Like Glidden, Prascak said he believes it’s important to have a good name if you’re a new craft brewery. He was grateful to end up with the Lake Norman Brewing Company name, but the Prascaks weren’t the first to have the moniker.
“There was a Lake Norman Brewing Company in the 1990s, so we were fortunate to reclaim the name,” Andy Prascak said.
A successful business climate was another driving force behind the Prascaks’ venture into brewing craft beer as a company.
“North Carolina is very business-friendly to breweries and wineries,” Mike Prascak said. “That factor played a huge part in our decision to get rolling. The initial acceptance and partnership that we have with our local restaurant customers has exceeded our expectations, and we are excited about our future developments.”
One of those developments is a 1,000-square-foot tap room in Mooresville, which Andy Prascak hopes the company will open in January 2014.
“That’s our next focus,” he said. “We’re excited about finishing that tap room. It’ll be a place where people can come have some good beer and enjoy each other’s company.”
A good craft beer, Andy Prascak said, has a few requirements.
“You’ve got to have good flavor, quality ingredients and good presentation,” he said. “What’s great about our market is now, we’re seeing all these breweries around town. The demand is still growing.”