Protagonist Beer expects to open its second location this October. The brewery chose to move forward with construction despite the economic downturn related to Covid-19.
Plans call for a 15,000-square-foot taproom and brewery — Protagonist’s second following its 1,700-square-foot NoDa location.
“The opening of the Lower South End brewery is timely, as people are looking for more space and safe opportunities to enjoy the brewery scene,” says Mike Salzarulo, co-founder.
He founded the brewery with childhood friends Ryan McKillen and Ryan Owens. Their love of craft beer kept the friends connected over the years and led them to launch the Protagonist brand in 2019.
The new location is on Southside Drive, making it neighbors with The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Sugar Creek Brewing Co. That space was formerly occupied by Great Wagon Road Distillery.
It will feature interior gathering space with a mezzanine, a customer-facing barrel-aging room and three separate bars.
A full kitchen will offer a menu around whole pizza pies and slices available for on-site consumption or delivery.
A 15-barrel brewing system will allow Protagonist to innovate its processes and recipes as well as package product.
The exterior space will include a 6,000-square-foot patio, which will be partially covered to enjoy all months of the year.
Plans call for 30-plus jobs to be created.
“It’s at our core that we’ve wanted to do more for the community: raise more funds for local nonprofits, serve more guests, brew more beer — with this new location, we will be able to foster and reach more of our goals,” Salzarulo says.
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