Brewery of Dreams

by Nov 8, 2023North Brunswick, Pub Scout

The owners of Leland Brewing Co. never gave up on their vision of bringing a brewery to Leland, and now that brewery, opened in June 2023 across from Leland Town Hall and Founders Park, is thriving.

Jiminy Cricket was right, the little sonofagun. When you wish upon a star — and bust your butt (while worrying every day if what needs to happen will) — your dreams really do come true.

A year ago, I chatted with Chris LaCoe to get an idea of where — and when — he and his partners Nick Floyd, Mark Said and Ethan Hall would see their dream of opening a real, honest-to-goodness brewery in Leland come to fruition.

Well, check off that big box.

Because Leland Brewing Co. (LBC) opened the first week of June 2023, and it’s kicking butt and taking names.

“We’re slammed in the evenings, especially on the weekend,” LaCoe says. “We now have six or seven of our own brews that Ethan is turning out with more to come every day. And the customers seem to love them.”

Kurt Epps The Pubscout Leland Brewery

What’s not to love? On my visit I found LBC’s 5% Liberty Ship Lager to be quite good, as was the Leland Golden Sunset, a 5.3% golden ale that serves as a transitional beer for those inured to mainstream stuff. The Leland Brunswick Brown at 5.5% ABV — and very interesting indeed — is perhaps the biggest seller, according to LaCoe. The Leland Maco Light Stout (named for one of the best ghost stories in N.C. lore), at just 4.3% qualifies as a Breakfast Stout, and the Leland Riverside Rocker Red (5.1%) has a pleasant sweetness on the middle palate. The Shay-Day IPA is extremely solid and the highest in ABV at 6.9%. Look for a Blood Orange Wit and other seasonal varieties on your visit, of course.

In addition to their own offerings, Leland Brewing Co. has a wide variety of beers from many local sources.

This summer they had Bill’s, Brunswick Beer and Cider, Wrightsville Beach and Broomtail, along with drafts from New Belgium, Mother Earth, Stone and Deschutes. With all those offerings, any beer nut should be able to find a favorite.

It is good to see the brewery thriving, considering the hurdles Leland Brewing Co. had to surmount to get to this place. There were serious, hobbling delays that cost money — big money. LBC’s project costs doubled in one year. Fortunately, their bank believed in their business model and told them as much. If they would just have the patience to let things take their course, they would see their project move.

Chris Lacoe Kurt Epps Leland Brewery

The facility is impressive — airy, spacious, double-floored and with plenty of room for outside imbibing and relaxing. It is currently a 15-BBL operation, but that will probably increase soon — very soon.

Originally intended to be 7twenty6 Brewing, the name underwent a change, as there was an issue with the trademark of 7twenty6 Brewing. The idea for that name came originally from a friendly argument between LaCoe and Floyd about which was harder to hit — a baseball or a golf ball. It turns out the distance between a pitcher’s mound and home plate is 726 inches. And the name — they thought — was born.

The problem was that a brewery in Texas has a beer named 726, and despite the fact that one was a company in North Carolina and the other was a relatively minor beer in Texas, the trademark wonks said “no go.” The name Leland Brewing Co. solved the problem.

Leland Brewery Beer

And, if you’re a beer lover, it will likely solve your problems as well. There is no shortage of places in Leland to enjoy quality beer, of course, but LBC has upped the game.

The massive, multi-million dollar venture was supposed to kick off in January of 2023, but you know how that “red tape” business works.

No matter. LBC is here — and here to stay. Leland Brewing Co. has plans to make bourbon-infused beers on a regular basis, though that style is not being considered for the immediate future. They will also eventually distribute in South Carolina and Tennessee.

Leland Brewery NC

Regular visits by varied food trucks satisfy hungry patrons, while Hall’s beers slake the thirsts of the most discerning beer nuts. The bar area, with a beautiful white bar, packs out on a regular basis, but that’s what happens when you produce a quality product and a quality place in which to enjoy it.

It’s also what happens when you don’t give up on your dream and stick to the vision, even when things seem to be working against you.

Methinks Jiminy Cricket was on to something.

Dreams do start with a wish upon a star.

Want to visit?
Leland Brewing Co.
Open daily, 12 to 9 pm
2115 Ale Avenue, Leland
(919) 609-1226
lelandbrewing.com
Want More?
Head online to read “The Siege of the Barbarian Horde,” The PubScout’s adventure of bringing his OIB crew up to Leland Brewing Co.
lifeinbrunswickcounty.com/ the-siege-of-the-barbarian-horde

Photography by Matt McGraw