Already well known in the craft brewing community, Eric Mitchell finds a home at Pinehurst Brewing Co.
September 4, 2018

#InPinehurst | Food & Fun

Yes, the old steam plant building is really cool. But Eric Mitchell, as head brewer, adds to the excitement surrounding the Pinehurst Brewing Co.

The Pinehurst Brewing Company’s most apparent feature is its building – the historic steam plant, which powered the Village for decades from its inception in 1895. But inside the brewhouse is another important element – head brewer Eric Mitchell.

Formerly of Heist Brewery in Charlotte, Mitchell brings with him a noteworthy brewing resume, having won recognition from the World Beer Cup and others. His IPA, Citraquench’l, consistently ranks among the Top 10 IPAs in the United States, and in February last year, people braved the winter cold and camped out in line to be among the first to buy a new release of Mitchell’s bourbon barrel-aged stout, Cataclysm.

Mitchell is among the most highly regarded young brewers in the craft beer community. He shot to national prominence at Heist, where just six months after being hired as the floor manager in 2013, he was named as the brewpub’s head brewer. In the short time since Mitchell’s crafts have been routinely considered among the best in the country.

He’ll have a generous opportunity to be creative at PBC, which will open this month, and is looking forward to bring to Pinehurst the same standard he became known for Heist.

“I am who I am – the beers I like to drink are the ones I like to make,” Mitchell told Charlotte Magazine. “So I’m not going to take something like Citraquench’l and exactly replicate it, but yes, you can expect somewhat similar styles (at Pinehurst).”

As much as we are looking forward to sampling Mitchell’s creations for the Pinehurst Brewing Company, it’s been amazing to watch the rebirth of the steam plant building. Once slated for demolition, the steam plant has been fully renovated. That said, careful consideration was given to maintaining the original façade and the character of the building, including the smokestack, a defining feature of the Village’s original landscape.

Pinehurst Brewing Co. Progress

Much of the old steam plant building remains, but instead of turbines and generators, it will feature a 10-barrel microbrewery. An observation platform overlooking the brewhouse will be a focal point of the taproom, and the dining room will be complemented by a bar, a beer garden and an all-seasons patio.

Parts of the brewhouse’s walls remain blackened from the decades it housed massive steam boilers. The unique exterior brick corbeling – rarely seen in architecture today – is preserved, and the vintage arches and windows have been restored. Brick walls that have been standing for over 120 years give way to high ceilings.

Portions of the plant have been renovated to include a smokehouse for the restaurant and a greenhouse for herbs, which could be used for both the restaurant and for brewing ingredients. A trellis designed to replicate the train track that brought coal into the plant covers seating outside. The trellis is supported by the same pylons that held the track in the early 1900s.

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