Jonathan Nobinger stands in front of the future site of Fourth Creek Brewing, located at 226 W. Broad Street.
Fourth Creek Brewing Company: 'Where old and new come together'
BY HALEY JONES
Statesville will soon have a brewery, set to open later this year.
Fourth Creek Brewing Company, named specifically for its location, is owned by husband and wife duo Jonathan and Krystyn Nobinger. The couple, who is renovating the 2,600-square-foot building located at 226 W. Broad St., aims to create a comfortable, casual and community atmosphere.
The downtown location was intentional, the Nobingers said, providing the opportunity to be directly involved in downtown festivals and events.
“There are breweries in every town. But we wanted this brewery to be for Statesville,” said Jonathan Nobinger, the brewer behind the operation. “That’s why we named it Fourth Creek. Others don’t understand the name but residents of Statesville do.”
MEET THE BREWER
Following a job change, the Atlanta natives moved to North Carolina in 2012, and after a few years of moving around, settled on the city of Statesville.
“We’re invested here,” Nobinger said. “We’ve planted our roots and it’s been an adventure ever since. We love it here.”
Nobinger is currently a Clinical Systems Analyst at Piedmont HealthCare, but he hopes to solely become involved with his brewery.
Early in life, Nobinger became interested in biology. After majoring in the subject for a few years, he changed his interest, becoming a history major instead. It was that change that set Nobinger’s life on course for the art of brewing.
“I had a history professor who homebrewed as a hobby,” Nobinger recalled. “I thought, ‘That is cool.’”
Nobinger first pursued his interest by becoming a homebrewer, beginning with a large pot and a kitchen stovetop. He is also a member of the Iredell Brewers United, going on four years, and has already served on the board, overseeing homebrew competitions. He’s also guest brewed at local breweries, such as D9 brewery.
“I design the recipe,” Nobinger said as he explained what it means to be a brewer. “I decide if the recipe needs this much grain, that much yeast. It is half art and half science, like baking a cake.”
THE TAPROOM AND BREWERY
The Nobingers intentionally looked for a location in the heart of downtown.
“This is our business plan – Statesville,” Nobinger said.
Nobinger envisions transforming the elongated building, formerly a pool hall, into an industrial, rustic taproom that incorporates modern features.
“Where old and new come together,” Nobinger said of the design. “I think that is where Statesville is right now. We have a lot of history but at the same time want to invite the new and revitalize downtown. I think our brewery will be key in helping to make that happen.”
“We want to support everybody else and play our part in bringing people to Statesville,” Nobinger said.
The beer brewing process will be visible from the sidewalk, through the large storefront window. The brewing process will be located towards the entrance, on the right side of the large, open space.
“The (exposed process) will speak for itself,” Nobinger said. “When you walk in the first thing you’ll smell is the grain.”
In addition to the visibility of the brewing process, tours will also be offered to explain and share the process of brewing.
The taproom will be located toward the back of the building, with high top tables and booths. The building has its own private parking, where Nobinger also envisions picnic tables.
Nobinger feels that he will eventually focus on the distribution of his brews, but for now, the owners want to focus on the aspect of close-knit community.
“We went smaller to grow more organically,” Nobinger said. “We want to focus on the tap room.”
With most stores downtown closing around 8 p.m., Nobinger hopes to contribute to the night life of Statesville by offering later hours. In the beginning, the Brewery will be open three days: Thursday (4- 10 p.m.), Friday (4-11 p.m.) and Saturday (12-11 p.m.).
There is also the possibility of the brewery opening on Sundays for sporting events.
Beyond the involvement of downtown festivals, the brewery will host its own events with hopes of being involved in the music scene.
“We’ll come up with some events that you will want to be involved in,” Nobinger promises. “And we will appeal to patrons, ages 20 to 60. All three generations have something to offer and they will all be welcome.”
For now, the current West Broad Street location is sufficient, but the brewery knows that they will outgrow the brewing system that this size of location allots. When that is the case, Fourth Creek Brewery will look into brewing offsite but will keep the downtown taproom.
Fourth Creek Brewing Company hopes to open with six beers, with the promise of expanding their selection in the future. Beers will include IPAs, browns and stouts, blonde and pale ales, and fruit beers.
There will also be a guest tap and a homebrew-inspired recipe tap that will pay homage to Nobinger’s beginnings.
The names of the beers will also play an important part in making Fourth Creek Brewery Statesville’s own. Nobinger talked of naming beers after local novelties such as the Tom Dooley story. He also wants his beer names to have personal ties to his life such as naming a fruit beer, “Mr. Weevil” because his wife is afraid of the bug, as he described the beetle-like insect on a label, pictured with top hat and cane.
“I want to poke fun at things that matter to us,” Nobinger said. “We’re serious about our beer but if you hang out long enough I’m a jokester and love having a good time.”
Ranging from old favorites to crazy combinations, Fourth Creek Brewing Company is adamant to provide beverages that everyone will enjoy. Nobinger is also aware that the craft beer phase may plateau, and in that case, he wants to have a neutral, house ale available that will appeal to everyone.
“We want to make drinkable beers,” Nobinger said. “We’ll have that beer that everybody can drink and then the crazy stuff that craft beer people are looking for.”
Additionally, Nobinger speaks of carrying guest wines and ciders for those patrons who prefer something a little different.
Beer snacks will be available to accompany Fourth Creek’s brews. There is also possibilities open for food trucks to park in the rear, private parking lot. Nobinger also hopes to partner with downtown restaurants for catering or carry-out options.
But the brewery has more in mind than just selling beer:
“We wanted leave our mark (on Statesville) and do something that matters,” Nobinger said. “It’s not just about the beer. We want to donate to local charities.”
Nobinger will have a donation system in place where part of the proceeds on certain nights would go toward a local charity.
“I want to keep the money here,” Nobinger said.
As a father of two sons, Nobinger hopes to create a family-friendly atmosphere at Fourth Creek Brewing Company. He's considering incorporating a possible nook with life-size games to keep children entertained.
“Kids are welcome,” Nobinger said as he spoke of his oldest son, 6-year-old Liam, who is his “brewing assistant.”
“He likes to grind grain, and he helps me stir to a certain temperature.”
Nobinger wants to support local art, encouraging artists to hang their creations in the brewery to encourage sales. He also wants to incorporate artistic graffiti inside the brewery.
When asked how he feels about owning Statesville’s first brewery, Nobinger is very modest, acknowledging the bottling company, Lowenstein & Co., opened by Dr. Julius Lowenstein and M.W. Meyer, that came to Statesville in 1884, and was known for sales of corn whiskey. Although the Nobingers may not own the first brewery in Statesville, theirs is the first established in Statesville in over 100 years.
Nobinger expressed his excitement at the changes he can help bring about.
“We’re excited, and we know Statesville is excited,” Nobinger said. “It’s been two years in the making, and it will take a few more months, but we’re ready.”