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Southern Pines Brewing Company | North Carolina

When you talk to the owners of Southern Pines Brewing Company in North Carolina, you fall in love with craft brewing all over again. Their story is what craft beer in America is all about.

Southern Pines Brewing Company, named after the city where it’s located, is west of Fayetteville, and about 70 miles south of Raleigh along U.S. 1. It’s also about 7 miles from Pinehurst, the famous home to historic golf championships.

Micah Niebauer, John Brumer and Jason Ginos (pictured above) met in the Army while stationed at Fort Bragg — not too far from the community of Southern Pines. As part of a small special ops team, the guys were close. They even created homebrews together. But each found themselves reaching a point where they saw a fork ahead in their Army careers.

“Should I stay and keep doing this, or should I do something else with my life?” was a question Micah Niebauer, CEO and co-owner, found himself pondering. Just as each had started to feel the itch to explore a career outside of the Army, they ended up listening in on a speech about opening a brewery. They were inspired, and started to formulate a plan to open one themselves.

“Part of American dream bucket list is taking a bunch of risks and making your own thing,” Niebauer says.

They jumped into learning the business as well as hone their craft. John and Micah went to Chicago to take the Siebel Institute of Technology’s Concise Course on Brewing Technology. Then they hit up San Diego to immerse themselves in the Essential Quality Control Course at White Labs. Together, the three would make the rounds to banks for financing — samples of the homebrew in hand. “We’d pitch for the first half of the meeting, then we’d open the beer,” Niebauer remembers, laughing.

On the day before Thanksgiving in 2013, they found out they had been approved for a loan. They went to work ordering equipment, leasing property, and building out the brewhouse and taproom.

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