BREWING AMAZING BEER WITH SUNSHINE BIRDSONGBREWINGCOMPANY I t’s not surprising that Birdsong Brewing Co. owners, Chris and Tara Goulet, were named two of 2019’s ‘Charlotteans of the Year’ a group selected for making the city of Charlotte, NC a better place to live. With a strong com- mitment to the environment and to giving back to the community, the two founders of Birdsong Brewing Co. do more than just brew great beer. Birdsong Brewing Co. was one of Charlotte’s first craft breweries and is the first in the Queen City to embrace solar power. Birdsong Brewing Co. is now Charlotte’s go-to destination for culinary-inspired, super-fresh, unfiltered Ameri - can-style ales. by Anita Flowers
Chris enjoys telling the story of naming the brewery while on a research trip to Asheville, NC. He, Tara and Robinson had traveled to Asheville in 2010 to learn more about the brewery business. “We visited about nine breweries that day and managed to get to talk to either a brewer or an owner at almost every place. I had booked us a room in a hostel that was one block away from Asheville Brewing because I figured one block was a good goal after nine breweries. We all ended up having to share the same room. It was a big room, but I heard what I swore was a sparrow trapped in the room. So, I got up and opened all the windows. Then I realized that there was no bird. It was just Conor snoring,” said Chris. Chris related the story over the next morning’s coffee and pitched the idea of calling the brewery Birdsong. It stuck. Birdsong Brewing Co. opened December 9, 2011 with a friends and family night. “A lot of people who had been watching us along the way showed up for that night. We also had a lot of people who just happened to walk in who we didn’t know. A lot of those people have remained loyal custom- ers to this day,” said Chris.
Birdsong began with just two full-time employ- ees and has grown to 31 full time and 6 part time. The culture at Birdsong is laid-back, music oriented and flexible. “We try not to be overly structured or bureaucratic where we can avoid it. Sometimes you really can’t avoid it because America is very proud of bureaucracy. At nine years in, we’re a pretty close-knit group,” said Chris. Eight employees have been with the company six years or more. After starting out with a ten-barrel system in their original space, Birdsong Brewing Co. purchased a 17,000 square foot building in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlotte and expanded to a 30-barrel brewhouse with room for up to 1,200 barrels of fermentation capacity. The new facility opened in early 2015 and the new taproom opened in April of 2015. The unique taproom doesn’t have a TV, giving guests the chance to interact with each other without outside distrac- tions.
Spotlight on Business chatted with Tara and Chris Goulet, founders and co-owners of Birdsong Brewing Co. back in July about their commitment to the environment, local charities and really great beer.
Tara and Chris Goulet came into the brewery business from different careers. Chris has been at Bank of America for almost 10 years while Tara had been managing a bread franchise, running ovens and managing staff in two different locations. Chris was ready for a break from the corporate grind and both begin thinking about a project of their own. “At that time, there weren’t any craft breweries in Charlotte at all. We visited friends and family in different parts of the country where they had these great little neighborhood breweries. We felt like Charlotte was missing that,” said Tara. A friend who had started homebrewing sparked the idea for the Goulets. “Conor’s homebrew was a good catalyst because we realized just how good his beer was,” said Chris. Conor Robinson signed on as an early partner in the brewery.
DECEMBER 2020 • SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • DECEMBER 2020
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