CBC’s Anniversary Celebration on March 17th at 4pm Welcomes the Return of Food Truck Friday, Live Music from Unknown Artist, and a New Beer Release!
Cabarrus Brewing Company (CBC) is Cabarrus County’s largest full-scale craft brewery, and it was also one of the first, opening in March 2016. However, it is their commitment to the community, and the community’s commitment to them that has them still raising a glass 7 years later.
- The CBC Difference… From day one Steve Steinbacher saw CBC as a community gathering spot as much as a brewery. “We wanted a place that brought people together.” The idea behind CBC is that it’s inclusive and it focuses on the character and culture of Cabarrus County. They strive to meld local history, character, and traditions with a locally produced craft beer of the highest quality.
Over the years, they have done that in countless ways. And while we now have a host of Craft Breweries locally, Cabarrus Brewing Company was the first to bring things like Trivia Nights, Run Clubs, and Mission Mondays to the scene. These were things that were happening in Charlotte, but not regularly in our community.
🤝 Steve and his partners saw CBC as an investment IN and WITH their neighbors and community in their own backyard, which is why, when you hear about collaboration in Cabarrus County, CBC is so often involved. They just care about helping everyone be successful.
How It All Started
It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago, Cabarrus County did not have a single brewery. Steve explained why to us, “You could build a brewery, but you couldn’t operate a taproom that didn’t have food. Per ABC rules, you would be deemed a private club, and at that time Concord zoning prevented private clubs that did not have a kitchen. A lot of homebrewers didn’t want to open a brewery because they didn’t want to deal with zoning. Steve worked with the City of Concord to revise the zoning law which opened the door for CBC and all the breweries we have in CabCo today.
- The idea of owning a brewery started back in 1995 for Steve, who is CBC’s managing member, while he was living in Seattle and witnessed the growing craft brewery scene all over the Pacific Northwest.
When Steve first started visiting breweries in North Carolina, there were only a few in Charlotte and many of them didn’t last the first wave of the craft brewery scene. When The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery opened in 2009, Steve and his friends would visit it regularly. It reignited his interest in owning his own brewery. His thought was, “why isn’t there something in Cabarrus County? And from there CBC was born.
- According to cabcocraft.com, “[CBC] is now considered one of the greater Charlotte, NC area’s best ‘destination breweries’ with a large facility and an ever-expanding outdoor area with amenities.”
CBC is owned by an eight-member ownership group, of which Steve is the managing member. They include: Steve and Erika Steinbacher, Keith and Stacey Griffin, Allen and Sandy Krusell, Mark and Mandy Thompson, John and Cindy Rossitch, Herbie and Tami Hames, Joe and Diane Griffin, and Jason McKnight.
CBC Is Blessed to Have Space to Spread Out
The CBC brewery has an impressive footprint in the Gibson Mill complex, and it has grown to include a large outdoor space that is a popular gathering area in the warmer months. If you’re looking for the perfect place to sit outside and enjoy a fresh local craft brew, food from the kitchen or a food truck, and even live music in the summer, CBC is your place!
The inside brewery itself is pretty much divided right down the center, with one half being the production facility and the other serving as the taproom.
- Through large glass windows separating the two spaces, you can see the tanks and brewhouse. An ever-changing assortment of production scale and small-batch beers and wine flow from our 48 taps. The photo below shows their original schematic and a throwback photo of their first shipment of equipment arriving.
What’s on Tap?
Cabarrus Brewing Company always has its top four beers on tap: Cotton Blonde, Rocky River IPA, Sew Juicy IPA, and Vanilla Coffee Blonde. In addition, they are always working on holiday and seasonal flavors, like their upcoming Irish Cream in time for St. Patrick’s Day. They also have done partnership brews with the UNCC 49ers, the Gem Theatre, and of course, the Cannon Ballers.
You will also find CBC’s beer sold in many retail and restaurant/bar locations throughout the Cabarrus region.
While CBC is known throughout the community for its partnerships beyond the taproom, they also love to partner with other brewers and people within their industry to make unique creations, like this one with Model A Brewing Company. You can learn more about Lifelong Lager on their Facebook page.
Would You Like Fries with That?
One of the lessons that came out of COVID for the craft beer industry was that if people were going to go out, they wanted food with their beer. That evolution took CBC from a Brewery to a Brew Pub with the addition of The CBC Kitchen!
🍔 Now their guests can still have a place to gather, but they can also enjoy a southern-style meal. In fact, right now they have The Kitchen’s Cabarrus Burger Madness creation: The Southern Kitchen Sink Burger — A 6-ounce certified Angus Beef patty, house-made onion bacon jam, green leaf lettuce, house-made pimento cheese, pork rind crusted fried green tomato, and house-made chow chow on a Challah bun.
CBC’s Role in Supporting Nonprofits
CBC hosts Mission Mondays each week showcasing a local nonprofit and donating a portion of that evening’s proceeds to the organization. With a substantial social media following, CBC gives these nonprofits considerable exposure in addition to a donation. They also host events for several nonprofits, including The Splashpaw Foundation, Inc.™, Cabarrus County Education Foundation (CCEF), Cabarrus Healthcare Foundation, Dream on 3, and Harrisburg’s Bar-Ba-Brew, just to name a few.
They also won’t hesitate to support a good cause as they did recently after hearing the story behind Americana Beer Company’s “Fight Like Banks” giving campaign back in December. CBC decided to support the cause by creating Fight Like Banks Hoppy Pilsner, benefiting Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Charlotte.
CBC also loves to support animals in the community, and always welcomes 4-legged companions to spend time in and around the brewery.
- In fact, Allen’s wife, Sandy, bakes and sells special dog treats called Brew Bonz, which are made from the spent grains created during the brewing process. Proceeds from those sales are always donated to local humane organizations.
So, What’s Next?
“Both the community we live in, and the world of craft beer are always changing,” Steve says. “To remain relevant and continue to be a strong presence in the community, CBC must be willing to grow and evolve as well, while staying true to the brand that resonates with everyone.” With that in mind, they are building on that brand going forward.
Coming Soon to Downtown Kannapolis… Towel City Tavern!
One of the most exciting projects happening in downtown Kannapolis is the construction of the building overlooking Atrium Health Ballpark which will include CBC’s newest venture, Towel City Tavern. The restaurant will feature a fully immersive dining experience with available seating overlooking the ballpark and will also contain an operational brewery.
- Steve offers high praise to the City of Kannapolis in their revitalization efforts and welcomed the opportunity to partner with them and the Cannon Ballers in yet another venture. CBC is continuing its focus on melding the local history and tradition of Cannon Mills with locally produced craft beer at Towel City Tavern.
Towel City Tavern also has its own barbecue competition team called Towel City Smoke, which will be competing in the upcoming Harrisburg’s Bar-Ba-Brew and Jiggy with the Piggy events.
“Great people are what makes this community so special,” said Steve. “Working together toward a common goal is what makes our work that much more enjoyable.”
From the Vault
We couldn’t write an article about CBC’s history without taking a scroll through their Facebook page and we found this gem! A classmate of Steve and Keith’s sons, Ben Davis, was deployed in Afghanistan and CBC sent them a batch of t-shirts. The caption read:
- “A platoon of America’s finest stationed in Afghanistan sent this photo to us over the weekend. The entire group is representing CBC on the other side of the world! A huge “Cheers!” to each and every one of you brave soldiers! We hope to see you when you get back home. Stay safe!”
Be a Part of the Next 7 Years
CBC is so focused on the community that there are always opportunities to get involved. Check out the CBC Yoga Club or Run Club, attend an Open Mic Night, or enjoy live music in the taproom every Friday and Saturday evening from 7:00-9:30 pm. Now that Food Truck Fridays are back, you can visit their website for the lineup.
Stay up to date with everything CBC has going on by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!