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🍺 West Ave. Hot Spot Started as a Class Project

Contributor: Jamie Richardson


Old Armor Beer Company will be celebrating its 3rd anniversary and encourages you to “Come Grab a Pint of Freedom!”

Old Armor Beer Company is owned and operated by combat veterans Stefan Perrine and Kyle Lingafelt who met when they were studying for their MBAs at the University of Southern California.

  • As a project for school, they had to create a business model for a fictional company, and they decided on a brewery. During the project, several of their professors helped them refine the plan, and it eventually became the basis for the popular brewery in downtown Kannapolis.

They began looking at locations in California to start their brewery but eventually decided on North Carolina. Stefan had been stationed at Fort Bragg and Kyle was born and raised in Concord. They felt like North Carolina would be more supportive of a veteran-owned brewery.

They were the first business to open in the West Avenue district of downtown Kannapolis and they were the city’s first brewery. The concept behind Old Armor is to combine East Coast and West Coast brewery styles.

  • They want it to feel comfortable like you’re at home. It’s a place to come no matter what else is going on, and they’re always looking at ways to enhance the space. “We want to make it the best we can for the people of Kannapolis.”

They Never Missed a Beat During COVID
Old Armor had a soft opening in December 2019 and by the Fall of 2020 had already added to the existing space with an outdoor patio area. When COVID hit later that year, people lined up to buy growlers of beer from the brewery.

  • Stefan said, “the people of Kannapolis are the most amazing humans. Their support during COVID is what kept the brewery alive.”

Old Armor continues to grow and has added an additional patio area to the front of the brewery and a space for food trucks.

Kannapolis Creates NC’s First Social District
Kannapolis created the state’s first social district shortly after the legislature passed the law allowing them to exist, and Old Armor played a major role in making that happen!

  • Social districts are defined outdoor areas in which individuals can drink alcoholic beverages sold by permitted establishments.

Customers who buy an alcoholic drink at Chophouse 101, Sabor, or Old Armor Beer Company are allowed to take the drink and go outside of the restaurant and enjoy it on the sidewalks or public areas inside of the social district.

  • When asked if he knew 3 years ago that the brewery would be this successful, Stefan replied, “I remember sitting down with Kyle at the beginning and calculating that we needed to sell 46 beers a day to stay open.” Let’s just say they ended up selling a lot more than 46 beers a day!

Craft Beer Industry Is Ever-Changing
All of the beers on tap at Old Armor are produced on-site as well as ciders for the Tipsy Hare, an additional venture of Stefan and Kyle’s, that is located next door to the brewery. They have a rotation of 15 beers on tap, including seasonal brews.

The first beer they ever brewed was the Oh Dark Thirty (ODT), which is named after the time when most combat troops would attack in the middle of the night, dark like midnight with an explosion of taste.

The second beer they produced was the Blue Falcon. This beer was Stefan’s final project in Brewing School, and it won an award for BEST NEW BEER. They also have a partnership with Kerry Earnhardt and the Earnhardt Outdoors Kannapolis Ale is also on tap.

  • “The Craft Beer industry is constantly changing. As combat veterans, to adapt and overcome is something we are all too familiar with. We will continually raise the bar, adapt, and make each brew better. We’re our toughest critics and will always strive to brew the most American beer ever. We’re not guided by what anybody else is doing. We embrace the motto of leading from the front just like we did in our military service.”

Old Armor further honors military heroes by engraving each of their kettles with the name of a fallen soldier, always reminding them of the mission behind their business.

Paying It Forward
🪖🇺🇸 Their military service is at the heart of everything they do in running their business and they give back whenever they can. While you cannot discount a beer for a veteran or first responder, the folks at Old Armor found a way to allow the community to say thank you with their “Pay It Forward Board.”

  • It allows anyone to buy a beer for a veteran or first responder in advance, with purchases kept on a tally board. By simply showing their ID, their beer is already covered. This small act of kindness can be just what that hero needed.

They also dedicate 12 unique brews to charitable foundations annually. These charitable beers are dedicated to giving back to veterans, first responders, and the community.

  • Last year, Old Armor joined other veterans and first responders in the 9/11 Stair Climb at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Side by side, they climbed 110 flights of stairs to honor those that climbed the 110 flights on 9/11/2001 to save others. They raised $30,000 and donated all proceeds to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Take a few minutes to watch this video from the event that will give you goosebumps.


There Is Always Something Going on at Old Armor!

🎶 They have live music every Friday and Saturday night.

🎉 Saturday, Feb 18 is Old Armor’s 3 Year Anniversary! They will be celebrating with Live Music All Day, multiple food trucks, $3 drink specials, raffle prizes, and more!

☘️ The 4th Annual and largest St. Paddy’s Day Festival in Cabarrus County is back! The SHAMROCK ☘️ & ROLL FESTIVAL is on March 17th & 18th.

  • Event includes: ☘️ Irish Band & Live Music All Day ☘️ Green Beer ☘️ Beer Specials on all Irish Beers 🍻 ☘️ Multiple Food Trucks ☘️ Ferris Wheel 🎡 ☘️ Prizes ☘️ Best Dressed Prizes

So, if you love veterans and great craft beer, make sure to drop in and they’ll serve you up an ice-cold pint of Freedom! Visit their website to learn more and be sure to follow their Instagram and Facebook pages for all their happenings.


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!