David Waggoner and Dan Ackerman met in 2017 when the Ackerman’s bought the house next door to the Waggoner’s, which David built, by the way. David has lived in the Charlotte area his whole life and has lived in Denver since 2005 and is a mechanical engineer and general contractor.
Dan was an IT executive with more then 20 years of home brewing experience and working as a beer captain at large beer festivals. During the next year and over many home brews, we came up with the brilliant idea (still to be proven to our wives) to open the first brewery in Lincoln County. This would allow us to combine our shared love of craft beer and the community. With this in mind, the brewery would be built with local companies to the greatest extent possible.
We were able to find and purchase eight acres of un-cleared land with tons of trees and many peaks and valleys. We felt would be the perfect backdrop for enjoying a beer out on the patio, by the fire pit or while playing corn hole. This meant we had to invest more time and money in preparing the land and building the utility infrastructure. Although this meant sacrificing being the first brewery in the county by a month or two, we believe this decision will be worth it in the long haul. We sincerely hope you find this to be true as well.
We can sum up the ‘Why Lake Norman Brewery?’ in one word. Community. We wanted a brewery that the local community can call their own. A family friendly, dog friendly place where you can see your old friends and make new ones. We chose the name Lake Norman Brewery because of how much the lake impacts our community. We can’t tell you how many times the show ‘Cheers’ kept coming up in conversations. And yes, many people told us they see themselves as Norm, almost as many as the volunteers for tasters.
Although we are both primarily IPA beer drinkers, we both drink a wide variety of beers and are constantly trying beers from the various breweries. In fact, Dan has brewed over 40 different styles of beer. Trying new beers is learning and this is a cornerstone of our brewery vision. We can have up to 20 different beers on tap and will be constantly looking for your feedback. It is you, the consumer that helps us determine which beers are our flagship beers and therefore which beers will be distributed throughout the Lake Norman area.
To anticipate future growth, we have allocated twice the floor space that was necessary for the brew side of the house.
To brew exceptional craft beers in a range of traditional and new styles is our foundation. To offer to our growing lake community a comfortable, welcoming gathering place for their enjoyment is our commitment.
The production brewery system is a Front Range Fabrication steam jacketed 15-barrel brew house with 30-barrel hot liquor and cold liquor tanks and five 15-barrel unitanks (fermenters). You would think that brewing 465 gallons of in a single batch would make you a big brewery, but we are still considered a microbrewery.
The pilot system is a Stout electric 3-barrel brew house with two 3-barrel fermenters, a 3-barrel brite tank and three Ss BrewTech 1-barrel unitanks (fermenters). This setup will allow us to explore new recipes in enough volume for everyone to try and enjoy. The three 1-barrrel unitanks will enable us to split a single batch of beer into thirds, so we, and you, can taste the difference in different yeasts, dry hops and other adjuncts.