In The Community
Graduate Earns Props for Hops
RALEIGH, N.C. (November 28, 2023) – Chris Gallagher, who recently completed Wake Tech's Commercial Craft Brewing program, has been honored with a statewide award. His brewery, Local Time Brewing in Holly Springs, has been named the North Carolina New Brewery of the Year. The North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild presented the award on November 14 at the 2023 North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference in Winston-Salem.
Local Time earned the most points in the North Carolina Brewers Cup among all new breweries. Thanks to head brewer Devin Singley's knowledge, skills and passion for brewing, Local Time also took home two statewide medals: a Silver medal in the Amber European Lager category for its Schonbrunn Vienna Lager and Wake County's only Gold medal for the Phuket Sunset Rice Lager in the "Other International Origin Style" category.
"We're so thankful for the hard work that everyone has put into this past year and are grateful to the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild for recognizing us," says Gallagher.
Gallagher opened Local Time last April. As a former international business development consultant, he felt confident about running a business, but he lacked the expertise about the brewing process. He took the 16-week Commercial Craft Brewing certification program taught at Wake Tech's Scott Northern Wake Campus and hands-on at nearby Heyday Brewing. The course is available for brewers already working in the industry, those who like Gallagher want to open a brewery and home brewers wanting to learn more.
"Our students go beyond learning how water, malt, hops and yeast combine to make beer. We explore the commercial brewing process from grain to glass but also the trends and challenges breweries face as businesses," says program instructor Clay Fussell.
"I loved learning in an actual brewery," Gallagher says. "Clay took us through all the steps and explained the science behind brewing – chemicals, temperature and pH levels."
After completing the course, Gallagher says he was much better prepared to hire a brewer, purchase equipment and launch his business in the heart of Holly Springs. At Local Time, the beer is brewed behind a glass wall for all to view, and the taproom up front is designed to welcome customers and foster a sense of community. The brewery's name is a nod to traveling the world and sampling flavors from other countries.
"We're eternally grateful to everyone in the community who has supported us and made this entire endeavor a reality and a dream come true," Gallagher says.
This year marked the 12th anniversary of the N.C. Brewers Cup competition. In all, 873 entries were submitted by 122 independent craft breweries, making it the largest commercial competition in the Southeast.