Economic Development Impact of the Craft Brewing Explosion, part 2

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As of 2013, Fuquay-Varina is the fastest growing town in North Carolina with a population of at least 5,000. Fuquay-Varina’s bond rating by Standard & Poor was upgraded to AAA in 2014, which is the highest rating available. ( With the assistance of a public-private entity called the Fuquay-Varina Economic Development Commission (FVEDC), both Aviator and Draft Line moved into and renovated historic buildings in historic downtown Varina (the town is split into two historic downtown districts, Fuquay and Varina).

The history of the town is something that Fuquay-Varina prides itself on and is a major selling point for many residents and businesses. The breweries helped to revamp the historic downtown into a bustling place that people can walk around after 6:00 p.m. Before the breweries came in, the downtown was pretty slow-paced. Many people would frequent the big chain box stores and fast food restaurants instead of the local venues. The breweries brought sustained success for merchants and other eateries in a location that saw a lot of retail turnover in years prior. Whether or not the breweries are a direct cause of the financial success, stability, and growth of the town of Fuquay-Varina is uncertain, but they appear linked.

Some people believe that the craft brewery scene is a bubble, but others believe that something as constant in the world as alcohol is unlikely to go away. It will be interesting to see if Varina’s success will be replicated in historic downtown Fuquay, which currently has the reputation of being more of a Monday-Friday downtown with older businesses run by an older generation, when Fainting Goat Brewery opens later this year.

Posted by Maxwell L. Gregson on Mon. August 17, 2015 3:31 PM
Categories: Student Research
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