Black-Owned Brewery

Weathered Souls, Charlotte’s Only Black-Owned Brewery, Announces ‘Last Call’ As It Closes Its Doors For Good 

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Charlotte’s first Black-owned brewery, Weathered Souls, officially closed due to financial woes just two years after the first pour.

In a Facebook post, the taproom encouraged everyone to come out for a “last call” on April 6 before shutting down for good. “It is with a heavy heart we announce the closure of our Charlotte brewery,” the post read. “Stock up on beer, bring your growlers, and come help kick our kegs. This is our last call in Charlotte. Here’s to the next chapter!” 

The brewery has been facing financial troubles for a few months and has done its best to keep the business afloat. Its Instagram page showed a number of events, including a sold-out Black Trivia Night, Open Mic Night, and a comedy show, but co-owner Mike Holt said it was a “drain” to stay open. 

They secured investors, however, increased inflation, pricey renovation invoices, and other operations factored in. “I desperately don’t want to close,” Holt said. But it’s been a drain on the entire company. Bottom line, my funds are exhausted, so it’s time to accept the reality.” 

The brewery announced in December 2023 that it would shut down the restaurant’s kitchen but keep the taproom open. 

Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Weathered Souls ventured into Charlotte in November 2022. At the time, they were the only Black-owned brewery in Charlotte, adding to the minimal number of African American owners in the craft brewery space. A 2019 survey from the Brewers Association revealed Black brewery owners make up less than 1% of the United States. But co-owner Zachary Holt still wanted to make a change. “I did not see very many customers or employees that looked like me or represented me,” Holt said.

“Change is definitely available, but we have to keep it at the forefront. We have to keep wanting it because if you come in once and you enjoy the space—and you leave and don’t come back—it’s hard for places like this to survive.” 

Weathered Souls is the second Black-owned brewery in Charlotte to close in the past five years, following Three Spirits’ closing in 2019. 

Executive director of the Charlotte Independent Brewers Alliance, Jenny Sassman Waters, released a statement following the closure news and acknowledged the number of breweries shutting down in the Queen City. She uplifted the employees and stakeholders who are going through this trying time but wants beer lovers to stay vigilant in the hope that Charlotte’s scene continues to flourish. “Brewery closures sometimes involve more than meets the eye and should not be an indication that our local industry is struggling or oversaturated. With a diverse array of breweries continuing to thrive and innovate, Charlotte remains a hub for craft beer enthusiasts and a testament to the spirit of entrepreneurship in our city,” Sassman Waters wrote. 

“We encourage Charlotteans to continue supporting their local breweries, whether they’ve been established for years or are just starting out.”