12/18/2016

Social Beverage Company plans to establish a craft distillery in Lenoir County, creating 34 new jobs and investing $5.8 million to revitalize a historic property in Kinston over the next three years.

“Kinston and Lenoir County have created a destination for tourists interested in good food, skilled chefs, and craftsmen that create products drawn from local farms and natural ingredients,” said Gov. Pat McCrory. “We applaud this community for attracting another company that supports community-based farming.”

The Social Beverage Company is a premium craft spirits producer dedicated to building a portfolio of lifestyle brands around a sense of community, innovation and responsible corporate citizenship. The company plans to produce its signature farm-to-flask craft spirit, Social House Vodka, at the new Kinston distillery. The distillery will adhere to rigorous standards for sourcing its essential ingredients from natural and organic farming, creating a gluten-free product made with North Carolina corn sourced within 50 miles of the facility.

“As Kinston continues to experience tremendous growth, it is an exciting time to build and operate our new facility with the support of the N.C. Department of Commerce, Lenoir County and the city of Kinston,” said Raleigh developer Cary Joshi, president of Social Beverage Company. “North Carolina has created a welcoming environment for craft breweries and distilleries, and we are pleased to be a part of this growing industry in the state.”

“The relationships we’ve formed with local farmers, interest from the local community, and the emerging art, culinary and craft spirits scene in downtown Kinston, present the perfect foundation to establish our distillery as a gathering place,” Joshi said.

Positions at the distillery will include management, production and sales. Salaries will vary by position, but the average annual salary will be $50,071. The average wage in Lenoir County is $33,142.

The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $68,000. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. One NC grants also require and are contingent upon financial matches from local governments.

In addition to Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other partners that helped with this project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority, Lenoir County and the city of Kinston.