Meet the Tastemakers

February 18, 2019

Before you raise your glass, get to know a few of the local Tastemakers.

Meet eight of the area’s beer, wine and whiskey experts behind the booming craft beverage scene in Cabarrus County, NC.

Robert Burrage - Lil' Roberts PlaceRobert Burrage, Lil’ Robert’s Place

As the community’s “pioneer of craft beer,” Burrage offers an awesome selection of homegrown brews, wine and eclectic art. Open for almost a decade, Lil’ Rob’s is a local favorite for grabbing a cold one and kicking back to some great live music.


Joel Padgett - Twenty-Six Acres Brewing CompanyJoel Padgett, Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company

For beer lovers and history buffs, Padgett and two other Cabarrus natives created a place that offers a story with each sip. Every beer tells a tale, and the brewery’s name is a nod to Concord’s origin story as the city was founded on 26 acres in 1796.


Leanne Powell - Southern Grace DistilleriesLeanne Powell, Southern Grace Distilleries

When visionaries including Leanne Powell decided to headquarter the distillery in a former prison, they fully embraced the idea to create one of the most interesting  attractions in Cabarrus County. Visit for a tour, tasting and one memorable experience!


Thomas Murray - Commoners Brewing CompanyThomas Murray, Commoners Brewing Company

Murray and his partners Marty Jackson and Jonathan Woodward set out to become much more than a place to drink. This neighborhood brewery is all about fellowship, connection and conversation. Stop in, share your backstory and become a part of theirs!


TJ Creighton - High Branch Brewing Co.TJ Creighton, High Branch Brewing Company

High Branch is the original! The Creighton’s opened Concord’s very first brewery at the end of 2015, and their passion for producing excellent beer was clear from the start. Here, you can count on interesting brews, seasonal flavors and great service.


Chris Abney - Red Hill Brewing CompanyChris Abney, Red Hill Brewing Company

Upstairs in downtown, Red Hill is a small-batch only operation. One barrel at a time, Chris and his team brew and serve up fresh beer from the classic Murph IPA to seasonal creations. Remember, the entry is through the backdoor, speakeasy style!


Deb Filkins - Cougar Run WineryDeb Filkins, Cougar Run Winery

Deb’s philosophy on life? It’s too short to drink wine you don’t like! Have a seat inside this pet-friendly winery for a tasting, find your favorite and fill your glass. They also make cider at Cougar Run Winery and offer indoor and outdoor event space.


Steve Steinbacher - Cabarrus Brewing CompanySteve Steinbacher, Cabarrus Brewing Company

Steve and the crew at Cabarrus Brewing have built a true gathering place for the community. On any given day, you’ll find everything from philanthropic events to pop-up markets, workshops and fitness classes at this social hub (plus great beer)!



Celebrate NC Beer Month every April! Start planning your trip today and be sure to pick up a free Race to Taste coaster set in the Visitor Center to explore all the local spots to sample craft beverages in Cabarrus County.

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