KINSTON, N.C. (WCNT) – Mother Earth Brewing is at the front of the renaissance of downtown Kinston.
They have become one of North Carolina’s top breweries, but it is another libation that is prompting more growth at Mother Earth.
“You see what the North Carolina beers have done for the economy in North Carolina,” said Trent Mooring, Mother Earth’s president. “And I think the spirits, the North Carolina-based spirits, are right behind that.”
They started distilling liquor three years ago in the same building where they brew and bottle their beer.
“For a while I was working seven days a week,” said Kevin Graham, the head distiller at Mother Earth. “And I still couldn’t keep up with demand.”
Graham oversees the production of gin, rum and, the highest in demand, whiskey.
“We’re selling more whiskey than we can produce by probably 50, 60 gallons,” said Graham. “We could sell more if we could get it in there. But this will only produce so much. It’s only a 40 gallon still.”
To increase production, construction is ongoing at a building a few blocks away on Mitchell Street that is slated to become the new home of Mother Earth Spirits.
“We wanted a building that we could still see,” said Mooring. “It’s a freestanding building, which is nice. But it’ll give us the capacity to really add a lot of product, especially in the form of whiskey because we can store so many more barrels over there, and we have new equipment over there.”
The extra equipment will make a huge difference, especially for the whiskey line.
“What we’re doing today won’t be done for at least a year,” said Graham. “So that’s the problem. And it’s selling so fast.”
The high demand is good news for Mother Earth, and the new construction is good for the entire city of Kinston.
Once the new building is ready, it will mean more jobs.
“We’ll be able to hire some more people over there,” said Graham. “It’s exciting.”
The roof of the building under construction caved in after Hurricane Matthew and had to be replaced.
Mother Earth hopes to have its new distillery up and running sometime in the spring.