When Upstage closed in October, Salud Beer Shop owner Jason Glunt and his partners knew they had to jump on the second-floor space that spanned the area above Salud and Fud, the attached deli.
Salud had been brewing small batches of beer, but it wanted to do more. This location in the same building seemed like the perfect place for a taproom. One problem: Salud didn’t have a brewing system to go with the taproom.
“We had the opportunity to take upstairs, and if we’d waited, it would have been gone,” Glunt said.
So they did, and everything else fell into place. The Salud team is in the middle of transforming the 3,100 square-foot space into Salud Cerveceria (Spanish for brewery) and it will serve as the taproom for Salud’s expanded brewery operation. Glunt said he hopes to have the new space open by early spring.
The new taproom will feature a stage for live music, a lounge area, a bar with 14 taps, and an area that will serve as an art gallery, with a new artist coming in about every month. Glunt and his team ripped up the floor and tore off the drywall in the space to reveal brick walls.
You’ll be able to enter the taproom from a door on the street or through a hallway that sneaks behind Salud to the second floor. Nico Amortegui has already given the dark hallway some life with huge murals on the walls.
Glunt also said Fud at Salud plans to expand its menu, which will be available both in the new taproom and downstairs in the original location. And there are plans to have coffee in the new taproom space.
So what about the beer? Well, Salud is still looking to buy its own seven-barrel brewing system. But until it finds one, head brewer and part owner Adam Glover will be using an eight-barrel system at Heist to brew, which allows him to start serving Salud beer when the taproom opens.
On-site, there will be two 15-barrel foeders to blend and ferment sours and “wild ales” in what is now part of the dining room at Fud at Salud. The front window at Fud will also be converted into a garage door.
In addition to the sours and wild ales, Salud will brew a rotating slate of “clean” beers. Glover said he expects to always have a lager (“I’m a lager guy,” he said), a hoppy beer (pale ale or IPA), a cleaner Brett Saison, and some “funky wild kind of ale” available in the taproom. And in addition to Salud beer, the taproom will likely offer wine, cider and some guest taps and collaborations.
“I want to make beers that we enjoy,” said Glover, who currently works at Fonta Flora Brewing in Morganton following stints at Natty Greene’s in Greensboro and Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone.
But even with a larger system, Glunt isn’t planning to be a huge distribution brewery. He basically wants to make enough to serve the taproom (and any other Salud Cerveceria taprooms he opens in the future) and maybe a couple of other bars. He wants Salud to be a niche, neighborhood brewery.
“I don’t want to get in some race to be some huge brewery,” he said. “Our ultimate plan would be to have maybe, in the area, in the region, three bars that basically serve as our taprooms. And then we would have different food at every place.”
Glover said he also wants the neighborhood to feel involved in the new beers and taproom. The best bars are the ones that people feel connected to, he said.
“The best part of our location … is the community that’s evolved around NoDa,” Glover said. “We want people to feel involved and be a part of something.”
Katie Coleman helped out with this story.
Photos: Corey Inscoe and Katie Coleman