As he was coming up the ranks of Charlotte’s restaurant and bar industry, his career took a turn when the craft brewing scene began to take off. From visiting early breweries that paved the way around Charlotte, to developing a taste for home-brewing, Kiel (pronounced ‘kyle’) Arrington knew what was in store for his future; his own brewery.
Between living in the Chantilly neighborhood and buying his first home in Oakhurst with his wife and starting a family, Arrington traveled back and forth on Monroe Road for years.
Researching, planning, learning…all while living everyday life, raising two small children, working.
And then, finally, the perfect opportunity came. His commercial real estate agent called him about the former BB&T building at 3726 Monroe Road. Who would have thought that Arrington’s dream of creating his own brewery would happen here of all places? Not Arrington. “I did my banking at that very branch. I was turned down for a loan by BB&T on my first attempt to open a brewery,” he says with a laugh.
Not only is Vaulted Oak Brewing becoming a reality, but repurposing a corporate structure into a place of community was intentional on Arrington’s part.
Neighbors can gather, grow, and further nurture a culture of inclusivity; that’s what drew Arrington into the craft beer community in the first place. “Competitors of all different sizes just get along and help the new guy starting out, encourage collaborations between breweries. So the culture was something that I have always respected, and wanted to be a part of and help continue to grow here in Charlotte and the Carolinas. It’s inspirational.”
Each day, inching closer and closer to realizing that dream. The interior is almost done. Natural light is beaming through and gleaming across stainless steel tanks. A modern flair with wood grains, adding warm tones to an open industrial air, like roots that run deep and push through concrete. Much like Arrington himself.
The synchronicity of indoor and outdoor space unfolds as you walk through. Symbiosis of nature and man. Arrington again.
Fun fact about Kiel: He played classical guitar for Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York, in High School.
Touches of the bank building’s former life remain. What was once the teller window will soon be serving up IPA’s, pales, lighter drinking blondes and lagers in the taproom. Wilds and sours, artistically steeped in science, will be introduced slowly as they find their flow. Eventually they will have 10-12 house-made beers on tap, and rotating guest ciders, kombuchas, and seltzers on tap, as well as wine by the glass.
Arrington chose Monroe Road area for Vaulted Oak Brewing because it is surrounded by neighborhoods made of families, young and old; and to ensure everyone feels welcome, they will offer non-alcoholic beverages as well. If you ask Arrington what his favorite beer is, he will tell you with a grin, “Whichever one is in front of me at that moment. Someone took the time to make that beer, so I take the time to appreciate it.”
Vaulted Oak Brewing, 3726 Monroe Road, is set to debut in the first quarter of 2021.
~ Tia Yeorgoulias