When I heard there was a new brewery opening in Kannapolis, I was excited to hear it would be downtown and close to the new Cannon Ballers Ball Park. I was lucky enough to get in touch with one of the owners and made arrangements to set up a meeting to discuss their business. When I got there, I was totally surprised by what I saw and their future plans.
The name “Old Amor Beer Company” was a giveaway to me that this would be a military-based place, and inside you get subtle military vibes. The story behind it was endearing and inspiring.
I sat down on a rainy Saturday with Stefan Perrine, one of the three owners. Stefan is the Brew Master for Old Amor and is originally from Shamong, New Jersey. Stefan was a Staff Sergeant Army Paratrooper and served in Afghanistan. In fact, all of the owners had served previously in Afghanistan. The other two owners are Kyle Lingafelt, from Concord, North Carolina, who served in the Marines as a Captain, and Dick Bradley who is originally from Madison, Ohio, but currently resides in Los Angeles, and was also a Marine and a Sergeant. It’s apparent upfront that the brotherhood is strong with these three.
It All Began in California
The owners were actually stationed in California and were in Business School at the University of Southern California. The brewery was a class project that they did, and, because the model worked so well, they decided to actually give it a go in Los Angeles. Luckily for us here, the brewery was not such a hit there, but Concord native, Kyle, convinced the others to try it in North Carolina, and so far that has been a winning move for them and for us here too!
When you first step inside the brewery you see a music stage to your right and a comfortable seating area to your left with couches, chairs, and tables. As you look closely, you will realize that some of these are refurbished military equipment. The tables are foot lockers, and one of the tables is a World War II latrine box with the original never used tent inside of it! The planters hanging on the wall are amino cans. For me, one of the most moving pieces was a used artillery round that has been converted into a table lamp. I asked about the piece and I was told if something like that hit a building here it would take out the entire block. Just the sight of the spent shell and the massive thickness of the metal made me think about all of the service members that had been hit by such bombs. It literally caused me to pause for a moment.
Their Name isn’t the Only Thing That’s Unique
Stefan was very proud of the fact that they had built most of the furniture in the seating area along with help from Kyle’s dad, Ken. He also pointed out the military designs of the tables. The low tables are all named after bases that the men had served at in Afghanistan. For example, I later sat at the table named “Leatherneck” and if I ordered a beer I could have it delivered to the “Leatherneck” table. The longer tables are named after bases in the United States such as Camp Lejeune. One of the most interesting tables is what they call the “blade table.” The blade table is made out of a helicopter blade from a 1953 Huey from the Vietnam War.
Over the bar they proudly display the flags from each branch of the military and the bar is designed to look like a battleship. The emblem known as the “Hot Bomb” is the logo for their bar and it was hand carved into the wood. You may notice the beer tap handles are unique because they are 30-millimeter rounds. Behind the bar is the brewery cooler holding the kegs of beer waiting to be tapped. Visible just past the bar are the 10 fermenters which are all named after war heroes such as Chris Kyle and George Patton. You will find for your viewing pleasure eight televisions that are sport focused and visible at all angles. The Old Amor seats 130 people currently and can hold up to 300 people. That’s a good thing because there will be a lot of people heading there for the Super Bowl on February 2 for the big game! They do plan to stay open late that Sunday for the game and have a huge Super Bowl Party planned which will include releasing the “7.26” Double IPA for the special occasion.
Future Plans for the Bar
There is also a full basement, and they already have plans to expand into that space. When I spoke with Kyle, he mentioned having a speakeasy type situation in that space, and they also have plans for an elevator to be installed.
Now don’t despair if you like to enjoy a cold brew in the great outdoors, because they are going to have an amazing patio! Currently there are apartments and a parking deck under construction next to the business, and as soon as that project is complete, they will be opening their patio space. You can be looking for them to have gas fire pits, corn hole boards, a stage for outdoor music, and lots of seating in a beautiful back drop that will include water fountains.
What’s on Tap?
Now let’s talk about the great beers that they have on tap. Stefan was excited to talk about the five beers that were on tap currently that are all militarily named. They have 16 total taps and plan to have a total of 14 of their beers on tap with two guest taps.
First on the list was “Oh Dark Thirty” which is their take on an English Stout that Stefan has made drinkable for anyone! Personally, I do not normally like a dark beer, but after trying this one I did end up with a glass of it! It was delicious and I highly recommend it. The next beer is the “Blonde Bombshell” and it is a Kolsch type beer. This was another winner with me and others seated at my table. If you are new to the craft beer game this may be a beer you would enjoy. “Blue Falcon” was another winner that is their American spin on a Belgian Tripel. There then is the “Dustoff” Hazy APA which will be your more American less hoppy beer. It’s called APA which means “Afghan Pale Ale” paying homage to the men and women fighting in Afghanistan. The “5.56” will be more your New England style IPA with an American twist.
There are several other beers that are getting ready to be released and I’m excited to share these with you! “MOAB” (Mother of All Brown), which is a mix of American and English brown ales, and “K-25” that is a Kolsch which will be a light beer, are getting ready to be released. They have plans to add fruit, such as mango and raspberries, to both of these to produce a few small batches for everyone to try!
Being lucky enough to speak with both of the owners that day, I was inspired by their dedication to make this business about their brothers and sisters in the military either previously or currently. They are very involved with Disabled Vets and Gold Star Families. According to Stefan, “The big reason we started is because we were ready to get out of the service, but we wanted to be able to help Disabled Vets and Gold Star Families. This was the perfect way to do this… helping out Veterans, our First Responders, and their families.” Then Kyle added, “This is a platform for us! Making beer is an opportunity to help Veterans. Nobody is going to take care of ourselves like ourselves.”
If I sound excited, you can, believe me, I am. I used to live in Kannapolis for close to 20 years and I would have never expected to have seen so many wonderful changes happening. This brewery currently can have as many as 250 visitors at night and 50-60 within the first hour of opening their doors each day. These numbers just blow me away! Kannapolis is hungry for the changes that are coming their way.
The Old Amor Beer Company is located at 211 West Avenue, Kannapolis, NC. They also allow special functions such as meetings, bridal showers, etc. You can call them for more information at 704-933-9203.
Hours of operation are:
- Monday-Thursday/ 3-10 p.m.
- Friday-Saturday /12-11 p.m.
- Sunday/ 12-8 p.m.