For the Goose and the Monkey Brewhouse, it’s been an eventful journey to becoming the first craft brewery in Lexington.
First, a massive fire at the Depot District in late 2017 delayed the start of construction. Then, another catastrophe — the coronavirus pandemic — forced it to shut down in March less than three weeks after it finally opened.
Lemons to Lemonade
However, owners Brent and Ashlee Moore were undaunted. They turned each setback into an opportunity to increase their knowledge about the brewing industry. Now that Lexington’s first brewery is open for the second time, they say all the dedication and perseverance was worth it.
“We believe in this place and have a great plan to maintain the health and safety of our employees and patrons,” Brent says. “The community has been great, supporting us day-in and day-out over the last two months. We cannot thank them enough for all of the love.”
The brewery, named for a whimsical children’s rhyme Ashlee used to sing at the school bus stop, was nearly derailed by the 2017 blaze. Firefighters at the former Lexington Home Brands complex closed the last fire doors moments before it reached the future brewery.
That blaze forced an 18-month delay. During that time the Moores joined the local Triad Brewers Alliance, made friends with brewers in Asheboro and Winston-Salem, and fine-tuned their plans.
During that time they also settled on a 10-barrel brewing system and developed a core set of IPAs and traditional German and American ales, while creating flexibility for unique, small-batch brews.
On Feb. 29, the brewery opened to much fanfare as locals were eager to see the pioneering business. However, just 16 days into that first opening, COVID-19 created another setback. The owners quickly pivoted. They used connections from the brewers alliance to get four beers canned that were ready for release, then switched to carryout orders via phone and online.
“We were blessed to be able to at least stay open,” Brent says. “Our team was on board to do whatever needed as we went from the high of opening to the low of being shut down.”
(Re)Open for Business
Although they were fully open only a little more than two weeks, Ashlee says the experience validated their belief in starting this first-of-its-kind business in their hometown.
“We love to go to places like this and take our family,” Ashlee says. “And we thought, ‘This is what Lexington needs so people can enjoy a brewery close to home.’ We really do care about our community and love it here.”
For information and hours of operation, go to: www.gooseandthemonkeybrewhouse.com.
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