Koi Pond brewery triples production
By Corey Davis
Friday, January 6, 2017
The Rocky Mount Mills’ first craft brewery recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by increasing its manufacturing output to correspond with consumer demand and offer its product in the marketplace.
Eric Ghiloni, owner of Koi Pond Brewing at 1107 Falls Road, said the local craft brewery has tripled its production from 12 barrels of fermentation capacity to 33 barrels of fermentation capacity. Koi Pond now will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays beginning next week, adding to its current Thursday to Sunday operating days, he added.
With no room to expand in its facility, Ghiloni said Capitol Broadcasting Co. worked with Koi Pond to extend the shed behind its location. The added capacity in the shed allowed Koi Pond the room it needed to house three huge brewing fermenters used to make enough beer to increase production.
“With us doing 12 barrels of fermentation capacity, we weren’t close to running out, but we didn’t have enough kegs to sell to restaurants or distributors,” Ghiloni said. “That 12 barrels was enough to keep us open and serve the demands that Rocky Mount had on us. But because of the production increase, we will be selling kegs to selected restaurants or taprooms, which is huge for us. The bottom line is we’re going to make more beer because we know we can sell more beer.”
Ghiloni said he was pleasantly surprised by how much of a market for craft beer has developed in the area, even though it had gained popularity in other bigger areas across North Carolina.
“When we opened the business, we weren’t sure if Rocky Mount would support us, but I think what has been the big surprise is there is a home for that product (craft beer) here,” Ghiloni said. “We had a good idea what we needed to do from a business standpoint, and what we needed to stay viable. However, we didn’t know Koi Pond would be so well-received. After the first six months in business, we knew it only made sense for us to add additional equipment here at the Mills so that we can be open more often and be able to sell kegs to other businesses.”
Koi Pond’s customer base extends beyond Rocky Mount and the surrounding areas.
“We’ve got a good broad base of regulars, and we draw a lot of business from the Triangle region on the weekends,” Ghiloni said. “We also get a lot of travelers coming off U.S. 64 and Interstate 95, who have seen our website online. We don’t have a lot of slow weekends.”
Koi Pond’s success of drawing tourism to its spot has helped make the Mills an attractive area with other businesses coming on the horizon next year such as chef partners Lou Reda and Justin Gaines of Lou Reda’s: An American Table opening an American tavern restaurant dubbed The Tap @ 1918 on the Mills campus. Angelo Carlone, owner of Angelo’s Pizza, will open an artisan-style pizza spot called the Tipsy Tomato. Also, Justin and Brittany Tipper are expanding their Ramblers Beer and Wine bottleshop, which has a location in downtown Durham, to the Mills.
“With all the new happenings that are coming here to the Mills, it is becoming a destination for people,” Ghiloni said. “It was a piece of property that had gone unused for so long that local people are so glad that it’s being put to use and it gives people a place to go. When other restaurants and businesses open, it will be even more of a place that people can hang out on the weekends and hit more than one place.”