Inauguration of the “Billy Beer” production plant in Greene County

Distributing a local light craft beer is one step closer to reality here in East Carolina.

A groundbreaking ceremony is being held Tuesday morning for the 10,000 square foot production facility being built to produce Billy Beer in the Greene County Industrial Park. Uptown Brewing Company plans to begin producing Billy Beer for regional distribution to local stores starting this fall.

Billy Beer started out as a pet project for the brewmaster who wanted to make something his boss would enjoy. The name and design are plays on the 1970s Billy Beer that was promoted by President Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy.

A local craft brewery is bringing light craft beer to East Carolina in a big way.

Uptown Brewing Company brewmaster Benjamin Self is expanding into Greene County to produce “Billy Beer” for regional distribution in local grocery stores, starting this fall.

It’s 3.2% ABV and Self calls it “super drinkable.”

“It’s a light, crushable, low calorie, low carb product, naturally…we don’t filter it, pasteurize it or remove anything,” Self said.

“Billy Beer” started out as a pet project for the BrewMaster, who wanted to do something his boss would enjoy. The name and design are plays on the 1970s “Billy Beer”, which was promoted by President Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy. The founder of the Uptown Brewing Company in Greenville is Billy Dunn.

“That’s what he likes to drink, you know, these easy-to-mash macro lagers, and I was like ‘if he pays for all this, I have to be able to make something he can enjoy and so I’m going out redesigned some of those Bud Light, Miller Lite type recipes,” Self said.

Self-produced the beer for Dunn and others behind the scenes at Uptown Brewing, but quickly gained popularity.

“I think this style is generally, genuinely, worthwhile and worth doing and worth doing really well and I really think it pays off,” he says now.

Uptown Brewing Company and Billy Beer, Inc. have partnered with Greene County to build a 10,000 square foot production facility in the North West Greene Industrial Park off 264-Alternate.

Self’s goal is to can Billy Beer on site by September 1. He thinks he will have 8-10 full-time employees at the start with plans to increase production by the end of the second year when he expects to have over 20 full-time jobs.

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