Brothers Brew a New Bond

nickelpoint brewing company

Bruce Corregan and his brother Matt had been homebrewers for 13 years, but it took an accident that placed his brother in his home for an extended time for them to decide to launch Nickelpoint Brewing Company in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“He was a biochemist by training and after his accident he lived with me and my wife for about a year or so,” explained Corregan. “Around the time we started brewing and it quickly became apparent that his skills in biochemistry and my passion for beer … it was a great combination for us to collaborate together.”

Corregan had been working at IBM for about 17 years when a couple of co-workers approached him about potentially opening up a microbrewery. “So, my brother and I own the brewery — my brother is on quality control — and given our backgrounds, we wanted to make quality assurance and process part of our culture from day one,” explained Corregan. “We made some very specific investments in the lab from day one and so now my brother is up here three or four days a week working in the lab.”

This has allowed Nickelpoint, even as a microbrewery, to handle all color, IBU and alcohol of the beer testing in house, which can save a pretty as anyone who has had to outsource can attest. “[We do] all the testing of our cleaning and sanitation processes as well,” explained Corregan. “We brew fairly traditional ales and lagers across the board. We have a core set of beers that we started with and then we do typical seasonals as well. We also have a small batch series — about once a month I’ll brew a small batch and that’s where my brother and I experiment a little bit.”

The brothers will work with fruit beers as well as cask conditioned beers and barrel aged beers. “Unique things that aren’t necessarily in the broader portfolio, but things that we want to do for a couple of reasons; to do some testing and development, feedback from our customers and it gives customers a reason to come into our taproom,” said Corregon.

The name Nickelpoint comes from the brewery’s relation to the local Five Point neighborhood and its attempt to be one with the community. “We’re very family friendly, dog friendly,” said Corregan. “It’s not unusual on a Sunday afternoon to have a couple with two or three kids down and the parents have a beer, and my son Brayden, makes soda, so we serve soda out of the taproom for the kids. It’s just a unique little environment. One of the things I want to do is create more of a community environment here.”

The Five Point district is also evolving into the brewing district. According to Corregan, this year there will be five or six more breweries opening within a one-mile radius. “There’s about 130 breweries statewide here in North Carolina,” said Corregan. “But there’s a lot popping up just in our little area. Raleigh is going through a revitalization, so the community is very excited about all the breweries and becoming a booming industry here locally.”

Corregan is currently the only person full time at the brewery. He’s become a man of many hats within brewing, which is degree is classical guitar performance doesn’t really assist with. “I’m kind of handling all the operations right now,” said Corregan. “It’s a lot of work, especially now that we’re starting to grow. My brew days are getting more and more frequent, but those are good problems to have.”

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