TARBORO, N.C. (WNCT) “It’s been incredible watching how many people come from all over the place,” said Inez Ribustello of Tarboro Brewing Company.
And what they’re coming for is craft beer, brewed inside this old car dealership in downtown Tarboro.
“It’s a great place,” said Michael Harris, Tarboro native. It’s helping to revitalize downtown.”
“This is a very family-friendly spot,” said Ribustello.
The spot is Tarboro Brewing Company.
The name is simple, but it means a lot to owner Inez Ribustello.
“I love Tarboro so much,” said Ribustello. I’m kind of obnoxious about Tarboro!”
And Inez and her husband bought the building back in 2008, not knowing what it would become.
But the focus turned to beer after seeing the big business breweries were doing in other towns in eastern North Carolina.
“We’d been watching what duck-rabbit had done for Farmville and then watched what mother earth was doing for Kinston,” said Ribustello.
And after securing investors, fundraising and receiving grant money, the brewery opened in early 2016.
First, a brewing and canning operation to sell their beer statewide.
Then a few months later came the taproom.
“People will travel for beer,” said Ribustello. That’s been really great. And Greenville has been so good to us. Roanoke rapids.”
But it’s those from Tarboro who make this place what it is.
People like Michael Harris and his family.
“It’s one of the things a lot people don’t think about, having a family and going out and having a beer,” said Harris. But they’ve really been able to pull it together and really make a family atmosphere. It’s a safe place. You feel happy that the kids can come and play games and have fun. But you can still have some adult time.”
“We were not planning to do a taproom,” said Ribustello. But in the six years that it took us to get open the landscape had changed very much and the amount of breweries in North Carolina along had tripled.”
To go along with the beer and the games in the taproom is the food.
“The food truck scene is fantastic,” said Ribustello.
A different food truck almost every day.
“This really has opened up the door for people here to try Korean food or New Orleans food or different types of cuisines that maybe they wouldn’t try before,” said Harris.
But at the end of the day, it’s the beer that keeps bringing them here.
“Beer and the friends,” said Harris. The beer is really good, that always helps. But I just love, it’s really nice getting together with old friends and catching up.”
“We’re flattered and we’re honored and we’re humbled by people visiting,” said Ribustello.