North Carolina beverage bottler looking at plant in Fort Worth

Posted Monday, Apr. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A North Carolina brewer that also produces a variety of other beverages is considering Fort Worth for a new plant.

Mooresville, N.C.-based Carolina Beverage Group is a contract bottler for numerous national and international brands. Harry Barto, the company's president and CEO, confirmed Friday that the company is looking at Fort Worth for a beverage operation, but he declined to say how big the plant would be or how many employees it would hire.

"We're looking at a couple different locations in Texas and Oklahoma," Barto said. "We're not at a point to announce anything."

The Fort Worth City Council is scheduled to hear about the company's plan Tuesday as it considers a tax abatement agreement. The city is not releasing details about the proposed tax incentive package until then.

Carolina Beverage Group was founded in 1997 and employs about 230 workers at its 160,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina, according to the company's website.

The company started making craft beers and sold and distributed them in five Mid-Atlantic states under the Carolina Blonde and Cottonwood Ales brands. In 2001, the company expanded its operations to offer contract packaging services. Customers include a who's who of the beverage world, including makers of well-known malt beverages, distilled spirits, energy drinks, teas, functional and other ready-to-drink beverages, the website says.

Wal-Mart land deal

Wal-Mart has acquired 21.8 acres in Burleson on the west side of Interstate 35W and south of Alsbury Boulevard, according to deed records.

No word from Wal-Mart yet on its plans. Calls and emails to the retailer's media hotline went unanswered last week.

The land was bought by Wal-Mart under the entity Sam's Real Estate Business Trust from Burleson Five Star Properties. Wal-Mart is building a Sam's Club in Mansfield.

Business-friendly DFW

Dallas-Fort Worth received an A+ and is considered one of the best places in the country to start and grow a business, according to the San Francisco-based Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness survey. The area ranked well for its business-friendly regulations and tax code in the second annual Thumbtack.com and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey.

Dallas-Fort Worth ranked the No. 4 easiest metro area for starting a new business in the country, Thumbtack.com said. The region, which includes Tarrant, Dallas, Parker, Johnson, Collin and Denton counties, earned the A+ rating for business-friendly regulations, labor laws and its licensing requirements and zoning regulations. Small businesses gave the region a B- for its training and networking programs.

Texas was home to four of the top 10 cities, with Austin at No. 1, Houston No. 3 and San Antonio No. 5. The state also ranked seventh in the nation for the quality of its online business resources.

"A vibrant economy, clear and sensible regulatory systems, an entrepreneurial culture -- these are the qualities that make a region attractive to entrepreneurs," said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com.

"They are also all qualities that the Dallas-Fort Worth metro possesses in spades, making it no surprise that DFW ranked among the top cities for the second year."

Rated lowest were Los Angeles, San Diego, Cincinnati, Sacramento, Calif., and, in last place, Newark, N.J.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

sabaker@star-telegram.com

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

jfuquay@star-telegram.com

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

barry@star-telegram.com

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