One of the state's most established craft beer makers is growing again.
Winston-Salem-based Foothills Brewing announced on its blog Monday it will begin distributing beer in Georgia in 2016.
Foothills marketing chief Ray Goodrich says the decision is both practical and sentimental.
Georgia is the only North Carolina border state where the company doesn't yet have a presence. And Atlanta is one of the biggest markets in the country.
But it's also where Foothills founder Jamie Bartholomaus began home brewing as a college student at the University of Georgia.
The ten-year-old company made the announcement as it begins a planned expansion.
Currently, Foothills makes about 32,000 barrels of product per year, with a capacity of about 50,000. Once it installs new fermentation tanks in its Winston-Salem brewery, the company will be able to produce up to 70,000 per year, a 40 percent increase.
Goodrich says the company is among the 20 oldest craft brewers and the second-largest native craft producer in the state, behind only Highland Brewing in Asheville.
There are now more than 140 craft breweries based in North Carolina.