Raleigh man quits corporate job to follow through on dream to open distillery

ZEBULON, N.C. (WTVD) -- In a time when businesses are struggling to make ends meet and having discussions about closing down for good, one Wake County man is moving forward with his dream of opening a distillery while promoting community growth.

"I wanted to create a brand that was a representation of this area," said Brandon McCraney, owner of the 10,400-square-foot Olde Raleigh Distillery, while swiping through blueprints.

The building he purchased last year in downtown Zebulon is in the final stages of remodeling.

He details what the eventual finished product will look like. Separating the production space from the tasting room space will be a 61-foot bar. In that bar is reclaimed lumber from the rafters that we took down several months ago.

A bar, event space, and a place for the bourbon enthusiast to learn the history, science, and art of making the age-old drink will be available.

A few years ago, McCraney quit his successful corporate job in pursuit of his distillery dream. Pandemic or not, McCraney said Olde Raleigh Distillery will open.

"Once I was committed to opening, throw anything at me. I'm going to keep moving, I'm going to go through around you, or you're going to come with me."

The focus however is not only on his dream but on the community. Brandon is aiming for everything to be local, from the corn to the business around him working to partner with his neighboring restaurants and food trucks to bring a truly unique experience to Zebulon.

"It's not just about bringing a bottle of bourbon to the market, it's about a greater good and that's something that wakes me up every day."

The plan is to have construction finish in the next few weeks with an eye on the holidays for a grand opening.
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