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Editorial: Hoist a toast to ‘buy local’

“Buy local” — a phrase so common it’s become a significant part of shopping decisions for many consumers.

For fresh produce, there’s a bounty of local farmers and farmers markets across Rowan. Similarly, our county houses too many tantalizing restaurants to count.

Salisbury is the home of the billion-dollar company Food Lion. Rowan’s county seat is also the headquarters of Cheerwine, an irresistible soft drink.

As we approach the end of 2015, Salisbury and Rowan County should celebrate another local business — New Sarum Brewing Company.

Salisbury residents may already be familiar with New Sarum. Its memorable beers have been served up at local restaurants for a couple years. Last year, the company received incentives to expand its operations into a much larger facility on North Lee Street. Construction is expected to wrap up near the end of 2015.

New Sarum’s brews were on display at this year’s Summer Sip Beer Tasting Crawl and Saturday’s festival. Participants in the tasting crawl seemed to intentionally seek out stores serving up New Sarum’s concoctions. During Saturday’s festival, lines for New Sarum’s brews were consistently longer than any other company.

It’s clear that the public has welcomed New Sarum with open arms, as they should. Many cities don’t have the luxury of being home to a craft brewery.

And, New Sarum has also embraced its Salisbury roots. All of its essential brews contain Salisbury references.

Beer also represents a significant part of the economy in North Carolina. According to the Beer Institute — yes, such a thing exists — the beer industry in North Carolina represents nearly $850 million in wages and provides 26,480 jobs.

New Sarum’s projected number of employees at its new facility isn’t as large as major industrial projects. Regardless, the company will add jobs to the Rowan County economy — something politicians consistently list as a a top priority in campaign platforms.

As Rowan residents look to buy local, add New Sarum Brewery to the list. While you’re at it, include local vintners such as Cobble Creek, Old Stone Winery and Morgan Ridge Vineyards, which has created quality wines since 2007. Morgan Ridge wins awards for its wines and creates craft beers too.

As Rowan and its leaders look to grow the county’s economy, we can do our part by helping ourselves and supporting local business in every industry.

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