Highcraft Beer Market Opens Soon in Cary


Matt Ganzert will open HighCraft Beer market the end of August 2014.

Cary, NC- If you’ve been asking yourself “Why doesn’t Cary have its own Craft Beer Store?” you aren’t alone. Matt Ganzert has been driving all around Wake County to get his beer fix, and he finally decided to open his own place. HighCraft Beer Market will open later this month in Cary’s West Park Shopping center, near the NC 55 Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Matt is a former banker who had been wanting to open his own business for a while. After plenty of research proved to him that our market was ripe for growth in the craft beer craze, he partnered with some family members to get started on making the dream a reality.

Cary Is Underserved

The Cary market is under-served (as mentioned above) and the demographics are perfect.

Many people (wrongly) assume craft beer is what young and hip people are drinking. However, those young folks don’t have much disposable income.

The real craft beer consumers are 35-55 years old and have more money to spend on expensive six packs and growlers. The density of Cary with that desired demographic is perfect.

Growth Market

Craft beer is a growing business. According to Matt, craft beer currently makes up only 15 percent of the overall beer market. Typically an industry that has smaller specialty niches within it, can handle as much as 30% specialty products.

There’s not much competition locally. Cary has one brewery, and soon World of Beer will open in the Arboretum Shopping Center, miles away from HighCraft’s location. Downtown has plans for a craft beer pub, but that is in the very early stages, and is more than 5 miles away. Other than those two locations,  customers must drive into Raleigh, Apex or Fuquay-Varina for their craft beer fix.

HighCraft Beer Market

HighCraft Beer Market won’t just sell six packs of unusual brews. They plan to have a dozen beers on tap for sampling, and sell beers by the glass and growlers (about 1/2 gallon in a takeaway glass bottle). There will be a focus on North Carolina breweries, but the store will carry beers from around the globe.

The 1200 square foot store will stock about 800 different beers.

Matt wants his store to be a local hangout, and says his customers will most likely visit him from a five-mile radius. Being right next to the large West Park subdivision, not far from Preston and Wellsley is also a plus. People will be able to enjoy a flight of beers, or even pay for a pint to sip while they shop. He will have a bar and seating both inside and out to encourage people to stay a while.

There are early plans to host tasting events and maybe classes, but the aim is to educate the customer during their visits. Not sure what an IPA tastes like? Ask Matt for a sample of the one on tap. Never tried a porter? Give one a try before you purchase.

When they open, if you visit, you will probably meet Matt. He plans to run the store and be the “beer guy” while his family will be silent partners.

Look for HighCraft Beer to open with a soft opening in late August 2014 in West Park Shopping at the corner of NC 55 and High House Road.


Food coverage on CaryCitizen is sponsored in part by Whisk of Cary.


6 replies
  1. Some guy
    Some guy says:

    I would bet that the American palette for beer is shifting…away from watered down, cheap, tasteless (mostly) beers by huge companies. I think it’s not just a trend but a shift that over time will have a much larger customer base.

  2. Robert Bush
    Robert Bush says:

    There is one craft beer store just 3.5 miles away – the confusingly named Triangle Wine Company at Davis & McCrimmon. Huge selection of both beer and wine, with rotating taps of craft beer. Glad to see some additional stores opening up and I wish Matt good luck.

    • Gary
      Gary says:

      And, another beer place up by Bass Pro Shop, An, etc. opens on 9/1:


      (Gee, how’d I ever grow up on 35-cent Genny Cream Ale drafts in upper NY state, at local volunteer fire dept. Friday night fish dinners?)- back when you could get drafted and drink at age 18!

  3. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Just to clarify…

    Craft beer has 7.8 percent market share: http://www.brewersassociation.org/press-releases/brewers-association-announces-2013-craft-brewer-growth/

    Also, Millennials are by far the biggest “real craft beer” consumer: http://thisiswhyimdrunk.wordpress.com/tag/millennial-beer-marketing-series/

    Drinkers By the Numbers
    Millennials make up 32.9% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 26.1% of the total adult population
    Gen X’ers make up 23.9% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 18.7% of the total adult population
    Boomers make up 34.6% of the volume of craft beer consumers, and this demographic makes up 37.0% of the total adult population

    “Millennial consumption is propelling this industry,” Leinenkugel said.

    • Matt Ganzert
      Matt Ganzert says:

      Hello everyone! I just wanted to provide some more context for comments made during my interview:

      Craft beer, as of 2013, had 14.3% market share by dollar volume according to the BA study referenced above (and was the source of my data as well). With 10.9% average year-over-year growth it is almost certainly at 15% now and that is the number I referenced in the interview.
      Looking at the landscape of the craft beer scene I agree with Bryan that Millennials are a big part of the craft beer boom. When doing my own research I read the same study by Nielsen referenced above and found that Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers (generally aged 35-65) make up 58.5% of craft beer drinkers. This informed my comments in the interview that Millennials do not have a monopoly on the craft beer scene, but craft beer is being enjoyed by everyone!

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