July 14, 2009 12:00 AM
For Trent Mooring, the "light at the end of the tunnel" came Monday in the form of six massive stainless steel tanks.
"It makes me really excited to see all this," Mooring, co-owner of Mother Earth Brewing, said.
Mooring - a Kinston native - and his father-in-law, Stephen Hill, created the company to bring microbrewing to eastern North Carolina.
Mother Earth's brewery is still under construction in a former drive-through drug store on South Herritage Street.
But, on Monday, six stainless-steel tanks - four fermenters and two storage tanks - built by Stainless Steel Systems of San Marcos, Calif., arrived at the brewery.
Mooring watched as his Brew Master Josh Brewer, a representative of Premier Stainless and a number of workers from Kinston-based Ernie Everett Site Preparation lifted each 1,200-gallon tank with a forklift and carefully maneuvered it into position by hand.
"It's a lot of money going up and down," Brewer remarked.
Mooring also praised the Ernie Everett workers, who have worked on the building renovation for the past six months.
"They've been a blessing," he said. "I can't say enough about all the guys at Ernie Everett."
Mooring's wife, Caroline, said she was happy to see the construction nearing its end.
"The way it was before and the way it is now, it's just amazing what they can do with it," she said of the building.
Brewer and Mooring said the tanks gave them the capacity to brew up to 40 barrels of beer per day, once their brewing equipment arrives in a few weeks.
The bottling equipment, made in Italy, is expected to arrive soon after, and Mother Earth should open for business by "late summer or early fall," Mooring said.
David Anderson can be reached at (252) 559-1077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.