by Britt Chester


For some, beer is just another beverage, but for others, like Greensboro’s Daniel Leonard, beer is a passion. Leonard, 32, is about to celebrate the grand opening of his new retail beer store, Gate City Growlers, located in the Irving Park Plaza shopping center.

“The main focus is on North Carolina beers. NC beers have a lot of distribution spread out throughout the state, but not all of them have as well known a name as places like Natty Greene’s and the other major players in the area,” he said.

Born in Winston-Salem and raised in Colfax, Leonard has spent a lot of time around beer through his work as a bartender at Bull’s Tavern in downtown Winston.

“I have a passion for beer, all the different styles of them, and I wanted to do something that I am passion about,” he added. Gate City Growlers will have 20 different beers on tap with the option to taste and sample any one of the beers before purchasing a 16-, 32-, or 64-ounce growler. The growler is a one-time purchase and can be used for refills. The retail store will be home to more than 200 different craft beers.

Leonard approached longtime friend David Strader with a proposal, and after several sit-downs, conversations (all of which were presumably held over craft beers, a passion he shares with Strader) the two decided to open up shop.

“We knew we wanted to stay around Battleground and Lawndale, and we happened to be at Speakeasy Tavern one day and saw this storefront available,” he said.

Prior to Gate City Growlers, Leonard operated another business, Socially Incorporated, out of Greensboro. Socially Inc., or SIC, was a clothing brand that specialized in limited runs of t-shirts and hoodies, and he pushed the brand into several boutique stores across the Triad.

Leonard graduated from UNCG in 2010 with a degree in entrepreneurship and marketing. !


Gate City Growlers is located at 1724 Battleground Avenue, Suite 103, and will hold its grand opening celebration this Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.