From the News & Observer
Big Boss Brewing Co. was founded 10 years ago, but the building in which it is housed held five others before it showed up. The first tenant, Tomcat Brewing Co., opened 20 years ago in 1996. Founded by namesake Thom Tomlinson, Tomcat specialized in English-style beers bearing feline-inspired labels, such as Cougar Pale Ale, Bengal India Pale Ale and Lionheart Scottish Ale.
Though the young brewery ambitiously started distributing its beers in bottles and draft throughout the state, it closed its doors the next year. The mid-’90s saw breweries opening at record rates, but many would close around the turn of the century.
Pale Ale Brewery replaced Tomcat Brewing , but was just as short-lived. That brewery closed in 1999. Then Rock Creek Brewing had its turn. Though it would be many years before Big Boss Brewing set up shop, this is where Brad Wynn – the brewmaster at Big Boss – entered the picture. Rock Creek Brewing was founded in Virginia but also brewed under contract in Pennsylvania. Wynn was brewing beers for them on the weekends in Pennsylvania while he was working for another brewery in Virginia.