Thursday, April 5, 2012

Congratulations, Asheville


New Belgium Brewing Announces Asheville as Site for Second Brewery
Brewer will expand production capacity with east coast facility
Fort Collins, CO, April 5, 2012 - New Belgium Brewing announced today that Asheville, NC has been selected as the new location for a second brewery. The 400,000-barrel brewery and packaging facility will provide New Belgium with additional capacity allowing the Colorado-based brewer to expand into new areas of distribution. Upon completion in 2015, the facility will initially create 50 new jobs in the Asheville area with more than 100 positions expected at full buildout.
“After several years of searching, we are incredibly excited to have landed in Asheville,” said Kim Jordan, CEO and co-founder of New Belgium. “From the deep sense of community to the rich natural environment and the opportunity to revitalize a brownfield site near a vibrant downtown, Asheville has everything we’ve been looking for in a location for our second brewery.”
The 17.5-acre site located in the heart of the River Arts District will accommodate the 150,000 sq. ft. facility. The brewery will feature a 200-barrel brewing system, a tasting facility, and a process wastewater treatment center on-site. Tours will be available to the public. Total cost projections are over $100 million.     
“Today’s announcement by New Belgium will enhance the craft brewery cluster that is growing in North Carolina,” said Gov. Bev Perdue.  “The jobs and investment the company is committing will be a major boon for the region and for the state.” 
Construction is expected to begin in early 2013 with beer rolling off the line in early 2015. 

Time to move on, Philly. Wonder if Gary Fish is interested in Deschutes East...


Sam said...

While the 200 jobs (NB & SN combined) might be good for the small population in Asheville (if these companies don't end up bring in workers with brewing experience for the majority of those jobs because I'm sure Asheville isn't swimming in professional brewers), it's sad to see these leaders of craft following the foot steps of BMC expansion...i.e. find a cheap place in the middle of no where, with cheap labor and build, pump out beer. These breweries rarely become part of the community where they are located and are isolated enough from the actual people who drink the beer that they become nameless pits of production...which seems counter to the craft spirit that is about building community, connections, and being "named". There's time for them to prove me wrong in their engagement, but this looks a financial win for the bean counter brewers, a wash for the citizens of Asheville, and a loss for craft spirit.

Okay, okay, guess it's time to move one.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations indeed, but when in Asheville I will always opt for the great brews by the homegrown breweries. There are remarkable things "brewing" in NC and the rest of the Southeast.

HolzBrew said...

North carolina really has a burgeoning brewing culture. My sister in law lives in Durham and I love checking out the new brews available every time I am down there.

Bill said...


Both NB and SN have been huge supporters of craft growth in their communities. Asheville is a community with numerous breweries already, as Anonymous pointed out. NB and SN compete on a level far above that of the Asheville breweries, so I feel certain that they will help those 1K-10K barrel brewers much in the way they have in CO and CA: they don't see the tiny brewers as competition.

steve, no "n" said...

Sam, call me an optimist, but I don't see it like that at all. Both of these breweries have a history of environmental and community involvement and I don't see them plunking down a new facility "in the middle of nowhere" and putting it on autopilot. I'm sure they're going to be as active in the Blue Ridge as they are in the mountains of CO and CA.

This sounds like beer geek alarmism to me. "Oh, no, the sky is falling...never mind, they stopped brewing good beer long ago." Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like 'Sam' don't know much about Asheville, the brewing scene there, nor the community-based arrangements with SN & NB. Actually, it sounds like he's kinda got his head up his ass.

Sam said...

Wow stirred up the nest. I conceded I could be wrong in my original comment but I grew up on the east coast and had never heard of Asheville before this. I'm sure it's a beautiful oasis in the Appalachia, but two large expansions appearing in the same area sounds like money incentives not love of the culture. Also starting small and growing in a community is different than plopping down a large brewery in a new community no matter how craft forward the town is or engaged the business. From the overwhelming positive support in the comments perhaps it will work, with two west coast brewers firmly planting their stakes in the same corner of NC, it will certainly be a defining moment for craft in the east. That may not be bad, but it needs to be watched and questioned.

No need for quotes around Sam, that's my actual name.

And for any brewer in Asheville offended by my professional brewers comment I apologize, I was unaware of the size of the craft brewing scene there

Bill said...

Sam, then maybe you'll find Lagunitas as a better example of how to expand! They announced this week that they're building a brewery in Chicago in an industrial area. I think the capacity will be greater than the current capacity of Goose Island, Three Floyds, Two Brothers, Half Acre, and Metropolitan combined (although many of them are also expanding, so that figure might not be accurate by the time the brewery is up and running. Heck, it might not be accurate now...). So, moving to large city with many brewers, doing so for environmental reasons (massively reduced shipping) and growth reasons, and no public backlash from the brewing folks here -- "Bring it on" seems to be the prevailing attitude.

Sam said...

Bill - Thanks for pointing that out, the Lagunita expansion is definitely in line with "Green City" thinking and what I preferred to see for brewery “colonization” of that scale. It will be interesting to follow which model works out better from both a financial and community sense.

Bill said...

Wow -- now Oskar Blues is opening a brewery near Asheville as well... what's in the water down there?