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New Brewery In North Carolina

Why are you coming to the greater Asheville, North Carolina, area?

We were charmed by the people and environment in Asheville. We love the sense of the outdoors and connection to the land, as well as the amazing beer culture and brewing scene that has sprung up in this area over the past decade.

We heard you looked at other states, including Virginia and Tennessee. Why did you choose North Carolina?

We looked at more than 200 different sites over 18 months and developed a long list of qualitative and quantitative factors – ease of transportation and quality of water being two important considerations, but also good schools, connection to the outdoors and quality of life. 

We narrowed it down to a short list and looked at pros and cons of each one, landing ultimately on a few great choices for us. In North Carolina, we were humbled by the community support and the shared values with our brand and company. We feel fortunate that every place we considered was incredibly welcoming.

What’s your commitment to the community?

We’re bringing the Henderson County community a well-respected business and the potential for nearly 100 new jobs. Sierra Nevada has a longstanding focus on sustainability and a history of supporting river preservation and community giving programs. We also look forward to working with local craft brewers, including the Asheville Brewers Alliance. We haven’t formalized any specific initiatives, but we plan on being as actively engaged in the community as we have been in our hometown of Chico, CA.

Will the North Carolina brewery be as green as the Chico brewery (solar, hydrogen fuel cells, wastewater, etc.)?

Yes. Sierra Nevada and the Grossman family have a longstanding commitment to sustainability. Our brewery in Chico, CA, has one of the largest private solar installations in the country and was the first brewery to install hydrogen fuel cells; the combination of these two systems generates more than half of the brewery’s energy needs on site. We also have an extensive water treatment program and strive to be zero waste. Through extensive recycling, re-use, resource recovery, and composting programs we divert 99.8% of our waste from landfills. Sierra Nevada always strives to minimize our footprint as well as make brewery operations a closed loop, and our new location in North Carolina is no exception. For more info on our sustainability programs, download our Sustainability Report. Sierra Nevada’s North Carolina facility will be built to at least LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. Sustainability will touch every facet of our new facility just as it does at our Chico facility.

What will you brew at the facility in Asheville?

We will brew our year round and seasonal beers, and will have the ability to brew a wide range of specialty beers as well.

The land Sierra Nevada has purchased is beautiful. What sort of impact do you expect to have on it and Asheville’s water source, the French Broad River?

The site of our new location is set on a plot of nearly 190 acres near the French Broad River and has been a family owned property for almost 100 years. The owner carefully managed the forest and required a review of potential users before he agreed to the sale. A majority of the site will be kept wild and intact; we have plans to develop a trail system with river access.

Will your beer be less expensive once the brewery is in operation?

Since we have been subsidizing the freight to many of our Eastern markets, our shelf price will most likely not change significantly.

How will Sierra Nevada’s presence benefit the local beer scene?

We hope that building our brewery will be seen as a positive thing. It’s important for us to be a part of the community and put down roots by becoming involved in activities in the area. We’re eager to get to town, get to know the other brewers, and be a part of the community. We have knowledge, systems, and experience that we’re willing to share and hope we can be a part of the Asheville Brewers Alliance and community that Asheville is so famous for.

My uncle/brother/mom/neighbor has a green construction/landscaping/booking/festival/solar hot water business. Where should they send inquires about the brewery project?

Please use our contact form. It is the best way to get your request in front of the right people at Sierra Nevada and answered as quickly as possible.

Will you be using local contractors/workers and locally manufactured construction materials to build the new facility?

Absolutely. We expect to hire for between 20 and 40 construction jobs, depending on the stage of the project. Our goal is to provide as many local construction opportunities for workers and companies as possible and to seek to purchase materials locally whenever possible.

Will there be a taproom and restaurant at the brewery? Live music? Are the plans posted anywhere online?

Yes. We’re just learning about the community and are excited to get involved. If you ask our neighbors, they’ll tell you we’ve been good stewards of music and arts in the Chico area and in Northern California. We are excited to be part of that community in North Carolina. When the brewery opens, we will be posting event listings and updates on our website.

Will you have brewery tours in North Carolina?

Yes, once our new facility is up and running in 2014, we will offer public tours.

Will you be growing hops in Asheville? Will there be an North Carolina Estate Beer?

We have purchased enough land that we might do that in the future.

Will you brew a local/regional beer like Old Chico?

We need the second facility in NC for larger volume beers, specifically our year round and seasonal ales, so while we don’t have any specific plans in place now, we wouldn’t rule it out.

Will you sell growlers and beer on site?

Yes, we’ll have a restaurant, taproom and gift store offering Sierra Nevada beer and products. North Carolina Bill H796 contains a beer provision that allows breweries that produce more than 25,000 barrels to sell their products on site.