Asheville Area Location Perfectly Combines Desire for Outdoor Recreation and a Craft Beer Culture
When Sierra Nevada set out to look for a location for its second brewery, it wanted a certain type of place.
It had to offer, according to the company,”quantifiable factors such as ease of shipping and water quality, as well as quality of life issues for its employees. Sierra Nevada has a reputation for a laid-back brewery culture and a love of the outdoors, and the new facility” had to meet this criteria.
And so, after an extensive search, it chose the small western North Carolina town of Mills River, located on the French Broad River, 12 miles south of Asheville.
It chose well.
I know this because I am from the area. Actually, I’m from two hours away in Knoxville but my mom is from nearby Hendersonvillle and my dad a little patch of land on the outskirts of Asheville called Leicester. As kids, we drove I-40 over the mountains to these two areas all the time.
There are rivers for recreation, endless hiking, rock climbing and bicycling. One of our favorite activities as kids – heck, I would love to do it now – was to go to a place called Sliding Rock where we would literally slide down rocks into a deep pool of water.
The 90 workers who will be employed at the brewery, and the others who will be hired for work in a restaurant and gift shop, will love it.
Sierra Nevada also wanted a place with a “craft beer culture,” and while I was not of legal age while romping around western North Carolina, I would assume it’s a fine place for that, too. After all, one of the rewards of spending days exploring nature is having a cold craft beer afterward.
“We are thrilled to have found an ideal location in western North Carolina for our second brewery,” said Sierra Nevada’s founder, Ken Grossman. “The beer culture, water quality and quality of life are excellent. We feel lucky to be a part of this community.”
The new facility will add much needed capacity for Sierra Nevada to serve East Coast customers. The brewery will start with a capacity approximately 300,000 barrels, with room to grow. The added barrelage will accommodate wider production of the myriad of seasonal beers and bottled specialties Sierra Nevada has produced in recent years, as well as an expansion of the brewery’s well-known flagship product, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
It gives brewery tours at its original brewery, and I’m guessing it will also so do this in North Carolina.
Sierra Nevada’s is headquartered in another small town, Chico, CA. That’s the home of Chico State, which has a wild reputation as a Top Party School. Had to throw that in there, of course.
Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Pale Ale, Torpedo, Porter, Stout, Kellerweis, four seasonal beers, Estate Ale, Harvest Ales, Ovila Abbey Ales and a host of draught-only specialties.