Starting in May, beer fans can kick back along the French Broad River in Asheville and sip a Fat Tire in New Belgium’s sparkling new “Liquid Center” tasting room. On May 2 the doors swing open at 21 Craven Street, Asheville, NC. and the public will be able to taste locally brewed New Belgium beers for the first time at the brewery’s new location. Tasting room hours will be Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 8:00 p.m. Public brewery tours will start this summer.
The 6,000 square foot riverside tap room is clad in local artist-made bars, tables and chairs crafted from nearly 14 linear miles of repurposed wood salvaged from the stockyard formerly onsite. A cantilevered deck sits above the new greenway and French Broad River, local food trucks will be on site, and an event lawn will be in place later this summer to host bike in movies and general outdoor fun.
“It feels like home,” said Tyler Foos, Asheville Liquid Center Manager. “When you visit, you’ll recognize us by the New Belgium beer quality and warmth you’ve come to know and love from our coworkers. And, by partnering up with neighboring artists to reuse materials from this site, we’ve added some awesome Asheville charm and history.”
Known for its sustainable business practices, the Fort Collins, CO, brewery purchased the 18-acre urban brownfield property as a targeted, sustainable, urban in-fill development strategy. The east coast locale minimizes the company’s national distribution footprint as they reach remaining east coast states, and enables them to engage with guests in a meaningful way through tastings and award-winning tours.
An August 27, 2016 CeleBEERation in Asheville, will mark their 25th anniversary and Asheville brewery opening. Tickets will be available at www.NewBelgium.com this summer.
New Belgium Brewing is officially breaking ground and starting construction on its second brewery—a 133,000 SF brewery and tasting room. At full build out, New Belgium will brew 500,000 barrels annually and support upwards of 140 jobs. The groundbreaking includes a private ceremony on May 1 and a public celebration on May 2.
“Over the last two years, we’ve really enjoyed getting to know this community and we have developed strong partnerships with businesses, non-profits, government agencies and neighbors,” said New Belgium CEO and co-founder, Kim Jordan. “We’re investing in greenways and all these amazing programs that our partners have established. We’re grateful to be part of this city and for our partnerships, and are incredibly excited to get this off the ground.”
New Belgium’s brewery and Liquid Center (tasting room) location, an 18-acre site along the French Broad River in West Asheville, was designated as a brownfield site, having a history of uses that necessitated site clean-up prior to building. New Belgium worked with North Carolina’s brownfield program to invest in and remediate the site and improve the area.
“While brownfield remediation isn’t exactly sexy work, it was important to our employee owners to improve a site from an environmental perspective,” said Jay Richardson, New Belgium’s General Manager in Asheville. “We’re rounding the corner and it’s exciting to see the site taking shape. Starting in May, we’ll see buildings going up and things will really be transformed.”
The site has a rich history in the neighborhood with many different uses in the past, including an auto salvage shop and stockyard, a location for circus performances and even auctions. The buildings on the site provided New Belgium with materials to reuse in Asheville’s brewery and Liquid Center. Those materials include: steel trusses, pine and oak beams, barn doors, metal roofing and siding, and oak flooring.
“Rather than send thousands of pounds of materials to the landfill, we worked with a great local partner salvaging wood, sheet metal and other materials to repurpose for future use,” said Richardson. “We plan to reuse about 65-85% of those elements in the new buildings and plan to find a way to make the salvaged items we don’t use available to the community.”
New Belgium became 100% employee owned in January 2013 in anticipation of bringing on new employees in Asheville. With a 93% employee retention rate, new employees at the Asheville brewery, Liquid Center and distribution center can expect to make between $27,500 and $60,000 plus benefits.
In February 2014, New Belgium announced that it secured an industrial location in Buncombe County in Enka/Candler, NC, to build its East Coast Distribution Center. The 100,000 SF Distribution Center will be built concurrently with the brewery and liquid center, and will be ready for occupancy by fall 2015. The distribution center will have room for a future 40,000 SF expansion. When complete, beer packaged in Asheville will leave the Distribution Center for distribution in the eastern U.S.
New Belgium Brewing will resume site work this November on its Asheville location along the French Broad River in preparation for ground-breaking next spring. Contractors will focus on flood plain mitigation, erosion control and concrete removal through the end of the year. Starting in January and running through spring, operations will shift to soil mitigation. Earth moving subcontractors will be hired in November and will begin trucking in dirt by early 2014 for flood plain mitigation. Current schedule projections show the site as “pad-ready” in late spring 2014 at which time building construction will commence. It is estimated that the Asheville brewery will be ready for production in late 2015.
“We are excited to enter this next phase of site preparation and building construction,” said New Belgium’s Asheville General Manager, Jay Richardson. “Adolphson + Peterson will begin site preparation in November, with groundbreaking scheduled for Spring 2014. Our current schedule has us producing beer in Asheville by the end of 2015 and a fine day that will be.”
New Belgium anticipates hiring 50 positions prior to opening the doors in 2015 and expects to create 140 jobs at full buildout between the brewery and distribution center. Many of these job openings will begin posting in mid 2015. New Belgium made its first Asheville hire this fall, bringing on board Asheville resident and engineer, Gabe Quisenberry, formerly with Mattern + Craig who will serve as Operations Support Manager.
The brewery will ultimately produce 500,000 barrels of beer per year and will feature production and packaging operations as well as a touring and tasting facility. Negotiations are moving forward to secure a second site for the distribution center as well. The distribution center will be built at the same time as the brewery. New Belgium is finalizing negotiations with the seller and will announce the site location upon completion. The distribution center will be the hub for distributing product to the east coast and will be located in an industrial area.
Updates to the community are provided at these channels: www.NewBelgium.com/AshevilleBrewery or 888-598-9552.