Sierra Nevada – Poised to Annouce East Coast Brewery Location

(A couple days after we originally published this story, Sierra Nevada sent us a press release announcing their decision. Read that follow-up story here.)

Apparently Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is about to prove what The Examiner ( has been telling us for two years: Asheville, North Carolina is a great beer town. For the past two years The Examiner asked readers to vote for BeerCity USA. The winner by a landslide both years was Asheville, North Carolina. (Read our previous posts about Asheville’s victories.) This caused many people to scratch their heads and debate the validity of the title. Now we learn that Sierra Nevada is reportedly going to build a new brewery in Asheville because, in part, the city is indeed bonkers for good beer. According to reports, the brewery is expected to make an announcement soon.

Nothing against Asheville, but it just seemed odd that the title BeerCity USA did not go to a larger city with a greater reputation for craft beer, such as Portland, Seattle, or Philadelphia to name just a few. Turns out, Asheville really is a mecca for craft beer. And not just because The Examiner and Charlie Papazian say so.

Good for them. Good for Asheville. Suddenly North Carolina rises higher on my list of places to visit.

About a year ago Sierra Nevada Brewing Company announced that it was looking to open a brewery on the eastern seaboard of the United States and was considering locations. Not surprising really. The company sells beer in all 50 states. Craft beer continues to grow in popularity across the country and Sierra Nevada has been leading the charge for thirty years.

According to a report at, the online home of the Henderson Times-News, Sierra Nevada is expected to announce its plans to build a new facility in Mills River, just outside of Asheville, NC. Company officials told the Times-News that they want 50 acres to build the facility, which likely will include a restaurant, tasting room and music venue in addition to the brewing and bottling operations.

Sierra Nevada could build this facility anywhere in the eastern United States. Apparently another site near Roanoke, Virginia received serious consideration. I am sure there are sound economic and strategic reasons why the company is selecting Asheville, and no doubt local officials made concessions to help bring Sierra Nevada to town, but there is little doubt that the local community’s love of beer was a factor in the decision. Ken Grossman, owner of Sierra Nevada, told the Times-News that the area’s rich craft-beer culture was an important consideration in the decision.

Because the people of Asheville love good beer, it now seems they are going to get a new business. The new Sierra Nevada brewery will create jobs, increase tax revenues, and attract tourists. In these economic times, that is not at all insignificant.

Behold the power of beer.

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  1. this is awesome. Its a major reason that Tim, Jess and I decided to move to Asheville at the end of the year to open our own farmhouse brewery. Its an amazing place.

    Additions like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium (probable) will only add to the consumerism and culture, while helping make materials more accessible to small brewers like us. Small brewers should not worry about a new competitor on the block – they are already there!

    Thanks for the news, Kendall. This is excellent news!

  2. Doug, I didn’t mention anything about New Belgium because I don’t want to jinx anything for Asheville. I am a bit superstitious that way. Asheville just keeps climbing up and up on the list of places that I need to visit.

  3. Now, if you could just ‘edit out’ the banjos, tornadoes, right-wing pols, meth labs, hate groups, NASCAR, king coal and moonshiners you’d have something….STILL wayyyyy short of NorCal / Oregon / Vermont / Colorado and, one of the highest state beer excise taxes in the US.

    Asheville is so NOT Beervana, w/ or w/o SNBC

  4. “Ken Tucker, G2G, BeerHere2010”, it is glaringly obvious that you have never been to Asheville. It would serve you well in life to not comment on topics with which you have no knowledge of.

    For the record, Asheville is one of the more, if not the most, progressive towns in the South, for its size. It also has the highest per-capita ratio of craft breweries to population in the United States.

    By the way, there is no coal mining in North Carolina.

  5. Asheville is a terrific place and the presence of a renowned brewing operation there should help make beer enthusiasts previously unaware of the town’s hoppy attractions book a trip to check it out. The place is a mountain retreat bearing no resemblance to southern stereotypes and is easily accessible to great hiking at Chimney Rock, among other places. My only gripe about the Asheville brewing scene is the absence of any of their beers in this area. Let’s face it, Asheville is a transcontinental pilgrimage from the Northwest. Furthermore, I have never seen any Asheville brews at the numerous beerfests in this region. C’mon Asheville, share some nectar.

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