French Broad River Junk Yard, 1976 (Photo: Charles McLarty, Southern Highlands Research Center and D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville and
Our future brewery site, June 2013
We are excited to call Asheville home, and we are particularly excited about building our brewery in West Asheville starting in 2014. Although a little rough and tumble now, this site will soon be home to us!
Our brewery site on Craven Street along the French Broad River in West Asheville is a brownfield site (photo 2 above). Choosing an underutilized property was a more sustainable decision in our minds than choosing a clean lot that could potentially take agricultural land out of production or eliminate natural habitat. Revitalizing a brownfield site (photo 1 above), though expensive and challenging, allows us to bring a space that was once a source of jobs and industry back into productive use. And, on Craven Street, choosing a location near other amenities increases density (as opposed to increasing sprawl) and walkability (or bike-ability).
Here's the EPA's definition: Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Cleaning up and reinvesting in these properties protects the environment, reduces blight, and takes development pressures off greenspaces and working lands.
We have worked with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) to determine what mitigation will be done at the site in order to make it safe for our intended use. We are working with the City of Asheville in this process as well.
In May of this year, Stephanie Monson, City of Asheville, Office of Economic Development, presented the New Belgium Brewery site project at the National Brownfields Conference in Atlanta. Presented was a poster entitled "From Brownfields to Brewery: A Redevelopment Success Story in Asheville, NC." The poster (above) provided an overview of the history and key events that moved the site towards redevelopment, and provided examples of the positive social, environmental and economic impacts of the New Belgium Brewing project on Asheville. Alice io Oglesby from io design & illustration, inc. created the design of the poster using imagery from New Belgium. The poster was selected as "People's Pick" by conference attendees. Congratulations to Stephanie and Alice!
One day, in the not-too-distant-future, we will be able to bring friends and family to New Belgium and share a pint with pride.
Hey Jay is a monthly New Belgium Asheville blog feature by Jay Richardson, General Manager of the future Asheville brewery, writing about what inspires him about Asheville, the future Asheville brewery, the Fort Collins brewery, the culture and values at New Belgium, and other cool things.