It's sunset and I'm overlooking the construction site of our Asheville brewery from a front porch perched on a hill above, sipping a few cold Snapshots while the dusk breeze lifts the humidity for just a moment. There’s a special kind of captivating magic happening here, and I'm realizing this is one hell of a nice way for a New Belgium co-worker to spend a lazy, slow evening.
This past weekend, I had the lucky coincidence of attending the annual Beer Bloggers Conference, which just so happened to land this year in Asheville, home of our upcoming brewery. The brewery’s nestled in the burgeoning Asheville River Arts District on the west side of the French Broad River, a stone’s throw to awesome joints like 12 Bones Smokehouse and White Duck Taco Stop, and a moderate walk to kickass venues like The Grey Eagle, downtown Asheville and other sweet spots (including Wicked Weed, if you've got the stamina). Sitting on that porch at night—and taking in the site’s full glory the next morning in the honesty of daylight—you can’t help but visualize just how awesome this spot’s going to be once it’s up and running.
Overlooking the site
That property overlooking the brewery site is a private space we’re lucky to call HQ for operations. Long ago it was a church, and there’s plenty of evidence to hint at that past. Since then, it’s changed ownership a few times (true story: it was once owned Dr. Neon, the man who invented that bodacious trend of installing neon lights underneath your car), but now it’s owned by a couple that leases us the space. It’s mostly office space in the belly of the old church, with a guesthouse area that co-workers (like me) can stay in while visiting for business. Of course, there’s also a great old porch, with an amazing view.
The French Broad River's just on the other side of the brewery, behind the tree line.
For a brewery originally inspired by the abbey beers of Trappist monks, there’s something deeply fitting about overseeing the construction of our new brewery from a renovated church on a hill.
So, what about the brewery? Well, last I heard, we were north of 70-percent complete, and still on track to start producing beer by the end of the year. From what I’ve seen, once those doors open to the public, it’s going to be something really special.
Peering down over the north side of the brewery.
To keep up-to-date about the brewery construction, and check out all the specs, make sure to swing by our Asheville Brewery page on the website. You can even sign up for Asheville email updates, so you’ll know what’s happening before everyone else.
I can’t wait until we’re fully running in Asheville.
Cheers — Chris