It seems New Belgium has narrowed its sights on a secondary eastern location to Philadelphia and Asheville, NC. From the Skull Coast perspective, we hope New Belgium chooses North Carolina.
You might be asking yourself, why in the world would you wish that?
Before we get to that, while we're sure our followers already know this, it's always good to make sure everyone is on the same page. New Belgium is a Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewery, which produces among other things Fat Tire Ale. The facility under consideration in either location would create between 100 to 120 jobs. They would also produce tons of beer; up to 500,000 barrels a year, in both kegs and bottles. The potential facility in Asheville would also serve as the East Coast distribution center.
Now, I'm sure our friends might also remember that last month, Sierra Nevada picked Mills River, NC, (12 miles north of Asheville) for the same reason. It is said that the eastern branch of Sierra Nevada will produce 300,000 barrels a year.
Between the two, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium would be producing around 800,000 barrels a year. I have no idea what all North Carolina produces annually, but this would be a huge increase. As the old saying goes, both these folks would be spilling more beer than we will make in our first year.
So, to get back to our original question, why in the world would any small brewery like Skull Coast want these monster breweries in their backyard? Because North Carolina would essentially become (while no one actually in the LA-area or the entertainment industry actually uses this term, but it serves our purposes for this post) the "Hollywood" of craft beer. Here's another reason, Skull Coast aspires to their success.
So, please New Belgium come to North Carolina! We want you here.