Here’s the press release. Congratulations to Thirsty Monk and French Broad Brewery.
In a refreshing twist to the many recent brand acquisitions by macro beer, Thirsty Monk would like to announce we have worked out a deal with our Asheville neighbors and friends at French Broad Brewery to purchase their brand and operations. The transaction is scheduled to close this summer. Both breweries will be pouring at the Not So Big BIG Beer Festival on June 1st during Asheville Beer Week, and invite you to come celebrate this big announcement.
“Everything about the French Broad Brewery purchase, from our discussions, to the cultural fit, to our already longtime friendship, feels just right,” says Barry Bialik, Thirsty Monk, Inc. Owner and President.
French Broad Brewery was founded in 2001, and is one of Asheville’s oldest breweries. From their Biltmore Village location, French Broad manages brewing, kegging, canning, and bottling operations for not only local and North Carolina statewide distribution, but also a network spanning South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana. Their brewing facility has the capacity to maintain their full operations, while also allowing for the production and release of Thirsty Monk’s core beer lineup, both kegged and packaged.
“Our Thirsty Monk team is excited to grow the French Broad Brewery brand and expand Thirsty Monk’s beer presence as well. Both breweries are producing some top notch beer already, but combined, I know we’ll be even better. French Broad beers complement the Thirsty Monk Belgian-focused beer line up, and will be given prominent tap and retail space in all Thirsty Monk locations,” continues Bialik.
Thirsty Monk owns two acres located at 92 Thompson St., just up the road from the French Broad Brewery site, and originally intended to build out a new brewery there for its growing needs.
Affectionately dubbed “Thirsty Monk’s Warehouse” this will be the location of the Not So Big BIG Beer Festival, Wednesday, June 1st.
“We do still intend to build out a brewery at our Warehouse site, but this French Broad Brewery purchase will allow us to build smarter when we decide the time is right, and expand production of both brands.” says Bialik
At the Not So Big BIG Beer Festival, featured breweries include both Thirsty Monk and French Broad Brewing, along with Stone, Allagash, Founders, Prairie and Grimm, Highland, Foothills, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Attendees will get to enjoy a diverse selection of beers, curated by Thirsty Monk’s Head Beer Buyer, Joanna Postlethwaite. $10 tickets are available for pre-purchase online, and include admission, a souvenir tulip glass, as well as a Thirsty Monk Brewery 750ml growler of Brother Noah beer to-go. Admission without a filled 750ml growler included will be available at the door. Tokens will be available to purchase at $3 each and will be good for both beer and food at the event.
“We invite you to come to the Not So Big BIG Beer Festival, and celebrate this announcement and a very exciting, truly Asheville home-grown future for both Thirsty Monk and French Broad Brewery!” Bialik adds.
When all is said and done, Thirsty Monk, recognized as one of the top beer bars in the country, will operate a combined 5 locations in the Asheville area — Downtown Asheville, Biltmore Park, Woodfin’s Reynolds Village, Gerber Village, and the French Broad Brewery taproom in Biltmore Village. We look forward to combining teams and working out the synergies between Thirsty Monk and French Broad Brewing. And, to making you more beer….
For more information about Thirsty Monk, visit www.monkpub.com. For more information about French Broad Brewery, visit frenchbroadbrewery.com.
Fair to say that of the long-standing breweries in town, French Broad has been the most squeezed by the crazy expansion of recent years. I like their beer, it’s a fairly pleasant space if you can get a parking space or a ride, and I respect how they’ve prioritized focus and consistency in their output, but that can make it hard to compete in a market where expensive (and expansive) tasting rooms and limited edition bottle releases and weird seasonals and beerspotter events are what put you on the tourist map. As a growler and bomber operation, they’re not as widely distributed, and as a mature business, I also suspect that they had a harder job attracting backers than rapid-growth new breweries like Burial. Brewing in town isn’t zero-sum, but I do think FB has suffered from the South Slope’s expansion and the arrival of Catawba down the street.
So, it’s a little bit of consolidation after years of brewers branching out to do their own thing, and I don’t think it’ll be the last. Hope it works out for all concerned.
Congrats to both breweries! Keeping it local, gotta love it.