First look at plans for Catawba Brewing’s new Asheville brewery

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Here’s a first look at what Catawba Brewing is planning for its new Asheville boutique brewery, set inside the massive Standard Paper building on Banks Avenue on the city’s South Slope. Catawba co-owner Billy Pyatt said he’s excited about finally getting starting on the brewery buildout – it’s been a year since Catawba announced plans to open in Asheville, with the plan at the time to renovate a building near Biltmore Village. That didn’t work out, so Catawba regrouped and got into the Standard Paper building (built in 1929), which is home to Vortex Doughnuts, and soon-to-come Butxon Barbecue restaurant, Public School bar and a couple of small offices.

Catawba is based in Morganton, N.C., just down the mountain from Asheville. It’s new South Slope brewery will be home to a 7-barrel brewing system capable of producing over 500 barrels of specialty/small-batch beers a year. Construction is set to start before the end of the year (Beverly Grant is the contractor). The tasting room is scheduled to be open in spring (March) of 2015.

Catawba will be the seventh local craft brewery on the booming South Slope. The others are: Hi-Wire Brewing, Wicked Weed Funkatorium, Burial Beer, Twin Leaf Brewing, Asheville Pizza & Brewing, and Green Man Brewing.

Here’s the press release:

Catawba Brewing Co, one of Western NC’s oldest brewers, has finally begun construction on their Asheville brewery. The site at 32 Banks Avenue in the heart of the South Slope was announced in July, but details have been quiet until now.

“Over our two year journey to build this Asheville brewery, we learned construction takes longer than anyone can anticipate, and schedules have to be fluid. While we provided general information about the project in July, we kept a lot of details quiet. We waited to release specifics until we had final designs, contractor selection, and permitting approval. I’m happy to say we’ve crossed most of those items off our list. We’re excited to share more about our Asheville build” said Billy Pyatt, one of Catawba’s owners.

To recap, Catawba’s 5,400-square-foot space in the old Standard Paper building will house a 7 barrel brewing system capable of producing over 500 barrels of specialty and small-batch beers a year. It will feature indoor/outdoor areas for customers to enjoy Catawba’s products, watch them being made, and socialize. The project includes 1000 square feet of barrel-aging area that will have a second, more intimate bar and can serve as private event space. Finally, the building features an old loading dock and parking lot on the west side that will be converted to recreational space.

“We are excited about the indoor/outdoor spaces this 1920s era building offers, and the 15-plus taps and the large seating capacity our main bar area will provide. But we are even more excited to emphasize the small-batch and barrel-aged products we will house in our Rickhouse, or barrel room, bar. We have been making these kinds of products for most of our 15 years in the business and this is a great opportunity to show them off,“ said Scott Pyatt, one of Catawba’s owners and original brewer.

As for construction details, Catawba selected Beverly-Grant to be the general contractor. “We maintained a great relationship with the folks at Beverly-Grant throughout this long journey. They are large enough to take care of anything we need, but they also give us the personal touch and ability to react to changes that we require, “ said Shelton Steele, Catawba’s project lead. “The building is structurally complete and updated as it now sits. We have just begun to install the brewery and the public area finishes. If all goes according to plan, that should be complete by March.”

Regarding their existing Biltmore Village tasting room, Billy said “We have thoroughly enjoyed having our Biltmore tasting room operational these past 10 months, and we have developed a great South-Asheville local following there. We will keep it open as long as it’s feasible to do so. Additionally, we have just increased capacity again in Morganton, and have completely updated our tasting room there. Our plan is to coordinate the two Asheville locations, as well as our production facility/tasting room in Morganton, so that events, releases, and the like happen across all of them. We hope each location gives our consumers a great Catawba experience.”

About Catawba Brewing Company

Family-owned Catawba Brewing Co. has been making great beer in Western North Carolina since 1999. Catawba products may be found in kegs and cans across Eastern TN, NC, and Upstate SC. And they may be enjoyed at Catawba’s tasting rooms in Morganton, Biltmore Village, and downtown Asheville (March 2014). Stay in touch with Catawba Brewing Co by phone at 828-430-6883, on Facebook and Twitter, or at Better still, stop by their facilities, have a beer, and say “hi” in person.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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1 Comment

  1. Santa December 17, 2014

    Santa LOVES Catawba’s beer & people. But.. Does this designer have a prison fetish?


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