I’m tired of the all the rumors about New Belgium Brewing planning to build its East Coast brewery here in Asheville. I’ve heard so many, for so long, and delivered with such certainty, that I’m just going to start assuming it will happen. I know what people saw about assuming anything. But it’s time to advance the conversation. If New Belgium picks Philadelphia over us – which is what the choice is down to – then so be it. For now, though, I’m just going to take for granted that Beer City USA aka Asheville wins again.

So let’s talk impact. Let’s say New Belgium does land in the River Arts District (again, that’s the rumor). Let’s say that yes, New Belgium becomes the second big crafter brewer, after Sierra Nevada, to choose to locate its East Coast Brewing operation in Western North Carolina. How will that affect the RAD? The beer scene? Beer tourism and our status as a beer mecca?

There’s no doubt having a multi-million development land in the River Arts District would be a giant, and long overdue, catalyst for riverside development. Other cities have done great jobs leveraging their waterfronts as destinations for tourists, outdoors lovers and merchants. Here in Asheville, our development of the waterfront has languished, despite the amazing efforts of RiverLink and others to clean up the area, establish greenways and lure new merchants. Having New Belgium build on the river would lend real weight, and spur, efforts to keep growing that area.

In terms of the beer scene, having both Sierra Nevada and New Belgium breweries here would be, as Tony Kiss aka the Beer Guy says, would be like Asheville landing not one, but two, major league franchises. It would simply take Asheville and WNC to a new level of awareness in terms of our already amazing local craft brewing scene. We could expect more big beer events, more beer tourists, more attention to what our homegrown brewers are doing. I think it would be positive all around.

While we wait for New Belgium to make an official decision on where it will locate its new brewery, let’s consider the impacts. How else might it help/hurt Beer City USA?

Image link for New Belgium logo.



  1. Martin Anderson says:

    A good opportunity for economic growth and increasing the examples of sustainably run businesses. Let us also remember to gauge the impact on our local, “native” microbreweries. Will this benefit them overall too? Or will it make it harder for them to compete?

  2. riverlink is such a joke.

  3. The beer economy is surging in Asheville, due to its water and vibe. Now, let’s not allow Raleigh to take our water system away from us. A lot of our State resents our area for its diversity in people, ideas and economy.

  4. Michelle Smith says:

    New Belgium is a great fit for Asheville because their leadership in responsible and sustainable manufacturing practices will add clout for a similar standards as more economically sustainable partnerships are pursued.

  5. NB will continue to drive tourism in our economy that survives on tourism money. It’s a beautiful thing for Asheville.

  6. Having a giant manufacturing facility would be a great boost, but everyone needs to keep in mind that it is a MANUFACTURING facility, not a cool tourist/pedestrian hangout. All of the businesses, tourists, art galleries, bikers, hikers, walkers and kayakers that have gotten used to this sleepy little corner of town are going to have to be tolerant of increased tractor trailer traffic, pollution, and the heavy equipment.

    • Ashevillain says:

      LOL…a little dramatic don’t you think?

      As far as manufacturing facilities go a brewery is far from “giant.” Also, I’m pretty certain that it WILL be a tourist hangout as pretty much every brewery I’ve ever seen offers tours/tastings.

    • Have you ever been to NBB in Colorado? It’s a beautiful taproom and facility that has tourists lining-up before the doors open and is packed all day, waiting on tours and to experience their beers. You’re wrong that it will be a giant ugly building.

  7. More urinals!

  8. Ashevillain says:

    Once again, is there any proofreading going on here?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *