Sierra Lands in NC

Officials with California craft-beer maker Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are expected to announce this week they have chosen Western North Carolina for the company’s much-publicized East Coast expansion, sources with knowledge of the negotiations have told the Times-News in Hendersville.

The newspaper reported:

Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada — the nation’s second-largest craft-beer producer, which distributes to all 50 states — is expected to build its new facility at Ferncliff Industrial Park in Mills River.

The property — which was annexed by the town in 2009 after landowner Vaughn Fitzgerald requested that 220 of his family’s acres be rezoned for an industrial park — is on Old Fanning Bridge Road between Broadpoint Industrial Park and Asheville Regional Airport on the east side of the French Broad River.

Company officials have said they want 50 acres to build the facility, which likely will include a restaurant, tasting room and music venue in addition to the brewing and bottling operations.

The county and town provided a variety of incentives to Sierra Nevada, which is adding the second facility for several reasons, including that it was soon reach capacity at its California plant and that an eastern brewery will reduce its environmental footprint. In December, The Henderson County Board of Commissioners approved a seven-year, $3.75 million economic incentive package for an unnamed manufacturing company looking to invest $115 million to start up operations in the county. Additionally, the Mills River Town Council approved economic incentives for the project, which is expected to include the creation of 125 new jobs.

Sierra Nevada founder and president Ken Grossman said his company began the selection process with about 200 potential sites across the country.


  1. admin says

    After months of speculation, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company officially announced today their new East coast location. Here’s the press release;

    Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is pleased to announce that it has chosen a site in western North Carolina for the future home of an East Coast brewery. The site, approximately 90 acres in the Henderson County town of Mills River – along the French Broad River, 12 miles south of Asheville – will be home to the new production facility, as well as a proposed restaurant and gift shop.

    “We are thrilled to have found an ideal location in western North Carolina for our second brewery,” says Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada. “The beer culture, water quality and quality of life are excellent. We feel lucky to be a part of this community.”

    The new facility will add much needed capacity for Sierra Nevada, and will allow for the quick shipment of brewery-fresh beer to consumers in the east. The East Coast brewery will start with a capacity around 300,000 barrels, with room to grow. The added barrelage will accommodate wider production of the myriad of seasonal beers and bottled specialties Sierra Nevada has produced in recent years, as well as an expansion of the brewery’s well-known flagship product: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

    Sierra Nevada began the search for a new location several years ago. The brewery looked at hundreds of potential sites, eventually narrowing the search down to a handful of locations. The list of criteria was long and included quantifiable factors such as ease of shipping and water quality, as well as quality of life issues for its employees. Sierra Nevada has a reputation for a laid-back brewery culture and a love of the outdoors, and the new facility will retain this same tone. The Asheville area offers Sierra Nevada Brewing the perfect confluence of community, recreation and craft beer culture.

    Sierra Nevada’s eastern brewery site is expected to employ approximately 90 workers, with additional staff in the restaurant to follow. The brewery anticipates being operational by early 2014.