Asheville, N.C. might be getting another brewery. While you are not actually able to purchase Cigar City Brewing’s beer in the area, the Tampa-based brewery is looking into adding a second location in the western North Carolina town.
Cigar City Brewing owner Joe Redner visited Asheville on Oct. 15-16 to scout possible locations, according to Joe Rowland, co-owner of Nantahala Brewing and president of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. In addition, Traveler’s Rest, S.C. and locations in Florida are also on the list being explored according to Rowalnd. However, another Florida location could be problematic considering the state’s political fights over growler fill laws, including the passage of SB 1714 in April by the Florida Senate, which limits the amount of beer breweries can sell directly to consumers.
Rowland told Tenemu that the brewery is considering building a 50-barrel brewhouse that would serve as a back up to the main Cigar City operations in Tampa, Fla.
“When we’re trying to think about what’s going to work, we’re looking at the right mix of favorable legislation, a favorable brewing community, access to people that have the right skill set, and that western part of North Carolina is very strong,” Redner told Brewbound.com. “They have a lot of infrastructure.”
If western North Carolina is chosen, Cigar City would join 27 other local craft breweries as well as expansion breweries by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Mills River, Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard and New Belgium Brewing, which is currently building in west Asheville. The city has seen a major influx of craft breweries in recent years due not only to the availability of excellent natural water that is used to brew beer, but also the existence of The Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, a two-year degree that teaches brewing, distillation and fermentation as well as the science behind the process.