Asheville’s Micro-Breweries Link Arms with Big Beer

Large-scale breweries are happily moving into the beer paradise of Asheville, North Carolina, according to NPR. The beer-loving community boasts more breweries per capita than any other city in the United States. The blossoming beer culture of the city is recognized nationwide, and big-time outsiders have begun to take notice. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Oskar Blues have already opened branches in the Asheville area. New Belgium plans to open its facility in late 2015.

Although locals at first felt uneasy about the big corporations moving into town, breweries’ interest in supporting local community helped open them up to new companies. For example, Oskar Blues “has helped the local Blue Ridge Community College develop a brewing curriculum and offer up its own brewing space for use by students.”

Beer releases co-produced by large breweries and native breweries are symbolic of the collaboration. New Belgium made a sour IPA with Asheville’s Wicked Weed brewery, while Oskar Blues brewed an IPA with Thirsty Monk Pub and Brewery. 

Large breweries are benefitting from “access to good water for brewing and the outdoors for employee recreation,” states Sierra Nevada’s spokesman Ryan Arnold. Not to mention, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are receiving tax incentives. [NPR] [Photo: Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski]