Held on August 9, 2013 at the WALK (West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen)
Many thanks to WALK staff for hosting us! 

Jay Richardson, General Manager, New Belgium Brewing Asheville, provided an overview of the expected construction timeline for New Belgium Brewing’s Asheville facility and answered questions from business owners. Updates from New Belgium Brewing and current news can be found at: http://www.newbelgium.com/community/ashevillebrewery/site-stories.aspx

General Timeline: 

Details and timeline adjustments will be made available at each stage of the process.

Please bookmark https://west-asheville.com/new-belgium-brewing/ for news posted on the WABA website.

December 2013, work begins to ready the site for construction.

January-February 2014, breaking up and grinding of the existing concrete slabs for use as fill on the site. Expect noise with the grinding process.

March-May, 2014, raising of the site above flood level. This will entail bringing in a lot of fill dirt and compaction of dirt on the site. Specifics on routes and timing of dirt loads not finalized yet. This will be an intense period of activity, but for a limited duration.

May/June 2014, building construction begins.

Spring 2015, initial local hiring process begins.

Spring/Summer 2015, brewing and packaging equipment is delivered. This may require a temporary closure of streets for a short period of time. It is possible that a parade or other such celebration could accompany this important step in assembling the brewery.

December 2015, New Belgium Brewing Asheville location producing beer.

Additional Notes and Answers to Questions Asked at the Meeting:

RADTIP (River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project) is now funded 100% for design completion. This includes the Craven Street – Riverside Drive intersection which requires updates before large trucks could utilize this route. Funding for implementation has not been secured, but priority for implementation will be this intersection once funding is in place.

New Belgium will be using a separate Distribution Center (DC) to store raw materials and finished product for distribution. New Belgium Brewing will have local-only trucks that move materials and finished product between the brewery and the DC. The DC location has not been finalized yet. Construction timeline will mirror that of the brewery.

The brewery at full capacity is designed to produce 500,000 barrels of beer annually. A potential of 750,000 barrels was considered initially for the location. However this would have been a tight fit on the site, and changes in the craft beer industry growth potential make the smaller size a better choice for a sustainable business. This means fewer trucks to and from the site than previously estimated, along with more green space on the brewery site.

New Belgium Brewing’s beers are currently for sale in 33 states. The Asheville facility will allow for expansion to more eastern seaboard states and will enable considerable energy savings on shipping to those locations.

The New Belgium Brewing site will have an Event Lawn and they plan to team up with non-profits for events at that location.

The Liquid Center (tasting room) will be sized similar to that of the Fort Collins brewery which is designed to handle 100,000+ annual visitors. Tours will be part of the Liquid Center experience. Hours are expected to be similar to that of Fort Collins, 10am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday.

New Belgium Brewing is working with Google/MapQuest/etc to route visitors to the brewery on main roads, not through neighborhoods. WABA supports the use of Haywood Road as a main route for visitors to the brewery so as to have those same visitors interact with our small businesses. Recommendations for signage and working with our neighbors in the River Arts District as well as the Convention & Visitor Center will be key in this process and WABA plans to be actively engaged in this area.

The French Broad River greenway, stream restoration and Craven Street improvements are all scheduled to dovetail with the brewery construction.

The greenway is expected to open at approximately the same time as the brewery. It will be a multi-use path with a public parking lot at the Craven Street – Emma Road intersection. The greenway will extend along the riverbank next to the brewery, then pass under the RiverLink bridge and circle around to connect with Haywood Road and the bike lane across the bridge. Grant dollars and in-kind donation from New Belgium Brewing are funding this project. We’ll post additional information on this greenway project separately as we receive updates from the City of Asheville.

As a side note: Duke Energy has a verbal agreement with the City of Asheville to donate property along the western bank of the French Broad River on the other side of the RiverLink bridge which could allow for extension of the greenway. The status of that agreement is not clear. WABA may want to spearhead a push to have the agreement solidified and extension of the greenway developed.

When operating near/at full capacity the brewery will be making beer 24/7. Sights, smells and sounds will be part of the process. Those will include the noise of trucks loading, empty kegs being moved around, and the aroma from the brewhouse. Brewhouse aromas are from the grains being cooked. New Belgium Brewing will use a recovery heat system in their brewhouse which captures the steam from the process instead of allowing it to vent, this not only saves energy but reduces aromas. The most visible elements of the brewery from a distance will be the malt silos and tank farm, which will top out at 55 and 70 feet in height, respectively, and be confined to one area of the property. The finish on the outside of those tanks is currently planned to be a matte finish corrugated aluminum.

The main fuel source for the brewing process will be natural gas. Standard electricity will be used for other brewery needs, however the buildings and production process are designed to minimize energy consumption.

Asheville City water will be used in the brewing and cleaning processes. Asheville water quality is one of the highest in the nation.

Other than the local-only trucks shuttling supplies and finished products between the brewery and the DC, there will be some trucks with raw materials (e.g. grain) coming directly to the brewery along with trucks coming to retrieve spent grain and other reusable or recyclable byproducts of the production process. This latter segment of truck traffic is estimated to represent roughly 30% of the total truck traffic, and exact routes and schedules will be determined once these vendors and partners have been selected.

WABA extends many thanks to New Belgium Brewing for the extensive efforts they have made in reaching out, engaging the community and keeping us informed throughout their process. We are looking forward to having them as part of our West Asheville business community.

WABA has representatives attending the Leaders’ Roundtable meetings and can relay additional questions/concerns to New Belgium. Questions for New Belgium may be emailed to secretary@west-asheville.com or to AshevilleBrewery@NewBelgium.com

Updates from New Belgium Brewing and current news can be found at: http://www.newbelgium.com/community/ashevillebrewery/site-stories.aspx

Please bookmark https://west-asheville.com/new-belgium-brewing/ for news posted on the WABA website.

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