Written by Kay West
Six Western North Carolina Breweries on Approaches to Expansion
Leah Rainis assumed her position as executive director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance in January, taking the reins of the trade organization that covers Buncombe and 18 other Western North Carolina counties in one of the most unpredictable times the local 26-year-old industry has ever faced. But there’s one thing she can count on: “The question of what the saturation point is and if we have reached it comes up all the time,” she says. “I recently came across an article from 2016 that counted 20 breweries in Asheville and asked if we were at a saturation point.” Apparently not then, and not now.
The trade organization now counts 30 craft breweries in Asheville, 38 in Buncombe County, and 77 in Western North Carolina (totals do not include multiple locations by a single brewery). In 2019 11 new locations began business and 13 more opened or were planned to open in 2020 (those totals do include expansions).
The full article continues below. Click to open in fullscreen…