Sierra Nevada brewed in North Carolina? If they’re lucky, Yes!! Let’s Hope so!

Brewer may raise a glass in Mills River

MILLS RIVER — Gov. Bev Perdue is scheduled to come to town for an economic development announcement today that is widely expected to involve a new brewery.

California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been considering establishing a brewery in Henderson County to serve the East Coast. It could involve creation of 125 or more jobs.

Neither town nor county officials, nor an economic recruiter, would confirm Tuesday that Sierra Nevada plans to come to Mills River. A company spokesman also had no comment.

But Town Councilman Wayne Carland did say that he had received an invitation to an announcement to be made by Perdue at Ferncliff Industrial Park, which is between the southern end of Asheville Regional Airport and the French Broad River.

A local brewer who met with Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman during one of Grossman’s visits to the area in December said the craft brewer was looking at a 50-acre site near the French Broad in Henderson County.

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners and Mills River Town Council in December both approved incentives packages for an unnamed manufacturing company considering coming to the area.

The company targeted for the incentives would create 125 jobs from 2012- 16 and invest $115 million in the plant, said Town Manager Jamie Laughter.

Henderson County would give the company $3.75 million in incentives, and Mills River would give $86,800.

The brewery would have a direct economic impact if jobs alone are considered. It would also dramatically boost the greater Asheville area’s already big beer scene. Buncombe County is home to 10 craft breweries, and Asheville has been voted Beer City USA three years in a row in an online survey.

Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale, has also been considering a location in the Asheville area.

Sierra Nevada also apparently considered locating in Black Mountain. In October, Black Mountain Mayor Carl Bartlett said a brewery that could employ up to 140 people was eyeing the town.

He declined to identify the brewer other than to say it was from the West Coast and not New Belgium, but said average pay would be $41,000, and the brewery would include a restaurant and offer tours.



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