National study finds economic incentives don’t create jobs

North Carolina and other states across the country are spending billions of dollars on economic incentives. But a new study released Dec. 14 by Good Jobs First finds that many tax credits, grants and subsidies require little job creation and lack wage and benefit standards. The study by the nonprofit research organization comes amid heated local debate over the effectiveness and fairness of such deals, with the Hendersonville County Board of Commissioners voting just a couple of days ago to approve a massive incentives package for a company rumored to be Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Beer Region, USA? Is Henderson County considerin­g incentives for Sierra Nevada?

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing tonight, Dec. 12, to consider granting economic development incentives for a company that wants to open a facility in the county. Will the move pave the way for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to build a massive new facility in the area? (For meeting updates, follow @JakeFrankel via the hashtag #avlbeer.)

Beer is serious business: Last year, Buncombe County breweries employed 273 people with a total payroll of more than $2.7 million, according to Tim Schaller, president of the Asheville Brewers Alliance and owner of Wedge Brewing Company. photos by Bill Rhodes

Head to head: Amid lean times, local beer business flourishin­g

The old adage that the business of booze is recession-proof — or recession-resistant, anyway — seems to be panning out for local brewers. Despite tough economic conditions the last few years, the local beer scene has been abuzz with new breweries, expansions and growing acclaim. Since 2008, Asheville has birthed four new independent, locally owned […]

Foam ’n’ fizz

1993: Smoky Mountain Brewery opens in Waynesville. It closes four years later. 1994: Oscar Wong and John McDermott start Highland Brewing Co. in the basement of Barley's Taproom in downtown Asheville. 1997: The Blue Rooster, Asheville's first brewpub, opens next to Barley's featuring Highland beers exclusively. It closes a year later. Laughing Seed Café co-owner […]

Echoview Farm aims to show that hops can be grown successfully in WNC. photo by Anne-Fitten Glenn

Ripples

At Echoview Farm in Weaverville, hop bines curl upward toward the sun. Hops helps bring out the particular flavors in different styles of beer, owner Julie Jensen explains. And while Western North Carolina’s moist climate is not ideal for large-scale hops production, certain specialty varieties are being cultivated at Echoview, Hop’n Blueberry Farm and through […]