Asheville’s French Broad Brewery has been sold to a Chapel Hill couple, ending months of speculation as to who would take over the company.
Sarah and Paul Casey announced that they closed on the purchase June 1.
Asheville’s Thirsty Monk pub chain had originally said it would buy French Broad, one of the city’s oldest breweries. But the deal with Monk owner Barry Bialik never went through.
“We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of the French Broad story,” Paul Casey says in a press release. “It has a history with the Asheville community and with the beer industry at large.”
He adds, “French Broad was once considered a pioneer and innovator and we want to return to that position and re-engage the community. I am honored to take this brand to the next level and maximize its potential.”
Casey says he intends to renovate and expand the French Broad taproom near Biltmore Village and will use “the same team” that currently is operating the brewery. He also wants to produce more seasonal and one-off beers. The company’s best-known beers are Gateway Kolsch and 13 Rebels ESB.
The French Broad Brewery is the second Asheville brewery to be sold this spring. In May, Wicked Weed Brewing Co. announced that it had been sold to the craft division of A-B InBev, the global brewing giant that makes Budweiser and Bud Light, among other beers.
Asheville and Buncombe County are home to nearly three dozen breweries with more than 60 in Western North Carolina. Additional breweries are currently under construction.