Habitat Brewing Co. will close following a farewell party on Friday, Feb. 1. The multifaceted business opened in November 2016 at 174 Broadway, next to Moog Music, and follows Lexington Avenue Brewery as the second downtown brewing establishment to close in the last month.
“In hindsight, if we had leaned even more into the community space and events, that could have been a tighter business model. Running the brewery and pub and event space, we were spread a little too thin,” says Jen Addis, who owns Habitat with her husband Matt Addis.
“And in spite of the great response from the local neighborhoods, it has been tough to encourage people down Broadway from Lexington. Broadway will grow significantly over the next few years, but our timing was off for opening where we did when we did.”
Addis says she and Matt have loved pursuing their “passion to foster community on a greater level” than they previously had. She points to collaborative relationships with the Asheville Improv Collective, UNC Asheville, The Square Dance Society, Asheville Beer & Hymns, David Joe Miller (WORD!), Youth Villages, Community Roots, the Montford and Five Points neighborhoods and everyone in the Asheville Brewers Alliance as highlights of running the business.
Addis reports that the brewing system was sold this week and that Matt, Habitat’s head brewer, will not continue brewing in the immediate future. In addition to serving a variety of house and guest beers, the brewery hosted the successful May the Fourth Be with You Beer Festival in 2018.
“Asheville’s brewing industry is rich and full, and the many breweries have really encouraged creativity and excellence,” Addis says. “Brewers here love what they do, and it shows. They are willing to step out and try new things, and I think that’s part of what makes the beer scene here so loved and appreciated.”
The farewell party runs 5 p.m.-midnight and will feature one final night of snacks, music from local friends, drinks and reminiscences. Addis says there will probably be some giveaways as well. Until then, Habitat will be open regular hours and continue hosting events through the rest of the week.
In their post-Habitat life, Addis says she and Matt are “super excited to spend time together with [their] daughters, Luci and Madi, outside of the brewery.” They also hope to visit friends’ breweries and restaurants.
“Matt will be working with a couple of different local folks here, and I will be focusing on chasing a two-year-old and navigating kindergarten with our oldest, who has cerebral palsy,” Addis says. “We’ll also be continuing to explore what fostering community here looks like and how to best serve Asheville.”