UpCountry Brewing Co. is set to open a combination taproom and sour and wild ale fermentation brewery in Brevard. The West Asheville operation plans to start pouring its beers at the former Peaks & Creeks Brewing Co. space at 212 King St., Suite B, by the end of November.
UpCountry founder John Cochran says he’d been actively looking for a second location and learned about the building’s pending vacancy in early November when the Peaks & Creeks ownership team announced it would be closing its brewery. He soon went to look at the property with Peaks & Creeks co-owner Jon Bowman and responded positively to the vibe of the space.
“Unfortunately, he had some personal circumstances and had to move on. But luckily, we hit it off and worked something out,” Cochran says. “Brevard is a great fit for our brand. It’s an awesome town. The forest and the mountain biking and the outdoors — [it has] everything that UpCountry’s about.”
With little to change in the existing space, Cochran plans to open the second UpCountry location “in a week or two” and is hoping that all of the Peaks & Creeks bartenders will stay on as part of the UpCountry staff. He’ll also increase the 10 current taps to 15, which he says may take a month or so to complete.
A variety of beers from UpCountry’s Asheville location will be brought over to the Brevard taproom on a regular basis, and once the building’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau brewing permit is in place, Cochran plans to use Peaks & Creeks’ existing 3-barrel brewing system to produce sour and wild ales. He also hopes to add a foeder or two on the premises and add to the already vibrant community of business owners in the neighborhood.
“The entire development, the Brevard Lumberyard, is really nice. That’s part of what attracted me to the spot,” Cochran says. “I went around and met with the owners of Magpie [Meat & Three], the owners of Squatch [Bikes & Brews], the [Area 22] guitar shop. We met Leslie [Logemann] from the [Haen Gallery]. There’s a lot of great people there. They really work together to make that location a go-to spot, and I think having the brewery there will be beneficial.”
UpCountry joins a local brewing industry that also includes Brevard Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery and Ecusta Brewing Co. Cochran has met with representatives from each brewery and looks forward to becoming closer with them and working on collaborations.
“I’m very excited,” Cochran says. “There’s a lot to do in a short time frame, so we’re going to be really busy.”
Shortly after the planned opening date of the second location, UpCountry celebrates its two-year anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 15, at the West Asheville location. The event features holiday tunes from Ashley Heath, Riyen Roots and Eleanor Underhill and other special food and beverage offerings.