LIVE: New Belgium unveils designs for Asheville brewery

This is an artist rendering of what the completed brewery might look like along the French Broad River. Image courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Co.

Officials from New Belgium Brewing Co. are in town today, July 25, to unveil preliminary designs for their new $175 million brewing facility that’s going to be built on Craven Street in the River Arts District.

The presentation will occur at the Banquet Hall (upstairs) of the U.S. Cellular Center (Civic Center) in downtown Asheville beginning at about 5:25 p.m. Refreshments will be served starting at about 5 p.m.

In addition, Asheville officials will update attendees on the city’s plans for several infrastructure improvements to the River Arts District it promised to make as part of an incentive package to lure New Belgium there. The improvements include include stormwater mitigation, completion of an adjacent greenway, sidewalks and bike lanes, and intersection changes designed to better accommodate the brewery’s trucks.

The event is open to the public and attendees will have a chance to ask questions.

Tune in here starting at about 5:15 for live dispatches from the event via Twitter (using the hashtag #avlbeer)

UPDATE: Here are the live dispatches via Twitter from Mountain Xpress reporters Jake Frankel and David Forbes, and such local beer enthusiasts as Anne Fitten-Glenn (@Brewgasm) and Win Bassett.

3:21 p.m. JakeFrankel: Then I’m off to cover @newbelgium’s unveiling of its designs for the new AVL brewery

5:03 p.m. Brewgasm: Guess I’m gonna bike down to the @newbelgium design presentation and see what the plan is. Hope they have a Shift waiting.

5:27 p.m. JakeFrankel: The beer is flowing here at the @newbelgium design presentation. Excellent selection of yummy snacks too!

5:33 p.m. JakeFrankel: Over 200 people here. Standing room only as presentation gets ready to start. Lots of excitement about @newbelgium coming to town.

5:39 p.m. Brewgasm: Standing room only at @newbelgium design presentation. Bringing in more chairs.

5:42 p.m. JakeFrankel: Beer will start being produced at the AVL @newbelgium facility in early 2015.

5:42 p.m. Brewgasm: CEO Kim Jordan very humbled and gratified and a little nervous.  #newbelgium

5:42 p.m. JakeFrankel: Kim Jordan, @newbelgium CEO, says the company wants to bring “magic” to the Asheville community.

5:44 p.m. Brewgasm: There will be locally brewed @newbelgium by 1st quarter 2015. 3”

5:45 p.m. JakeFrankel: Architect shows drafts of @newbelgium facility;  tasting room will b in seperate building on river, South, towards Haywood rd

5:46 p.m. Brewgasm: Calling the taproom, “the liquid center” at new #newbelgium building. That’s what I call my fridge!

5:47 p.m. winbassett: RT @Brewgasm: There will be locally brewed @newbelgium by 1st quarter 2015. 3”

5:50 p.m. JakeFrankel: Crowd applauds when @newbelgium architect says design calls for leaving as many trees as possible on site.

5:50 p.m. JakeFrankel: The @newbelgium design breaks down the scale of building to make it fit the community by dividing it w/ “elevations” (sections)

5:52 p.m. JakeFrankel: Designs show buildings with lots of light, windows. Many have the feel of greenhouses.

5:54 p.m. Brewgasm: Deconsrructing existing buildings and hoping to reuse some materials in new construction.  #newbelgium

5:55 p.m. JakeFrankel: Architect says @newbelgium will reuse as much wood, metal, other materials from the current buildings on the site as possible.

5:58 p.m. JakeFrankel: Lanscape architect says @newbelgium is looking for ways to reuse storm water for irrigation on site

6:00 p.m. JakeFrankel: An open beergarden is likely to be on the @newbelgium site near river. Visitor parking will accesible near Haywood.

6:01 p.m. Brewgasm: Raise your hand if you’d like @timothypeck to stop being a jerk.

6:02 p.m. JakeFrankel: The @newbelgium plan calls for a pavilion and lawn for concerts, other entertainment events.

6:03 p.m. Brewgasm: Gosh, @timmoffit, I guess I should include your humble contributions in my book.

6:05 p.m. JakeFrankel: Paul Mills, landscape architect, says: the brewhouse is the “cathedral” on the site, “where the beer gets made”

6:06 p.m. JakeFrankel: City manager Gary Jackson: These are great people to work with. It just blows me away. @newbelgium

6:07 p.m. JakeFrankel: Yup RT @AshevilleonBike: @JakeFrankel: @newbelgium will provide covered bike parking! #avlbike #avlstreets

6:11 p.m. JakeFrankel: Jackson says bike lanes, greenways, sidewalks, river access all coming to the Craven St. area. Crowd applauds.

6:13 p.m. JakeFrankel: Engineer: The project will be a “complete streets” design. More applause.

6:15 p.m. JakeFrankel: The Craven / Emma / Hazel Mill intersection will be turned in to a 4 way stop. Craven will have bike lanes on both sides.

6:17 p.m. JakeFrankel: Eventually, greenway on @newbelgium site will connect to other greenways extending to Carrier Park along river

6:18 p.m. JakeFrankel: Steep side slopes along river are a challenge to building greenway, they’ll have to be stabilized, says engineer

6:22 p.m. JakeFrankel: A big water quality restoration effort is on tap for a small stream that flows down through west AVL to site along Waynesville Rd

6:24 p.m. Brewgasm: Alright @jakefrankel, take it away. I gotta run.  #newbelgium

6:25 p.m. JakeFrankel: City will build public parking lot and river access point on its property between access of Emma Rd and Craven St

6:29 p.m. JakeFrankel: New greenways will be open dawn till dusk like other Parks & Rec greenways

6:33 p.m. JakeFrankel: Now time for public Q&A. Jenn Vervier from @NewBelgium tells concerned resident that negative impact of beer production minimal

6:34 p.m. JakeFrankel: The @newbelgium event lawn will be about the size of a soccer field. #avlent

6:38 p.m. JakeFrankel: Bike lanes aren’t coming to Haywood Rd in West AVL anytime soon, says official. NCDOT has jurisdiction over that. #avlbike

6:40 p.m. JakeFrankel: Vervier from @newbelgium: There will be more public meetings in the fall when plans get closer to being finalized

6:41 p.m. fobes: RT @AvilleDowntown Kim Jordan,CEO of @newbelgium, addressing a PACKED USCellular Ctr to unveil plans

6:41 p.m. JakeFrankel: Vervier from @newbelgium: The Fort Collins CO brewery attracts about 100K tourists a year. Not sure what the # will be in AVL.

6:45 p.m. DavidForbes: RT @JakeFrankel: Kim Jordan from @newbelgium: The first job postings for the AVL facility will be in 2014.

6:45 p.m. JakeFrankel: Kim Jordan from @newbelgium: The first job postings for the AVL facility will be in 2014.

6:46 p.m. JakeFrankel: Jordan: @newbelgium wants to have a close relationship with local brewers. We had lunch with Tim Schaller today (head of ABA)

6:46 p.m. Brewgasm: RT @JakeFrankel: Kim Jordan from @newbelgium: The first job postings for the AVL facility will be in 2014.

6:49 p.m. JakeFrankel: Looks like @newbelgium has started serving beer again out in the lobby. Attendees are starting to filter out towards it.

6:51 p.m. JakeFrankel: In Fort Collins, @newbelgium has bike-in movie nights throughout summer. Might do something similar here, says Vervier.

6:58 p.m. JakeFrankel: Resident asks Jordan if company really has money to pay for all of this. “we don’t want to get stuck holding the hops” he says.

6:59 p.m. JakeFrankel: Jordan from @newbelgium: Can we put up? We will put up… We are fiscally very conservative.

7:00 p.m. JakeFrankel: Jordan from @newbelgium: In 2012, we’ll have $150 million in revenue. We’ve spent a lot of time talking with our bankers.

7:03 p.m. JakeFrankel: Jordan from @newbelgium: We’ll make mistakes but work to fix them when we make them.  Event ends w/ folks streaming 4 the line


About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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