RiverLink Executive Director Karen Cragnolin responds

So much of where someone stands depends on where they sit. Over the decades, we’ve worked with just about every brewery in the area; for the past five years, we’ve received the proceeds from local brewers’ Winter Warmer benefit, using them to help build a greenway at the former Health Adventure site.

You can’t have beer without clean water, and the fact that brewing beer is now an economic focus here is a dream come true for RiverLink, proof positive that our real economic future depends on protecting our natural resources.

The Asheville Brewers Alliance has welcomed the new breweries with open arms. The newcomers are sharing their volume discounts and collaborating with our hometown brewers on special craft beers. I think they feel there’s synergy in it.

As for RiverMUSIC, we approached New Belgium with an untested idea, and they (along with our other sponsors, volunteers and generous musicians) helped transform this property into a new community space. The “green” the letter writer mentions must be the greening of the area.

We’re hosting five free concerts to bring new people to the river so they, along with our usual supporters, can discover the magic of the French Broad. While there they can visit the five new restaurants, numerous artists’ studios and other attractions the River District is becoming so famous for.

New Belgium could have gone anywhere in our region, with far less capital outlay and effort. They’re also reclaiming an entire subwatershed through stream restoration and creative stormwater retention, and making multimodal transportation to and from the site. In addition, this employee-owned company offers high wages and real benefits. I’m thrilled to have them as our new neighbor on the river, and I’m over-the-moon excited for our region.

— Karen Cragnolin

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One thought on “RiverLink Executive Director Karen Cragnolin responds

  1. travelah

    All of that is fine and well but what does any of it have to do with your shafting the local craft brewers?

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