Catawba confirms South Slope brewery in Asheville
Asheville’s booming South Slope brewing district is getting another major player, with the announcement that Catawba Brewing of Morganton will build a brewery in the old Standard Paper building at 32 Banks Ave. It will be be the 18th craft brewery in Buncombe County, most of them in Asheville.
Catawba hopes to occupy its new space this year. It will include a seven-barrel brewhouse, two bars, a barrel-aging room and an event space, said Catawba co-owner Billy Pyatt. Catawba will keep its primary production brewery in Morganton, and is also making major improvements to that operation, Pyatt said.
For now, Catwaba will continue to operate its Biltmore Village tasting room at 63 Brook St., he said.
The Catawba Asheville brewery will be used for for smaller-run and specialty beers, Pyatt said. He expects to employ five or six full time staff there including a brewer. It could produce up to 500 barrels of beer annually, while the Morganton brewery will turn out 5,000 barrels this year, he said.
It will be the eighth brewery on the South Slope on or just off Coxe Avenue, joining Green Man, Burial, Twin Leaf, Hi-Wire, Asheville Brewing and the Wicked Weed barrel room. The main Wicked Weed brewery is nearby on Biltmore Avenue.
“That whole area is going through a change,” Pyatt said. “It is a great, vibrant part of Asheville.” He’s excited to be part of a brewing neighborhood. “When (beer) tourists come to town, they want to see more than one place,” he said.
Catawba had originally planned to build its Asheville brewery at 2 Fairview Road, near French Broad Brewery, but after two years of planning, that effort did not move forward, Pyatt said, and Catawba began looking at other locations and settled on the South Slope.