(Mills River, NC) – Gov. Bev Perdue today joined executives from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an independent, family-owned pioneer in craft brewing, in announcing that they will locate a brewing facility for the East Coast in Mills River as well as an onsite restaurant. The project was made possible in part by a $1.025 million grant from the One North Carolina Fund.
Gov. Perdue was joined by Sierra Nevada CEO Ken Grossman and other locals officials for the announcement in Henderson County.
The company plans to create 95 full-time jobs as part of the grant and invest $107.5 million during the next five years in Henderson County. In addition the company expects to hire another 80 part-time employees and expects to create about 60 construction and mechanical jobs during its 24-month building phase. These jobs will be created in gradual phases starting in mid to late 2012 and continuing through 2013.
“We are proud that Sierra Nevada, with its tradition of innovation, stewardship and quality, chose to tap all the great things North Carolina had to offer,” said Gov. Perdue. “This announcement enhances a burgeoning craft beer industry in our state. The investment, jobs and brand recognition Sierra Nevada brings will be a boon to this region and help confirm North Carolina as a destination for innovation.”
North Carolina is home to more craft breweries than any Southern state – 21 brewpubs and 28 production breweries – with western North Carolina being particularly strong. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s first craft breweries and helped to popularize the bold and flavorful beers that are the hallmarks of the craft beer industry. Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada continues to be recognized for the use of only whole-cone hops and for the quality and craftsmanship of their products. Sierra Nevada currently employs in excess of 500 dedicated employees and is the second largest privately held brewery in the United States.
“After carefully looking at more than 200 sites east of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada is pleased to locate our second brewery in Henderson County,” said Grossman. “We are very grateful to the officials in Mills River, Henderson County and the State of North Carolina whose time, effort and commitment were instrumental in making this happen. We are proud to be associated with the many fine breweries that call North Carolina home.”
According to Grossman, an expansion to the East Coast was a responsible decision. “The original brewery in Chico is reaching capacity, and the demand for our beer continues to increase,” he explained. “We felt the most responsible thing to do was to build a brewery on the other side of the country, to lessen our impact on the environment while continuing to place great craft beer into the hands of our consumers.”
Salaries will vary by job function, but the average annual wage for the new jobs will be $41,526 plus benefits. The Henderson County average annual wage is $32,240.
The One NC Fund provides financial assistance, through local governments, to attract business projects that will stimulate economic activity and create new jobs in the state. Companies receive no money up front and must meet job creation and investment performance standards to qualify for grant funds. These grants also require and are contingent upon local matches.
“Sierra Nevada knows that North Carolina is a place where the business climate will help them grow and thrive,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, of Hendersonville. “I’m sure my sons are looking forward to buying some of the first bottles brewed here.”
“This terrific news is a perfect example of leaders at the state and local level, and from different political parties, working together to bring jobs to the people of North Carolina,” said Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville.
North Carolina continues to have a top-ranked business climate. Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state works aggressively to create jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.
Through use of the One NC Fund, more than 60,000 jobs and $11 billion in investment have been created since 2001. Other partners that helped with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges, N. C. Department of Transportation, Henderson County, the Town of Mills River, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development and the Golden LEAF Foundation.
For more information about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. including job opportunities, please visit www.SierraNevada.com.