(Brevard, NC) – Lost in the Westvleteren XII release hoopla and 12/12/12 hysteria, Oskar Blues Brewery opened its new brewing facility in Brevard, North Carolina, on Wednesday.
The Citizen-Times’ Tony Kiss reports that the opening makes it “the largest brewery in the Carolinas, passing Asheville’s Highland Brewing Company.” At least in terms of square-footage.
According to press releases from earlier in the year, “The small town will also be home to a separate restaurant and live music venue as well. The addition of the 33,000 square-foot Brevard brewery is expected to brew 40,000 barrels in 2013 and increase brewery capacity to 140,000 barrels.”
Meanwhile, “Highland looks to produce about 30,000 barrels this year,” according to Kiss.
With Highland nearing capacity with current equipment, according to its website, Oskar Blues could be poised to take the lead in terms of North Carolina production, too. But, in August, Sierra Nevada revealed that it would be aggressively moving up the opening date of its even larger facility from next fall to next summer.
So, the title of largest North Carolina brewery by production could still be up for grabs in 2013.
Titles aside, Oskar Blues founder, Dale Katechis, tells WLOS-TV that Wednesday’s opening date was the goal since the initial announcement back in May, joking that it was arbitrary and that they dug the whole ’12/12/12′ thing.
WLOS-TV also featured Oskar Blues Brevard Head Brewer, Noah Tuttle, in its Wednesday evening news segment.
The Times-News’ Gary Glancy detailed what the team went through in the waning hours leading up to opening day.
Wednesday marked the first brew with Dale’s Pale Ale flowing through the tanks though the tasting room won’t open to the public until Thursday.