Sierra Nevada will open Henderson Co. brewery - FOX Carolina 21

Sierra Nevada will open Henderson Co. brewery

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Beer was passed out at the Sierra Nevada Henderson County announcement. (Jan. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina) Beer was passed out at the Sierra Nevada Henderson County announcement. (Jan. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina)
The announcement that Sierra Nevada will open a brewery in Henderson County is made at the Westfeldt House. (Jan. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina) The announcement that Sierra Nevada will open a brewery in Henderson County is made at the Westfeldt House. (Jan. 25, 2012/FOX Carolina)
FLETCHER, NC (FOX Carolina) -

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue along with other local government officials were on hand in Henderson County on Wednesday for a major jobs announcement.

Perdue said that Sierra Nevada Brewery Company will open a brewery, bottling and distribution operation in Mills River, NC.

During the announcement, Perdue said the brewery's opening in Henderson County would create 95 full-time jobs, 80 part-time jobs and invest $107.5 million during the next five years. They are expected to break ground in the next year.

Perdue said the state wanted the company to open the facility in western North Carolina badly and were thankful Sierra Nevada noticed what was being done with microbrewing in the area.

The company had a morning meeting with officials before announcing the partnership. The governor said it is a perfect union between North Carolina and Sierra Nevada.

"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 Ken Grossman, CEO of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "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."

Perdue said the partnership was like, "Turning grain into gold here in western North Carolina."

Sierra Nevada will be the first occupant of the 262-acre Ferncliff Park site. Their facility is expected to include a restaurant, tasting room and live music venue.

Local micro-brewers are excited to have the larger company in the region, with anticipation for fringe benefits, and the expansion of the micro-brew destination the region has become.

"Even though we're beer city, and we have all these breweries here, the amount of beer they're going to make is going to be way more than what all of us make collectively," said Joe Rowland, owner of Nantahala Brewing Co., in Bryson City, "and when you have those numbers, you start to attract, the same suppliers they use, we all use."

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development said the average annual wage for jobs created will be $41,526 plus benefits, exceeding the county's average wage by 28 percent. 

On Tuesday, FOX Carolina spoke with an official at Sierra Nevada's headquarters in Chico, CA, who said that North Carolina was on a short list but no decision had yet been made. The company said they were planning to open their second operation east of the Mississippi River.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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