Oskar Blues to open brewery in Carolina

LONGMONT – Craft brewer Oskar Blues Brewery LLC will open a new 30,000-square foot brewery in rural North Carolina, which will be the company’s first brewery outside of Colorado, the company announced Wednesday.

Longmont-based Oskar Blues has a contract on a brewery facility and 6,000-square-foot restaurant in Brevard, N.C. The company expects to have the brewery and restaurant, which will host live music, open by December, it said in a press release.

The move will help Oskar Blues sell more beer east of the Mississippi River. The company already sells more than 35 percent of its beer in that region.

The strategy follows Oskar Blues’ evolution from a small blues club in Lyons that brewed its own beer into one of the nation’s most influential craft breweries.

“We’ve looked at the options of growing our Colorado-based brewing to the next level, and thought the idea of opening another small, intimate restaurant and brewery on a grassroots level sounds like a lot more fun,” Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis said in the release. “With that much beer traveling east of the Mississippi, it allows us to invest in another small town that shares our passions and recoup the investment as we contribute to the community and streamline our shipping costs, amongst other things.”

Brevard and Lyons have a lot in common. Both are on the edges of national forests and in the foothills of prominent mountain ranges. Brevard is about 34 miles from Asheville, a small city which appears on many of the same “top quality of life” rankings as does Boulder. Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing recently announced it planned to open a plant in Asheville.

“This place rings true with the same eclectic mountain charm that inspired Oskar Blues to put Dale’s Pale Ale in a can back in the day in Lyons, Colorado,” Katechis said. “Brevard and Lyons share a small-town main street tone mingled with live music and an energy emerging from the surrounding hills.”

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