Western North Carolina apparently lands Sierra Nevada

Officials with California craft-beer maker Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are expected to announce this week they have chosen Western North Carolina for the company’s much-publicized East Coast expansion, sources with knowledge of the negotiations have told the Times-News in Hendersville.

The newspaper reported:

Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada — the nation’s second-largest craft-beer producer, which distributes to all 50 states — is expected to build its new facility at Ferncliff Industrial Park in Mills River.

The property — which was annexed by the town in 2009 after landowner Vaughn Fitzgerald requested that 220 of his family’s acres be rezoned for an industrial park — is on Old Fanning Bridge Road between Broadpoint Industrial Park and Asheville Regional Airport on the east side of the French Broad River.

Company officials have said they want 50 acres to build the facility, which likely will include a restaurant, tasting room and music venue in addition to the brewing and bottling operations.

The county and town provided a variety of incentives to Sierra Nevada, which is adding the second facility for several reasons, including that it was soon reach capacity at its California plant and that an eastern brewery will reduce its environmental footprint. In December, The Henderson County Board of Commissioners approved a seven-year, $3.75 million economic incentive package for an unnamed manufacturing company looking to invest $115 million to start up operations in the county. Additionally, the Mills River Town Council approved economic incentives for the project, which is expected to include the creation of 125 new jobs.

Sierra Nevada founder and president Ken Grossman said his company began the selection process with about 200 potential sites across the country.