New Belgium Brewing CEO Kim Jordan herself was part of a Q&A session and design presentation that shared New Belgium’s plans to not only install a brewery with trails and bike paths, but to accommodate visitor traffic and 60 truck deliveries daily, and change West Asheville infrastructure forever.
Jordan presented with a group of core upper-level New Belgium employees including Jennifer Vervier, New Belgium’s director of sustainability and strategic development.
The brewing company shared plans for major changes that seemed to have a far greater effect on West Asheville than the River Arts District, including proposed DOT infrastructure changes to the Haywood Road/I-240 interchange, the primary truck route the brewery will need to handle 60 trucks per day, according to presenters.
Other impact will be from visitors to the brewery complex. Jordan stated that the Fort Collins, Co. location receives 100,000 visitors a year, an average of nearly 300 per day. New Belgium Brewing is the main tourist attraction in Fort Collins, so it isn’t easy to compare its visitor numbers to a city like Asheville, with much more to offer tourists. But this influx of visitors will be driving in, too.
Craven Street will also change to accommodate the brewery’s needs, and will likely be widened and graded. New Belgium’s plans for the road include bike lanes and sidewalks. The company is also exploring trails (including the possibility of trail connecting Haywood Road and the brewery), walkability along the French Broad, river access at the brewery (possibly via a dock), and an outdoor event space the size of a sports field.
New Belgium also plans a meeting space that will be available for local nonprofits to use.
As for the brewery itself, Jordan promised no dumping of bottles after 10 p.m. and said that New Belgium is seeking LEED certification with its Asheville buildings.
According to the presenters, Asheville can expect 140 new jobs over 10 years, most of which will not be available until after the brewery is built and closer to running.
Asheville City Council member Marc Hunt briefly stole attention from Jordan’s closing Q&A to publicly thank the brewery for its community-friendly practices, noting that it’s invested $5 million in Fort Collins.
New Belgium has added an Asheville-centric new page to its website: newbelgium.com/ashevillebrewery. The page offers a roundup of local news articles related to the brewery and includes a feedback form.
Welcome to Asheville, New Belgium. Nothing will ever be quite the same here again.