Catawba Brewing Co. and Bold Rock Hard Cider Releasing Riverkeeper Apple Sour Ale

Morganton, NC — The seeds were sown for this collaboration beer in the fall of 2014, when Catawba Brewing Co-Owner Billy Pyatt had a chance encounter with John Washburn, Co-Founder of Bold Rock Hard Cider. John had traveled from Virginia to Asheville in advance of Bold Rock’s first North Carolina festival appearance, when he met Billy outside the iconic Barley’s Taproom. Billy’s brother, Scott Pyatt, another Co-Owner of Catawba’s family business, proceeded to give John and his wife, Robin, a tour of the city, introducing them to the local craft beverage scene. The owners became fast friends, with Pyatts and Washburns serving as loyal advocates for the other’s business.

The following year would see Catawba open their new Asheville South Slope brewery (April 2015), while Bold Rock opened their own Mills River location in November. Having evolved from cross-state friends to Western North Carolina neighbors, the owners began to discuss a collaboration brew. Both parties agreed the beer should be a vehicle for giving back to their local communities. As such, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the global Waterkeeper Alliance and local Riverkeeper organizations – including the French Broad Riverkeeper, a non-profit that protects the waterway connecting Asheville and Mills River, and the Catawba Riverkeeper, serving the Catawba River that runs between Catawba brewery locations in Morganton and Charlotte.

Riverkeeper Apple Sour Ale will be tapped at Bold Rock’s Mills River Tap Room and Catawba’s four tasting rooms on Friday, August 25. The release concludes the 2017 Riverkeeper Beer Series, which is also supported by five other Asheville-area breweries. French Broad Riverkeeper events will include clean-ups, float trips, and fundraisers at participating breweries. Catawba Brewing will organize additional clean-up efforts on the Catawba River. Each release party will be co-sponsored by a local outdoor gear manufacturer, who will donate prizes and apparel to be raffled off in support of the cause.

Look for Riverkeeper Apple Sour Ale to arrive in Catawba’s 5-state distribution area beginning Monday, August 28. The beer will be available on draft and in 4-pack 16 oz. cans. The release precedes the North Carolina Apple Festival, held over Labor Day weekend in Hendersonville, NC.

About Riverkeeper Apple Sour Ale (label description):

Inspired by a shared mission to protect the waterways that connect us, Catawba’s collaboration with Bold Rock Hard Cider gave life to this limited release – “crushed and crafted in the Blue Ridge Mountains™.” This elegantly rustic wheat beer is soured according to Old World methods, then fermented on green apples handpicked in Western North Carolina. Gently tart, light and refreshing, with a crisp cider-like finish – in a word, “crushable.”

About the Waterkeeper Alliance

The Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 300 Waterkeepers Organizations and Affiliates that are on the frontlines of the global water crisis, patrolling and protecting more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on six continents. From Alaska to the Himalayas, the Great Lakes to Australia, the Waterkeeper movement defends the fundamental human right to drinkable, fishable and swimmable waters, and combines firsthand knowledge of their local waterways with an unwavering commitment to the rights of their communities. Learn more at

About Bold Rock Hard Cider

Bold Rock Hard Cider was started in 2012 by partners John Washburn and Brian Shanks. Washburn owned a scenic piece of farmland in Nellysford, VA, and he contacted Shanks to see if the New Zealand native and world-renowned cider expert with more than three decades of experience in the industry would be interested in working his magic with locally picked apples. The two fast friends have since put together a rapidly growing operation, turning Bold Rock into the largest independently owned craft cidery in the United States. Learn more at

About Catawba Brewing Co.

Founded in 1999 by the Pyatt family, natives of Western North Carolina, Catawba Brewing operates a main production facility in downtown Morganton, NC at 212 S. Green St; a boutique brewery/tasting room in downtown Asheville, NC at 32 Banks Ave; a tasting room in Asheville’s Biltmore Village at 63 Brook St.; and a new Catawba brewery/tasting room in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood at 933 Louise Ave. Catawba beers can be found in NC, SC, TN, AL, and now in GA. Learn more at

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