North Carolina’s Wicked Weed Brewing broke ground this morning on its third facility in the Asheville area, a 40,000 sq. ft. production brewery that’s expected to create 82 new jobs.
Set on the western edge of town in a building the company purchased from the county, the facility will enable Wicked Weed to boost capacity by an additional 50,000 barrels.
As Brewbound reported in August, Wicked Weed plans to install a semi-automated 30-barrel brewhouse in the space and utilize the facility to grow both its core line of beers and barrel aged offerings. The new brewery will also include a tasting room and the company has teased the idea of constructing an outdoor music venue on the premises.
In conjunction with the Buncombe County Commissioners and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC) the company will invest $5 million in the project over the next three years.
“Wicked Weed’s job growth and success in such a short time can only be explained by its innovative approach and commitment to brewing only the finest beer,” said David Gantt, chairman of the Buncombe County Commissioners, in a press statement. “We’re excited to see this family-owned business continue to expand one of the nation’s hottest craft brewing centers.”
The company is also receiving unspecified tax incentives, something that has played a role in bringing other prominent out-of-state craft breweries to the area.
“Tax incentives here are not just for new companies, shiny companies coming from outside the area,” Ben Teague, executive director of the EDC, told Brewbound. “We help our existing breweries grow too.”
Expected build out time is about five months, per a statement from the EDC, with distribution slated to be underway this fall. The expansion will enable Wicked Weed to grow its market presence in North Carolina and eventually extend its footprint in other states.
“As we expand, our focus remains on brewing the most creative and innovative beer styles for our many friends and fans across North Carolina,” added Walt Dickinson, head blender and ownership partner at Wicked Weed.
Wicked Weed, which opened its first brewery-restaurant in early 2013, expanded with a second, 9,000 sq. ft. outpost, dubbed the “Funkatorium,” dedicated to sour beer production last October.
Last August, Wicked Weed co-owner Abby Dickinson told Brewbound it was on pace to grow production nearly 79 percent in 2014, up from just 2,800 barrels brewed the year prior.