In the hub of North Carolina’s craft beer industry, one brewery is growing like a weed.
Asheville-based Wicked Weed Brewing today announced it would build another production facility this summer, its fourth brewery space in as many years.
Located on 17 acres in South Asheville, the new 57,000 sq. ft. facility will be entirely devoted to the production of sour, farmhouse, and wild-fermented beers — style categories that Wicked Weed has increasingly focused on in recent years.
“We believe strongly that these beers have a big role to play in the growth of craft beer,” Wicked Weed owner Walt Dickinson said via a press statement. “We hope to be part of that growth, hope to be an ambassador for sour beer and to help create new consumers for our industry.”
The new brewery will feature a 30-barrel brewing system and barrel-aging program that includes post-production barrels from wineries and distilleries, 90 hL (about 81-barrels) foeders, and “several custom designed horizontal fermenters.”
The announcement comes just one year after Wicked Weed broke ground on its third production facility, a 40,000 sq. ft., 50-barrel brewery that opened last July. The company opened its second location, a taproom and barrel-aging facility known as “The Funkatorium,” in late 2014.
Driving the company’s latest expansion, however, is not simply the need for additional capacity. In the statement, Dickinson explained that a specialized focus on wild beer production was also intended to help “evolve” Wicked Weed’s brand identity as a premier producer of sour and barrel-aged beers.
“Having more space to focus on process and room to move will help us continue to refine our craft and evolve as a brewery,” he said. “As a brand we felt it was important for us to grow both of our programs in parallel because Wicked Weed is best represented when craft enthusiast can have access to the full scope of beers that we can produce.”
Production of the company’s sour, wild fermented, and barrel-aged beers could immediately double — from 4,000 barrels to 8,000 barrels.
Wicked Weed also said its plans to use the new location for office space and as a training site for employees, distributors, and retailers. The company expects the facility to be operational this fall.