Beer lovers around Asheville rejoiced this week when New Belgium Brewing Company (finally!) opened its tasting room to the public. More than 500 eager tasters poured into the Liquid Center, as they’re calling it, on Monday, May 2 as the beer began to pour out.
News 13 WLOS reported that crowds that large haven’t been seen along the Craven Street corridor in decades. That’s good news for the brewery, which has spent four years planning and constructing the space. But some nearby residents worry about having such a large production facility and tourist attraction in their backyard. The brewery hopes to alleviate some of the incoming traffic (and concerns) by encouraging visitors to bike, walk, or bus to the location. They also contributed funds to widening the road in the area, adding bike lanes, and building a greenway along the river.
As of this week, New Belgium is offering more than 20 flagship, seasonal, and small batch brews, including two sours and a Peach Coriander Strong Wheat Wine, which they’re calling their “Liquid Center Surprise” beer. Familiars like the Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, and Citradelic are also available. However, visitors hoping for a brewery tour will have to wait until later in the summer.
Several additional construction and landscaping projects remain to be completed at the New Belgium site. But for now, customers can watch the continuing transformation from the riverside patio overlooking the French Broad.
New Belgium Brewing Company is located at 21 Craven Street, Asheville, NC. The Liquid Center’s tasting room hours are Mon–Sat, 11:00 am–8:00 pm and Sunday noon-8:00 pm.