WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A popular brewery based in Asheville will expand to Wilmington in the fall.
Hi-Wire Brewing will transform a vacant building at 1020 Princess Street into its newest taproom. The taproom will feature two outdoor beer gardens and a twenty-four tap bar in a building that was one a car dealership.
Chris Frosaker, of Hi-Wire Brewing, said Wilmington felt like a good fit for the brewery for a few reasons.
“When we look for new places to expand, there are a few factors that we look into; the main one is the feel of the city,” he said. “Asheville is a small artsy town with great food, great beer and great art and we wanted to make sure that the town fits that bill.”
The move could spur development in the “Soda Pop District.” In 2017, city leaders met with community members about the name for the community, which pays homage to the old Coca Cola bottling facility that was once there.
The district is from Grace to Market and 8th to 13th Streets.
“We feel great,” Frosaker said, talking about the neighborhood where Hi-Wire will settle. “The building and the neighborhood fit the bill for what we do. We open up an average of a taproom year for the last three years and we look for older, up-and-coming neighborhoods and we like old buildings."
Frosaker said the brewery started to explore the expansion last year, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We found this building in 2019 and we started lease negotiations and getting contractor bids. All that takes a long time and we were ready to pull the trigger right when the pandemic hit and we kept talking to our landlord and he’s like, ‘I feel good if you feel good’ and we took a leap of faith and we are going for it,” he said.
The brewer has four locations, in Asheville, Durham and Knoxville, TN; all are open at 50 percent capacity, in line with government restrictions on breweries.