As West Coasters travel the country’s other side, watch for more breweries with familiar names.
If you’re traveling east of the Mississippi and crave a fresh beer from the west side of the country, no need to suffer. Craft breweries are on the move.
Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery started the great craft-beer migration a few years ago, when it delighted fans by establishing a second location in Brevard, N.C., a small mountain town.
Since then, California-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Lagunitas Brewing Co. have followed suit. Sierra Nevada opened a sprawling brewery, tap room and restaurant in Mills River, N.C., while Lagunitas set up shop in Chicago. Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing has opened a production facility and tasting room in Asheville, N.C., and later this year will bring a flashy satellite site from San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing to Virginia Beach, Va. And Oskar Blues has not slowed down, opening a third location just a week ago, staking the middle ground — Austin, Texas.
At Sierra Nevada’s spot flanking the Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors can dine at the 400-seat restaurant and catch a show in the amphitheater.
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The new Oskar Blues spot, while in a booming region, “stays true to our culture — amazing food and music in a very active outdoor city,” said Chad Melis, marketing director.
And the migration continues. This spring, Oregon’s largest brewery, Bend-based Deschutes, announced its planned expansion — to Roanoke, Va.