By Jesse Wood
Feb. 13, 2013. Noting the staff’s love affair with brewing beer, it’s fitting that Appalachian Mountain Brewery would open its doors on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14.
“Our passion is beer,” AMB co-founder Sean Spiegelman said. “Beer and philanthropy, that’s what we are passionate about.”
While brewing and serving the best beer in the country is the goal, Spiegelman said beer is a catalyst for helping others in the community and changing the High Country for the better.
For instance, the brewery will donate a portion of each beer sold to a local nonprofit and participate in a grain exchange with local farms. Also, the company announced that another beneficiary from a percentage of sales will be the William Hunter Mast Scholarship Fund.
As of right now, these nonprofits will benefit from thirsty visitors:
- National Committee for the New River
- Watauga River Partners
- Appalachian Voices
- Blue Ridge Conservancy
- Watauga Arts Council
Along with community stewardship, environmental sustainability is an integral part of AMB. Along with offsetting electricity demands with a 5KW array of solar panels, the brewery staff – in conjunction with the National Committee for the New River – has planted native plants along Boone and Hodges creeks to inhibit further erosion of the bank adjacent to the property.
Also, runoff from the roof will be directed into a rain garden at the front of the brewery, and keeping with its sustainable mission of reduce, reuse and recycle, pallet wood was used in the brewery’s wall finishes and a recapturing system has been installed to save water in the brew process.
Over the last two years, the staff of AMB have gone through an arduous process to be within one day of opening – one that included going out on a limb and buying the building and making plans before zoning for the brewery was approved and attending many hearings and meetings with the Boone Town Council and town staff.
“We’ve basically been a guinea pig throughout the process,” Spiegelman said. “Basically being the first microbrewery to come to town, we’ve had to lead by example. Show the Town of Boone and the fire marshals and other agencies that brewing is not a dangerous process, not a hazardous process – as long as you know what you are doing.”
Along with Spiegelman, Nathan Kelischek, Chris Zieber, Stephanie Spiegelman and Jessica Collins have contributed to the cause, and all that hard work is about to pay off.
Hours within opening, Spiegelman said he could feel the energy and anticipation brewing in the High Country. Just check their Facebook page. As one person wrote, “Ready for Some Local Brew!!!!!! What’s the Status on Opening?”
“People are excited to have a fresh, local brewery and what it is we embody as a company makes people feel good about supporting us,” Speigelman said.
Heck, even the mailman was thrilled. When Speigelman handed him the application for the ABC permit, Spiegelman said the postman responded: ‘Alright! I’ll make sure it gets there.’”
Word of approval from the state arrived last night.
Located near the Boone Mall on Boone Creek Drive, Appalachian Mountain Brewery opens to the public at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Hours of operation are as follows:
- Monday through Friday: 4 to 10 p.m.
- Saturday: 2 to 10 p.m.
- Sunday: 12 to 8 p.m.
For more information, click to http://www.appalachianmountainbrewery.com, search for Appalachian Mountain Brewery on Facebook or call 828-263-1111.