Big Turnout for the Grand Opening of the Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn That Features On-Site Brewery

Published Friday, October 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

By Jesse Wood

Oct. 11, 2013. About 150 people turned out for Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn’s grand opening on Thursday afternoon.

The grand opening follows nearly a full year of renovations and four months since the ale house, restaurant and inn opened on Sunset Drive, adjacent to The Inn at Ragged Gardens and Best Cellar, whose owners also own the former historic and renovated Maple Lodge that now houses the ale house, restaurant and inn.

The new enterprise is a collaboration between the Blowing Rock Brewing Company co-founders Jeff Walker and Todd Rice and the owners of The Inn at Ragged Gardens and the Best Cellar Rob Dyer and Lisa Stripling.

The Blowing Rock Brewing Company now brews its own artisanal Ale House Series in the new location while it plans to move its brewing operation of the Legacy Series, which is marketed in grocery stores across the state, to Hickory in the next year. The Ale House Series will be sold in the brewery as well as in the form of kegs and growlers available at the brewery and local retailers.

Along with the families of those involved in managing the operation and its 35 employees, members of the Blowing Rock Town Council, Mayor J.B. Lawrence and officials with Yadkin Bank, the lending institution that financed the project, attended the grand opening and participated in the ribbon cutting. Also present were those involved in the renovations of the Maple Lodge: general contractor Cliff Baldwin, Kostis Building and architect Larry Greene

“It was outstanding,” Rice said of the evening.

Rice said that he hopes to have “beer camps” established this winter, where the art of brewing with hands-on experience that also will also be packaged with two nights stay at the inn and the culinary cuisine of Erick and Jenny Virt, the chefs of the restaurant.

Because Blowing Rock Brewing Company supplies more than 500 stores across the state including Harris Teeter, Walmart, Whole Foods, Lowes Foods and more, the company, like many other brewers, contracts with another brewer to handle large-scale commercial accounts of its Legacy Series, which features a competing price point. That is currently being brewed in Pennsylvania but Rice said that operation is moving to Hickory in the near future. 

As for the Ale House Series, Ray Hodge, who has a “long history as a respected brewing trailblazer,” is the company’s brewer. 

The Ale House Series, which Rice dubbed “more artisanal,” is produced in Blowing Rock, using local ingredients where possible, and will change with the seasons for different beers at different times of the year. It will be brewed with a five-barrel system and double batched in a 10-barrel system to double production. 

“Our plan is to really put Blowing Rock on the national map for the very high-end, high-quality beers we’ll be producing,” Rice said. 

Within 60 days Rice expects to have six varieties of beer for kegs and half-gallon jug growlers. 

The Blowing Rock Ale House & Inn and Brewery, which is located at 152 Sunset Drive, is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day except Wednesday. 

For more information please visit our website or Facebook page.  

Read a past article about the brewery, ale house and inn and see more photos. 

See Photos by Ken Ketchie and Lonnie Webster Below

Ken Ketchie Photos

Blowing Rock Brewing Company’s co-founders Jeff Walker & Todd Rice and their wives at the Blowing Rock Ale House Restaurant, Pub and Inn

Blowing Rock Brewing Company’s co-founders Jeff Walker & Todd Rice and their wives at the Blowing Rock Ale House Restaurant, Pub and Inn

 

The Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn is located on Sunset Drive.

The Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn is located on Sunset Drive.

 

The Ale House Series, is brewed with a five-barrel system and double batched in a 10-barrel system to double production.

The Ale House Series, is brewed with a five-barrel system and double batched in a 10-barrel system to double production.

 

The Ale House Series, which differs from the Legacy series sold in grocers, is more of an "artisanal" brew.

The Ale House Series, which differs from the Legacy series sold in grocers, is more of an “artisanal” brew.

 

The Ale House Series, is brewed with a five-barrel system and double batched in a 10-barrel system to double production.

The Ale House Series, is brewed with a five-barrel system and double batched in a 10-barrel system to double production.

 

More photos of the brewery operation.

More photos of the brewery operation.

 

FIXE_0450

Walker, Rice and Brewmaster Ray Hodge

 

Walker, Rice and Brewmaster Ray Hodge

Walker, Rice and Brewmaster Ray Hodge

Lonnie Webster Photos

Grand Opening of the Ale House

The Growler

The Growler

 

Blowing Rock Ale House, Restaurant and Inn Staff during the grand opening on Thursday.

Blowing Rock Ale House, Restaurant and Inn Staff during the grand opening on Thursday. Photo by Lonnie Webster

 

The ribbon cutting featured Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence

The ribbon cutting featured Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence. Photo by Lonnie Webster

 

More than 150 people attended the grand opening on Thursday.

More than 150 people attended the grand opening on Thursday. Photo by Lonnie Webster

 

Todd Rice gives a speech during the grand opening.

Todd Rice gives a speech during the grand opening. Photo by Lonnie Webster

 

The Inn

The Inn

 

 

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