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City clears way for microbreweries downtown

The Hendersonville City Council last week approved an amendment to the zoning ordinance that will allow the establishment of microbreweries downtown.

Local brewers Joseph Dinan and Lisa McDonald, who plan to open Sanctuary Brewing Company on First Avenue, spoke in the public hearing, emphasizing the positive local impact of microbreweries as well as the rising popularity of breweries in Western North Carolina.
“Hendersonville is the second largest town in Western North Carolina,” McDonald said. “There are smaller towns such as Waynesville and Weaverville that have already incorporated breweries. Right now downtown Hendersonville does not have any. There’s already a lot of buzz about microbreweries around this area, so why not be a part of a culture that’s already developed regardless?”
Dinan spoke of the local opportunities that microbreweries will open to Hendersonville residents.
“The Blue Ridge Community College has a fantastic brewing program here,” Dinan said. “They have a certification program and they’ve got a degree program. This could give them a place to apply those jobs. Right now most of them are leaving, they’re going to Brevard, they’re going to Asheville. If we could keep that skilled labor, that would benefit the area.”
Dinan and McDonald plan to open Sanctuary Brewing in early August.