The latest town landing its own craft brewery will be Fletcher, where Blue Ghost Brewing looks to pour its first pints next year.
Named for the famous glowing Blue Ghost fireflies that flutter through Dupont State Forest, the brewery will be a community gathering spot in Fletcher, which has been without its own craft brewery, said founder Erik Weber. The location is an existing 4,000-square-foot building at 125 Underwood Road, not far from Asheville Regional Airport. Weber has ordered an American-made one barrel brewing system, but is hoping to expand to a 10-barrel system within a year, and then to open a farmhouse brewery.
“There is beer in Asheville and there is beer in Hendersonville, but there’s not much in between,” he said. “We want to create a natural ale trail” between the two cities, he said.
Weber, originally from Eire, Pennsylvania, formerly worked at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard. He studied brewing at Blue Ridge Community College, and then taught there. “I’ve wanted to open a brewery for 10 years,” he said. “I wanted it to be more than a brewery.” Blue Ghost will have outdoor spaces – one of them surrounding a century-old oak tree – and Weber plans to host a farmer’s market at the site. The brewery will open without food offerings, “but within six months, we’ll add a small kitchen and focus on gourmet pizzas,” he said. He plans on delivering pizzas and beer growlers to the many hotels and motels in the area.