The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Sports Editor 

Brewer Taking Business To Next Level - Brevard NC

 

Kyle Williams opened his brewery in the Ansley Building in April 2012 . (Times photos by Jeremiah Reed)

When Kyle Williams opened the doors to Brevard Brewing Co. in April 2012, he started off with a lineup of five craft beers all brewed and crafted in-house and a taproom that featured only a few stools, no tables and a large bar.

At the time, Williams was the only craft brewer in the county and 63 E. Main St. quickly became a popular spot for both white and blue-collar workers to gather for pints after a long workday.

Four-and-a-half years later, Williams is still churning out that stable of five flagship beers – along with a rotating variety of seasonal brews – but Brevard Brewing Co. has grown into its own; complete with plenty of seating, decorative lighting, flat-screen TVs, works of art on the walls and an expanded brewing operation.

Now, Williams is looking to take Brevard Brewing Co. to the next level by purchasing the Ansley Building that contains his business – as well as Maya's Grill and Kiwi Gelato.

After making the announcement last week on Brevard Brewing Co.'s Facebook page, Williams said the sale through current owner Mike Ansley should go through by the end of this year.

He added that he never considered purchasing the building in the past due to the vacancy in the large restaurant space next door. But since Maya's Grill has opened up and proved successful, Williams said the numbers finally worked out to where making an offer to buy the building was a good business decision.

"For me, from a cash flow perspective, it's almost a break-even deal," he said. "I'm not going to be spending that much more to own this place than I was to rent it. As a long-term investment it makes sense, as I'm now making monthly payments toward a principal instead of throwing it away on rent every month."

Williams was quick to say he had no intention of evicting Maya's Grill or Kiwi Gelato from their spaces, but does have some ideas in mind regarding renovations to the Ansley Building.

He described his vision for the new brewery as "exciting" but wants to keep his plans under wraps until he speaks with an architect.

Purchasing the building is the latest in a string of milestones for Brevard Brewing Co.

Williams has spent the past several years installing new equipment to upgrade both his brewing capacity and brewing speed.

In 2014, he purchased 30 kegs, a new heat exchanger, a brewer's platform, a brew kettle and a 15-barrel brewhouse. He later added a new fermentation tank and purchased more equipment earlier this year.

The result has meant Williams is no longer working exhaustive hours just to keep up with demand.

"The cool thing is that for the first time since I opened I actually have more beer than I can sell," he said. "It's the middle of July, and I'm sitting on inventory, which is a good thing. It's not because we're slow – I'm selling more beer than ever – it's that the production facility has finally outpaced sales. I kept adding all these tanks and walk-in coolers and kegs and it's finally where I want it to be."

Since opening, Williams estimates he's tripled his brewing capacity. The surplus of product creates a welcome question: what to do with all the excess beer?

The answer is something purveyors of Brevard Brewing Co. have longed for – canning the product for people to enjoy on the go.

Currently, the brewery sells growlers that can be filled and taken home, but Williams said he's ready to expand distribution by utilizing a mobile canning service to package his beer.

Williams said other breweries in the area – such as Boojum Brewing in Waynesville – use similar canning services to package their product. Brevard Brewing Co. doesn't have the physical space for a designated canning line, but Williams said this company is able to come out and can and package beer for distribution on site.

He is hopeful to have the canning process up and running in the next several months and anticipates selling his beer at local grocery stores and gas stations.

Ansley Building

"That's a big step forward, and I'm excited to finally have the capacity to do something like that," Williams said.

In looking back over the past years, Williams said he never foresaw the business taking off like it has. And now with the acquisition of the Ansley Building, Brevard Brewing Co. is primed to be the go-to watering hole in downtown for years to come.

"In my wildest dreams I wouldn't have imagined growth like this," Williams said. "I never had aspirations to own this building, but financially it makes sense. I never thought I would be making as much beer as I am or selling as much beer as I am. I'm way, way ahead of where I thought I would be and it's awesome. It's a good feeling."

 
 

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