Catawba Valley Brewing Co., one of the Southeast’s oldest and largest family-owned craft brewers, has announced its expansion to North Carolina’s coast, having acquired Skytown Beer Co. at 4712 New Centre Drive in Wilmington.
Family restaurateurs Hayley Jensen, Stephen Durley, Carol Jensen and Michael Jensen expanded upon their success with Beer Barrio by opening Skytown Beer Company in 2018.
The concept featured Jensen's and Durley’s national award-winning homebrew recipes paired with barbecue and pub fare.
“When the opportunity presented itself to pass the torch to a great company like Catawba, we were excited to see them take the concept to the next level,” Hayley Jensen said in a news release. “It’s a crazy time to be a restaurant owner, and when you’re approached with a great offer from someone you respect, you do your best to make a good business decision. We’re very happy.”
According to the release from Catawba, the company has been scouting locations in the Wilmington area for some time.
“We knew Hayley and Stephen from Beer Barrio, their Front Street restaurant, and a few very cooperative conversations with them resulted in us buying their brewery location," said Billy Pyatt, Catawba’s CEO and co-owner, in the release. “The purchase closed February 10, and we hope to be making new, coastally-inspired beverages and serving all the Catawba/Palmetto/Twisp favorites at 4712 New Centre Drive by late February.”
Founded by the Pyatt family in 1999, Catawba Valley Brewing Co. produces Catawba and Palmetto craft beers and Twisp Southern Hard Seltzer.
Catawba currently operates breweries and retail tasting rooms in Asheville, Charlotte, Morganton and Charleston, South Carolina, with distribution extending to Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
“This is so much like the original brewing system that got us into craft brewing in 1999,” said Scott Pyatt, COO and co-owner, in the release. “We cut our teeth making classic styles, five barrels at a time. We can’t wait to revisit our roots and brew something special together again. Plus, it’s the perfect system to host collaborative projects with Wilmington’s beer community.”
The Wilmington location will feature 30 taps and a large selection of the 100-plus draft and limited-release canned beers the brewery produces annually, as well as brewery-inspired fare.
“The building and equipment are in great shape to immediately introduce our Catawba culture and operate seven days a week,” said Mary Mayo, general manager of Catawba-Wilmington, in the release. “Of course, we will celebrate with proper grand opening festivities to be announced as soon as possible. As a bonus, our company’s biggest event of the year, Catawba’s annual Peanut Butter Jelly Time release party, will now include Wilmington." the weekend of April 2.