The Morganton, NC-based Fonta Flora Brewery announced yesterday that it is opening a new location on a historic farm site near Lake James and the Linville Gorge.
The new facility will be situated on 8 acres just three miles from the the brewery’s namesake—a defunct community which was evacuated and flooded during the creation of Lake James late in the 19th century.
Fonta Flora, which is widely touted throughout Western North Carolina and the national craft beer community for its “farm-focused”approach to brewing, secured the expansion with help from the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina.
“After more than two years of crafting beer in a tiny building in downtown Morganton, we are damn pleased to officially announce our expansion plan and vision,” Fonta Flora wrote in a Facebook post issued shortly after yesterday’s announcement.
“Although it has taken the better part of a year we have secured one of the most scenic and historic pieces of property in Burke County. Nestled at the foot of the Linville Gorge, we have acquired 8 acres of land, adorned with historic stone barns that use to house Whippoorwill Dairy Farm.”
Plans for the new facility include the construction of a 4,500 square foot barn which will house the future production floor and the renovation of a stacked-stone milking parlor which will be used for packaging and barrel cellaring.
Fonta Flora plans to continue and expand on its farm-focused philosophy by using the acreage, which butts up against the Linville River, to grow much of its own produce.
“In keeping with our brewing philosophy of utilizing local agriculture into our craft beers, we plan to cultivate the land through annual gardens and a perennial hop yard and orchards. We will plant harder-to-find fruit trees such as paw paw fruit, persimmons, figs and elderberries to help us craft beers with a true sense of place. In addition, brewing adjuncts such as carrots, beets, fennel and bloody butcher corn will all come from the property.”
The brewery says its current location in downtown Morganton will remain open and the new location will open sometime before the end of the year.
You can learn more about Font Flora Brewery and stay up to date with their unique expansion project by following them on Facebook.
For more info about farm-based brewing operations throughout the Blue Ridge region click here.