Miami Brewing Company Expands to Asheville, North Carolina

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Local beers such as Big Rod, Shark Bait, and Vice IPA from Miami Brewing Company are available not just in Florida anymore. Now you can find them in Asheville, North Carolina.

Brewery owner Peter Schnebly recently signed a contract with Empire Distributors Inc., a Durham distribution company. The Miami beers are available in several locations throughout the Asheville area in cans and on tap.

See also: Schnebly Miami Brewing Company Signs With Gold Coast Distributors (Photos)

Asheville may be a good starting point for Schnebly, because that area is known as one of the best parts of the East Coast beer market. It's home to three well-known craft beer companies: Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium.

It was the invitation to showcase his beers at Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp Across America in August that sent Schnebly to Asheville. And believing it was actual camping, he prepared accordingly.

"We actually thought it was camping," Schnebly says. "We found a campground and found an RV; packed Big Rod, Vice IPA, and Shark Bait; brought the brewmaster and some family. We drove up in a big Winnebago."

It turns out he and his crew were the only ones camping.

Schnebly says Beer Camp was a large event, with around 6,000 attendees. More than 60 breweries showed up. Big Rod turned out to be a big hit, being the only coconut-flavored beer at the event.

The heavy interest drew distributors, including Empire, to Miami Brewing. Schenbly says he went with Empire because of its heavy craft beer portfolio. The company distributes wine, which also attracted Schnebly, who's also in the wine business. Schnebly says he wants to eventually distribute his wine too with Empire.

The beer officially launched at the Winter Warmer Beer Festival in January. The Wild Wing Café in Asheville hosted a launch party and tap takeover the night before the festival.

Eventually, Schnebly says, Miami Brewing beers will gradually move eastward in North Carolina and should be available on the coast by the summer. He says his beers can be found at Total Wine & More in North Carolina and Ingles Markets, a supermarket chain similar to Publix.

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