Catawba Brewing, the “Craft Beer of the Carolinas,” will now be local from the mountains to the sea, as Catawba Valley Brewing Co. acquired Wilmington, NC’s Skytown Beer Co. Feb. 10.

Catawba Brewing Company is one of the Southeast’s oldest and largest craft brewers.

“We’ve been actively evaluating locations for some time and have come to love the beer scene and lifestyle in Wilmington,” said Billy Pyatt, Catawba’s CEO and co-owner. “We felt we could really integrate and contribute there. We knew Hayley Jensen and Stephen Durley from Beer Barrio, their Wilmington Front Street restaurant, and a few very cooperative conversations with them resulted in us buying their brewery location. We hope to be making new, coastally-inspired beverages and serving all the Catawba/Palmetto/Twisp favorites at 4712 New Centre Dr. by late February.”

Family restaurateurs, Hayley Jensen, Stephen Durley, Carol Jensen and Michael Jensen expanded upon their success at downtown favorite, Beer Barrio, by opening Skytown Beer Company in 2018. The concept featured Jensen and Durley’s National Award-winning homebrew recipes paired with BBQ 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. We have worked together for years to establish a great relationship, and we look forward to welcoming the Pyatts and their family business to Wilmington,” Haley Jensen said.

“The facility is beautiful, and we have some exciting ideas to quickly turn it into a Catawba Brewing showcase,” said Jetta Pyatt, CFO, retail ops leader, and Catawba co-owner. “Think indoor/outdoor space, 30 taps serving favorites like White Zombie White Ale and Huger Street IPA, and a large selection of the hundred-plus draft and limited release canned beers our brewers create annually. The wonderful on-site kitchen will provide delicious, brewery-inspired food offerings.”

The Pyatt brothers are excited and nostalgic to operate the Wilmington brewhouse.

“This is so much like the original brewing system that got us into craft brewing in 1999,” said Scott Pyatt, COO and Catawba co-owner. “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.”

Catawba expects minimal facility closing during this ownership transition.

“The building and equipment are in great shape to immediately introduce our Catawba culture and operate 7-days a week,” said Mary Mayo, general manager of Catawba-Wilmington. “Of course, we will celebrate with proper grand opening festivities to be announced as soon as possible.

As a bonus, Catawba’s biggest event of the year, the annual Peanut Butter Jelly Time release party, will now include Wilmington during the April 2 weekend.

In Asheville, Catawba Brewing has tasting rooms at 32 Banks Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope and 63 Brook St. in Biltmore Village. Catawba also has NC breweries and tasting rooms in Morganton (main production brewery) and Charlotte. Rounding out the portfolio, the company owns Palmetto Brewing in Charleston, SC.

For information, visit https://catawbabrewing.com or follow Catawba Brewing on Face Book.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.