Family-owned Catawba Valley Brewing Company, one of Southeast’s oldest and largest craft brewers, is expanding to North Carolina’s coast by acquiring Wilmington, N.C.’s Skytown Beer Co. The purchase closed February 10, and word is the new spot should be open later this month.
“We’ve been actively evaluating locations for some time and have come to love the beer scene and lifestyle in Wilmington. We felt we could really integrate and contribute there,” said Billy Pyatt, Catawba’s CEO and co-owner. “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.”
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.
“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 co-owner. “Think indoor/outdoor space, 30 taps serving favorites like White Zombie White Aleâ 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. Scott Pyatt, COO and co-owner, said, “This is so much like the original brewing system that got us into craft brewing in 1999. We cut our teeth making classic styles 5 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.”