Hi-Wire Brewing has named Birmingham, Alabama, as the location of the previously teased third taproom that the Asheville-based brewery will open in 2022. The brewer’s first Alabama taproom, set to open in late summer, will join Hi-Wire’s roster of soon-to-be ten taprooms.
With expansions underway at both its Biltmore Village Production and South Slope Specialty breweries in Asheville, two additional locations are scheduled to open this year – Charlotte, N.C., in the spring and Cincinnati near the end of 2022. Alabama marks the fourth state in which the brewery will have premises with six facilities in Hi-Wire’s home state of North Carolina along with out-of-state taprooms in Knoxville, Tennessee, Louisville, Kentucky, and soon-to-be Cincinnati, Ohio.
Hi-Wire Brewing has opened three new locations since December of 2020 in addition to expanding its distribution footprint to a ninth state, Virginia.
Sheesh. That’s a lot! Was that always the plan?
“Not at all,” said Hi-Wire Brewing co-owner Chris Frosaker. “We’ve opened three taprooms since the start of the pandemic, and even despite those challenges, they’ve been really great for the brand. So, we saw the opportunity in 2022 to double down and accelerate our taproom growth.”
The decision to expand to Birmingham was spurred by the brewery’s great relationship with wholesaler, Alabama Crown, as well as an appreciation for the city and its exploding food and beverage scene.
“Alabama is already a high-growth market for us, so we see a lot of potential to really keep it going,” Frosaker said. “Plus the city really is just blossoming, and we want to be part of it.”
Prime location | Hi-Wire Brewing Birmingham will be the anchor tenant of the brand new mixed-use development Lakeview Green in the city’s Lakeview District – a vibrant, historic neighborhood full of dining and nightlife. Right across the street from Birmingham’s revered Automatic Seafood and Oysters, Lakeview Green’s more than one hundred apartments began leasing in July 2021, and beginning with the Hi-Wire taproom, restaurants and other upscale retail merchants will soon fill the property’s remaining retail space. Just one block up 29th Street from Lakeview Green is the well-curated retail and restaurant hub of Pepper Place, and a block west is TrimTab Brewing.
The Lakeview Green campus was engineered for sustainability and community access by LEED-accredited architect Tammy Cohen, president of CCR Architecture & Interiors, who will also be the architect for Hi-Wire’s taproom. The 8887-square-foot taproom will occupy one corner of the building enclosed by very efficient “low-emissivity” glass windows on three sides. Nestled within a residential oasis featuring a lazy river, koi pond, and green space with firepits, games like chess and bocce ball, and an herb garden, Hi-Wire Brewing Birmingham’s outdoor seating will open up into the green space by the stream.
Located on both a bike and city bus route as well as boasting ample parking, the taproom and the adjacent green space will be easily accessible from downtown for visitors and property residents alike. “The green space was designed for the neighborhood and the community – not just for people that live in the apartments,” said the architect of Lakeview Green, Tammy Cohen. “I think it’s just a perfect location to have the Hi-Wire taproom in a place where you can walk across the street to get some oysters at Automatic or go to the tequila bar for some tacos then come back for a beer and to hangout,” Cohen added.
Hi-Wire’s Alabama taproom will be no different from the brewery’s other locations in its mission to cultivate community and inspire fun.
Frosaker said, “Our Louisville taproom was our first brand new mixed-use development building, and through it, we learned that we can make a new building feel warm and cozy.”
The taproom, much like the beer, will be approachable and made for good times with friends. “It’ll be very bright with lots of artwork, lots of neon, and tons of communal seating with space for over 300 people,” according to Frosaker. An assortment of family-friendly games will round out the space, including soccer pool, table tennis, and foosball.