North Carolina’s Hi-Wire Brewing plans to expand yet again with the announcement of a sixth taproom coming this summer to the Bluegrass State. The new Louisville, KY location will be the brewery’s second taproom outside of North Carolina, and it will make Hi-Wire the first out-of-state brewery to open up facilities in Kentucky.
With taproom number five opening in Wilmington, N.C. in Dec. 2020, Hi-Wire Brewing currently has four retail taprooms in North Carolina and a fifth in Tennessee, and the brewery’s distribution area has grown to nine states since opening in 2013 with the expansion to Virginia and Indiana in 2020. This recent growth comes even in the face of the continued pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taprooms are a core revenue stream for our company, especially given our current climate. They create brand ambassadors in those markets. They create jobs and increase wholesale sales in the region,” says Hi-Wire Brewing co-owner Bryna Frosaker.
Tell us more! Located at 642 Baxter Avenue in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood, the 5500-square-foot taproom will be the brewery’s first location in a mixed-use development with retail on the first floor and apartments above.
“We are excited about the built-in community aspect of this,” expressed Chris Frosaker, co-owner. Situated on a street with a number of other bars and restaurants including Louisville’s first dog bar, PG&J’s Dog Park Bar, and Holy Grale, Hi-Wire Brewing Louisville seeks to be a gathering spot for the neighborhood. The taproom will feature a colorful 360-degree interior mural, a bar with twenty-one taps of Hi-Wire beer, including year-rounds, seasonals, specialties, sours, and one-offs as well as three wine taps, and a variety of family-friendly activities including soccer pool, table tennis, foosball, and shuffleboard. Frosaker notes that the brewery prizes “comfortable, fun, and eye-catching locations” that cultivate community and inspire fun, and he believes Louisville fits the Hi-Wire vibe perfectly.
Hi-Wire Brewing’s continued expansion with physical locations focuses on a reciprocal approach. The brewery tends to choose markets that have growing Hi-Wire distribution for their retail taprooms in order to give already interested customers the opportunity for tangible experiences with their beer.
“When customers can experience our brand first hand in one of our locations, we believe they will be more invested in our product in the long term,” says Chris Frosaker. With locations as far as 690 miles apart driving, each taproom is unique but feels cohesive with the company’s vibrant, easy-going brand due to consistent communication between the taproom leaders, Hi-Wire owners, sales team, and marketing department. Frosaker adds, “We got into this business to have fun, and we all love to travel, so this is a great excuse to do so.”