With sunshine spilling into the taproom of Currahee Brewing Company in Franklin one recent afternoon, brewmaster Taylor Yates is all smiles. A hearty beverage raised high, the sun’s rays are a cherry on top of the big news currently floating around the facility.
“For us being so new, this is a huge thing,” he said. “We’re still trying to get established. Something like this on a national level just does wonders for us. When you’re new, it really gets you that exposure and notoriety you hope for.”
When the Town of Canton relaunched its Labor Day Festival a couple years ago, it was in a crucial move to reinvent the century-old event — and also the downtown itself.
The opening of the new BearWaters Brewing in Canton is a great shot in the arm for one of most unique towns in this region. But there’s more than just a brewery happening in Canton, and we hope the recent successes continue to create momentum.
Canton is a mill town. The paper mill that dominates its landscape opened in 1909 as Champion Paper and continues churning out items like Starbucks coffee cups and cardboard for juice and milk containers today under the umbrella of Evergreen Packaging. It and its sister plant in Waynesville still employ more than 1,000 workers, a rarity for a Western North Carolina manufacturer these days.
It was weird.
Driving around downtown Canton this past weekend, it was weird to have a hard time finding a parking space. In most Western North Carolina communities during the busy summer tourist season, this is the norm. But, for the blue-collar paper mill town of Canton, finding a parking spot has never been an issue.
Even before BearWaters Brewing announced its intentions to leave Waynesville for nearby Canton, the town has touted itself as Haywood County’s most desirable place in which to locate a business.
After operating in Waynesville for the past four years, BearWaters Brewing will be making a big move to downtown Canton.
Two breweries that nearly found themselves pitted against each other in a trademark lawsuit may soon make amends in the spirit of brotherly beermaker love, but also out of mutual gain.
Beer had been flowing from the taps of Headwaters Brewing Company in Waynesville for just a few months when the bad news arrived — a cease-and-desist letter from another brewery claiming rights to Headwaters’ name.
Victory Brewing Company out of Pennsylvania makes a beer called Headwaters Pale Ale, and while Headwaters Brewery had its name first, Victory Brewing beat them to the trademark punch.