Franklin brewery readies for spring opening
As the snow melts in Southern Appalachia, the beer will begin to flow from the taps of the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in the former Franklin Town Hall.
“We’re on schedule to begin production brewing early in 2015 and should open our tasting room sometime around March 1,” said co-owner Ken Murphy. “We took possession of the facility on July 1, and we’ve been going full tilt on renovation since then. We’ll probably not install brewery equipment until the beginning of November.”
The brewery is aiming to have a 15-barrel system with 15 and 30-barrel fermenters. With that system, the brewery could potentially be able to hit the ground running and distribute around Western North Carolina upon opening.
“Overall, we want to produce a top-notch customer experience for craft beer novices and experts alike. To do that, we ‘re working to create a first-class setting and a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere,” Murphy said. “We really want Lazy Hiker Brewing to be a beckoning destination in Franklin for both locals and tourists. The measure of our success will be customers coming back often and asking other retail establishments if they carry our beer — no, make that insisting that their local establishments carry our beer.”
And with selecting Franklin as the location, Murphy sees the downtown as the ideal spot to launch the brewery.
“The people are great, the natural surroundings are incredible, and there are abundant outdoor activities — hiking, biking, kayaking, hunting, fishing. Very quietly, a lot of good things are happening in Franklin, and we very much want Lazy Hiker Brewing to be a significant part of that,” he said. “Quite simply, we want to provide quality craft beer on the southern end of the Asheville Ale Trail. The craft beer segment is still growing, and we think there’s absolutely room for another good microbrewery in Western North Carolina. Equally as important, we want to provide a vibrant destination on the west end of downtown Franklin, with the increased employment and the economic revitalization that can come with that.”