According to recent numbers, there are around 75 breweries within Asheville and greater Western North Carolina. And 19 of those breweries are located west of Asheville.
But, back in 1999, when The Smoky Mountain News launched, this was the number of breweries in our jurisdiction — zero. None. Not a single one. The idea of craft beer, let alone something concocted in your backyard, was not only somewhat unheard of, it never was thought to be something of an economic driver.