Catawba Valley acquires Wilmington, North Carolina’s Skytown Beer

Family-owned Catawba Valley Brewing Company, one of Southeast’s oldest and largest craft brewers, is expanding to North Carolina’s coast after purchasing Wilimington’s Skytown Beer Co. this week.

“We’ve been actively evaluating locations for some time and have come to love the beer scene and lifestyle in Wilmington. We felt we could really integrate and contribute there,” said Billy Pyatt, Catawba’s CEO and co-owner. “We knew Hayley and Stephen from Beer Barrio, their Front Street restaurant, and a few very cooperative conversations with them resulted in us buying their brewery location. The purchase closed February 10, and we hope to be making new, coastally-inspired beverages and serving all the Catawba/Palmetto/Twisp favorites at 4712 New Centre Drive by late February.”

Family restaurateurs, Hayley Jensen, Stephen Durley, Carol Jensen, and Michael Jensen expanded upon their success at downtown favorite, Beer Barrio, by opening Skytown Beer Company in 2018. The concept featured Jensen and Durley’s National Award-winning homebrew recipes paired with BBQ and pub fare.

“When the opportunity presented itself to pass the torch to a great company like Catawba, we were excited to see them take the concept to the next level. We have worked together for years to establish a great relationship, and we look forward to welcoming the Pyatts and their family business to Wilmington.”

“The facility is beautiful, and we have some exciting ideas to quickly turn it into a Catawba Brewing showcase,” said Jetta Pyatt, CFO, Retail Ops Leader, and co-owner. “Think indoor/outdoor space, 30 taps serving favorites like White Zombie White Ale and Huger Street IPA, and a large selection of the hundred-plus draft and limited release canned beers our brewers create annually. The wonderful on-site kitchen will provide delicious, brewery-inspired food offerings.”

The Pyatt brothers are excited and nostalgic to operate the Wilmington brewhouse. Scott Pyatt, COO and co-owner, said, “This is so much like the original brewing system that got us into craft brewing in 1999. We cut our teeth making classic styles 5 barrels at a time. We can’t wait to revisit our roots and brew something special together again. Plus, it’s the perfect system to host collaborative projects with Wilmington’s beer community.”

Grand Opening and Upcoming Events

Catawba expects minimal facility closing during this ownership transition. “The building and equipment are in great shape to immediately introduce our Catawba culture and operate 7-days a week,” said Mary Mayo, General Manager of Catawba-Wilmington. “Of course, we will celebrate with proper grand opening festivities to be announced as soon as possible. As a bonus, our company’s biggest event of the year, Catawba’s annual Peanut Butter Jelly Time release party, will now include Wilmington this April 2nd weekend.”

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