Digging In To Your Territories

A newer mantra for breweries has been “deeper, not wider” in terms of growth plans. Instead of sending beer farther away from their home base, many have opted to make their current territories a priority and work at getting more consumers to connect their brand.

This past weekend, Asheville, North Carolina’s Hi-Wire Brewing (which has it’s production facility and two taprooms in the city) dug in to show they want to capture a segment of consumers in Durham — a city three hours east of home base.

The brewery already has sales reps (which they call “Beer Jugglers”) in just about every market they distribute to. It’s able to show customers, retail accounts and wholesalers who they are as people and as a company.

“Nothing, however, can beat having a physical presence somewhere, though, to show our customers and fans that we’re serious about our commitment to a city,” said co-owner Adam Charnack. “Having a taproom in Durham shows Durham, and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Triangle at large, that we’re committed to deepening our ties to that community and to providing the best and most innovate beers to loyal, tried-and-true fans.”

The 10,522-square-foot, 24-tap space includes one-offs, sours, guest wines and ciders. called Hi-Wire “a anchor tenant in a rather large development” in Durham.

“Our financial partners understand its importance as well as our brand’s strong sales trajectory, and have been amenable to supporting us as we grow,” he noted.

This is the first location that they brewery has opened outside of Asheville. Charnack said that they were able to take what had worked for them in Asheville — the layout, the feel/vibe, the neighborhood — and apply those lessons to the Durham location.

“That said, there are always pitfalls,” he said. “The most important of which are to be flexible, understand that a “timetable” is never set in stone, and to be flexible. Did I already say that? At end of the day, the work to be done is tremendous, but the satisfaction after it’s done is equally so.”

Charnack said that Hi-Wire’s brand reflects their desire to have a laid-back, low-key, yet fun and entertaining space.

“It’s also important to us that our spaces add to the neighborhood, so we strongly value repurposing older buildings, particularly in urban neighborhoods,” he explained. “So we honestly looked at our values and what we think both we and our consumers would want in a taproom and just did that.

“We’re really focused on bringing our brand and experience to Durham while respecting and integrating its culture into what we do.”

Photo credit: Javier Bolea

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