12 August 2016
From the Citizen-Times:
Altamont Brewing in West Asheville has been sold to a founder of Terrapin Beer of Athens, Ga., and will switch names to UpCountry Brewing.
John Cochran, who founded Terrapin in 2002 and helped build it into a regional powerhouse, will take over Altamont at 1042 Haywood Road. The purchase includes the next-door restaurant, formerly known as Nona Mia and now called UpCountry Eatery. The restaurant serves Southern Appalachian foods.
Altamont opened five years ago and brewer-owner Gordon Kear, made it a popular West Asheville hangout. Kear took over the former Nona Mia space last year. Terrapin is being acquired by the craft division of international brewer Miller/Coors. With the sale to Cochran, Kear is leaving the brewery. And Cochran said he was leaving Terrapin which he started with brewer Brian "Spike" Buckowski
The new staff at the new UpCountry Brewing will include Cochran, former Altamont brewer brewer Jordan Veale, general manger James Mayfield, assistant general manager Nicole Flynn and executive chef Matt Kovitch. "Jordan and I will be sitting down and brainstorming and coming up with new ideas," Cochran said. He and his family are not moving here, but he plans to be in Asheville several days a week. The re-branding from Altamont to UpCountry will take place in the next few weeks. "It's an amazing beers scene that is happening (in Asheivlle) and I'm excited to be part of it."
In a press statement, Mayfield said that Upcountry will "make beers that are sessionable, thirst quenching and easy drinking. Our customers are active folks who want to come in after a ride and enjoy a beer that cools them down but does not womp them with high alcohol content."
In the same statement, Cochran said he "fell in love with the Asheville beer scene and wanted to be part of it. Altamont is a locals bar and anchor of the West Asheville scene. We look forward to continue to serve everyone who works, lives and enjoys the scene here."
Kendra Penland, executive director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance trade group, said she welcomed Cochran to the scene and looked forward to working with the new UpCountry Brewing.