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  • Writer's pictureMatt

Sanctuary Brewing Company

It isn't all about the beer

For a lot of visitors who are drawn to western North Carolina by the booming brewery scene, it's all about the beer. That makes sense, of course, but if you ask many of the craft brewers themselves why they do what they do, they'll probably also talk about the importance of community. A lot of them started off as home brewers, after all, and they could have just stayed home and kept all the beer to themselves.

“Joe and Lisa take their notion of 'community' quite a bit beyond the simple pleasure of hoisting a cold one with friends.”

Joe Dinan, who owns and runs Sanctuary Brewing Co. in downtown Hendersonville with his partner-in-all-things Lisa McDonald was one of those home brewers before going pro, and Joe and Lisa take their notion of "community" quite a bit beyond the simple pleasure of hoisting a cold one with friends. You'll get a sense of that even before you make it inside their building just off Main Street (near the old courthouse), where Sanctuary has established its "kindness wall", a place where anyone can leave items that might help someone - a winter coat, some extra toiletries or a pair of shoes, for example - and anyone in need can help themselves.

Joe and Lisa are also outspoken animal advocates who run the Sweet Bear Rescue Farm

The Jazzy Vegetarian Vegan Cafe

animal sanctuary where they care for about 40 animals at a time. Their commitment to veganism extends to their brewery space, which they share with The Jazzy Vegetarian Vegan Cafe, run by chef, author and public television personality Laura Theodore. The brewery offers a free vegan meal to the community every Sunday as well as Taco Tuesday. The bar space is pet friendly too, and it's fun to see the variety of dogs that might be visiting along with their humans on a busy day (as always, please only bring well-socialized dogs!)

Oh yeah, the beer! It's great. Joe used to brew for Wicked Weed in Asheville and the beer menu is always creative. The Bobby Beer Jr. is a standard (it's won a gold medal at the state beer competition) and as I'm writing this now the menu has several delicious-sounding varieties including a Nectarine Farmer's Reserve Sour and the Country Roads dark beer, another gold-medal winner.

How to Find It

Sanctuary Brewing Co. is located at 147 First Avenue East in downtown Hendersonville, across from and a block down from the old courthouse.


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