Appalachian Mountain Brewery celebrates a new chapter of independence

They’re the first craft brewers to buy themselves back from Budweiser.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery co-owners

Appalachian Mountain Brewery co-owners Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber.

Photo by Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Two cousins and Asheville natives are making waves in the world of craft brewing as the first-ever to buy themselves back from Anheuser-Busch.

The Boone-based Appalachian Mountain Brewery joined Anheuser-Busch’s portfolio after the corporation acquired the Craft Brew Alliance in 2021. But about six months ago, the brewery started efforts to split from the brand to focus on localizing its goals of sustainability and philanthropy.

“We decided that the best course of action for us to kind of retain that control, retain the focus on philanthropy and innovation that AMB’s had was to go ahead and buy the brewery back,” said co-owner Chris Zieber.

The repurchase of the brewery is a double homecoming as the brewers gear up to open their Mills River taproom on June 19. The space will offer 32 beverages on tap, from small-batch beers and ciders to seltzers craft cocktails. Plus, expect a full restaurant menu featuring a southern spin on classic pub fare.

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