Our boutique Blowing Rock® brewery is located in the center of our small destination town of Blowing Rock. So once our Blowing Rock brand grew to state-wide sales, we knew we needed to build a much larger scale production brewery in a more accessible location. In May 2013, we discovered what would become our second North Carolina brewery at the recently renovated Hollar Mill in Hickory, NC. After almost exactly one year of planning and construction, we opened the brewery in April 2014. But even while we were brewing several of our Blowing Rock beers on site, and they were sold throughout the Carolinas, there wasn’t a way for people to enjoy our beers at the actual site at what had become our largest producing brewery.
So… After a second year of construction, we’re proud to welcome you to the American Honor Ale House. Here we celebrate the American Way; and in particular, the passion for innovation & achievement that propelled America through the 20th century. The Hollar Mill was built during this glorious time in our history – from the later part of the roaring 20’s, through the Great Depression of the 30’s, into the wartimes of the 40’s, and transcending the decades of post-war manufacturing and unprecedented productivity that would follow. We wanted to create a destination with the look & feel that celebrated the design, shapes, light, and colors of the times when the mill was constructed. And we also wanted to honor the unique founding American ideals that we so cherish.
With vision in mind we retained Neill Construction of Hickory NC as General Contractor, and by Neill’s introduction, also began speaking with an extremely talented gentleman named Pete Zagaroli. We shared our vision with Pete (and his brother Charlie) for the décor that would help identify our aspirations for what would soon become the face of our new Ale House. Just when it seemed that Pete knew exactly what we were after, he then mentioned he had recently reclaimed the timbers from the century-old bourbon aging warehouses of the original Old Crow distillery! Bourbon fans know this distillery had fallen into decades neglect, and this legendary facility had been abandoned for decades. But; thankfully, its bones were still there for Pete to reclaim, and re-invent into brand-new forms. Pete worked these rich, textured woods into the construction. These woods may look like they’re stained, but this is the natural patina from over one hundred years of bourbon aging! In fact, there’s not an ounce of painted on stain on the old growth Heart Pine anywhere. In the process, we brought back to life the geometrically glorious Art Deco design elements from the century past with the forward looking designs involving Machine Age perspectives on light, form, and function.
Then… We became so enchanted about the potential for our ideas that we created the new American Honor® Series. Our first two brews; Hop On N’ Ride (IPA) and Red Rider (Red Ale) were released at our grand opening last April. We sure hope you’ll try them, and Go Places with our two new, wonderful brews. They each express new found freedoms through transportation themes, and we hope you’ll ‘go places’ with our newest series of brews.
We feel that what we’ve created here in Hickory is truly one of a kind. In fact, there’s not anything else quite like it anywhere in the country, let alone in a brewery that’s located a little more than a mile off a major U.S. Interstate with such a rich manufacturing heritage and 20th century culture. And, we’re within a short walk of the center square of Hickory, NC which has all sorts of reasons to spend a great afternoon in itself. We hope you’ll come from wherever you are as you’re reading this now, and join us to spend the day, weekend, or week! Heck, you may even choose to move here. Hickory is a great American city with a renowned heritage, tradition, and forward-looking future.
Jeff Walker & Todd Rice