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Patrons enjoy drinks and fellowship earlier this month at the newly opened Green River Brew Depot. (photo by Mark Schmerling)
Patrons enjoy drinks and fellowship earlier this month at the newly opened Green River Brew Depot. (photo by Mark Schmerling)

Archived Story

Saluda’s Green River Brew Depot features WNC Craft Beers

Published 9:34am Monday, July 22, 2013

Saluda’s Green River Brew Depot, a taproom that opened in early July, is part of the return to small, localized breweries, many of which meticulously craft their products.

Owner Ken Smith is also half owner of Nantahala Brewing Co., in Bryson City, N.C., which brews some of the beers available at the Saluda location. That’s a good connection for locals and visitors, who can enjoy Nantahala Pale Ale, two other brews from Nantahala, a selection from Green Man, Hi-Wire and Old Hickory, plus an increasing wine selection.

Though Ken has a business in industrial construction, he has deep experience catering to the public. In addition to his co-ownership of Nantahala Brewing Co., he owned Smiley’s Acoustic Café in Greenville, S.C., for five years, and “This is about the sixth restaurant I’ve owned,” he said.

Why locate in Saluda?

“We (Ken and his artist wife Susan, whose portraits are displayed on the GRBD walls) just love Saluda,” Ken said.

When they spotted a “For Rent” sign on the building, “We figured it would be a nice way to jump into the community,” Ken said.

Ken and Susan wasted no time embracing local traditions including serving as a sponsor for Coon Dog Day.

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