Success Stories

Hi-Wire Brewing Utilizes On-The-Job Training and Scale Up Services

Hi_Wire_Brewery

Three-Ring Brewing, doing business as Hi-Wire Brewing, an employer who has used business services to stabilize and grow its company through the services provided by the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board. Hi-Wire was formed by co-owners Adam Charnack and Chris Frosaker and first produced and distributed craft beers in 2013. Hi-Wire produces four beers year-round, as well as rotates seasonal selections and in-house-only small batches. The brewery currently produces beer for its tasting room in Asheville and for wholesale distribution throughout most of the State.

Company officials met with a business services representative from Mountain Area in June 2013. Charnack expressed interest in using the On-the-Job Training program to add employees to the company. Through the program, he trained two new people in the Assistant Brewer 1 position and promoted one of them to assistant brewer II. The On-the-Job program reimbursed wages to Hi-Wire. In June 2014, Hi-Wire received an NCWorks Incumbent Worker Training Grant, valued at $11,060, to train and certify three employees in brewing technology, packaging and process technology, quality control, programmable logic controllers, and stainless welding. This training was provided by the highly regarded Siebel Institute and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. During that summer, the Workforce Development Board also informed Charnack of the Scale-up WNC program offered through AdvantageWest. ScaleUp provides business owners with education and support to grow their ventures and focuses high-growth small businesses that have been in operation in Western North Carolina for more than two years and that have annual revenues between $150,000 and $750,000.

Hi-Wire was one of 15 companies selected for Scale-Up, and the company received a $3-million Small Business Administration loan in December 2014 to expand the brewery. The company added 15 positions, averaging an annual salary of $30,000 with benefits. In June 2015, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce gave its Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Charnack. This award recognizes someone who demonstrates willingness to take a risk, personal drive, and business acumen. In July 2015, Hi-Wire Brewing opened a 26,000-square-foot production facility in Biltmore Village, quadrupling its brew capacity, doubling its number of employees, and enabling increased state-wide distribution and higher product of its products.