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New Belgium Brewing Co. Delays North Carolina Plant

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The Colorado brewing company known for its Fat Tire beer and other brands has delayed plans to open a plant in western North Carolina.

New Belgium Brewing Co. recently completed an addition in Fort Collins, Colo., and says the added capacity means the company does not need the brewery in Asheville so soon. The craft brewer said Wednesday it will delay construction in North Carolina by eight months.

"We don't need the Asheville capacity as soon as we thought," said Jay Richardson, general manager for the brewery.

New Belgium said two years ago it would build a $175 million brewery in Asheville that was planned to open in 2015 with up to 150 employees. New Belgium's construction site in Asheville was hit by a fire in April amid a string of arsons in the city.

Richardson said the new plan calls for the Asheville operation to begin in late 2015 or early 2016.

The removal of buildings at the site is almost complete. Company officials plan to meet with city officials, its general contractor, equipment vendors and others to complete a new construction schedule, Richardson said.

"Before, the timeline was such that it was going to be a dance between the city projects and site work. It could be done, but it was taking a lot of orchestration," Richardson said. "This might make things a little easier."

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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