Gov. Roy Cooper visits Highland Brewing, declares April beer month in NC

Governor Roy Cooper signed a proclamation Thursday recognizing April 2019 as North Carolina beer month. (Image: WLOS)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper visited the mountains Thursday, but it was beer, not politics, that brought him to Asheville.

While here, he signed a proclamation recognizing April 2019 as North Carolina beer month.

It's prestigious recognition for brewers across the state and here in the mountains.

"It shows you the popularity of this industry right here and people look at us and what we're doing," said Governor Roy Cooper.

Right now, there's more than 300 breweries in North Carolina and the city of Asheville leads the way on that.

"Asheville had more breweries, per capita, than any city in the country," said Cooper.

Highland Brewing is recognized for setting the ground work for an industry that's now taken off.

It's one of the reasons the governor picked this place for his proclamation.

"This is one of the ground-breaking companies here," he said.

Highland is a family business that is now celebrating 25 years.

The brewery is led by President and CEO Leah Wong Ashburn.

"I feel like my father and the team set a great track for how breweries can be great contributors to communities, how they can be great neighbors and I think paved the way for a really wonderful community of brewers and people that support brewers," said Wong Ashburn.

Craft beer is a business and industry the governor's proud to recognize.

"It does so much for our economy when you look at the more than 12,000 jobs, when you look at the more than $2 billion injected into the economy every year - you know it's an important part of what we do," said Cooper.