Pints for Piglets

Lisa McDonald and  Joe Dinan of Sanctuary Brewing Company.

Sanctuary Brewing Company will open later this summer in downtown Hendersonville.

A piglet and a puppy walk into a bar. No, it’s not a setup to a knock-knock joke: it’s a life-long dream for. The couple has more than beer on the brain as they prepare for the debut of Sanctuary Brewing Company.

Set to open on 1st Avenue in Hendersonville later this summer, the brewery is an extension of Dinan and McDonald’s love affair with beer, as well as their commitment to animals. (At press time, the couple had raised more than half of its $10,000 goal to defray start-up costs, through a Go Fund Me campaign.)

Dinan learned his craft at Wicked Weed Brewing, where he focused on the brewery’s signature sour beers. McDonald was inspired by his brewing skills and wanted to find a way to incorporate animals into their brewery business plan.

“We were sitting around talking about this whole idea, and I said I wished we could open a brewery and get enough money to open an animal sanctuary,” says McDonald. “Then we thought, ‘Wait, they can be the same thing.’”

McDonald spent much of her career as a legal consultant, a job that kept her away from animals while she traveled.

“I was trying to cram in all of this fostering and volunteering with animals in short spurts of time, and just realized that I was trying to get most of my life’s fulfillment out of these little bursts,” says McDonald.

The pair decided that Sanctuary Brewing Company — which will feature a Hop Pig IPA, a Hendo Weisse, Coffee Stout, and rotating seasonal beers — was an ideal platform to share their advocacy for animals.

Lisa McDonald and  Joe Dinan of Sanctuary Brewing Company.

Lisa McDonald and Joe Dinan of Sanctuary Brewing Company.

The brewery will partner with several local animal-rescue organizations, including the Asheville and Blue Ridge Humane Societies, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and Full Circle Farm Sanctuary.

They will donate a percentage of their profits to these groups, and have other creative ideas to bring visibility to the cause. Dinan and McDonald have plans to host “Brunch with Ollie,” where patrons can meet their pet pig Oliver while drinking beer and picking up brunch from a nearby food truck.
They’ll also open their pub to an adoptable dog once a week. It’s one of the ways Dinan and McDonald hope the brewery will connect Hendersonville beer enthusiasts with animals in need.

“We’re big advocates of farm-animal rights, rescuing, adopting, and fostering animals,” says McDonald. “We’ve really tried to embed ourselves into the community.”

Learn more about Sanctuary Brewing Company, visit

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