RANCH-STYLE: Oskar Blues will refurbish many of the original buildings on the property of its REEB Ranch in Hendersonville for use as guest lodgings. Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues

Beer scout: Oskar Blues launches its first off-site project in WNC

In Colorado, Oskar Blues has plenty of side-projects. There’s CHUBurger, which is their take on a fast-casual burger joint. There’s Cyclhops, a bike cantina, where they combine a taco and tequila restaurant with REEB Cycles, their own brand of bikes. There’s the Bonewagon, a smokehouse on wheels. And they even have a farm, dubbed Hops & Heifers, where they grow hops and raise cows on spent brewing grain for their restaurants.

GROWTH SPURT: Hi-Wire Brewing owners Chris Frosaker, left, and Adam Charnack, right, are increasing distribution by 75 percent. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

Beer scout: Men on a wire

When Hi-Wire Brewing opened last summer, they pretended a circus was coming to town. The owners made sure that everyone who kept an eye on the beer scene knew something was about to happen, but they didn’t give much away ahead of time. Then, after weeks of hype, Hi-Wire revealed its big surprise: It would package its beers in 12-ounce bottles, just like Highland and Green Man, and sell them in six-packs right out of the gate.

MIX IT UP: David Maida drew many repeat samplers at the Just Brew It festival with a half-dozen flavored syrups in addition to his two beers. Photo by Thom O'Hearn

Beer scout: Homebrewers add flavors with syrups

Asheville Beer Week’s Just Brew It! Homebrew Festival is one of the most interesting events of the year. All stripes of homebrewers showcase all sorts of beer, with no commercial constraints (you know, like worrying if anyone is willing to buy it). So if a brewer is passionate about classic styles, she might serve a stellar Belgian Golden Strong or Altbier. The IPA-obsessed keep multiple taps of hoppy goodness flowing. And of course there are the mad scientists.

PICKLE PAIR: Brandi Morrow and Beau Martin are getting ready to take their pickle-making business to the next level. Photo by Micah Wilkins

Brine and brews: Green River Picklers plans to expand in Weaverville

“Nobody would be alive without pickles and beer,” says Beau Martin, co-owner of Green River Picklers. Alcoholic beverages saved people from water-borne illnesses, and pickled and fermented foods got people through the winter long before water filters and grocery stores provided year-round produce, he explains. Bringing brine and beer together in the form of pickle-and-beer tastings is one of the first things Martin and co-owner Brandi Morrow want to do after their planned expansion to a new space in Weaverville.

Photo by Sarah Arnaudin

Beer Week: The spectacular Skillet six

Looming in the distance throughout Beer Week has been Burial Beer Co.’s Skillet Donut Stout Six Ways. On Friday, May 30, the weeks of patiently waiting came to an end as the Buxton Avenue brewery triumphantly presented their staple 8 percent ABV brew (quite possibly the best beer in town, flagship or otherwise) aged with six different adjuncts. […]

Photo by Sarah Arnaudin

Beer Week: Hop heads

Putting their own spin on Thirsty Thursday, Burial Beer Co. and its South Slope neighbor, Twin Leaf Brewery, unveiled Follow the Hops, their special Beer Week collaboration and hopefully the first of many co-ventures. Working from the same base recipe, a dozen different beers were dry-hopped with a single hop then shared with the public on […]

The super-cast of heroes and villains at LAB's superhero-themed beer dinner.

Beer Week: Super beer, food and entertainment at the LAB

You know you’ve stumbled upon a special beer week event when you start the night off with a “beermosa” and end with a silly string fight. The LAB’s superhero-inspired beer dinner experience challenged the beer dinner status quo with its combination of live comedy, video, audience participation (complete with costumes for the staff and more dedicated attendees) and, of course, six courses of thoughtfully paired beer and food courses.

Photo by Sarah Arnaudin

Beer Week: Roundup of last weekend’s local special releases

Out-of-towners like Goose Island and Dogfish Head are set to descend upon Asheville as Beer Week rolls along, but the opening weekend belonged to a handful of local breweries and their special releases. Getting the festivities started was the Asheville Brewers’ Alliance White IPA. Made especially for Beer Week with input from 20 WNC brewers and made at Catawba […]

Thirsty Monk Woodfin_2

Thirsty Monk opens in Woodfin

Thirsty Monk’s original downtown location had character built right in. Even in Asheville’s funky downtown, it’s hard to miss a corner building that’s painted bright purple. Both the upstairs bar and the downstairs Belgian bar have their quirks — the latter is literally in the basement — and the entire building has a comically low capacity. So […]

CAN DO: Oskar Blues is known for breaking down stereotypes about canned beer. With the release of Old Chub Nitro, it will become the first U.S. brewery to package nitrogenated beer in cans. Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery

Beer scout: Oskar Blues goes nitro

Sure, Oskar Blues is known for their great beer, but founder Dale Katechis has also made a name for the company when it comes to canned beer. It is widely credited as the first craft brewer to package in cans, and it’s been breaking down the stereotype that canned beer = bad beer for more than a decade. Soon, Oskar Blues will take it a step further and be the first U.S. brewery to package “nitro” beer in cans. Those fine, cascading bubbles will now be available in Old Chub, a malt-driven Scottish ale, thanks to a widget inside each can that will release nitrogen when the beer is opened.