The Evolution of Green Man Brewing: Green Man Brewing has changed owners. “It’s going to be the evolution of Green Man,” says new owner Dennis Thies. Thies purchased the iconic local brewery just last week from founders/owners Joe and Joan Eckert, after working for them at Green Man. He also worked for Highland Brewing Company and owned a beer distributorship before moving to Asheville from Florida.
Don’t worry; brewmaster John Stuart will continue to brew Green Man beers. “The main products are all staying the same,” Stuart says. “But we’re expanding our equipment, which will give us more capacity and the flexibility to produce more specialty beers for the tasting room.” The staff will remain the same also, except for Thies, and Green Man will continue to supply beer to the Eckert’s restaurants Jack of the Wood and Laughing Seed. “We’ll branch out and add some fermenters, but we will essentially stay local,” Thies says. The brewery had to close for several days for the permitting and licensing process, which has to be redone in the new owner’s name. During that time, the staff worked to slap on some paint, spruce up and improve some of the mechanical systems at the 23 Buxton Avenue brewery affectionately known as Dirty Jack’s. For more information, visit www.jackofthewood.com.
Inaugural brew-off and tasting: Start getting your beers ready, home brewers, for a new brew-off to be held on Saturday, June 19, from 2-4 p.m. outside of Wedge Brewing. Just Economics, a local nonprofit that educates, advocates, and organizes for a just and sustainable local economy in WNC, will host the event. I was invited to be a guest judge, but I’ll be out of town (so sad). Judges will include: Carl Melissas from Wedge, Mark Lyons of Brews Cruise, Tony Kiss from the Asheville Citizen-Times, Bill Drew of Craggie Brewing, and more (yeah, they need me for some female beer-quaffing juju — ladies?). The party will feature music and home brew tastings. For admittance, join Just Economics at the $15 level at www.justeconomicswnc.org. To enter your beer, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Wedge Brewery is located at 125B Roberts St. in Asheville’s River Arts District.
ASU beer class finals: A few weeks back, I wrote about Professor Brett Taubman’s honors class at Appalachian State University: “The Science, History, and Business of Beer and Brewing.” Taubman kindly invited me to be a community judge for the students’ final brewing projects last week. The 11 students (four female) each made five gallons of beer. There were three basic styles represented: IPAs, brown ales, and stouts. The beers ranged from a classic Stout to an ale spiced with ginger to a double-hopped IPA. “The class was a little more difficult than I expected,” says senior Krystal Trout. “There was lots of rigorous science involved.”
The quote of the day came from Catawba Valley Brewing owner/brewer and judge Scott Pyatt, who said: “This is all really good beer. I don’t think any of it is going to give me flatulence.”
Taubman and assistant Shea Tuberty are setting up a nonprofit educational brewery at the university, called Ivory To wer Brewery. Look for more to come from these talented folks once they get through the permitting obstacle course.
The Ivory Tower brewers do plan to have a couple of their beers for tasting at the third annual High Country Beer Festival on Sept. 4. Tickets are on sale now at www.hcbeerfest.com.
I clearly went to college at the wrong time. If only I were 21 again. …
Anniversary shout-outs: Pisgah Brewing recently celebrated five years of brewing organic nectars, while Sylva-based Heinzelmannchen celebrated six years of brewing great German beers. Congrats to both, and thanks for all the craft beer.