Brews News: On the local beerdar

Meet Haywood County’s new brewery: Frog Level Brewing Company

Folks have been asking about this new brewery, Frog Level Brewing, which opened in Waynesville a couple of months back. I haven’t visited yet, but I talked to owner/brewmaster Clark Williams to get some details about the place.

A Canton native now residing in Waynesville, Williams is a longtime home-brewer, who has spent the past two years making his dream brewery into a reality. He started brewing on a half-barrel system in September, started distributing some of his beer in October, and opened the Frog Level Tasting Room in December — all the while holding on to his day job at Giles Chemical in Waynesville. 

Frog Level’s half-barrel system puts the brewery in the nano-brewery category, but Williams says he doesn’t want to stay there for long. He’s sourcing a bigger system and hoping he can move into full-time brewing on a bigger scale. As it is, he’s currently brewing twice a day, five days a week, just to keep up.

The brewery’s three flagship brews are Lily’s Cream Boy Cream Ale, Catcher in the Rye IPA and Tadpole English Porter. The fourth tasting-room tap consists of a rotating “rare” keg, such as a Smoked Pilsner or Irish Stout.

“We’ve already got a great following in Waynesville, and we’re getting a good crowd over from Asheville on the weekends, when we have entertainment,” Williams says.

Frog Level is the first brewery to open in Haywood County since a couple of home-brewers opened one for a short time in the early ‘90s. The brewery is named for the part of town it’s in, which was once swampland, but then became a warehouse and factory district in the mid-20th century.

“Everyone is excited about having a brewery here and has embraced us, except for my father-in-law, who is a Baptist minister,” Williams says, laughing.

Current tasting room hours are 2 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 2 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Look for extended hours in the spring. Also, Frog Level beers will be on draft around Asheville. Recently, the brewery has sold their beer at The Thirsty Monk South and The Lobster Trap Restaurant, as well as from several Waynesville restaurants.

Williams claims his large back deck will be one of the few places in Haywood County where folks can drink outside. 

For more information, visit http://froglevelbrewing.com (56 Commerce St., 454-5664).

Some beery releases

Highland Brewing Company has released their Little Hump Spring Ale. It’s an American Pale Ale that comes in at 4.5 percent alcohol by volume. An excellent session brew, look for the Little Hump in 12-ounce bottles and on draft around town. Quantities are limited, though. This one won’t be around for more than a couple of months. Like Highland’s other seasonal releases, the beer’s named for a mountain. Little Hump is a 5,000 foot plus peak in Avery County.

Highland Brewing will replace their seasonal Cattail Peak Wheat beer with a new beer this spring, called Razor Wit. This wit will be brewed with Belgian yeast, orange and coriander. Looking forward to it.

Green Man Brewing is bottling some of their Dweller Imperial Stout in lovely 750 ml bottles. This 9.5 percent stout is a local favorite and the first of Green Man’s brews to be bottled (the brewery recently acquired a bottler). They’ll only have about 100 cases, and each bottle sells for $20. Look for it at the brewery at 23 Buxton Ave. and in specialty beer shops around town.

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One thought on “Brews News: On the local beerdar

  1. Cameron

    The best way to end up with filtered hoerbemw is actually not to filer at all. In the last 15 minutes of your boil, add some Irish Moss or a Whirlfloc tablet. Also, use a good quality flocculating yeast. If you allow sufficient time to ferment and clarify and do a two step fermentation (transfer to a second fermenter for clarifying after the first ferment is stopped) you can end up with a very clear beer without the danger of oxidizing or contaminating your brew. I have done this for years and end up with a very clear product without even chill haze. To go even a step further, if you all-grain mash, a protein rest at the beginning of your mash will help even more with the final clarity. I use a single cooler mash tun and when I need to increase the temperature for the next mash step, I just run off a little into a Pyrex dish and microwave it a little and pour back into the top until I reach the next mash temperature.If you still feel the need to filter, there are some commercial filters out there that either go in-line for your siphon or are pressure fed through a Corney keg system ($$), but you can end up with a filter shock that leaves a beer off tasting for a couple of weeks if you are not careful. In my opinion, if you are taking the time to hoerbemw, allow it to filter naturally, and you will end up with a much better final product.

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