Brews News: On the local beerdar

Green Man Brewing’s new game plan

Green Man Brewing is still planning to expand, but the brewery is no longer going to do so in a warehouse off Swannanoa River Road. The proposed renovations on that space were going to be too costly, according to Green Man owner Dennis Thies. However, have no fear; the brewing equipment on order from California is still on its way to Asheville — it will just end up in a different home. So Green Man will expand their capacity — somewhere in town, soon. We’ll just have to wait a while to learn where.

“We want to get up to having six or seven of our regular beers all the time, plus bring back the Pale Ale,” Thies says. He’s also considering bringing back the Green Man Gold, which was one of the early beers brewed by original Green Man brewer, Jonas Rembert, in the early years (the brewery first opened in the back of Jack of the Wood in 1997).

Green Man Brewing on Buxton Avenue has expanded capacity a couple of times since Thies took the reins in 2010, and the brewing team still can barely keep up with demand. So, another expansion is in order, says Thies, a bottling line and further upgrades to the taproom probably also are in the Green Man’s future.

The house that beer built project

The Asheville Brewers Alliance will be helping to build — both with their money and their hands — a local Habitat for Humanity house.

“It’s a good way for us to give back to the community,” says Tim Schaller, ABA president and Wedge Brewing owner. “Asheville voted us Beer City, and we wouldn’t be where we are without that, so we want to give back.”

The home will be in West Asheville, and the “wall-raising” event will take place on April 20. The ABA is donating $10,000 toward the project, mostly from money raised from last year’s Beer City Festival. Proceeds from that festival, taking place this year on June 2, benefit both the Asheville Brewers Alliance and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Asheville. Each ABA brewery will spend a day building the home, and customer volunteers are welcome to help.

Speaking of Beer City Fest, tickets are still available for the event celebrating Asheville’s Beer City title. You can buy tickets for $40 per person (cash only) at Barley’s Taproom, Bruisin’ Ales, The Thirsty Monk and all the local breweries (no online sales). The fest will feature 32 (mostly Southeastern) breweries and live music, including Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Roger McGuire Field at Pack Square Park. For more information, visit http://www.ashevillebrewersalliance.com.

Haywood County gets a second brewery
New regional breweries just keep coming. Most likely to open next is HeadWaters Brewing Company in Waynesville, Haywood County’s second brewery. Head brewer Kevin Sandefur, a home brewer who previously managed a manufacturing plant in Knoxville, says the brewery has all its permits and he has his first batch of beer in the tank. It’s a West Coast-style IPA, and it should be ready to go in a few weeks.

“Haywood County seemed like the logical choice to bridge some of the craft-beer gaps in the region,” Sandefur says. “Plus Waynesville has a great growing culinary scene that we felt we could complement.” Initially, HeadWaters beers will be available on draft in some Waynesville restaurants.

According to Win Bassett, director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild, HeadWaters brings the total number of active breweries in North Carolina to 59. HeadWater’s opening raises the number of Western North Carolina breweries (including those in Asheville) to 17 (counting Asheville Brewing Company’s two locales as separate breweries, which the state does).

HeadWaters Brewing’s taproom’s public grand opening is planned for Saturday, May 26 at 130 Frazier Street, Suite 7. Follow them on Facebook for more information.

Pisgah Brewing co-owner joins new gastropub venture
The Trailhead restaurant and bar opened last week in Black Mountain, in the space which most recently housed The Watershed bar and music venue. The new venture is a collaboration between four friends and local small-business owners: Jason Caughman of Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain; Aaron Thomas of Nine Mile in Montford; Roland Knoll of the Lucky Otter in West Asheville; and Mike Flanagan, restaurant-business veteran.

The Trailhead currently offers nine Pisgah Brewing beers on draft, with another 10 taps waiting to be filled on the funky concrete tap wall (shaped like the Seven Sisters mountain range, of which Black Mountain is one). Caughman says he wants to offer other North Carolina beers, such as those brewed by Asheville’s Green Man Brewing and Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem. The restaurant probably will offer locally brewed Buchi and root beer made by Heinzelmannchen Brewery in Sylva, he adds.

The food menu offers a variety of high-end pub food, from wings to burgers to a cocoa-rubbed tuna steak, served with mashed potatoes and asparagus and marinated fried chicken with kale and sweet-corn pudding. The huge bowl of mussels in a spicy Thai coconut broth is worth every penny (priced at $9.95). Caughman says the owner team developed the menu together, with each person bringing certain must-have food items to the table. From conception to renovation to opening took about a year, according to Caughman.

The décor is a hodgepodge of arts-and-crafts meets Appalachia meets modern gastropub; the bar made of old barn wood. Natural rhododendron railings grace the corners while red glass drop lighting provides ambiance. The venue has a small stage for music and a porch where music may be offered on weekends. The Trailhead is located at 207 W State St. in Black Mountain. Hours are 10 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Check their Facebook page for more information.

 

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