Interviews with Innovators spotlights local brewing success

The Brewing industry will be highlighted in A-B Tech Community College’s monthly program, “Interviews with Innovators,” featuring interviews with area professionals and A-B Tech alumni who will speak on the inside story on how they achieved their success.
Hosted by A-B Tech’s Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, Jon R. Wiener, Ph.D., the next installment will be at noon, Friday, Oct. 4, in Ferguson Auditorium on the Asheville campus. Mike Rangel, President of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, and Jeff Irvin, A-B Tech’s Brewmaster, will be the panelists during the one-hour session.

Rangel moved to Asheville in 1995 and opened Asheville Pizza Company. In 1998, he expanded into a location with an existing brewery and called it Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. He has opened a second location downtown primarily as a brewery, focused on the brand “Asheville Brewing Company” and has the number one selling packaged craft brew in Asheville – the “Shiva IPA”. He founded Asheville Brewers Alliance and served as its president for two years.
Irvin was selected as A-B Tech’s Brewmaster in July 2013. Graduating with a degree in biology from Iowa State, he enrolled in the University of California – Davis Master Brewers program. After completing, he became the Master Brewer for Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames, Iowa.

Irvin has been charged with instructing and supervising curriculum and non-curriculum students and monitoring the College’s brewing facilities and equipment. A-B Tech’s new two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Brewing, Distillation and Fermentation offers students the opportunity to experience the hands-on production side off the industry along with the skills required to market/distribute and manage brewing facilities and products.

The remaining program for the fall semester will be a panel of non-profit leaders on November 1. All sessions are free and open to the public.

About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at

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