Beer Scout: 7 Clans joins Biltmore Village brewing scene

GOT A HANDLE ON IT: 7 Clans Brewing co-owner and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians member Morgan Owle-Crisp pours a beer at the brewery's new Biltmore Village taproom. Photo by Jessica Overby

Since 2018, 7 Clans Brewing has been on the move. Initially based in Canton, the operations relocated to Waynesville in 2020. And while brewing will continue at Frog Level Brewing Co., owners Morgan Owle-Crisp and her husband, Travis Crisp, opened an Asheville-based taproom this summer at 66 Sweeten Creek Road. The location is just up the street from Hillman Beer’s flagship spot and Catawba Brewing Co.’s Biltmore Village location.

“It’s one single room — just supereasy,” Owle-Crisp says. “I didn’t have to worry about food or a kitchen or any of those things. It just made it really simple.”

The small space also makes 7 Clans one of the few local taprooms without TVs, trivia nights or live music. A rotating lineup of food trucks offers customers nourishment, but the taproom’s focus is firmly on the beer and community atmosphere.

“You can come anytime, and it’s going to be quiet and an easy, chill place,” Owle-Crisp says. “People like it for that reason.”

Collaborative spirit

Since forming, 7 Clans has canned its three flagship beers — Blonde Ale, Hop-Rooted IPA and Bended Tree Chestnut Brown — and offered modest draft distribution. But with the addition of the taproom, more beers have joined the rotation, including a milk stout, persimmon sour, strawberry saison and a double IPA clocking in at over 10% ABV.

Being part of the Asheville craft beverage community has additionally led to collaborations with a pair of long-tenured local peers. Though Owle-Crisp describes herself as foremost a mom and “the new kid on the block,” she was pleasantly surprised when Wicked Weed Brewing contacted her and proposed working together.

This past summer, the breweries released Wherever We Are Hazy IPA, crafted with beets, honey and muscadine grapes. And on Nov. 17, they tapped We’re Still Here Harvest Saison, made with honeynut squash from Darnell Farms in Bryson City, stone-ground cornmeal from Saunooke’s Mill in Cherokee and organic sassafras.

“We’ve had a really great friendship with Wicked Weed, and I think their brewers had a fun time with us, using some of our indigenous ingredients,” Owle-Crisp says.

Advocating for Indigenous rights

In March, the brewery also collaborated with Highland Brewing Co. to create The Queen’s Saison, in honor of International Women’s Day. The collaboration gave Owle-Crisp, who is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, an opportunity to spend time with Highland President Leah Wong Ashburn, a woman with whom she has much in common.

“She’s a tremendous role model and businessperson,” Owle-Crisp says. “Just getting to sit down with her for a little bit and pick her brain — especially about being a minority in the business, and this culture of people thinking what you should be like as a minority and it not always lining up with who you are — that was an interesting perspective.”

Furthermore, all of the extra exposure means a bigger platform for one of 7 Clans’ founding principles: advocating for Indigenous rights and sharing the history of the Cherokee people.

“I’ve always wanted to let people know that we’re still here and that there’s some kind of educational component to what we do,” she says. “I’ve always tried to do that kind of quietly through storytelling and sharing culture in that way. Just very low-key: If you’re interested, there’s more to learn.”

Still on the move

Far from slowing down, 7 Clan’s ownership team is exploring other opportunities, particularly in Tennessee. The brewery has been steadily increasing its production, and the time is nearing when another big decision will have to be made.

“We’ve bought new tanks and we’re getting where we’re maxed out,” Owle-Crisp says. “We have a few more things that we can do, so we’re really evaluating what it’s going to look like next year and what we need to do to continue to increase production — which is a great thing. I’m glad to be in this position rather than the opposite.”

To learn more, visit


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.