Editor’s note: With this week’s issue, Xpress introduces new Beer Scout correspondent Jesse Farthing. If you have news to share with Jesse on the local beer and hard-cider industries or the homebrewing scene, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Twin Leaf Brewery is growing up. With its first major expansion since opening in March 2014, the South Slope brewery is about to double its size. In a couple of weeks, Twin Leaf’s small, 80-person-capacity taproom will grow to inhabit a 180-capacity indoor space and stretch its limbs over a 2,000-square-foot outdoor area.
“Now’s the time,” says owner Tim Weber. “We had a moment there where we had a little bit of an upper hand, because there wasn’t really much going on down here yet, but then Burial blew up — they have that huge outdoor space now and a great staff. Green Man is about ready to explode. Now’s the time to invest everything we can into being on par with everyone else or better than everyone else.”
The temporary wall that’s been hiding a storage area to the left of the bar is coming down, and that space will open up a new main entrance, two more bathrooms, a place for live music and more.
“We’ll finally get some cross-flow in here,” Weber says about the new entrance and outdoor areas. “It’s just hot in here. We’re air-locked.”
Weber says the outdoor area is going to be the most exciting part of the expansion. He plans to spruce it up with plants, trees, gardens and what he calls “creative seating,” due to the narrow space.
“It’s going to be a game-changer for us,” he says. “Everybody wants to sit outside in Asheville. I don’t go anywhere unless they have outdoor seating. I probably wouldn’t come here if I didn’t own it,” he jokingly adds.
For this expansion, Weber is taking over a 2,000-square-foot portion of the lot Twin Leaf sits on, but he says he hopes to eventually develop the entire 12,000-square-foot lot into a family- and dog-friendly beer garden area. For now, however, the outdoor seating area is a good starting point.
“That’s going to finally get us closer to where I want us to be,” he says.
Weber says he’s moving toward the vision he’s always had — Twin Leaf as a celebration spot for outdoor adventurers. That vision began to shape back in 2008, when he visited a friend in Colorado. “We’d always go on a massive hike and then find a microbrewery right after,” he says.
“That’s how I always think of craft beer — go on an epic hike, destroy your body, drink a couple of beers, awesome weekend. … People who go hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing … afterward you always want to get a beer,” he says. “I want to be the spot where you get that beer.”
Weber says he is also working on canning Twin Leaf’s beer to sell in-house. “I don’t want to do distribution. I want to be a locals kind of thing,” he says. “I want to do it for those people who want to grab an IPA and take [it] on an adventure with them.”
Work has already begun on the expansion project, which is scheduled to be complete by Sept. 21. Twin Leaf is open regular hours during construction.
Four Farms at Burial Beer
Burial Beer Co. will host Four Farms, a small-plate, beer-pairing event, to benefit the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19.
“Four Farms is a celebration of food, agriculture and beer,” says Burial co-owner Jess Reiser. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is a farmer-driven, membership-based nonprofit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building systems family farms need to survive and educating communities about local, organic agriculture.
Burial Beer, Wicked Weed Brewing, Fonta Flora Brewery and Haw River Farmhouse Ales — all members of the CFSA — are partnering with four chefs from their local areas to create small plates to pair with 16 farmhouse-style saisons for the event.
“Saisons, historically, were beers brewed for farmers,” Reiser says. “That’s why we’re linking that beer style with this event.”
The featured food comes from Isaiah Allen of The Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw; Cardiff Creasey of Wicked Weed’s restaurant; Obie Ferguson of Morganton’s Wisteria Southern Gastropub and Matt Dawes from The Bull and Beggar.
The event is not like your typical ticketed beer-pairing dinner. Guests will purchase a $5 commemorative glass at the door to get in, and individual tickets for beer and food will be available for $3 and $4, respectively.
A portion of the glassware sales will benefit CFSA as well.
French Broad Brew Fest
Tickets are on sale now for the fifth annual French Broad Brew Fest, which happens Saturday, Sept. 26, in Hot Springs. Tickets for the daylong festival are $75 and include a T-shirt, commemorative glass, unlimited beer samples and camping for the night. More than 15 regional breweries will be pouring, and a full lineup of musicians — including The Honeycutters, Pierce Edens & The Dirty Work and many more — will take the stage throughout the day and night. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketweb.com or at Southern Raft Supply (2000 Riverside Drive, Suite 3B).