Carolina Beer Guy: Ginger’s Revenge brings snappy ginger beer to Asheville

SPICE OF LIFE: David Ackley and Cristina Hall recently opened Ginger's Revenge ginger beer brewery and taproom in the River Arts District.
SPICE OF LIFE: David Ackley and Cristina Hall recently opened Ginger's Revenge ginger beer brewery and taproom in the River Arts District. Photo by Benson Schliesser

In a town with plenty of IPAs, porters and pale ales, Asheville’s new Ginger’s Revenge brewery is doing something altogether different.

The brewery at 829 Riverside Drive is making a line of snappy ginger beers. Brewer David Ackley introduced the beers at Asheville’s Just Brew It homebrew festivals in 2013 and 2015, when they were well-received and twice won awards.

That led to a decision to brew Ginger’s Revenge for the public, Ackley says. The brewery, now open Thursdays-Sundays in the Ramp Studios building, is serving the original Ginger’s Revenge, a pear-rosemary ginger beer and a honey-chamomile ginger beer.

A spicier Ginger’s Revenge may be next to join the line. “We’ve had several people ask for a more aggressive ginger beer,” he says.

For now, Ginger’s Revenge is only on draft at the brewery tasting room, but Ackley is looking to eventually grow distribution in the Asheville area. He also has a bottling machine that could be going by summer. Refillable grower bottles will soon be offered.

Ackley, a homebrewer, was living in Panama when he decided to first brew a ginger beer because traditional beer ingredients weren’t available. On visits back to the states, “we would pack our suitcases with grain and hops” for the return trip, he says. “A cousin introduced me to alcoholic ginger beer, and I started making it. The product kind of found us.”

It took a couple of years for Ackley and partner Cristina Hall to pull the brewery together, including finding the right space and getting needed permits. “It’s been a long time coming,” he says.

Ginger’s Revenge is made with organic ginger, most of it from Hawaii. Cane sugar, a propriety blend of spices, and lemon and lime juice round out the ingredients. The original Ginger’s Revenge contains 5.2 percent alcohol.

The brewery occupies 7,800 square feet of space, with about 2,200 for the public, he says. There’s plenty of parking at the site. A grand opening is set for Saturday, April 1, with food and music. Seating is indoors.

While the location may not be as familiar as some in Asheville, “it’s a straight shot down Broadway Street from downtown and two miles from the River Arts District on Riverside Drive,” Ackley points out.

The grand opening celebration is Saturday, May 13. The taproom and brewery are at 829 Riverside Drive. Hours this weekend are 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2-8 p.m. Sunday. For details and updates on plans for the grand opening, look for Ginger’s Revenge on Facebook and Instagram or visit gingersrevenge.com.

Follow Tony Kiss on Facebook at Carolina Beer Guy and on Twitter at BeerGuy TK. Email him at avlbeerguy@gmail.com

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About Tony Kiss
Tony Kiss covers brewing news for the Xpress. He has been reporting on the Carolina beer scene since 1994. He's also covered distilling and cider making and spent 30 years reporting on area entertainment. Follow me @BeerguyTK

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