Carolina Beer Guy: Archetype joins West Asheville beer scene

IN THE HOUSE: Archetype Brewing co-owners Steve Anan, left, and Brad Casanova are ready to roll out their first house-made beers at the brewery's grand opening on Saturday, July 29. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Asheville’s craft beer scene continues to spread across the city, including a recent flurry of activity along Haywood Road on the west side of town.

One of the newer players, Archetype Brewing Co., celebrates its grand opening on Saturday, July 29, with a day of family-friendly events. Festivities include face painting, a magic show, sack races and cornhole, as well as live music by Gracie Lane at 2 p.m., the Ashley Heath duet at 5 p.m. and Patrick Dodd at 8 p.m. Admission is free, but there will be a $10 package available that includes a 5.5-ounce Belgian-style tasting glass and five beer tokens that may be used at the bar.

Archetype, which first opened its tasting room in May with taps of guest beers, is now ready to show off its house beers, says co-owner Brad Casanova, who started the operation with his brewing partner, Steven Anan. Both were previously employed at Hi-Wire Brewing, and before that Casanova worked in forensics at the State Bureau of Investigation in Asheville — two careers that he says have a lot in common.

“When you know how to do something right and you keep doing it the same way, you can be sure that there’s never going be any fault with your work,” he says. “That’s really important in forensics and is important in brewing as well.”

Archetype house beers are Session IPA, Dry Stout (nitro), Oatmeal Porter, Chocolate Porter, Belgian-style Blonde, Belgian-style Oatmeal Pale, Hoppy Blonde, Ginger Wit IPA and Summer Saison. Casanova says the beers, which he describes as “true to style and clean,” will be sessionable, with most checking in around 5 percent ABV.

The taproom will also offer Urban Orchard Cider Co. products on tap and Last Dance Cold Brew coffee on nitrogen. The bar will have a total of a dozen taps, with two reserved for nitrogen beers. House brews are being made on a 10-barrel system and, for now, will be draft only.

The brewery is in what used to be Putnam’s Auto Repair on Haywood Road at Beacham’s Curve. “We didn’t have to do much rehab,” Casanova says. “It was kind of a blank canvas. It has a completely different look, but you can still see the [old] paint on the bathroom floor and the steel beams. There are some elements that we kept.”

The tasting room has just under 100 seats indoors and more outdoors, plus a rooftop deck that should be finished later this summer. Getting the business open has been “a whirlwind,” Casanova says. “I haven’t been able to see my family much, but we are all starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

He adds that he was attracted to the neighborhood by the opportunity to join other new businesses on that corner. Those establishments include Pizza Mind and Owl Bakery, whose food will be available at the grand opening, and the soon-to-open Gan Shan West, which will offer a preview of its menu items at 4 p.m.

Along with its bustling restaurant scene, the Haywood Road stretch has developed a distinct brewing and alcoholic beverage identity. Archetype is right across the street from Urban Orchard, and just down Clingman Avenue on Craven Street is New Belgium Brewing Co., Asheville’s largest brewery and a major beer tourism destination.

Heading the other direction on Haywood is Oyster House Brewing Co. and UpCountry Brewing Co. They’ll soon be joined by One World Brewing’s second location, a 10 barrel brewhouse at 520 Haywood. Co-owner Lisa Schutz anticipates the taproom will be open by mid-to-late fall with the brewery in production by early 2018. Also in the mix is Westville Pub’s Triple Seven Brewhouse, slated to open next door to its longtime space at 777 Haywood.

The West Asheville brewery boom is no surprise to Kendra Penland, executive director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance, the nonprofit trade group that represents local breweries.

“It’s very similar to what’s happening in Asheville in general,” she says. “Downtown Asheville and the South Slope [brewing district] developed first, but West Asheville is a unique neighborhood, and that resonates with the craft brewing industry. We are all a bunch of maverick, innovative entrepreneurial types, and there is opportunity in West Asheville.”

Penland adds, “This is a natural course of development. We are seeing mini-brewing districts popping up in South Asheville, and there is all this activity happening on the northern part of town along Riverside Drive with Ginger’s Revenge and Zillicoa [Brewing] coming.”

By Penland’s count, there are currently 36 breweries in Buncombe County and 78 in Western North Carolina. Despite more on the way, she does not believe that the new arrivals will cut into the business of existing establishments. “If you talk to anyone in the brewing business, they will tell you that you are better off being in a town with [many] breweries than being the only brewery,” she says. “Everybody benefits from the exposure that more breweries bring.”

Archetype Brewing’s grand opening is noon-10 p.m. Saturday, July 29. The brewery is at 265 Haywood Road in West Asheville. For details, visit


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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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