It’s been a brutal year for local craft brewing as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Two breweries have closed — Fermented Nonsense Brewing in South Asheville and the downtown Collaboratory — and every area business in the industry has faced major changes.
But around Western North Carolina, the virus hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from realizing their brewing dreams. Brevard’s new Noblebräu Brewing opened this fall at 185 King St. Along with the beer, Noblebräu has live music performed next to a garage door and a kitchen serving sandwiches and such snacks as chorizo macaroni and cheese, seasoned fries and Bavarian pretzels.
The owners are Madeline Magin and her partner, brewer Cody Noble, who previously brewed at Boojum Brewing Co. in Waynesville. Noblebräu has a 5-barrel brewing system, on which Noble will make a year-round pilsner and pale ale, as well as seasonal beers.
“I was happy at Boojum,” he says. “I never intended on doing anything like this, but the opportunity presented itself in Brevard, and I’m from Brevard. This is like a dream come true.”
Thus far, sales have been strong. Indoor seating is limited due to the state’s COVID-19 orders, but the outdoor beer garden space, which is outfitted with propane heaters and a fire pit, has proved popular with the cross section of beer and music fans. “We’ve been selling out a lot of shows,” Noble says. “Business is lot better than I thought it would be.”
On Sunday, Dec. 13, Archetype Brewing will open its long-awaited rooftop deck at its original West Asheville location. To celebrate the space, the brewery will have complimentary tastings of this year’s Cleopatra Complex Peach Saison and its Holiday Beer. Bottles of both beers will also be available for sale.
The 400-square-foot roof space has a sweeping view of the neighborhood and as far away as downtown, according to brewery owner Brad Casanova, who notes it will be an adult-only space, much like Highland Brewing Co.’s rooftop area. Masks are required for customers unless they’re seated and drinking, and the fire code allows for a maximum of 23 people. Live music will be offered for special events.
Archetype is also luring customers to its Broadway taproom with its monthly Small Batch Takeover event. The next installment takes place Saturday, Dec. 19, and features beers made on the brewery’s pilot system by brewers Erin Jordan and Nate Mizner. Depending on customer feedback, the experiments could be brewed in larger batches and join Archetype’s regular rotation.
Looking ahead to 2021, Asheville’s next brewery opening will likely be New Origin Brewing Co. at 131 Thompson St. near the Brouwerïj Cursus Kĕmē, which has been closed during the pandemic.
“We’re making good progress,” says brewery co-owner Dan Juhnke. Plumbing and electrical work are nearly complete, and he’s hoping to open in February.
Juhnke adds that the 1,500-square-foot taproom will have a modern and industrial vibe. He plans to offer 12-15 beers on tap, including IPAs and heavily fruited sours, most of which will be sold exclusively on the premises.