It has been an incredibly busy year for beer in Asheville, and, as 2019 winds down, another downtown brewery is set to open on busy Lexington Avenue.
On Friday, Dec. 13, DSSOLVR will become the 40th active brewing company in Buncombe County. It’s also the culmination of years of planning and work by co-owners Vince Tursi and Mike Semenec.
The dream started for Tursi, who previously brewed at Burial Beer Co., and Semenec when they were working and living in Boston. They wanted to open a brewery, but, in Tursi’s words, “I would get a better job, and [Semenec] would get a better job, and the timing never worked out.”
After opening Night Shift Brewing in Everett, Mass., just north of Boston, and Lord Hobo Brewing in nearby Woburn, Tursi moved to Asheville and worked on the Forestry Camp Bar and Restaurant, which is also home to Burial’s production brewery. “The last two years, I’ve been chipping away, trying to make [DSSOLVR] happen,” he says.
Tursi notes that the downtown space had “the urban feel” the partners wanted, and Lexington Avenue would generate the foot traffic he says the brewery needs. The property also “had the historical element” that they yearned to focus on. “We wanted to restore an old building and keep it alive,” he says.
Tursi adds that DSSOLVR’s rooms in the historic Tyler Building once housed a thrift store but had sat empty for years. Built in 1928, the hillside construction presented challenges when it came to renovating the 8,000-square-foot space and prepping it for a 15-barrel brewing system (purchased in 2017) and a 3-barrel pilot system. There’s a 1,000-square-foot area of the building that will be used for sour beers.
“We ended up taking out a bunch of walls,” Tursi says. “To bring the shell up to where we could even start construction took us a year.”
Tursi says he’s been brewing a lot of beer the past two weeks to get ready for the launch. DSSOLVR has a canning system and will start with canning a cream ale and a kölsch. Packaged beer for sale on opening day. The taproom will also serve a hoppy pilsner, a double IPA, a session IPA and more, all of which will focus on local malts and agriculture.
“We will be brewing a decent amount of English- and German-style [beers],” Tursi says. “At the same time, we will be brewing American-style beers.”
While he notes that there could be some initial distribution, Tursi and his DSSOLVR crew would rather have patrons visit the brewery first. “We put a lot of effort into building this space,” he says. “It’s unlike any taproom I’ve been in before.”
DSSOLVR is at 63 Lexington Ave. Tasting room hours on Friday, Dec. 13, are 5-10 p.m. Regular hours are 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, noon-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. For more details, visit dssolvr.com.