Situated between Biltmore and Southside avenues, Short Coxe Avenue is just outside the South Slope brewing district and has a quirky, old-school vibe of its own. Key to that throwback urban feel is Eurisko Beer Co., which celebrates its first anniversary Saturday, March 23, with the release of its first two bottles.
The brewery will offer 350 bottles of Saison Sec (5 percent ABV), hopped with Loral, conditioned on Champagne yeast and fermented in freshly emptied Biltmore wine barrels, and a mere 120 bottles of Table Saison (4 percent ABV), featuring Saaz hops. Both are available in 750-milliliter vessels.
Eurisko officially opened in February 2018 next to the Adam Dalton Distillery, says head brewer and owner Zac Harris, who at 29 is one of Asheville’s youngest to hold those titles. His team includes friends and brewers Zack Mason and Matt Levin, with Nathaniel Solaka working the taproom bar and Scott Douglas handling marketing.
“When you say we’re on Short Coxe Avenue, people ask, ‘Where is that?'” Harris says. ”We walked in here and thought this place had potential.”
Harris learned brewing at Chicago’s famed Siebel Institute and worked at NoDa Brewing Co. in Charlotte before moving to Asheville to start Eurisko. The brewery takes its name from a business mentioned in an episode of “The X-Files,” and the team is equally fascinated by the David Lynch series “Twin Peaks,” which inspired a daylong celebration in the taproom in late February.
Harris says he already owned a house in Asheville before relocating. “I always wanted to live here and work in a brewery,” he says. “I worked at NoDa, and that was fun, but I wanted to get to Asheville.”
As a homebrewer, Harris developed a range of recipes and was convinced he could make his own brewery work. To stand out, he says, Eurisko has focused on “traditional styles of beer,” including a helles lager, a Bastogne abbey ale, a German-style weissbier and Fashion Suicide Double IPA, which sees limited distribution in Charlotte and Asheville.
In addition to producing these house beers, Eurisko also makes room for Zillicoah Beer Co. to make its wort, and the taproom hosts weekly movies presented by the Asheville Film Society.
While Short Coxe retains some of its original gritty feel, Harris is well-aware that the neighborhood is gradually undergoing a makeover. Nearby, an old gasoline station has become the Takosushi restaurant, and condos are being built down by the Southside Avenue intersection.
“Things are popping up around us,” Harris says. “We’re a small brewery, and we feel like a small brewery. And some people dig that.”