With almost 40 breweries currently in Buncombe County, it makes sense that there are many approaches to the business of making beer.
Fermented Nonsense Brewing, located in the back of the Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop in South Asheville, is the county’s smallest official brewery and has begun producing some highly unusual beverages that customers won’t find anywhere else.
Matt Vaughan opened the store eight months ago, and it’s well-stocked with craft brews including most, if not all, of the local brands. He opened Fermented Nonsense this summer with brewing partner Josh Austin, who has wasted no time in making some intriguing beers, including one out this past weekend called Unicorn Farts that’s made with Fruity Pebbles cereal. Another is a peach mango milkshake IPA, and next up is a banana cream pie milk stout.
Austin is brewing on a one-sixth barrel system that produces just 5 gallons at a time, so the beers don’t last long before he taps another keg. “We want to do some fun, experimental beers that are more unique,” Vaughan says.
Austin says he is “shying away” from traditional brewing styles. With Unicorn Farts, he dumped the Fruity Pebbles straight into the mash. Some beer purists may be aghast at such approaches, but the beers have proved popular among Craft Centric customers.
Austin says he’s limited only by his imagination and the size of the small brewing system. With only three fermenters, he brews two or three times a week. Before joining Craft Centric, he gained extensive experience as a homebrewer. He came to Asheville two years ago from Brunswick, Ga.
Craft Centric’s 21 taps are packed with equally unusual brews, like a Westbrook Brewing Co. Lemon Cucumber Gose and Mikkeller Raspberry Blush Berliner Weiss. “We try to carry the best of what we can find locally and what you might not find anywhere else,” Vaughan says.
Craft Centric Taproom & Bottle Shop is at 100 Julian Shoals Drive, Unit 40, Arden. Tasting room hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. For more details, visit craftcentricbeer.com.