Carolina Beer Guy: Meet brewer Pete Langheinrich

CLIMBING THE LADDER: Pete Langheinrich worked his way out of of the kitchen to become head brewer at Asheville Brewing Co. Photo courtesy of Asheville Brewing Co.

The men and women who make the area’s most popular brews often work in the background, unknown to most beer drinkers. In honor of their creativity that powers the local brew scene, Xpress is starting a series of brewer profiles, shedding some light on these talents. First up is Pete Langheinrich, who worked his way out of the kitchen to become head brewer at Asheville Brewing Co.

How he got started: Langheinrich, originally from the Chicago area, came to Asheville in 2007 with now-wife, Amanda, unsure what he would do for a career. They now have a son, Arlo. Langheinrich had been in school in Charlotte, studying such subjects as filmmaking. “I had been a kitchen guy my whole life, working in pizza shops,” he says. “We came to Asheville for music and mountain biking.”

Getting into beer: Langheinrich first connected with the local beer scene at French Broad River Brewery, where he learned the brewing process. He also found kitchen work at Asheville Pizza and Brewing, whose family vibe appealed to him. “I was pestering [founding brewer] Doug Riley for a brew shift,” he says. “Finally, a brewer left, and Doug said, ‘Go get it.’ I hit the ground running.”

First beer creations: The Ashevillain Black IPA. Langheinrich also developed Perfect Day IPA, which has become one of the brewery’s best sellers. Since joining the brewery, he’s made well over 100 different beers. “I’m definitely a big hops guy, but I like a lot of different beer styles,” he says.

What makes an IPA: “There is no limit to what you can do with an IPA,” Langheinrich says. “Every time you turn around, someone is approaching IPA in a different way. The hops varieties that come out can add lemon, melon and pepper [flavors]. The definition of IPA is getting broader and broader. It’s a tough question.”

What’s next: Lately, Langheinrich has enjoyed collaborating with other breweries, such as the new Zillicoah Beer Co. He also wants to get into barrel-aging. He’s thinking ahead to warmer weather when Carolina Mountain Imperial Stout returns. “And we will do more experimental beers,” he says.

Paying it forward: Langheinrich says he enjoys giving new employees an opportunity to grow. “There are a couple of people who I have hired and kicked it for us, and now they are head brewers or are opening breweries [in other cities],” he says. “I like to collaborate. If someone has an idea, I want to talk about it.”

Got an idea for a brewer profile? Email Tony Kiss at


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Carolina Beer Guy: Meet brewer Pete Langheinrich

Leave a Reply to justsayin' ×

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.