Fermentation for education: Twin Leaf Brewery brews to benefit Asheville Museum of Science

Image courtesy of Asheville Museum of Science

Twin Leaf Brewery has crafted two limited-release beers to benefit the Asheville Museum of Science, formerly known as the Colburn Science Museum. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to help fund AMOS’ impending move into its new facility in the Wells Fargo building adjacent to Pritchard Park. The new location will nearly double the museum’s exhibition and classroom space.

The beers, Mass Extinction and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Mass Extinction, are both variations on a traditional imperial stout. The malt bill for the base beer consisted primarily of Maris Otter, Biscuit and Chocolate malts along with oats and a few other specialty malts. The hop bill was composed predominantly of Columbus and Chinook. The nonbarrel variant clocks in at 10.2 ABV and was aged for eight months on stainless, while the barrel-aged version boasts a healthy 12 percent ABV and spent over a year and a half in oak.

A deep love of science and education motivated Twin Leaf head brewer and owner Tim Weber to approach the museum in the hopes of contributing to its expansion. Weber, who worked as an engineer before opening Twin Leaf, spent his childhood birthdays at science museums, and he wants to ensure that his 4-year-old son gets to build similar memories.Print

“I want the museum to succeed so that my kid has somewhere to go. That’s why it was important to me to do whatever I could to help raise awareness and funding for the expansion,” says Weber, adding, “I’m very passionate about STEM education [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]. It’s important for any community to foster curiosity, and it’s really valuable to have access to a great resource like AMOS here in Asheville without having to drive to Greenville or Charlotte.”

Label art for both versions of Mass Extinction showcases the Tyrannosaurus Rex, an unofficial mascot for the museum. The remains of an adolescent relative of the T. Rex will be a central feature at the museum’s new facility, and a model T. Rex skeleton that Weber built with his son is prominently displayed at the brewery.

AMOS executive director Anna Priest was enthusiastic to work with Twin Leaf in spreading the word about the museum’s new space, especially at this critical juncture. “This is an exciting time for AMOS as exhibits are being finalized and our expansion is imminent,” says Priest. “What could be a more fun way to celebrate science in Asheville than through tasty new beers from Twin Leaf Brewing? We are honored to be a recipient of the brewery’s generosity and are looking forward to celebrating together.”

Weber adds that the museum is invaluable not only to Western North Carolina natives, but also to visiting families. “Owning and working at a brewery is fun, but it’s not going to change the world. Teaching kids about science and how to think creatively does have the potential to create that kind of change. I hope it’ll be a draw for people, both locals and tourists,” he says.

Both versions of Mass Extinction will be tapped for a special event celebrating the collaboration at Twin Leaf’s South Slope taproom 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, with a limited number of bottles on sale to the public. Representatives from AMOS and Twin Leaf will be on hand at the event to speak with the public about the expansion project and the beers.

For more information about the Asheville Museum of Science, visit colburnmuseum.org or call 254-7162. 

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