On the local beerdar

Green Man brewers Mike Karnowski and John Stuart hand cap Green Man Brewing's first ever bottle a few weeks ago. Green Man will soon expand capacity and, one day, may even have an automated bottling line.

Green Man Brewing’s new game plan

Green Man Brewing is still planning to expand, but the brewery is no longer going to do so in a warehouse off Swannanoa River Road. The proposed renovations on that space were going to be too costly, according to Green Man owner Dennis Thies. However, have no fear; the brewing equipment on order from California is still on its way to Asheville — it will just end up in a different home. So Green Man will expand their capacity — somewhere in town, soon. We’ll just have to wait a while to learn where.

“We want to get up to having six or seven of our regular beers all the time, plus bring back the Pale Ale,” Thies says. He’s also considering bringing back the Green Man Gold, which was one of the early beers brewed by original Green Man brewer, Jonas Rembert, in the early years (the brewery first opened in the back of Jack of the Wood in 1997).

Green Man Brewing on Buxton Avenue has expanded capacity a couple of times since Thies took the reins in 2010, and the brewing team still can barely keep up with demand. So, another expansion is in order, says Thies, a bottling line and further upgrades to the taproom probably also are in the Green Man’s future.

The house that beer built project

The Asheville Brewers Alliance will be helping to build — both with their money and their hands — a local Habitat for Humanity house.

“It’s a good way for us to give back to the community,” says Tim Schaller, ABA president and Wedge Brewing owner. “Asheville voted us Beer City, and we wouldn’t be where we are without that, so we want to give back.”

The home will be in West Asheville, and the “wall-raising” event will take place on April 20. The ABA is donating $10,000 toward the project, mostly from money raised from last year's Beer City Festival. Proceeds from that festival, taking place this year on June 2, benefit both the Asheville Brewers Alliance and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Asheville. Each ABA brewery will spend a day building the home, and customer volunteers are welcome to help.

Speaking of Beer City Fest, tickets are still available for the event celebrating Asheville’s Beer City title. You can buy tickets for $40 per person (cash only) at Barley’s Taproom, Bruisin’ Ales, The Thirsty Monk and all the local breweries (no online sales). The fest will feature 32 (mostly Southeastern) breweries and live music, including Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. at Roger McGuire Field at Pack Square Park. For more information, visit http://www.ashevillebrewersalliance.com.
Haywood County gets a second brewery

New regional breweries just keep coming. Most likely to open next is HeadWaters Brewing Company in Waynesville, Haywood County’s second brewery. Head brewer Kevin Sandefur, a home brewer who previously managed a manufacturing plant in Knoxville, says the brewery has all its permits and he has his first batch of beer in the tank. It’s a West Coast-style IPA, and it should be ready to go in a few weeks.

“Haywood County seemed like the logical choice to bridge some of the craft-beer gaps in the region,” Sandefur says. “Plus Waynesville has a great growing culinary scene that we felt we could complement.” Initially, HeadWaters beers will be available on draft in some Waynesville restaurants.

According to Win Bassett, director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild, HeadWaters brings the total number of active breweries in North Carolina to 59. HeadWater's opening raises the number of Buncombe County breweries (including those in Asheville) to 17 (counting Asheville Brewing Company’s two locales as separate breweries, which the state does).

HeadWaters Brewing hosts a public grand opening on Saturday, May 26 at 130 Frazier St. Suite 7. Follow them on Facebook for more information.

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