In photos: Burial Beer Co. announces second location, plans for expansion

BREWING THE FUTURE: The Burial Beer Co. staff is pictured in the brewery's future taproom and lounge at its  second location.
BREWING THE FUTURE: The Burial Beer Co. staff is pictured in the brewery's future taproom and lounge at its second location. Photo by Edwin Arnaudin

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, Burial Beer Co. announced a second Asheville location and plans for expansion.

The six buildings on the 1.4 acre property at 16 Shady Oak Drive just outside of Biltmore Village will be transformed into a two-story taproom and lounge, production facility, restaurant and over an acre of outdoor space, including urban gardens with raised beds and an outdoor event venue. The expansion will create 17 full-time jobs and cost $1.8 million.

Burial owners Jess and Doug Reiser and part-owner and head brewer Tim Gormley estimate the brewhouse will be up and running by May 2016. The new taproom and outdoor space, they say, will be ready by November 2016, and the restaurant – a partnership with an as yet unnamed local chef – should open by spring 2017.

“We really envision this property becoming quite a little urban getaway – an estate, if you will,” Jess Reiser said.

Chronicling the trio’s move to Asheville from Seattle and opening Burial nine months later in June 2013 in a modest warehouse building on the South Slope “before it was the South Slope,” Reiser said that their journey has “been quite a whirlwind since then.” The three began with a 30-gallon brewhouse that produced 150 barrels of beer a year. With no employees, they did everything themselves, including tending bar.

The 20-barrel brewhouse and cellar will increase production from the current 1,600 barrel annual output at the South Slope location to 10,000 barrels. The addition of more fermentation tanks will bring the total to 16,000 barrels per year.

Those numbers will allow Burial’s distribution to expand farther into North Carolina, as well as parts of South Carolina and Georgia, and add three to four beers to its can fleet in 2016, including Ulfberht Barrel Aged Baltic Porter, The Keeper’s Veil Honey Saison and Surf Wax IPA.

Once brewing begins at the second location, the original 10-barrel downtown brewhouse will be converted into a system used solely for wild and sour farmhouse beers. Burial plans to launch the new line under a new brand and label in summer 2016. The wilds and sours will be available in limited supply at both taprooms and distributed in 750-milliliter bottles to multiple markets, including North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

“With this expansion, it really has allowed us to hone in on our core values and who we are as a business,” Reiser said. “We will continue to focus on consistent, high-quality products during this expansion that will strategically take the market by storm. We will provide a work environment that is sustainable, where we are committed to competitive wages and benefits as well as a thriving internal culture. Lastly, maintaining those community relationships that were the cornerstone for when we first started.”

The Forestry Camp Property was built in the 1920s and purchased by the U.S. Government in the 1930s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Program. The young men of the Civilian Conservations Corps lived, ate and worked on the grounds while helping build the Blue Ridge Parkway.

“The Blue Ridge Parkway continues to be such an important part of Asheville’s history that we couldn’t be more thankful to also be merging with that aspect,” Reiser said.

The renovation will be consistent with Burial’s commitment to taking something old and creating new life and use while maintaining its charms. The project will include such measures as preserving the original wood and cubbies in the former CCC sleeping quarters, which will become the new facility’s taproom.

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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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