The Brewery District. Suds Slope. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no denying the momentum building south of downtown for beer businesses.
HiveMind, Asheville’s newest confirmed brewery-in-planning, announced it is moving into 101 S. Lexington Ave. with the goal of opening by this summer. Sales and marketing lead Andy Roberts says the CEO will be Josh Bailey, of Asheville Brewery Tours, and that the two companies will work together. “We’ll have more details soon, but for now all we’re sharing is that we will be a taproom focusing on local Asheville beers and a modest lineup of our own brews. A brew-inspired food menu and multiple platforms for brew education round out our ‘all things beer’ vision.”
Roberts says the rest of the management team includes Gary Sernack, head brewer; and Josh Dillard, executive chef. Sernack has worked for the Admiral and Zambra and Dillard for Asheville Pizza and Brewing as well as Zambra.
Check mountainx.com/beer for more information on the brewery as it breaks.
Twin Leaf celebrates one year
Around the corner, Twin Leaf has a variety of events and new releases building up to its first anniversary.
For Valentine’s Day, Twin Leaf will have not one, not two, but three events. The first is a spin on its recurring Mutt Mingles at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb 12. In addition to the usual mingle — which features adoptable dogs in need of a forever home and 10 percent of beer proceeds going to Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue — there will be a “kissing booth” with a supercute pup and other Valentine’s treats.
Twin Leaf will kick things off at 10:15 a.m. with a Valentine’s Day edition of its Beer Yoga series with Andrea Rich ($12 in advance or $15 at the door for an hour of yoga and a beer). At 7 p.m., the brewery will play host to an Anti-Valentine’s Day Singles Mixer. Co-owner Steph Estela says to expect a special chocolate cherry stout on tap and Vortex doughnuts as well.
On Tuesday, Feb 24, at 6 p.m., Twin Leaf will host the Root Down food truck for a unique take on a beer dinner. Four courses of Creole southern street food will be paired with Twin Leaf beers (for a reservation, call 774-5000). Finally, co-owner and brewer Tim Weber brewed an imperial Mexican chocolate stout dubbed MDXXI to celebrate the big anniversary, which rolls around on March 8. “Our Mexican Chocolate Stout is easily our most sought-after beer to date, so we’re amping up that recipe to the imperial level to celebrate this amazing first year,” says Estela. What’s more, Twin Leaf will bottle a very limited quantity and release it starting at noon.
Sticking with the South Slope theme, Catawba Brewing is starting the hiring process for its new brewery and tasting room at 32 Banks Ave. Asheville operations manager Shelton Steele says the company is now taking resumes for shift manager, beer-tender and barback for both the Banks and Biltmore locations. “Catawba’s proud to offer new jobs to the Asheville community, and we’re excited to see our close-knit Catawba family get a lot bigger.” To apply, send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oskar Blues expands options at tasting room
For the past couple of years, Oskar Blues has done its best to share small-batch beers on tap and on cask at its tasting room. However, with just eight taps and a handful of beers that have to be flowing (just imagine going to OB and finding Dale’s Pale Ale without a handle), tap lines were limited for the specialties.
Happily, that’s no longer the case as the brewery has expanded to 16 tap lines. Oskar Blues says to expect a combination of beers brewed in Brevard and beers brewed on the Lyons, Colo., pilot system. This means selections will include collaborations with breweries not available in North Carolina, like the upcoming OB collaboration beers with Perrin Brewing Co. and Blank Slate Brewing Co.
This also greatly expands the unique beers available to-go, since Oskar Blues will fill just about any of its beers in a Crowler — a 32-ounce sealable can version of the growler.
New beers from Asheville Brewing
Asheville Brewing owner Mike Rangel says it’s almost too late, but there are a few bottles still left of Carolina Mountain Monster. The Russian imperial stout is the brewery’s biggest beer ever at 12.5 percent. It’s also the only local beer that is not only sealed with wax, but also features a different set of googly eyes on each bottle. (If that doesn’t beg to be added to your cellar, I don’t know what does.) And what would Valentine’s Day be without its very own ninja? Just like the recent holiday-inspired Ninjabread Man, Love Ninja is a riff on the brewery’s flagship — and World Beer Cup gold medal winning — Ninja Porter. However, this one doesn’t pack any spices. It’s flavored with raspberry instead.