Malt on the march

For the last decade and a half, Asheville Brewers Supply has been located at the head of Wall Street in downtown Asheville. From its utilitarian digs within the Miles Building, the company has trafficked in considerable amounts of malt powder, hops, pure yeast strains, Belgian candi sugar, French oak chips, canned grape juice, caps, corks and more—the nuts and bolts of the home brewer’s and home vintner’s arts.

Moving on up: Asheville Brewers Supply, owned by Andy Dahm and managed by Alex Buerckholtz (shown here), is moving from Wall Street to Merrimon Avenue after 16 years downtown. photo by Jonathan Welch

This week, the store moved. A sign on the door offered that “Downtown is so over.” Maybe so, but store manager Alex Buerckholtz wasn’t too proud to allow that he’ll “miss all the people-watching” the Wall Street space afforded. “That’s the best part,” he said, gesturing to a front window, which at any given moment looks down on a motley parade of hot-dog vendors, Segway riders, buskers and tourists with cameras.

Asheville is home to perhaps hundreds of home brewers, the sort of people who speak casually and—to the great despair of their spouses—endlessly about the arcana of specific gravity, pitching rates and flocculation. No one sort of person is vulnerable to the brewing bug; Buerckholtz says Asheville Brewers Supply sees customers from “from all walks of life.” On the other hand, the store’s wine- and mead-making clientele, he said, tilts heavily toward “your hippie types.”

The new storefront is located at 712 Merrimon Ave., across from the North Asheville Post Office. It’s big and sensible compared to the warren-like Wall Street space, where a front room was given over to sales (including a dorm-room style fridge brimming with liquid-yeast vials and hops), a middle room to malt-grinding and hop-bagging, and a back room to bulk storage. Better still, there is dedicated parking at the Merrimon location.

In time, the expansion will allow Buerckholtz and store owner Andy Dahm to stock more supplies for all-grain brewers (the anal-retentives of the brewing world) and offer how-to workshops on beer and wine making.

“It’s just an all-around better location,” Buerckholtz says.

To start your own fermentation, visit www.ashevillebrewers.com or dial 285-0515.

 

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