Just past a Swannanoa quarry in a nondescript industrial building is a gem of the local brewing scene, Pisgah Brewing Company. Founded in 2005 and growing steadily ever since, Pisgah is the first and still the only certified organic brewery in the region.
“I like the tightness and diversity of the beer community,” says brewer Ryan Frank. “It keeps things interesting and there’s room for us all to do what we do.” Its signature Pisgah Pale Ale and Pisgah Porter are staples at bars and restaurants throughout the region. Pisgah Pale Ale is a perfect blend of rich organic malts with whole-leaf chinook and nugget hops, added for a crisp, clean profile.
Since Pisgah opened its outdoor stage in 2010, spending the evenings drinking beer and listening to music has become a tradition for many. Pisgah Brewing, while maintaining high standards for organic certification, is not afraid of experimenting with ingredients — bacon, blueberries, pepper and chocolate have all been featured ingredients. Pisgah claims to have the hoppiest beer in Buncombe County (Vortex 1). Each year the brewery makes a special beer to celebrate the Lake Eden Arts Festival, right up the road at Camp Rockmont. A current favorite among many is San Francisco Lager, a unique entry in micro brewing.
“We make a really good beer on a very small system,” Frank says. “It’s very hands-on here.”