Brews News: Pisgah Pulse, Black Mountain brew and Just Brew It homebrew fest returns

Renovations at Pisgah Brewing

The folks at Pisgah Brewing are doubling the size of their funky indoor tasting room and music venue separate from the outdoor stage and drinking areas. Co-owner Jason Caughman reports they’re building a bigger, taller stage with more dance space. The plan is to complete renovations in time for reggae powerhouse Steel Pulse to play the brewery on Wednesday, June 1. With stages inside and out, this summer promises some rocking good times at Pisgah. And, there are some awesome-sounding new beers in the works, including a blackberry lager, brewed with fresh berries.

Welcome Black Mountain Ale House

There are 22 new beer taps in Black Mountain, courtesy of the recently opened Black Mountain Ale House. Black Mountain resident John Richardson has taken over the former Cellar Door space from proprietors Sandra and John Ewing, who owned the fine-dining restaurant for eight years.

With the Ewings’ help, Richardson has turned the restaurant into a simple, affordable brewpub, complete with dart boards, flat screen TVs and a skee-ball table. The bar offers several local and regional taps, with pints maxing at $4. Draughts when I was there included Pisgah Pale and Porter, LoneRider Sweet Josie Brown, DuckRabbit Milk Stout and French Broad 13 Rebels ESB.

It’s nice to have a new watering hole in Black Mountain, especially since the Watershed closed.

Just Economics Home Brew Festival returns

For the second year in a row, Just Economics will hold a homebrew festival and competition in Asheville. This year the fest will be called “Just Brew It.” It will take place on Sunday, May 1, at Roger McGuire Green in Pack Square Park. The nonprofit organization expects around 50 beers to be available for sampling and judging. There will be more than a dozen awards, including, for the first time this year, a Brewgasm award (yep, I’ll be judging). Now that I have some home-brewing experience under my belt, I’m feeling a bit more confident in this role.

If you’d like to enter a home brew into competition, contact Mark Hebbard at markhebbard@justeconomicswnc.org. To attend the festival, you must become a member of Just Economics at the $16 level by visiting justeconomicswnc.org. Just Economics is a regional membership organization that oversees WNC’s Living Wage Campaign, among other projects.

Bring it on, home brewers.

ABC infusions

For those unfamiliar, infusor nights are events where the Asheville Brewing Company pros run one of their beers through an device called an infusor to instill it with a new flavor (this is at the Coxe Avenue location). The combinations are always unique.

March 3: Rocket Girl with peaches and cinnamon sticks.
March 10: Ninja Porter with mint leaves and espresso beans.

Some new local releases

Craggie Brewing has released its Burning Barrel Bourbon Chipotle Porter. If you like your beer spicy and with a bourbon-fired end, try this one, now on tap at Craggie.

The French Broad Brewery has re-engineered two limited-release Belgians. First, their 2010 Belgian Stout has been retooled to be more chocolate-y and roasty. The FFBC brewers also have reissued their Flander Abbey Ale, an amber Belgian made with Belgian rock-candy sugar. These are available on tap and in kegs at the brewery and around town.

Wedge Brewing released their Third Rail IPA on Valentine’s Day. Hop heads be happy! The 500 gallon batch contains about 90 pounds of hops, which is close to twice the amount used for the Iron Rail IPA, according to head brewer Carl Melissas. Then the brew is dry-hopped with another 20 pounds of hops. Third Rail is 10.2 percent alcohol by volume, so sip slowly.

The next Brews News will include all the brewery happenings for one of beer’s best holidays: St. Patrick’s Day. Sláinte!

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