Over the holidays I flew back east to visit with family on the coast of North Carolina. While there, I made my way up to the brewing hotbed that the Asheville area has become. I’m not sure what the definition of “Asheville area” is but the Asheville Brewers Alliance now has 32 breweries as members. Our good friends at White Labs are also members as they should have their new tricked out lab and tasting room open in the spring. I spent a good chunk of my time at Sierra Nevada Brewing with head brewer Scott Jennings; I had not been since their beer camp in August of 2014 (my post here) and boy did they finish the build out in stunning fashion with a serious attention to details.
The Kaspar-Shultz 10 BBL pilot brewhouse is absolutely outstanding to see and is completely open as you walk into the restaurant (which looks like it seats about twice what Chico does).
The brewery was impressive enough and their capacity after adding a last set of 6 FVs takes them to 650,000BBLS (depending on the product mix with lagers) but the detail around the property is great.
As I was only in town for the day I didn’t get to visit with as many as I had hoped but did swing by the New Belgium Brewing property on the French Broad River, they have just started their test brews and the tasting room should be open in late spring!
If you get the opportunity to visit western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains I would highly recommend it, it’s a serious beer destination!