This blog is all about Oregon; every now and again I pop my head up and try to highlight various beer-related things and news elsewhere too. One such tidbit that’s been catching my eye is coming out of Asheville, NC (of course!): Twin Leaf Brewery. I’ve been particularly interested in this because it’s being launched by fellow beer blogger (and homebrewer) Steph Weber and her husband Tim, and it’s been fascinating to “watch” the progress online.
It’s definitely a labor of love that’s been in the works for at least the past four years or so (and probably longer), and reading the progress in the blog reveals just how much forethought and planning have been going into opening a brewery—which is precisely the type of reading anyone contemplating doing the same should be doing. From planning, planning, planning and brewing tons of beer, to logo design, brewing school, and scouting (and finding) the perfect location, it’s a fascinating process to watch—and they’re still only in the early planning phases right now. They have however recently secured a location:
144 Coxe Avenue, “right on the corner of Coxe and Banks in the South Slope neighborhood of downtown Asheville.” It’s a 5000 square foot space that will undergo extensive renovation to house the planned 10-barrel brewing system, half-barrel pilot brewing system, and of course the brewpub/restaurant portion of the space. As Steph tells me, “The building is just screaming for a brewery!”
As for the brewery itself, here’s their words:
We’re going to make incredible beer and food, we’re going to share it with as many people as we can, and we’re all going to have a blast doing it!
So first, we’re going to make the best artisan beer and food we possibly can, using local, sustainable, quality ingredients. Then, we’re going to create an inclusive environment for all, educating people about beer and making them feel welcome in the craft beer world. And finally, we’re going to make Twin Leaf such a damn fun place to be that no one will ever want to leave!
So, there are a few things we want to emphasize. Fun, above all else. Because if it’s not fun, what’s the point? Then, we’ll serve up the best darn beer and food we can muster. And finally, we’ll help our customers feel welcome and included by giving them as much (or as little) beer knowledge as they desire.
Twin Leaf will be casual, rustic, and comfortable. We will be unpretentious, jovial, lively, and just a little bit silly. A sense of camaraderie will be felt by all who walk through our doors.
Of course, what about the beer? Steph tells me:
Meanwhile we’ve still been brewing our brains out at home. We’ve got about 40 recipes that we believe are show-worthy at this point, and we’re brewing up as many new ideas as we can before we open. But once we’re in operation on our 10 bbl system, the small batch brewing doesn’t stop! We’ll have our 1/2 bbl pilot system in the brewery to continually come up with new recipes. I think people will dig our experimental spirit! And on top of that, our five house beers are awesome, and will definitely keep people coming back for their favorites.
For those house beers, expect to see a Belgian-style Witbier, Belgian-style Tripel, oatmeal stout, and ESB, and probably an IPA. And you have to love the list of beers they have planned for seasonals:
We’ve got eight seasonals (or “Brewer’s Choice” as we’re calling them) down pat — Chile Ale, Comice Pear Wit, Grand Cru 100, Hefeweizen, Harvest Ale, Orange Basil Tripel, Pumpkin Ale, and Sorachi Saison. In the “near perfect” category are Abbey Dubbel, Imperial Wildberry Wheat, Berry Wheat, Citra Pale Ale (which we’ll use as a base for any pale ale), and Oktoberfest.
All of which sound fantastic.
Their next steps: secure funding now that they have their location and (finalized) business plan. Things are going to start moving very, very quickly for them over the course of the year, and I would expect to see Twin Leaf officially opening late this year or early next year if all goes well.
And I’m looking forward to visiting some day! Asheville, like Bend, is in a lot of ways the place to be for the growth of craft beer, and Twin Leaf is right on the forefront of that.