Under the Tap

Craft Beer, Craft People, Craft Places

Category: Craft Places (page 1 of 2)

BC Brunch Beer

These are pages from my beer journal documenting the collaboration between Bryson City Outdoors and Currahee Brewing. We kicked the last keg in Septembero, so now it’s time to reminisce and think about our next collaboration.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

This morning Ben, Brett, and I met at BCO and jumped into the shuttle vehicle to take a trip over to Franklin, NC. Today was our meet up at Currahee Brewing with Brandon, Taylor, and Brookes to discuss a beer collaboration. Yes, I am more than just a little excited. We have wanted to do this and they had an empty tank and a plan! So today we decided to meet to see if we could make it happen.

What will we brew? What sells? What do we like? How can we make a beer that represents us and Currahee? Where will it be sold? It won’t be bottled so we don’t have to worry about co-branding issues. Name for beer? And most importantly, can I come taste the wort? Yep, I’m that person. I love tasting the future of what’s to come.

And then logistics….a pale ale? a lager? ingredients? time frame? Have this beer for our grand opening? In that case, it needs to be at the distributor by the 26th of March in order for us to get it on time.

Wheat? Rye? Hoppy/Juicy Lager? JPL? Let’s go easy drinking maybe with a bigger aroma. What hops? Citra? Ekuanot?

Around a table in Currahee’s taproom, it’s decided. We’ll brew 15bbls of an India Pale Lager. A beer that will appeal to more people and be easy to drink in the hot months of the spring/summer.

Currahee Head brewer Taylor Yates and BCO Co-Owner Brett Hackshaw

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Brett and I drove to Franklin this morning. Being in a car with Brett is like having a business meeting. He’s always so full of ideas and uses his time wisely. We arrived at the brewery around 8:30am.

Brewing a slightly hazy, India Pale Lager with 2 row, unmalted wheat and Europils malts. First hop addition is New Zealand Pacific Jade and will add just a small amount of bitterness. Next hop addition added during boil is Ekuanot and CTZ for aroma and flavor. We’ve decided to dry-hop with Ekuanot for added aroma. Next we added a German lager yeast to a keg to do its thing overnight. The yeast will be pitched into the brew tomorrow morning.

  

Now….we wait.

Wednesday, March 28,  2018

Today, Brookes brought a growler of the Brunch beer for us to try. It is a crisp, drinkable brew. Really, it’s even better than I imagined it would be. Ben, Brenae, and I will be driving over to Currahee on Friday with some swag to giveaway for the taproom release of our beer.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The night is finally here! BCO brunch beer is on tap at Currahee’s Franklin, NC taproom! Currahee’s owner Brandon  and Head Brewer Taylor are there with their families. We say our hellos, settle in and order a pint. I think we did a good job naming the beer. It embraces BCO and the fact the Bryson City just passed the Brunch Bill last month. With a slight breadiness from the malts and yeast, slight citrus ending from the hops,  and a ABV of 5.9% this is a perfect brunch beer. So refreshing. This will be perfect for spring days and sunny afternoons. A great beer for living life outside.

From L to R: Currahee Owner Brandon Hintz, Head Brewer Taylor Yates, Assistant Brewer Brookes Peavyhouse, and BCO Owners Liz Nance, Ben King, and Brett Hackshaw

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Today is the day! We’ll be tapping the brunch beer today for the grand opening of BC Outdoors Craft Beer Department’s taproom. Yesterday we decided that we needed a taphandle. Brett says it should be, “something obnoxious”. So I covered the store while Ben and Brett went to ACE hardware. They came back with a wooden axe handle! Balanced and lightweight, this thing won’t be chopping firewood this winter. Instead, it will be pouring delicious, golden pints of craft beer and starting a lot of conversations. The artwork is all sharpie. I did it while I sat at the bar and drank.

Present Day – December 2018

So now  it’s winter again. A time when things move a little slower and we can start thinking about grand new beer-ventures. The beer is gone, but the memories are fresh. Who will we collaborate with next? Should we brew the Brunch beer again? We had such a good time with the guys from Currahee. I’m looking forward to working with them again.

Stay tuned for new brews! Cheers!

 

 

 

 

One World Brewing

Visit Date: Monday July 16, 2018

I’ve passed it several times before today…..the sign that says, “One World Brewing Come Have a Pint!” A thin arrow underneath the lettering points into a shallow alley way that seems to be a dead-end. There are a few smokers on a bench holding pints of what appears to be craft beer, this is the only clue that the brewery does in fact exist down there. So this trip to Asheville, wandering the streets alone, I decided to finally stop in.

Just before the alley way ends, on the right,  there’s a black door inside of an arc of metal that looks like big barrel ring. There’s a round One World Brewing sign and another arrow pointing down. I go down three short, dark flights of stairs. At the bottom, I enter a door with a small window that looks like I might have to know a password to enter. I walk in and instantly feel like I’ve found a secret place. It’s not as packed as some breweries in downtown Asheville, however it is just before dinner on a Monday. There’s room for me at the bar. The bartender welcomes me and slides me a menu. Her name is Jess. She’s making recommendations to a couple several stools down from me. They seem surprisingly pleased with her choices. I compliment the place – she tells me how much she loves it….her job, the beer, everything. She says, “Time flies down here. I come into work, I have a few steady rushes and, before I know it, it’s 5:30 and I’m on that side of the bar.” She tells me that she tried over 50 craft beers at Beer City Fest this year and was still partial to their beer. I love seeing people taking pride in their work. I listen as Jess engages everyone at the bar. She knows her stuff.

I ordered a 10oz pour of the I’m Singing to Nelson Ain’t I Baby Brett India Pale Ale. It’s hazy, juicy, and hoppy with just a slight bit of funk. Very tasty.

Beer in hand, I find a place at a table so I can write and wait for AJ. The table is along a short barn-wood wall that separates the seating area from the brewing space. From here I can see the tanks and the brewhouse….my favorite seat in any brewery. One World is a small-batch, hand-craft, nano-brewery. They do not package, however there are a few places around Asheville where you may find their beer on tap.

I scan the room and try to take it in as I sip my beer. The door, the lighting, the music selection and sound, the feng shui, everything about the space is great. There are dart boards on the wall and some kind of Dutch Shuffleboard game that I’m not familiar with. Would love to come back when the place is packed. There’s a sign advertising open mic on Mondays at 7:30pm. Maybe I’ll try to make it back for that sometime.

For my second beer, I ordered a When Doves Cryo India Pale Ale. It’s dry-hopped 4 times with Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe. Lots of intense hoppiness, but not really bitter. Another tasty brew.

One World Brewing did open a new location in West Asheville this year! The new brewery has two floors and a huge outdoor venue and parking lot! Though it is a lot less hidden than the downtown location, it’s still a gem!

   

One World Brewing in  downtown Asheville is located at 10 Patton Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina 28801. It is under Farm Burger, with an entrance in the alley way between Farm Burger and Salsa’s. The West Asheville location is at 520 Haywood Road, Asheville, North Carolina 28806. Both locations are open 7 days a week! Visit their website or find them on Facebook for more info.

 

 

Currahee Brewing Company

          

Last month I was invited to bring my camera and curiosity over to Currahee Brewing Company to hangout as they mashed-in this season’s Kawi Coffee Milk Stout. I was interested in seeing their set-up and getting to know their brewmaster, Taylor Yates.

Taylor got his start in the brewing industry in Georgia. He had been brewing at home for awhile when a friend asked if he was interested in brewing on a professional level. He accepted and learned all about the red-tape of a start-up as they opened Georgia’s first nanobrewery, Burnt Hickory Brewing in Kennesaw. From there he headed to Moon River Brewing in Savannah, GA where he was instrumental in their change from English yeast strains to American yeast strains allowing them to make some of the great American pales and IPAs.  Lucky for us here in western NC, the state of Georgia couldn’t keep him.

My visit started at the top of the brewing process. We started talking about the beer and the  brewery while the mash tank was filling with hot water. Taylor is very passionate about what he does and is so full of knowledge that I almost couldn’t keep up! The first thing I noticed was something on the side of the tank that looked like a massive sight glass. It’s called a lauter grant. It allows you to see the runnings of what is being brewed. It started out full of water. Then the malts were added and it started clouding up. When the coffee was added it slowly started to darken and slowly I began to see the color of the Kawi itself. So cool. I love learning new stuff. Of all the breweries I have visited, this was my first time seeing one of these devices. Why doesn’t everyone have one!!??

Currahee cares about the ingredients. They know where the coffee comes from. They mill their own malts.  Taylor spoke passionately about every detail of brewing beer. Aside from quality of ingredients, we talked about wood, barrels, and the aging process. He has a lot of plans for barrel-aged beers and has already made some really tasty ones. I’m excited to hear there will be more. The Cuvee that was bottled for Currahee’s one year anniversary was a blend of whiskey barrel-aged stout and a dark ale aged with wild yeast and Lactobacillus. Funky and wild yeasts are something else that gets Taylor excited. I was lucky enough to get to try a beer that was unlabeled and unnamed. It used funky yeast to imitate the tropical flavors of certain hop varietals. My first sip was heavenly and it was hard to convince my taste buds that there were no hops in the beer. I loved it. Microbes are so intriguing. I can’t wait to get my taste buds on some more of Taylor’s funky brewings.

Outside of the bottle, I have always loved Currahee’s logo. From a distance, a simple black and white design of an eagle, but take a closer look and you’ll see the mountain horizon and a river representing the beauty of the area they’re in. The word “currahee” is a Cherokee word meaning, “stand alone”. The name does more than just pay tribute to the Cherokee, it also honors the 506th Infantry Regiment, originally designated as the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR) during World War II, a unit of the 101st Airborne Division. The unit was made famous by their role in Operation Overlord (D-Day), Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and many other campaigns throughout World War II, and the Vietnam War. Currahee is also a mountain located in Stephens County, Georgia, near Toccoa, and was the training site of the 506th PIR at Camp Toccoa. Currahee mountain became the motto and gave rise to the famous quote: “3 Miles Up, 3 Miles Down.” This quote gave way to the name of Currahee’s Berliner weisse, Three Mile.  The brewery name and the names of the beers aren’t just silly ideas, they stand for something……just like the guys behind the brewery.

Thanks, Taylor for opening up your space to me. I enjoyed the beers, the visit, and the company. And congrats! Shortly after my visit Currahee’s Kawi Milk Stout took home a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival!

 

Located in Franklin along a beautiful stretch of the Little Tennessee river, Currahee’s taproom and patio are the perfect place to enjoy a tasty North Carolina craft brew.

Mountain Layers Brewing Company

Mountain Layers Brewing Company is open! Our little mountain town of Bryson City now has two craft breweries to draw in craft beer lovers. They have done a great job of creating a place for everyone to feel welcome!  While they don’t serve food, they do have non-alcoholic beverages and pretzels to snack on. They also welcome you to bring food in from one of Bryson City’s many food establishments to enjoy with your beer. (Loretta’s Snak Shak is right across the street and will deliver to the brewery.)

A lot of time and hard work was put in, and it was worth the wait. The space is welcoming and open, the people are friendly, and the brews are fantastic. You can sample them all from one of their cute picnic table flight boards. Brewer Noah McIntee has made some tasty brews to share with us. Mark and Kim made a good call bringing him in to join the team.

Owner Mark Pettit is retired from public safety and truly knows what it means to serve and protect. As a show of appreciation and respect, in the stairwell there is a  wall to “Honor & Remember” all of the people who have risked their lives for our freedoms and our safety. Badges from many of our local rescue squads, first responders, and veterans are on display there.

At the top of the stairs you’ll find a second bar and seating area, TVs, and access to the rooftop deck. Offering great views of Everett Street, the Tuckaseegee River, and the surrounding Smoky Mountains, this may just be the place to be this summer. I think I’ve already picked out my regular spot.

Right now they are holding shorter hours, with plans to stay open later this summer. Also, stay tuned for a date and details about their grand opening taking place in May.

Mountain Layers Brewing Co. is located at 90 Everett Street in Bryson City, NC. Don’t forget to visit their website and find them on Facebook.

New Beer Adventures

I’ve been working at Bryson City Outdoors, a small but growing outdoor retailer in western North Carolina. But this isn’t a day job, this is quickly turning into more of a career move. Recently we expanded our retail space and built new sturdy shelving perfect for glass bottles and cans of delicious craft beer. BCO has always been a reliable source of trail and travel information for tourists and locals alike. Now we want to offer the same great service to our beer customers. The expansion will give me a place to utilize my craft beer knowledge and to share it with my community. Dubbed the BC Outdoors Craft Beer Department, we are a one-stop shop for all of your beer and gear needs. Bryson City locals now have a closer place to find their favorites and tourists will have a chance to take home some fine NC craft beers.

We’ve just started filling the shelves. Shopping for beer has been exciting and each delivery day is like Christmas morning. We’re also offering beer related merchandise; everything from Stanley growlers to beer bread to beer soap and candles. We’ll have a grand opening this spring, so watch out for that, but we’re selling now. So stop by and let’s talk beer! Then pick up a few you’ve never had. All bottles and cans are available in singles so you can try them all……but maybe not all at once.

Looking forward to new beer adventures! Cheers!

Bryson City Outdoors is located at 169 Main Street in Bryson City, NC. 828-342-6444

 

 

 

Bikes and Beer at Tsali Cycles

Outdoor enthusiasts everywhere have proven time and time again that we can lead healthy beer lifestyles.img_2342 Mountain biking and road cycling take skill, endurance, and strength…..and they also burn a lot of carbs and calories. Why not have a beer afterwards? Such a tasty reward.

img_2347Tsali Cycles in Bryson City is the place to make that happen. Located along the Tuckaseegee River and the border of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you can rent a mountain bike to take on local trails and end your trip with a craft beer. What better way to replace those burned carbs? Have your own bike? Need a tune-up?  Let their knowledgeable mechanics do the work while you enjoy a local brew and talk shop.

Looking for something to help with sore muscles after a longimg_2336 ride? The newest addition to the shop is Tsali Yoga with instructor Susan King. There is a weekly schedule that can be found on the Tsali Cycles website, but our favorite day to visit is Friday after work. Tsali Yoga brings together pints and poses. Enjoy a yoga session, brews, and fellowship, the perfect way to balance out your week.

 

Tsali Cycles is located at 35 Slope Street in Bryson City, NC. 828-488-9010

 

 

Beer & Wine Express

There’s a fancy new beer store near me, so you know I had to check it out…….a lot. And of course, I went back with my camera.img_5123

Beer & Wine Express is located in Cherokee, NC just off of Highway 74 on Highway 441 North. For me this is just a scenic drive a couple exits up from Bryson City. It is a family owned business and they have made me feel more than welcome every time I’ve visited. The building is brand img_5126new and the store is always spotless and orderly. They have a very large floor plan with a lot of room for growth.

 

The craft beer selection contains all my favorites and many I have yet to try. The shelves are stocked with plenty of brews from right here in North Carolina. I’ve also picked up beers from all over the US that I’ve never seen here. I wish I could give you the full list, guess you’ll just have to check it out for yourself.

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Mountain Layers Brewing Gets Tanks!

I was enjoying a leisurely morning at the house when my friend Ben called.

“Are you at La Dolce Vita?”

“No, I’m at home.”

“They’re moving tanks in at Mountain Layers Brewing.”

I got dressed, grabbed my camera, and headed out the door. He was right. Right now, even as I type, they are moving in  shiny new tanks. This is a huge step for them. A lot of hard work has accumulated to this moment. The place is buzzing, and they aren’t even making beer yet!

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As I made my way down Everett Street today I could see the big wooden crates out front and began to feel the excitement. Upon arrival, I shook hands with owner Mark Pettit and asked to take photos. Kim Pettit took me in through the back door to show me how close things were getting inside. I felt like I was part of the experience. Mark and Kim make everyone feel that way.  I was happy to see the teamwork going into getting the tanks unloaded and moved inside, which is not an easy feat.  Along side owner Mark and brewer Noah McIntee was Greg Geiger, brewmaster from Nantahala Brewing Company.  A beautiful sign of community, businesses working together to bring more people into our small mountain town.

I will be making my way back over for more photos once all the tanks are in place. I always love being a part of the action. I am posting some photos from this morning for you to enjoy. Can’t wait for these things to be filled with liquid goodness!

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Mountain Layers Brewing Company is located at 90 Everett Street in Bryson City, NC. Check out their website or follow them on Facebook to keep up with the progress.

Ales and Kindness

I can’t cND3A8035ontinue to write about craft beer in my neck of the woods and not mention Nantahala Brewing CompanyND3A2609.

Here in Bryson City, NC where the Appalachian Trail crosses Hwy 74 just 13 miles from downtown, the term “Trail Magic” refers to random acts of kindness and encouragement offered up to thru-hikers, often by strangers known as “trail angels”. The trail angels in this story are brewmaster Greg ND3A2703Geiger and the guys at Nantahala Brewing. Their random acts of kindness? A little money and a lot of awareness for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and three delicious new beers a year for us. Yea us!

I had the great opportunity to be a part of several of these releases in my time working and hanging out there. For Trail Magic #11, I zested limes for three hours. My12440593_10153502662570905_4145938362579960319_o hands were so tired, but I smelled absolutely heavenly. That beer, Greg’s first sour, was worth every minute. Trail Magic #5 surprised me because I come from a Natty Light drinkin’ bunch. My dad came to visit me at work and after trying  several beers, his favorite? The Wild Honeysuckle Saison. I would have never guessed. It was a tasty brew though, made with honeysuckles that Greg and Joe had harvested by hand from the mountains of North Georgia near the southern most end of the Appalachian Trail. While these beers were all limited releases to never be brewed again, the recipes or ideas would show up as bases in other new releases. Trail Magic numbers 1, 4, and 7; these were my favorites. All Russian Imperial Stouts, these would eventually lead to the regular release of Judaculla. Aaaaah, but I’ll never forget the perfection that was #4. For my tastes, anyway.

ND3A8551In 2015, during the Nantahala Brewing Company’s 5th year anniversary celebration we broke them all out. We tasted and reminisced.  We popped the tops on bottles of Trail Magic Ales #1-#10 and threw in two bottles of Witch’s Brew for good measure. A wonderful line of delicious beers that really show off Greg’s creativity and the love for the place he and everyone at Nantahala Brewing call home.trail magic 12

Cheers and happy trails!

 

 

Trail Magic releases happen three times a year during hiking seasons: a spring release in March, a summer release in June, and a fall release in October. Check their website and Facebook page for information on future releases.

Nantahala Brewing Company is located at 65 Depot Street in Bryson City, NC.

 

 

 

New Brewery Coming to Bryson City, N.C.

Mark and Kim Pettit have been vacationing in Bryson City for 15 years. I had the pleasure of meeting them several years ago during one of their many visits to Nantahala Brewing Company. Sharing a love for craft beer and music, and a passion for people, we hit it off. I’d look forward to seeing them every year, either in the brewery while I was working or in the audience at various performances. These were two people who genuinely loved people, art, music, and the beauty of our small mountain town.  Lovers of the finer, yet simpler, things in life.

IMG_5024The renovation of the building they chose in Bryson City started awhile back and has had everyone’s curiosity peaked. Is it going to be a restaurant? A bar? It looked cool, like a place I’d love to hang out. Imagine how happy I was to find out it was going to become Mountain Layers Brewing Company! And then even more excited to find out that it was Mark and Kim who were opening it!

Since they’ve moved to Bryson City full-time, I’ve looked forward to getting together withIMG_5021 them, but building a brewery from the ground up takes a lot of your time.  Mark and Kim have a kind of excitement about life that radiates. It makes you want to get pumped. This past Monday I had the opportunity to stop in and see how the place was coming along. Their enthusiasm made it very easy to get excited for them and their future. They have been working hard and are looking to have beer on tap sometime before the end of this year. Mountain Layers will have a bar on two levels. IMG_5023The downstairs bar will give patrons a view of the brewhouse. You’ll be able to enjoy a beer and watch the magic happen! The bar upstairs will be a little bigger and has a rooftop deck with amazing views of historic downtown Bryson City, the Tuckaseegee River, and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. I can already see where my regular seat is going to be….IMG_5022

Even though Mark and Kim have some brewing experience under their belts, they didn’t want to get in over their heads. Going from home brewing to a full scale brewery has its share of challenges. In order to keep them ahead of the game they have recruited some outside help. Noah McIntee is joining the team as Head Brewer and General Manager. Noah comes to Mountain Layers by way of Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. in Franklin.  In their recent press release, Noah had this to say, “Mountain Layers is being built on an infectious passion for community and people – two of the core traits that define craft beer culture. I’m honored to be working with Mark & Kim in this exciting venture that embraces and explores the many layers of this amazing region.” Mark and Kim commented, “Noah brings a commitment to quality and creativity as well as a genuine embrace of the community.”

Mountain Layers Brewing Company is planning to open this fall. Autumn just cannot get here fast enough. Find them on Facebook to keep up with their progress and plans for opening.

 

Mountain Layers Brewing Company™ is going to be a  7 barrel craft microbrewery and taproom.  Located on Everett Street in beautiful downtown Bryson City alongside the Tuckaseegee River. Located in Swain County at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, the new brewery is built on the belief that the mountains have layers of history, cultures, and people which are all reflected in our ancient blue mountains stacked one after the other to the horizon.

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