Beer brewing is booming and Transylvania County is home to four beer makers.
The nationally recognized Oskar Blues, which was founded in 2002 in Colorado, has operated its East Coast hub in Brevard since 2012. Known for its iconic Dale’s Pale Ale, the brewery is also recognized for spearheading the movement to put craft beers in cans. The brewery’s founder, Dale Katechis, chose Brevard because of, among other reasons, the quality of life the area provides, particularly the mountain biking. Oskar Blues Brewery, which may be toured for free, is located off the Old Hendersonville Highway at 342 Industrial Drive in Brevard and includes The Tasty Weasel Taproom, which is open to the public daily. The Oskar Blues CHUBwagon food truck is also often on-hand and serves up CHUBBurgers and tacos. The venue hosts music five nights a week from local and regional bands. Mountain bikers and cyclists who stop by will also find easy access to the city of Brevard’s multi-use path and a 10-minute ride to Pisgah National Forest. The brewery’s hours and tour times are: Monday to Thursday, noon-9 p.m. (Tour at 4 p.m.); Friday and Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. (Tours at 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m.); and Sundays, noon to 8 p.m. (Tours at 2, 3, 4 and 5 p.m.). For more information, visit www.oskarblues.com.
Downtown Brevard is home to the Brevard Brewing Company, which is known for specializing in German-style lagers in addition to American ales. Owner Kyle Williams started off with a lineup of five craft beers in 2012, all brewed and crafted in-house, and a taproom that featured only a few stools, no tables and a large bar. Much has changed since then, including the increased number of brews that Williams has crafted, plenty of seating, decorative lighting, flat-screen TVs, and artworks on the walls at the downtown location. Williams has also since bought the building that houses his brewery at 63 E. Main St. Williams said his is the only brewery in western North Carolina to specialize in lagers, which can be more costly to produce and require patience to brew due to a long aging process. (Continued on pg. 65) According to Williams, most mass-produced lagers are light and lack flavor, whereas many craft breweries strive to make consistently bolder and hoppier brews. Brevard Brewing Company’s goal is to give beer lovers the best of both worlds – beer that is both drinkable and flavorful. For more information, go to www.brevard-brewing.com.
Other great local breweries that you should check out are: •The Ecusta Brewing Company is located at 49 Pisgah Highway, near the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. For more information, go to www.ecustabrewing.com. •UpCountry Brewery is located in the Lumberyard District at 212 N. King St. in Brevard behind Squatch Bikes and Brews and Magpie Meat & Three. For more information, go to www.upcountrybrewing.com.