The past several years, craft breweries have been popping up throughout western North Carolina, with dozens in Asheville alone. Transylvania County has also been touched by this hops explosion.
Oskar Blues, which was founded in 2002 in Colorado, is nationally recognized for its various craft beers in a can, including Dale’s Pale Ale. The brewery made its first batch in Brevard on Dec. 12, 2012, and has been brewing full-tilt since then. The brewery’s founder, Dale Katechis, chose Brevard as the company’s East Coast hub because of, among other reasons, the quality of life the area provides.
Oskar Blues Brewery, which may be toured for free, is located off 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-8 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.
The Brevard Brewing Company is in the heart of downtown Brevard. In April of 2012, Kyle Williams opened the Brevard Brewing Company in the Ansley Building at 63 E. Main St. Williams specializes in brewing lagers, such as a Bohemian Pilsner, with imported hops from the Czech Republic and Germany, but he also offers American ales. Williams began his career as a brewmaster in 2006.
A bar is open at the brewery, serving a wide selection of Williams’ handiwork. As well as beer, the bar serves wine and cider. The bar’s hours are: Monday to Thursday, 2 p.m.-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturdays, noon to midnight; and Sundays, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, go to www.brevard-brewing.com.
Another local beer producer getting underway in the area is the Ecusta Brewing Company, which has its production facility and taproom at 49 Pisgah Highway, near the entrance to Pisgah National Forest. The brewery produces its signature brews plus a few seasonal drafts.
The taproom also offers wine and a rotating cider. The taproom has outdoor seating next to the Davidson River. Ecusta Brewing has another location in downtown Brevard at 36 E. Main St., with a taproom and an event space/music venue.
Ecusta’s Brewing’s owner, Josh Chambers, is a former paramedic. For more information, go to www.ecustabrewing.com.
BEER AND BIKES
The Hub and Pisgah Tavern and Squatch Bikes and Brews are two locations that combine popular pastimes in Transylvania County — beer and bikes.
The Hub and Pisgah Tavern sits off U.S. 276 near the Pisgah National Forest entrance. The Hub offers apparel and gear for cyclists and mountain bikers, plus a spot to stop and have a brew after a hard day in the saddle. The Tavern features many selections from local breweries and an outside patio. For more information, call (828) 884-8670 or go to www.thehubpisgah.com.
Squatch Bikes & Brews is located in the Brevard Lumberyard at 170 King St. Squatch is a full-service bike shop that sells mountain bikes and cycles, plus a selection to rent. A rotating beer is also available to satisfy a thirst after a day spent pedaling the county’s many trails and roads. For more information, call (828) 877-2453 or go to www.squatchbikes.com.