Asheville beer lovers welcomed a taproom/restaurant and two new breweries to the community this month: White Labs Kitchen and Taps, Zillicoah Beer Company, and Black Star Line Brewing. Each will have its own unique atmosphere and offer brews to round out the flavors available in Western North Carolina’s pint glasses.
White Labs Kitchen & Taps , the first restaurant venture for yeast giant White Labs, opened on October 19th and features fermented food and beverages. Located in downtown Asheville adjacent to their eastern U.S. production facility, their menu boasts woodfired pizzas, house-made fermented sauces, farm-fresh salads and other beer-infused dishes and desserts.
All pizza dough made at White Labs Kitchen & Tap is slow-risen and baked using their pure liquid yeast cultures. Historically, brewers and bakers would rely on one another for the yeast used in their respective crafts so it’s only fitting to bring this special ingredient into the pizza-dough recipe. Sound tempting? Check out the full menu here.
White Labs beers will be served in addition to cocktails and wine. Thanks to their talented Brewing Team (at White Labs San Diego) you’ll have the opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons of the same base beer fermented with various yeast strains. The beers highlight the differences in flavor and aroma created by each yeast strain. With 28 rotating taps, White Labs showcases a nice selection of guests beers, including five collaborations that were brewed prior to opening with our local friends at Mad Co. Brewing, Urban Orchard Cider, Hi-Wire Brewing, Burial Beer Co. and Bhramari Brewing Company.
Take a tour!
White Labs tour program is now in full swing! You will have an opportunity to walk through the production facility, learn about the science of fermentation and how White Labs manufactures pure liquid yeast for the brewing, wine and spirits industries. Public tours are available daily at 3 p.m., and spots may be reserved by signing up at the restaurant’s host stand.
Woodfin’s first brewery, Zillicoah Beer Co., is now open on the banks of the French Broad River along Riverside Drive. The brewery will be in easy reach of the Woodfin Greenway & Blueway when completed. Zillicoah Beer specializes in open-fermented farmhouse ales, lagers and barrel-aged brews. The brewery has both house and guest taps with Taqueria Muñoz food truck permanently on site . Having just opened, they are still working on their wild and sour beer program which should include a gose-like open-fermented lime-basil wheat farmhouse ale.
Zillicoah takes its name from the Cherokee word for a particular stretch of the 218-mile French Broad, one of the oldest rivers in the world. The river is a focal point of the brewery’s four-acre property.
Founding brothers Jeremy and Jonathan Chassner, Mike Healy, Steve Wilmans and Head Brewer Jonathan Parks are behind the brewery.
Black Star Line Brewing Company in Hendersonville opened it’s doors in mid-October. They will host a “bar warming” on October 28th, followed by a Grand Opening on November 10th. Housed in what was formerly Basic Brewing, Black Star Line will be Western North Carolina’s first black-owned brewery. Owner L.A. McCrae and the Black Star Line brewing team are focusing their portfolio on sweet beers brewed with botanicas. The brewers say to expect flavor profiles that reject the current bitter and hoppy trends, instead making use of indigenous African styles in what McCrae says is a focus on “what people with melanin like”. The flagship brews pay homage to their African roots and civil rights activists not only in flavor but also in name. The brews will have names like Oshun’s Nectar Cream Ale, with sweet flavors of honey and orange. It’s named after an African deity regarded as a healer, water protector, and bringer of love. The Lorde Honey Pilsner is named after civil rights activist and poet Audre Lorde.
Black Star Line takes its name from the shipping line founded by Marcus Garvey and hopes to create space for women, people of color, queer folks, and other folks with marginalized social identities.