Downtown Brevard is not a big place and the event appeared pretty low key at the beginning. I enjoyed a Hops & Heifers bratwurst from Oskar Blues’ farm in Longmont, Colorado. In what may be as near a perfect circle of life as you’ll ever see, these cows are fed the mash from the Oskar Blues operation to create delicious beer cows which, in turn, create delicious meats.
At the beer tent, they were pouring Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yellow Pils, and their seasonal Osktoberfest. Since I had never tried the seasonal offering, I got a pint to enjoy as I wandered around the festival. The Osktoberfest was more robust than the typical marzen beer, and I found it quite delightful. Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), they quickly ran out of the Osktoberfest beer.
Some people were still in costume from the HalloweenFest and it gave an easy opening to talk to folks about their Osktoberfest experience. I also met up with some of the guys from Oskar Blues, including their brewer Noah, who just moved here from Colorado, and Austin Burgess, a Brevard local who joined the Oskar Blues team this year. The entire team has been working hard on the new Brevard facility and they’re still on target to open the brewery and tasting room by mid-December. (
I’ll admit that I was fairly skeptical when I first heard the news that Oskar Blues was planning to open a brewery here in Western North Carolina. Especially since that news came hot on the heels of announcements from other craft brewing heavyweights Sierra Nevada and New Belgium Brewing. I thought that such a smaller brewery might be biting off more than they can chew by expanding so quickly. But after speaking with Noah, I better understand their plan and mission, and I am completely sold on the addition of this operation to our area.
Oskar Blues isn’t trying to be the big fish. But rather than just expand their operation in Colorado, they decided to open another brewery in the East to cut down on transportation costs (as well as reduce their carbon footprint). By choosing the Brevard and the Asheville area to locate the new facility, they already have community with a thriving craft-beer community, and outstanding outdoor lifestyle culture, and large pool of available talent. It all made so much sense to me at that moment…why not take their tried and true processes and develop a sister brewery here in Western North Carolina. I was thrilled to see how enthusiastic Noah, Austin, and the other guys were. You can tell they’re really excited about this.
Oskar Blues plans to expand the size and scope of the Osktoberfest event every year, and it will be a real fixture in the community. Oskar Blues will be opening their tasting room in mid-December. The Asheville Ale Trail will keep you posted as we get closer to the opening.