Road trips are a classic under appreaciated gem that we’re fond of at Creature Comforts, so last weekend we took the team up north and made a stop in Asheville, NC. It’s been dubbed quite the beer town by folks like CNN and Travel and Leisure so we wanted to see what all the fuss about. Well, Asheville opened up and gave us a warm hug leaving us quite impressed with what we found.
Our first stop was Oskar Blues. Nestled away in Brevard, a neighboring town not far from Asheville, O.B. has built quite a clean, efficient, and impressive facility. The first thing you see when you walk in the roll up garage door is a solid row of fermenters rockin’ and rollin’. Seeing the stainless steel giants immediately put us in beer mode and kicked the road trip off right. The team there were gracious hosts and shared some very useful information on yeast propagation and dissolved oxygen management. Carlos, their head brewer, was super nice to take the time out of his day and show us around. Thanks buddy!
After the good times in Brevard we visited our friends at Highland Brewing Company. Not long after walking in the door, as if magic, pint glasses found their way into our hands filled with some very cool small batch pilot beers we were happy to sip on as we walked through the building. It was great to check out the recent expansions and hear of the exciting plans they have for their brewery’s future. The work day was ending after our stroll through the brewery, so we took our Highland friends to the unanimous destination of choice: Wicked Weed.
Wicked Weed was truly an inspiring place to visit. About to celebrate only their one year anniversary, they are somehow able to maintain 20-25 phenomenal beers on tap in addition to already winning a GABF gold for American Style Brett Beer. Head yeast wrangler, Walt Dickinson was kind enough to provide a behind the scenes tour and share some of the knowledge he has gained during his start-up and first year. We aspire to reach the level of excellence that Wicked Weed has accomplished at Creature Comforts.
It wasn’t long before we were off to our final brewery of the day, Hi-Wire Brewing. We drank some nice beers in their taproom, took over the foosball table for a few rounds, and checked out their brewing set up. In a very Hair of the Dog fasion, the guys at Hi-Wire are using old dairy equipment for some of their brewing vessels and fermenters that also happened to have come from Highland. Based upon what we had on tap and a taste of the pilot batch of an unreleased black IPA, Hi-Wire is going to be another great piece of the lovely town that is Asheville.