Today’s agenda is packed with great beer, sights, food and fun! After fueling up for our big day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel, we’ll hop into our coach to start our tour of Asheville. We will be weaving the sights and stories of this eclectic city throughout our day today.
Our first beer stop will be Hillman Beer where we will have a brewer-led guided tasting, hear the story behind the brewery and enjoy lunch, (with beer, of course!)
Hillman is a small, family-owned business that puts an emphasis on quality beer and a focus on classics and comfort. Brothers Brad and Greig Hillman, and Greig’s wife Brandi Hillman, have come together to bring the pub style back to the brewery experience. With a great indoor and outdoor space, they have become an insider favorite since opening their first location in Asheville in 2017.
Afterwards, we’ll see a bit more of the town and then head to Zebulon Artisan Ales, where brewer/owner Mike Karnowski will tell us about his award-winning beers as we sample his wares.
While Zebulon might be known for their focus on Belgian and French farmhouse styles, they also brew historical, forgotten and mythological beer styles. One very cool example of their historical style brews was their Evolution of IPA (1840-2000) Box Set of six historical IPAs recreated from the actual brewer’s logs from Breweries such as Whitbread and Boddingtons. This came with a pamphlet detailing historical/brewing/tasting notes and access to a streaming lecture by beer historians Ron Pattinson and Mitch Steele and included an interview with Vinnie Cilurzo on the history of IPA from the 1700s to 2021!
We are really excited to be visiting Mike and sharing his beers and stories with you. This is one of those breweries that runs the gamut from being totally beer geeky with their attention to styles to just plain fun with their answer as to why they named the brewery Zebulon: “The name Zebulon was chosen because it just sounds awesome, and it starts with a Z which is always cool. There is the famous explorer Zebulon Pike, and of course the USS Zebulon from Star Trek! We just think it sounds bad ass.”
While our next visit of the day is not your typical commercial brewery, they do brew beer. This is because they are a Yeast lab and supplier, so if you brew beer or even if you don’t, you’ve likely heard of them. White Labs is committed to furthering the art of fermentation across the globe. They operate yeast production facilities in San Diego, California; Asheville, North Carolina and Copenhagen, Denmark and have a distribution warehouse in Hong Kong.
White Labs Brewing Company operates the San Diego Tasting Room, as well as the full-service restaurant in Asheville – White Labs Kitchen & Tap. White Labs Brewing Co. was started in 2012 to showcase the influence yeast and fermentation have on beer. Their brewers ferment the same beers with different yeast strains to produce distinctly different beer profiles which they use to supply thirsty beer loving guests, like us, but also for R and D to gain insight into new and innovative yeast strains.
We will be touring their facility and doing a guided side-by-side tasting of some of these beers. We’ll continue our visit here with dinner, enjoying, among other things, some of their delicious wood-fired pizza, made with dough fermented for 72 hours and leavened with their own WLP518 Opshaug Kveik Ale yeast!
After dinner you can join Mike for some local beer hunting or feel free to head out on your own ir back to the hotel to chill, it’s your Beercation so enjoy however you see fit!
Return back to the hotel at your leisure tonight or beer hunting with Mike