This is part of a Beerventure Series from Steph’s April 2014 trip to Asheville, North Carolina. See the rest of the series here.
We were headed to Green Man Brewery on Buxton Avenue in Asheville, but as we parked on Collier Avenue I noticed a few empty kegs lining a walkway. There was no signage, but I walked up to the door and realized it was Burial Beer Company! (I later noticed the “Burial Beer Co”. sign above the window… I guess I was just anxious to get inside and try the beer.) It may not have been our original destination, but I’m sure glad we stopped in.
Burial, while a necessary step after death, is seen as a celebration at Burial Beer Company; “a celebration of life, the cyclical nature of harvest and of the brewing process.” And why not celebrate with beer?
Burial Beer Company is located in a small industrial space in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood. After five years of planning, they opened in June of 2013. The one barrel pilot system is always pumping out new experimental beers allowing them to try out various beer styles and unique ingredients.
Each weekend brings a new special release at the brewery. The current special release was Gandasa Double IPA, a 7.5% ABV, 80 IBU bold hop bomb brewed with Simcoe hops and dry hopped with Amarillo and Citra.
Doug and Jess Reiser and their friend, Tim Gormley (the “Burial trio,” perhaps?) hope to brew on a large production scale and distribute some day, so consistency is also important when it comes to tweaking those favorite recipes. In 2015, Burial is looking to open their farmhouse taproom with a 20 barrel system and production facility. For now, however, they are all about creativity.
Farming tools hang from the wall and make for pretty awesome looking tap handles – scythes, sickles, saws, and hammers. The beer list is written on a mirror behind the bar.
The current line-up included Ulfberht Baltic Porter, Vice Single Malt/Hop (Weyermann Pilsner malt and French Aramis hop), Pruner Olde Ale (a “younger” version of the traditional English Old Ale), Kama Jasmine Stout, and Pollination Honey Saison. They also offer guest taps.
I enjoyed the Kama Jasmine Stout, a 6.2% ABV stout with jasmine flowers added during the whirlpool, extracting an herbal, mint quality with notes of chocolate and nuts.
I also enjoyed Pollination: Earl Grey, which is part of their Pollination Saison series – a series of saisons with various teas, honeys, herbs and/or flowers added. This “super small batch experiment” was brewed with earl grey tea.
Their honey golden saison has been brewed with creative ingredients including dandelion, elderberry, chamomile, and hibiscus.
A covered deck area is furnished with “Burialesque” picnic tables and benches outdoors. A huge sickle painted on a recycled garage door is a conversation starter for beer drinkers enjoying a game of foosball.
Burial has also done several collaboration beers:
- Asheville Afterlife Series #1 – Black Ink Cascadian Dark Ale, the first collaboration with Asheville Brewing Company, is a bold Cascadian Dark Ale with an IBU measurement of over 110.
- Asheville Afterlife Series #2 – Esprit Sauvage Saison Imperial, their second collaboration with Asheville Brewing, is an Imperial French Saison brewed with French-grown hops including Triskel, Aramis and Bouclier.
- Firebreather Barrel-Aged Belgian Strong Ale – brewed with Hi-Wire Brewing, is brewed with North Carolina-grown 6 row and turkey red wheat from Riverbend Malt, and raw honey from Haw Creek Honey. The beer was aged in Bulleit Rye Whiskey barrels.
- Voter Fraud Dark Session Ale – a collaboration with Oskar Blues Brewing, is a sessionable (4.5% ABV) hopped-up black session ale with a hint of caramel and chocolate.
- Burnpile Doppelbock – brewed with Altamont Brewing, is brewed with serious amounts of German Munich with intensely modified and rich caramel malts giving flavors of roasted marshmallow and dark cherry.
While Asheville has several breweries to choose from, Burial Beer Company should not be missed. It is conveniently located near other breweries like Green Man Brewery, Twin Leaf Brewery, and Asheville Brewing Company, but the real reason to stop in is to enjoy the tasty experimental brews!
40 Collier Avenue | Asheville, NC 28801