This is part of a Beerventure Series from Steph’s April 2014 trip to Asheville, North Carolina. See the rest of the series here.
Located along the railroad tracks in the lower level of the Wedge Studios in the River Arts District of Asheville, North Carolina, Wedge Brewing Company offers a unique atmosphere and tasty beers.
The sculptures decorating the three story classic warehouse will grab your attention first, made from recycled metals including tools, parts, and pipes; but it’s the beer that will keep you coming back.
Wedge Brewery works to produce good beer in the classic styles using the best sourced ingredients. The brewing capacity is about 1300 barrels, allowing them to be a “throwback to the neighborhood” brewery.
Visitors can grab a bowl of peanuts and drink by the inside bar or snag a picnic table outside and enjoy the weather. Beers can be purchased by the pint or you can get a sampler of the entire line-up. A few of the beers on tap can also be purchased in pitchers or growlers.
Brewmaster Carl Melissas has been making beer for over 13 years. Starting as a homebrewer in the late 1990s, he won many homebrewing awards while living in Georgia. Carl apprenticed at Dogwood Brewery in Atlanta in 2000. After that, he was the head brewer at the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, PA from 2002 to 2004 where he was awarded a Gold and a Silver for two belgian style beers in the World Beer Cup Awards. In 2005 Carl moved to Asheville, NC to take over as the head brewmaster for Green Man Brewing Company. After two years he met Tim Schaller, who came to him with the idea of the Wedge.
The current line-up included:
- Julian Price Pilsner – a 5.0% ABV American pilsner brewed with European malts and hops. The spicy Noble hops are balanced by earthy flavors and a champagne-like finish.
- Hellesbock – a 7.1% ABV German-style lager that is much hoppier than the traditional one. Brewed with German malts and Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops, this beer is nicely balanced with a dry finish.
- Biere De Garde – an 8.9% ABV French saison fermented with brettanomyces in the secondary. This rustic Farmhouse ale is sweet, tart, and wine-like. Definitely one of my favorites.
- Creature – an 11.3% ABV Belgian-style imperial IPA. Another one of my favorites, this beer is like a Belgian Tripel and an American IPA in one. This hybrid beer uses a Belgian yeast that gives a pear-like flavor and loads of Cascade hops for a citrus tang.
- Chocolate Oatmeal Stout – a 5.0% ABV English-style oatmeal stout with serious chocolate flavor. Brewed with 48 pounds of cocoa nibs added at 3 different stages of the brewing process, this beer is all about the chocolate.
- Community Porter – a 6.9% ABV English-style robust porter with carob and maple added to the kettle. Organic Pale, Munich, Chocolate, and Caramel malts are used along with Kent Goldings hops. This stout brings flavors of carob and coffee with a hop finish.
- Iron Rail IPA – a 7.0% ABV English-style IPA brewed with Maris Otter 2-Row, Canadian Honey Malt and Belgian Crystal malts. Centennial, Kent Golding, and Cascade hops are added five times during the brewing process. This beer is earthy, citrusy, and resinous.
- 3rd Rail IPA – an 11.6% ABV imperial IPA known as “the Iron Rail on steroids.” Clocking it at about 100 IBUs, this beer is all about the hops and sweetness from the malts.
Hungry beer drinkers can pick up some tasty local eats from food trucks at Wedge. The regular food trucks include Tin Can Pizzeria (Luscious Pizza Pies) on Tuesdays and Thursdays; El Kimchi (Korean/Mexican Street Food) on Mondays and Saturdays; and Cecilia’s Culinary Tour (Crepes, Tamales & Specialties) on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Wedge has an outdoor cinema that runs during the warmer months and outdoor games like cornhole. A cool place to drink, play, and hang out, be sure to check out the Wedge!