New brewery celebrates home brewers

Tony Kiss, 11:02 a.m. EDT September 3, 2014

A new Asheville brewery will open this month and specialize in letting home brewers make their ales for sale in a tasting room.
Open Brewing will be located in the former Thirsty Monk pub at Gerber Village, just off Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. It will be the 18th craft brewery in Buncombe County, with several others in various stages of construction and development.
The brewery is owned by Barry Bialik, founder of the Thirsty Monk pub chain. The brewery will also produce the Thirsty Monk’s line of house beers, Monk spokesman Chall Gray said.
But it will otherwise be separate from the Monk, Gray said. “We have such an exciting home brewing community here, and this is a way to work with them. We have done some research and we can’t find another model like this.”
Asheville’s One World Brewing, located under Farm Burger off Pack Square, has also invited home brewers to bring in beer recipes, and owner-brewer Jason “Jay” Schutz has said he would be picking some to produce.
Open Brewing’s entire concept is built around beers from home brewers. Open Brewing will provide everything needed to produce beer including the ingredients. Thirsty Monk brewer Norm Penn will be available to assist home brewers. Once the beer is on tap at Open Brewing, the brewers will receive a royalty from sales, Gray said. Some local home brewers have already been contacted and plan to participate, he said. Others may email the brewery at, Gray said. A brewery web site, is planned but not yet operational.
Before opening, the old Monk pub space will get some remodeling, Gray said. The tasting area may also sell some outside beers, but most of the taps will be devoted to beer from home brewers. The brewery will not include a restaurant.
Asheville’s craft beer scene continues to see major growth. There are 17 breweries open in Buncombe County, most of them in Asheville. Several other breweries are under construction including Catawba’s Asheville brewery on the South Slope and the massive New Belgium east coast brewery in West Asheville along the French Broad River. A small brewery is being planned for the Downtown Market building at 42 S. French Broad Ave., but details have not yet been announced.
Western North Carolina has more than 30 craft breweries including two national brands: Sierra Nevada in Mills River, about 10 miles from Asheville, and Oskar Blues in Brevard.

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