9ers

October 30th, 2013

I have this idea that politics need not be a groan-inspiring miasmal swamp of rancorous ill-will in which monied opportunists sputtering poll-tested platitudes like mimeograph machines wage permanent campaigns that produce almost nothing but victims. I have this idea that cynicism is a disease, maybe our national disease, that it behooves certain entrenched powers to spread, and that reversing its corrosive progress will take the energy and effort of people not yet entirely bled of faith in our institutions and in the essential goodness of human nature. To that end, we’re throwing a party here at the Brewery tonight.

A short while ago I found myself recruited by Patsy Keever to organize the 9th Precinct of the Buncombe County Democratic Party. The precinct is shaped a bit like an eye, the northern lid bordered by Swannanoa River Road and the southern, 1-40. It is Oakley, mostly, and Oakley is houses, and the best trees in Asheville, and a fairly-well-representative cross-section of our sleepy-no-more mountain town. I have this idea that we could maybe start something, here–that the 9th is uniquely positioned a bit off-frame enough, is just quiet enough and crowded enough and homey enough and old school enough to serve as a laboratory for a new (or maybe old) form of localism. We will begin by publishing a little newsletter and taking it to the streets, four times a year.

Andy has generously allowed us the use of the Brewery today for our initial community fundraiser and meet-and-greet. The thinking goes, y’all come in, buy a beer, get a plate of Jerry’s best smoked meat, shake hands with some candidates for office if you want, buy a raffle ticket if you want, contribute, if you want, directly to the cause of establishing a vigorous local democratic presence in Oakley, take it easy, sit outside, enjoy the low 70s in company, get a dollar-off growler on the way out if it suits you. A precinct officer will be on hand from 4 to 8, beers on tap from 1 on.

So the third paragraph’s a far throw from the first–you eat an elephant one bite at a time. I hope to see y’all here!

With faith,

Devin Walsh

Chair, 9th Precinct, BCDP

Beer on Tour

July 24th, 2013

Our 22 oz. beautiful bottles are touring the country these days.

A ton-or-two recently hit the ground in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Uncorked is doling them out to nice little shops’n’bars. We hope they find loving homes, our little bomber-babies.

Soonish, another load of lusciousness departs for Metro St Louis, where International Beers Unlimited will be doing the deliveries. We love St Louis (Childrensmuseumchildrensmuseumchildrensmuseumteddrewesfrozencustard), and hope we get some play in that ever-so-fine burg.

Next are other markets. We think the 22 is the package built for the road!

Comings and goings

May 27th, 2013

Our head brewer, Chris Richards, is moving on, and we’re going to miss him. In what is becoming a French Broad tradition, he got married after his last day at work, much the same as John Silver did. And, like John, Chris is moving on to a bigger brewery. We’re favored with a talented, dedicated staff, and our colleagues in the brewing industry obviously agree. We wish Chris every success.

And our head cellarman, Shannon Hammett, is also pulling up stakes. Shannon presided over a bigbigbig increase in outbound beer over the last few years, as French Broad pushed into new markets. This stuff’s heavy, and we have to get our kegs back, and things have to get cleaned, and, and, and. Shannon kept things moving, we’ll miss him, and we wish him luck.

We’ve lost two great folks, and we’re adding some great folks – more on that later.

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Baby Boom

May 18th, 2013

As best our carbon-dating system can tell, one of French Broad’s founding partners was born at the end of the Baby Boom. Sandlots full of kids, never-ending pickup games of baseball, kickball, and football, vivid and imaginative Cattle Industry Employees and Native American dramas. Lots of fun, lots of kids, described with a kind of wistfulness by the Old Man, who lived through the slow and steady evacuation of his neighborhood as the Big Kids went off to school, Vietnam, split-level ranchers and regrettable choices in clothing.

It’s such a privilege to have a second childhood and still be in possession of some of one’s faculties. Brewing in Asheville is just like being a kid in a neighborhood where everybody’s got kids – some of them have lots of new toys, some of them have little, cool toys, and all of them like to play. The main thing is there’s lots of kids in town, with more moving in all the time, and the pickup game that is Asheville beer is getting bigger and bigger.

No grownups or scoreboards allowed.

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