Sideways Farm and Brewery Brings Farm-based Approach to Craft Brewing
By Calie Brummer
Inspired by a passion for craft brewing and cultivating community, Jon and Carrieann Schneider established and co-own Sideways Farm and Brewery with a desire to bring the brewing process back to its agricultural roots.
The Etowah-based brewery, located on a working farm, is a perfect getaway for the adventurous and nature-loving beer enthusiast. Offering an ever-changing menu of craft beers that hearken back to simpler times, Sideways Brewing features small batch artisan ales with flavors rooted in tradition and crafted with locally sourced ingredients.
The brewery itself, surrounded by a blossoming flower farm, immediately brings you back to a simpler time. Learning more about their brewing process, it’s clear that the Schneiders’ intent is to revisit a time when farmers grew their own ingredients and crafted artisan ales purely through small batch innovation.
Sideways Farm and Brewery offers guided tastings at the tasting room, where guests gather around a beautiful u-shaped black walnut bar top that was cut and designed on the farm. A typical beer menu features 12-14 small-batch brews.
“Part of what makes us unique, besides the fact that we grow some of our own ingredients on our farm, is our guided tasting experience,” says Carrieann. “Instead of handing visitors a flight and letting them walk away, our guests stay at the tasting island and we walk through the experience together. We explain the history of the style, the ingredients used and our inspiration for the beer as they taste their way through one of our two curated tasting lists.”
The tasting experience includes seasonal samples highlighting ingredients cultivated right outside the tasting room. A typical sampling includes an array of flavors to entice the seasonal craft beer lover, from rosemary and sage to lemongrass, fig and pumpkin.
“Guests often comment that our stories are one of the best parts of their experience,” Carrieann says. “We offer two distinct tastings: our traditional tasting, which features beers that contain only ingredients commonly used in beer (water, hops, yeast and grain) and our sideways tasting, which includes beers that have additional ingredients such as fruits, herbs and spices, and are often sourced from our farm or other local farms. We love to host these tastings with larger groups, and will open up our brewery with reservations for groups of six or more.”
Sideways Farm and Brewery offers a CSB (community supported brewery) membership, which functions like a CSA (community supported agriculture). Members can opt in to a variety of CSB options granting access to weekly bottle offerings such as barrel-aged, soured, wild fermented and blended beers with hints of fruit and flavors straight from the farm, or aged barley wine with herbs that elicit hints of mulled wine.
Every week, the brewery releases a few new beers, each being a limited release of around 300-500 bottles total. Bottles are available for purchase at the tasting room, as well as in locations around Asheville.
Sideways Farm and Brewery is located at 62 Eade Road in Etowah. Tasting room hours are 4-8 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays. The farm is open from 2–6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, when guests are welcome to purchase bottles, merchandise and CSB memberships.