By Chris Heagney
We use a lot of ink talking about the Asheville brewing community here—and for a good reason. There are endless beer releases, festivals, grand openings and food pairings that fill our news feeds and calendars. Some visitors come to Asheville for the singular purpose of exploring the beer scene, with the Appalachian dining and hiking as major bonuses. While it may seem like Asheville has an endless beer world to explore, there are also great options outside of the city limits.
Just 30 to 45 minutes north of Asheville, Burnsville’s Homeplace Beer Company was established in June of 2017. After about a year of buildout, owner and brewer John Silver opened the doors to his taproom, which is located inside the Burnsville Town Square. “After working in breweries around Asheville for nearly 15 years,” says Silver, “my family and I decided to return to my hometown and open a small brewery focusing mostly on flavorful session beers, using lots of local products.” Silver nudged his way into the brewing industry back in 2005 by washing kegs at Pisgah Brewing, which eventually led to a job brewing at Catawba a year later. Since then, he has held lead production brewer positions at both Oskar Blues Brewery and Hi-Wire Brewing.
Homeplace’s small taproom has a vintage and homey atmosphere. The space is decorated with antiques and some eerie, black-and-white family photographs that Silver had enlarged. With 16 taps, Homeplace has room for a variety of offerings, including several collaborations with other breweries. A hoppy kvass beer, made with Fonta Flora Brewery and an heirloom corn IPA made with Hi-Wire will both be available in the Homeplace taproom this month.
As a native of Burnsville, Silver knew that the town was a great place to open his business. “There was a vacuum here with no breweries, so it seemed like a good opportunity to provide something to a community that I love and have a lot of history in,” he says. The town only voted to allow alcohol in 2010, so having a drinking establishment in the town center is a new concept to many. Still, says Silver, “our taproom has become a central community gathering spot for lots of folks, and, overall, the reaction has been very positive.”
Later this year, Homeplace will be expanding into a new location with a kitchen, outdoor space and a larger indoor capacity. Visit them in their current building at 6 South Main Street, Area C, in Burnsville, and check out their “No Place Like Homeplace Beer Fest” happening in September.
For more information, visit HomeplaceBeer.com. Christopher Heagney is the owner of Daidala Ciders, located in Asheville at the Historic Cotton Mill Studios at 122 Riverside Drive.