ASHEVILLE - A WNC brewery expands with a second taproom with a restaurant; a cider company celebrates 10 years; a new tour explores craft beverage businesses and beginnings; a popular fundraiser returns to feed those in need.
New Mills River taproom and eatery
Appalachian Mountain Brewery has announced plans to open a taproom and restaurant in Mills River later this year.
In 2011, cousins and Asheville natives Nathan Kelischek and Chris Zieber founded AMB with a taproom to open two years later in Boone.
Now, the brewers are preparing to open a second location closer to their hometown at 46 N. Mills River Road in Mills River. It will be about 30 minutes outside of Asheville and near an entrance to the Pisgah National Forest.
“We are beyond excited to open our first taproom outside of Boone. Having been born and raised in Asheville, this feels like bringing AMB home,” Kelischek, also the brewmaster, said in a news release. “As an avid mountain biker, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to hit the trails and then enjoy a cold AMB in our own laid-back space. We are also eager to connect closely with the local community and support different environmental and philanthropic initiatives the same way we always have in the High Country.”
The indoor restaurant and taproom will have a dedicated space of nearly 3,000 square feet while the covered outdoor beer garden will sit on about 4,000 square feet of the 0.7 -acre property.
AMB will be serving small-batch beers, ciders, seltzers and curated cocktails. The taproom will have 32 taps stocked with many brews exclusive to the venue.
The dining menu will feature elevated pub fare made with locally sourced ingredients and unique Southern flavors.
AMB will be family and dog-friendly with an offering of games and activities. An event space will be available for booking.
For details, visit amb.beer/mills-river/.
Noble Cider is turning the big 1-0!
The Asheville cidery and meadery company is planning a 10th-anniversary bash from 2-9 p.m. Sept. 17 at its taproom and production facility at 356 New Leicester Hwy.
Noble Cider will be rolling out new flagship ciders and specials, plus doling out door prizes to guests. Live music performances, food and cake will help set the tone for the celebration. Bright Branch Farms will be there with its apple and produce stand. And Noble Cider will lead a Firkin tapping.
Founded Sept. 10, 2012, Noble Cider claims the title of the first cidery in the greater Asheville area and the second in the state. The company uses local apples and ingredients to produce its hard ciders, which now include a variety of mead, wine and spritzers, led by cider maker and founder Lief Stevens.
"Quality apples are the key to great cider," Stevens said in a news release. "It's very important to us to have a consistent source of fresh-pressed local apple juice."
Over the years, the business and production volumes grew. What started as a small home-built press operation inside a 700-square-foot warehouse where juices were pressed by hand has morphed into large-scale commercial production in a 9,000-square-foot facility in West Asheville. The purchase of a commercial apple pressing line permitted Noble Cider to partner with local orchard Lewis Creek Farms to form a juice company with a distribution that spans several Southeastern states.
Learn more about Noble Cider’s history and products at noblecider.com.
Sip and stroll
Drink your way through history at a soon-to-launch touring experience that’s all about the city’s vivacious craft beverage community.
Beginning in September, the North Carolina Craft Beverage Museum and Asheville Free Walking Tours will host experiential walking through to downtown watering holes. The experience will include lessons about the state’s craft beverage industry.
Three museums, Pleb Urban Winery’s Aventine wine bar, Cultivated Cocktails’ tasting room and Wedge Brewing are the scheduled stops. At each destination, participants may taste the locally made spirits, wine and beer while learning about their origins, production process, ingredients and flavors.
Check Asheville Free Walking Tours for details and schedules at avlfreewalkingtours.space.
For details about North Carolina Craft Beverage Museum, visit ncbevmuseum.com.
Save the date to help a neighbor in need.
Each year, MANNA FoodBank hosts an event to bring further awareness to the issues of food insecurities in WNC called Empty Bowls. Hunger is an ongoing challenge for many individuals and families and the situation has become direr in recent years, according to the organization.
“The convergence of inflation and the already high cost of living in our region have compounded the burden on so many people across WNC. As a result, more and more people are finding themselves in need of our vital support,” Mary Nesbitt, chief development officer, said in a news release.
The 21st annual Empty Bowls will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 10 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville-Biltmore.
This year’s theme is Feeding the Whole Family.
“Thousands of single-parent families, the working poor, seniors living on fixed incomes and people with chronic illnesses are faced with hard choices every day, deciding between putting gas in the car or buying groceries, purchasing groceries or their medication. MANNA is determined to continue to be there for them,” Nesbitt said in a news release. “Our Empty Bowls event brings together the artisan, culinary, corporate and our broader community with a shared purpose: to fill empty bowls and plates for neighbors across our 16 counties and the Qualla Boundary.”
MANNA reported that Empty Bowls has raised funds equivalent in value to three million meals since the event’s inception.
Renowned WNC artisans and chef-led culinary teams collaborate to make the handmade artisan bowls and prepare the meals for the guests, which include bread, soup and a dessert.
Tickets are $45 per adult, which includes the bowl and meal.
The cost of a ticket allows MANNA and its 250 partner agencies to provide 180 meals to community members, according to the nonprofit.
Tickets are available for children and pets to attend, which include a handmade bowl appropriate for the child, dog or cat, plus other treats.
Guests and the general public are invited to shop in the Collector’s Corner, a retail area designed by MANNA that sells specialty ceramics, glass, jewelry and other original pieces. All proceeds go toward MANNA’s programs and mission.
For details and to purchase tickets, visit mannafoodbank.org/empty-bowls.
MANNA is seeking potters to make and donate soup bowls, dog and cat bowls and items for the Collector’s Corner. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828-299-3663 x1232 for details.
Tiana Kennell is the food and dining reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Email her at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter/Instagram @PrincessOfPage. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Asheville, NC: Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Noble Cider, Empty Bowls