Article Published: Jan. 10, 2014 | Modified: Jan. 10, 2014
There’s something new and frosty brewing atop Beech Mountain, and, no, it’s not the freshly packed ski slopes.
Beech Mountain Resort has become the region’s first ski slope to boast its own brand of homebrewed beers.
The newly opened resort craft brewery, which has the capacity to brew up to 10 gallons a day, is churning out three specialty craft beverages to refresh skiers and boarders after a long day of carving fresh powder.
Located in the Alpine Village at the resort, the brewery is already catching the eye of guests who are eager to sample the 5506 Pale Ale, as well as the Liberty and Yard Sale ales.
“The brewery is yet another amenity added to the resort as part of our effort to become a year-round destination,” general manager Ryan Costin said. “With the growing popularity of craft beer in North Carolina, we believe our customers will enjoy the experience.”
The brewery has been a long time in the making.
After witnessing the success of countless regional craft breweries, including the rising prominence of Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, Beech decided the time was right to develop its own signature brews.
“It’s been a really nice addition to the village and an overall nice amenity,” Costin said. “It’s just another point-of-sale to make a memory for people and to get really involved in the area and the resort.”
The 5506 Pale Ale features a 5.7 alcohol by volume, full-bodied flavor. “It’s our best seller so far,” Costin said.
The Liberty Ale is a lighter cream ale, with a 5.3 ABV percentage. “It’s a little bit lighter for those not used to full-bodied ale,” Costin said.
The Yard Sale is the brewery’s heavyweight selection, boasting an ABV of 8.1 percent. “The Yard Sale is my personal favorite, but they are all doing well,” Costin said.
Overall, he said, all the beers are selling well.
“This gives us a nice variety (starting out),” he said. “We want to expand our offerings, but with a limited system, we are just trying to make sure we can keep up with the demand.”
The brewery is open to the public Thursday through Sunday, with the majority of the brewing process taking place between Monday and Thursday, Costin said.
“We are trying to add employees as needed,” he said.
Even with a small-scale operation, there is still the matter of making sure the product is reaching all of the resort’s popular venues.
“Logistically, the challenge is making sure we can get it from the brewery to all of the locations,” Costin said. “We are working to make sure we have all the beers in stock, with ample amount of supplies.”
For Beech, keeping up with an already growing demand might be a welcome challenge.
“The reception has been great so far,” Costin said. “Every day, it has been really crowded. People have been in the brewery shoulder to shoulder. They really enjoy it. I expect this to really grow.”