In the few short months since it opened, Habitat Brewing has established itself as a community gathering spot, and that’s just the way founders Matt Addis and Jonathan Myers want it.
“Our neighborhood lends itself to more community beer,” a place where “the beer sustains the conversation, instead of being the focal point of the conversation,” says Addis, the brewer.
“The beer can facilitate that conversation, but doesn’t have to be sole focus. It can be, but doesn’t have to be,” Addis adds.
Habitat Brewing, which will hold its grand opening events today and Saturday, is joining a craft brewing scene that’s earned a reputation far and wide as an innovative, creative spot for folks who make high quality beer. It’s an ever-crowded market, but Addis and Myers have found their place by deciding to keep their beer program simple, and their neighborhood engaged.
Addis, who will be debuting his beer at the grand opening events, plans on producing about 10 kegs a week, or about 250 to 300 barrels a year. The beer will be served in-house, though Habitat Brewing may consider a small canning operation at some point, he says.
“We have plans to grow, and do that over the next six months or so, but our focus will be this space and this neighborhood,” Addis says.
A former home brewer, Addis says the Habitat beer styles will focus on classic ales, with a goes, sour or lagers added in for good measure. “We’ll have an ESB, a couple of IPAs, an oatmeal pale ale for the opening. And we’ll keep coming up with recipes that people like and get rid of the ones they don’t,” he adds.
“That doesn’t mean those classic styles are bland or boring. They’re more familiar,” and Addis says he be actively listening to what his neighborhood wants in terms of offerings (which will also include a selection of other local craft brews).
On the community side of the operation, Myers says it’s all about “trying to learn the rhythm” of what’s happening around them. Myers has plenty of community organizing experience, and it shows. Habitat Brewing had a hit right out of the gate with an event called “Pints With Professors,” which features a casual talk by a UNC Asheville professor. Habitat is hosting an improv group, artist openings, music acts, a square dance group and more.
“It’s a lot of neighborhood-driven things,” Myers says. “We’re trying to create a shared experience. We want to bring people together and forget that they are tourists or locals or whatever and just have fun.”
The weekend’s events will include music from DJ Brandon Audette and Damion “Supaman” Smith on Friday starting at 7 pm. Saturday will feature live music from luminous singer-songwriter Jane Kramer with guest Eliza Sydney at 7 pm, followed by a DJ set from Jason Daniello at 10. The improv troupe Blacklist will also perform (at 9 pm). The Grubbery Food Truck will be dishing up delicious foodstuffs on Friday, and the Appalachian Chic Food Truck will be on hand Saturday.
The weekend celebration will happen from 5 p.m. to midnight both nights. For news and updated, follow Habitat Brewing on Facebook here, and on Instagram & Twitter @habitatbrewing.