HiveMind Brewhouse will be home to a 7-barrel system and a full restaurant. It will be located in the former Asheville Music School space at the corner of South Lexington Avenue and Hilliard Avenue, right across Hilliard from Storm rum bar and restaurant, while the ever-popular Orange Peel music venue and Wicked Weed Brewing are just a stone’s throw away across Lexington.
HiveMind is the work of three well-known personalities on Asheville’s beer and culinary scene:
–Joshua Bailey, owner of Asheville Brewery Tours
–Gary Sernack, formerly of Zambra and long-time home brewer; he’ll serve as head brewer
–Joshua Dillard, formerly of Zambra and long-time home brewer; he’ll serve as executive chef
–Andrew Roberts, sales and marketing
Bailey and another business partner started a walking food tour called Eating Asheville about five years ago, then a walking brewery tour about four years ago. The two were successful and eventually parted ways, with Bailey taking Asheville Brewery Tours and his partner taking the food tour.
Two years ago, Bailey bought two 10-passenger vans, and added a third van a year ago. He’s got 15 to 20 breweries on his tour. (Bailey recently reached an agreement to start shuttling visitors to Sierra Nevada’s new brewery in Mills River. The tours start Feb. 18. Sierra Nevada is working on establishing other tour opportunities, as well.)
Bailey says he started out looking for a brick-and-mortar space where he could start and end his brewery tour about a year and a half ago. That idea morphed into a full-blown craft brewery and restaurant that is now HiveMind. Bailey, a former bartender and bar manager at Zambra, knew Sernack and Dillard from that beloved eatery and teamed up with them for the new brewery, which will feature “chef-driven beers,” he says. Every local brewery on Asheville Brewery Tours will have a tap in the new brewery, Bailey says, along with HiveMind beers.
“We’re really appreciative for how helpful all the other breweries have been. They’ve all offered assistance and ideas. It’s really been amazing,” Bailey says.
Bailey also isn’t shy about praising Sernack and Dillard for their creativity in beer-making and in the kitchen. (You can sample their work right now at Burial Beer’s Sunday jazz brunch.) “They’re amazing,” he says, urging fans to stay tuned for more details about HiveMind’s beers and food.
The goal is to have something open by summer, says Bailey.