Earlier this week I stopped by the glass front building on Coxe Avenue that will soon be home to Asheville’s newest brewery, Twin Leaf Brewery. Tim and Steph Weber are the husband and wife team behind Twin Leaf and were kind enough to take a break from their preparations to talk with me about their story.
The couple came to Asheville in 2012 from Pennsylvania. As avid hikers, Asheville’s close proximity to all things outdoors was a huge draw. According to Tim, “We had thought about moving to Colorado, but the green of Asheville was way more appealing than the brown of everything out there.” Asheville also seemed like a perfect place to realize their dream of owning a brewery.
I asked Steph when the idea of owning a brewery first seemed like a good idea. “We’re kind of insane people,” she said. “So it was really just a natural progression of things.” Both Steph and Tim worked as engineers in Pennsylvania but were unhappy in their careers and looking for something they’d feel more passionate about. “I hated sitting behind a desk,” said Tim. They had enjoyed home brewing together for years and became serious about learning to brew commercially. After attending the American Brewers’ Guild in Vermont in 2011, the couple’s excitement put opening a brewery of their own on the fast track. Three months after they finished brewing school, they found out they were pregnant with their son. Steph told me, with surprising calm, “The plan became move, have a baby, open a brewery.”
Twin Leaf will open with twelve of their own beers on tap, including five year round offerings and seven others. Though seven of the twelve will be a surprise, their year round offerings will include a Belgian Wit, an ESB, an Oatmeal Stout, a Belgian Tripel and an IPA. The brewery’s tasting room will start out as the only spot in town to get these beers, but the location they chose will allow them to expand as business grows. Further out, there are plans for a canning line and wider distribution.
Twin Leaf hasn’t set an official opening date yet, as they are finishing up construction of the tasting room and brewing at a furious pace before they open their doors to the thirsty public. However, the couple said they will open sometime in March and hope to make an official announcement soon. Once they open, the third part of that plan will finally be complete.
Cliff Mori is the owner and operator of BREW-ed, which offers brewery tours and a variety of beer training in Asheville. He was the first Certified Cicerone in Western North Carolina (the beer equivalent to the wine world’s sommelier), then began working for the Cicerone Certification Program by traveling around the U.S. proctoring exams. Cliff also teaches a variety of beer-related courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.