One World Brewing to Open in Early May
Several downtown cocktail bars are hoping for that “speakeasy” feel with pretend secret entrances and other old-timey décor. Asheville’s newest brewery will be the most authentic. If you follow the path between the tables in the alleyway between Salsa’s and Farm Burger, you will reach “The Portal” as One World Brewing owner Jay Schutz refers to the rounded entrance. Through the door, you descend a flight of stairs adorned with metalwork to the basement of The Leader Building. Underneath the building’s original grand stairway sits One World’s bar, where staff will be pouring Asheville’s newest craft beers starting next month.
I met with Jay last week to talk about One World and to check out the new space. As we sat upstairs from the brewery at Farm Burger, he told me a bit about his story.
Jay worked as a stone mason and carpenter up until 2008 when, like so many others in the construction industry, his phone stopped ringing. While trying to figure out his next move, he occupied his free time with brewing. His friends and family encouraged him to pursue brewing as his next career, and what started as a daydream resulted in his in-laws asking him to write them a business proposal. They must have liked what they saw, as they agreed to invest in One World and help him turn his hobby into a commercial operation.
That was over two years ago, and Jay told me that the project has “metamorphosed” between then and now. Originally, One World had planned to be a very small scale “BSA” of sorts. Members could buy a share in the brewery and pick up growlers each week, similar to the way a small farm offers shares of their harvest to members. Various locations had been considered, including the spot now occupied by Burial Beer.
Changing plans and various delays kept One World from becoming a reality, until the owners of The Leader Building offered Farm Burger a lease on the basement. Schutz’s brother-in-law owns Farm Burger and immediately offered the space to One World.
Now that the brewery had a location, things started to move. A renovation of the basement, once used as a ceramics studio in the early 20th century, began. Equipment was purchased and licenses were secured. Those projects are nearly finished, and Schutz is eager to release his product to the public.
The basement tasting room of One World is cozy, with an old world feel including a table made from the floor of the original freight elevator as a focal point in the middle of the room. Capacity is limited to 49 people who will be able to watch Jay work and play Sjoelbak, Dutch shuffleboard, while they drink.
One World is starting out small, with a 1.5 barrel brewhouse powered by electricity, a first for Asheville’s brew scene. This also makes them the second smallest brewery in town, behind Burial Beer’s 1 barrel set up. The beer will ferment in plastic conicals stored in three separate fermentation rooms located near the back of the bar. Glass doors to the fermentation rooms will allow guests to watch the next batch ferment as they sip on the current offerings. At opening, those current offerings will number around 10, and Jay was kind enough to share them with me.
“Inner Thigh IPA” is expected to be a crowd pleaser with its citrus aroma and drinkable 6.5% ABV
“To the Head Imperial Red” is for the more diehard hop fans with a higher 8% ABV and a subtle caramel malt character.
“Paradise” Coconut Porter utilizes coconut in the mash tun to create a nearly undetectable coconut flavor that develops intensity as the beer warms in your glass
“New Moon” Stout is a roasty American Stout while an 8.5% Imperial Chocolate Stout will substitute for dessert.
“Saison of Love” is a 6.8% Belgian Saison, lightly spiced with coriander
“Golden Dawn” Summer Ale is the first seasonal One World will offer, light in color and only 4.8% ABV.
“Whale of a Tale Pale” is a take on the classic American Pale Ale style with citrusy hop character and a modest 6% ABV.
“Grok” Bock will be the first lager produced by One World, and gets its name from Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”.
“Hopsplosion” is what Schutz calls an India Dark Ale. “Because Black IPA doesn’t really make sense to me. How can you have a Black India Pale Ale. At 106 IBUs, this is dark malty beer will also be the most brewery’s most bitter.
One World won’t stop there. Like most brewers, Jay is fueled by curiosity. Offerings from the brewery’s own Ancient Ales series will seek to replicate some of the earliest beers consumed by people. The first of this series, “Primordial Booze” should be on tap Opening Day.
If you can’t wait until the tasting room opens, Jay told me that Farm Burger will be serving One World’s “Saison of Love” starting this week.
As far as long term goals, One World is working toward sustainability. Plans for the brewery include solar panels on the roof to generate some of the brewhouse’s power and a larger goal of growing some of their own ingredients. He hopes that his partnership with Farm Burger will help foster the brewery’s growth and allow Farm Burger to sell a sustainably produced beer.
With those plans in the future, the focus now is to get the doors open. For a project that has been two and a half years in the works, that moment can’t come soon enough.
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.