Capital at Play September 2017

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Wendell & Taylor Howard H&H Distillery p.18

Andy Mason

Lost Province Brewing p.78

Western North Carolina's Free Spirit of Enterprise colu m ns

The Business of Brewing: Breweries and Trademarks p.30 What Went Wrong With Chardonnay? p.50 onnecting the Dots: C Buying and Selling Land p.70

a n n ua l a lco h o l e d i t i o n


Good Times Continue TO

Volume VII - Edition IX complimentary edition



video intervie ws capital atpl ay. com

September 2017

Mike Romero


| September 2017

“Southcliff is a shining example of how a responsible development team can respect our mountains’ natural beauty while creating a vibrant community. We’re proud to call Mountain Real Estate Capital a partner.” - W. Neal Hanks Jr. -

828.476.4281 |

September 2017 |


Southcliff Q&A with Mike Romero

WHAT IS SOUTHCLIFF? It’s an award-winning, gated community offering low-maintenance cottage homes on small lots ranging in price from $550-650K. You’ll also find lots suitable for large custom homes priced between $200-650K. At Southcliff, you can expect exquisite mountain homes with customized features, each incorporating natural elements in order to seamlessly blend with the natural setting. Southcliff remains popular, with 70% of the properties having already been sold. WHAT SETS SOUTHCLIFF APART FROM THE OTHER COMMUNITIES? The location is amazing. Southcliff is situated between 2,500–3,900 feet on Cedar Cliff Mountain with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge. It is a 400-acre property with 175 acres of protected woodland and more than six miles of hiking trails. While our community is surrounded by the beauty and peacefulness of nature, it is less than ten minutes away from downtown Asheville and only three miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A SHORT DISTANCE FROM ASHEVILLE? Asheville is a vibrant city with an astounding array of cuisine and culture. Beyond its urban activities like shopping, galleries, museums, and fine restaurants, there is easy access to golf, hiking, and other outdoor activities. It’s hard to fully describe Asheville without mentioning the dozens of locally grown gourmet products and an expanding list of breweries. I love that Southcliff balances being surrounded by nature while at home with the easy access to Asheville. WHY DO YOU THINK THE RESIDENTS LIKE LIVING HERE? The residents at Southcliff love living here because it is a total package. Southcliff offers permanence, serenity, and inspiration—and when you combine that with its proximity to one of the best cities in America, you have an unbeatable place to live!


| September 2017

Southcliff | 10 Southcliff Parkway | Fairview | 28730

More About Southcliff Southcliff blends beauty, luxurious living, and a sense of community. The community respects its extraordinary mountain setting and is dedicated to developing beautiful homes that carefully integrate with the landscape. The streetscapes and architectural styles offer immediate proof of this ethic. Nothing in Southcliff is left to chance. When you choose to live here, you are not only choosing the best location, the best construction, and the best community— you are choosing the best quality of life. For more information call 866.844.0660.

September 2017 | 101

Of course there’s a return on your investment; we just can’t put it in a magazine.


| September 2017

828.253.1805 | 121 Patton Avenue | Asheville, NC 28801 |

September 2017 |


Writer’s Bistro

Editor’s Thoughts


xactly a year ago, in this space, I wrote, “The point can’t be ignored: [Alcohol] is a major industry in Western North Carolina, a significant economic engine that impacts, in one way or another, the bottom line of pretty much everyone who lives here.” Well, meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Certainly, myriad changes have taken place in the regional alcohol industry during the past year—from the arrival of new breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries, and the steady expansion of existing businesses; to the purchase of one of the more successful local craft breweries by the largest beer corporation in the world, and the passage by the North Carolina legislature of the so-called “Brunch Bill,” that relaxes a number of restrictions upon the sale of alcohol. But one (or two) things have remained constant: A lot of people owe their livelihoods to the alcohol industry, and it is no small factor in the tourism sector, either. As we here at Capital at Play tend to subscribe to the maxim, “why fix it if it ain’t broke,” then, we’re proud to present, once again, our annual alcohol issue. You’ll find, as usual, a listing of all those breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries, along with their product output and number of employees, plus a breakdown of some of those changes mentioned above. We’ve also got a pair of Featured Capitalist profiles detailing the respective journeys of the owners of a Boone-based brewery and a new distillery located in Fairview. And to give the consumption side of the alcohol equation equal time with the production side, make sure you check out the report on unique and unusual bars in Western North Carolina, because there are more than a few watering holes around here that truly need to be experienced firsthand. If you’re not thirsty by the time you finish reading the feature—not for nothing do we call the section it appears in “Leisure & Libation”—then all I can say is, drop by sometime and we’ll go hit a couple of those bars together. First round’s on me. *** A very special welcome to the newest member of the CaP crew: It’s Erin Hebbe our new (first, actually) social media editor. You’ll be seeing an increased and more robust social media presence—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn—on our part thanks to her, so feel free to reach out with any ideas, tips, or questions. And speaking of the digital milieu, make sure you visit and take a look at our new/ improved Videos section. We’ve recently partnered with Bclip Productions, a national video production company based here in Asheville, for the videos, and throughout the month we’ll be posting short clips related to selected content in the current issue, as well as some intriguing exclusives. We’re calling it “60 Seconds at Play”—hope you like it!


Fred Mills


| September 2017

September 2017 |




Western North Carolina's Free Spirit of Enterprise


Oby Morgan associate publisher

Jeffrey Green managing editor

Fred Mills briefs and events editor

Leslee Kulba copy editors

contributing writers & photogr aphers

Jennifer Fitzgerald, Chall Gray, Derek Halsey, Anthony Harden, William G. Heedy, John Kerr, Collin O’Berry, Jay Sanders art director

Bonnie Roberson social media editor

Erin Hebbe

Dasha O. Morgan, Brenda Murphy

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Information & Inquiries Capital at Play is Western North Carolina’s business lifestyle magazine. It embodies the idea that capitalism thrives with creativity—that work requires an element of play. Exploring everything from local industry to the great outdoors, Capital at Play is inspiration for the modern entrepreneur. In every edition we profile those who take the risk, those who share that risk, and those who support them—telling the untold story of how capitalists are driven by their ideas and passions. We cater to those who see the world with curiosity, wonderment, and a thirst for knowledge. We present information and entertainment that capitalists want, all in one location. We are the free spirit of enterprise.


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Editorial content is selected and produced because of its interest to our readership. Editorial content is not for sale and cannot be bought. Capital at Play is financially sustained by advertisers who find value in exposure alongside our unique content and to the readers who follow it. This magazine is printed with soy based ink on recycled paper. Please recycle. Copyright © 2017, Capital At Play, Inc. All rights reserved. Capital at Play is a trademark of Capital At Play, Inc. Published by Capital At Play, Inc. PO Box 5615, Asheville, NC. 28813

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Capital at Play has partnered with Bclip Productions to bring the pages of each edition to life, just for you. Featuring a new 60 second video every 2 weeks, we give you exclusive interviews and insider info on the people, places, and faces of enterprise throughout Western North Carolina. Visit us on social media or at to see the latest 60 Seconds at Play.






MARKETING AND TRAINING VIDEOS FOR BUSINESS At Bclip we do more than tell your story. Our business-first mentality and combustible creativity set us apart from other video production companies. It’s our mission to help our customers sell their products, train their staff and entertain customers with video. We strive to eat, sleep and think like the wonderful companies we work with. 10

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thi s page : THE MAIN STILL at H&H Distiller y. photo by Anthony Harden

F E AT U R E D vol. vii ed. ix






September 2017 |



s e p t e m b e r 2 017

can be difficult and ent Professionals, s easy.

THE BAR at The Cut photos by Terri Clark Photography



lo c a l i n d u s t r y

The Good Times Continue to Roll

The annual Capital at Play guide to regional breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries

l e i s u r e & l i b at i o n

Shaken, Not Stirred Unique and unusual bars of Western North Carolina

colu m ns


14 A rchetype Brewing

Brad Casanova & Steven Anan

Blue Ridge Orthodontics

Dr. T. Luke Roberts

30 The Business of

Brewing: Breweries and Trademarks

Written by William G. Heedy, Esq.

50 The Wine Column:

What Went Wrong With Chardonnay?


34 Carolina in the West 54 The Old North State 74 National & World News

Written by John Kerr

p e o p l e at p l ay

88 The 2017 Asheville Yoga Festival


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70 Connecting the Dots:

Buying and Selling Land Written by Collin O’Berry


90 Fall In Line

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INTERIOR of Archetype photos by Corina Casanova

Brewing Up an Archetype


With Archetype Brewing, Brad Casanova and Steven Anan bring their unique vision of pub culture to West Asheville.

ith the Western North Carolina craft beer explosion has come the inevitable debates over eventual acquisitions and consolidations (see: Wicked Weed, Anheuser-Busch InBev) and market saturation. The latter, in particular, crops up with enough regularity that it seemed to be the logical question to pose to Brad Casanova and Steven Anan, co-founders of one of the most recent arrivals, Archetype Brewing, which opened in June in the Beacham’s Curve section of West Asheville. Unsurprisingly, as new business owners, they are 100% optimistic about the future and feel they’ll be able to hit a neighborhood sweet spot, although they aren’t naïve about fiscal realities, either. “The market we placed ourselves in, with respect to size and volume, mitigates the risk of a saturated market,” says Brad. “Sure, the bigger breweries that depend on major distribution are all fighting for the same real estate in the supermarket aisle. That saturation is very real and visible. Our model is focused on the local community. We put ourselves right in the middle of East West Asheville, where people like to walk, but up until now didn’t have much to walk to. On top of that, we hope to draw a crowd from the larger area using our brewing reputation. 14

| September 2017

“Saturation suggests a lack of viability for new businesses, but there are always opportunities one can capitalize on. Saturation is really just homeostasis, where growth equals attrition. In an established craft brewing market, your beers have to be on point. Stand out with quality and ingenuity. Wow the consumer with the experience. You have to create your own opportunities if you want to survive long term.” Ensuring that their beers are “on point” is clearly at the forefront of the pair’s minds. Explains Steven, “Our beer lineup is a mix of American and Belgian styles. Both Brad and I place a huge emphasis on quality and process control, and it comes out in how and what we brew. We are out to create very clean, trueto-style ales. When a beer style is well executed, there isn’t a need to add fruit or excessive amounts of hops. Archetype beers are going to have less additions overall and more sessionable levels of alcohol.” In addition to the physical products it produces, Archetype is also banking on its unique layout and ambiance to ensure that, as Brad noted, local residents do indeed having something to walk to. In addition to food and beverage, the taproom features board games and a seating area inspired by British pubs, and

it is decidedly family-friendly, too: toys and activities for kids, including a rock pit with construction vehicles, a kids’ table with a custom made “build your own brewhouse” block set, and even afternoon story time that Brad’s wife, Corina, runs twice a month. “The craft beer experience is as much about people as it is about beer,” continues Brad. “Archetype believes there is a beer for everyone, and beer is meant to bring people together. With that in mind, we had to look outside of our walls to understand the population we’d be serving. West Asheville is home to all sorts, but there is a significant number of families with young children. We wanted to be kid friendly and parent friendly, so we had to create some safe and fun areas for kids. [Corina’s] English upbringing has given her insight into translating the ‘pub culture’ to a brewery. Doing this right also means not interfering with those that don’t have children with them. Scheduling events for families earlier in the day allows for there to be plenty of adult time, with programming like live music, trivia, and games.”

“In reality opening in an established market was more of a help than a hurdle. The brewing community here in Asheville is unique.” Steven adds that, although Archetype has only been open a short time, they’re already sketching out plans going forward. “There are a few additional projects we are working on, including canning and a small-batch barrel program, which will focus on farmhouse and Brett beers. The barrel program beers will be released in large and small bottle format, as well as on tap. And there are two collaborations in the works. We are also working on plans to build a rooftop deck above the tasting room, which we hope to have completed by fall. This space will be adult only, and will provide views and an escape from the crowd.” “People frequently questioned us about opening in Asheville,” says Brad, “but in reality opening in an established market was more of a help than a hurdle. The brewing community here in Asheville is unique. The value placed on collaboration over competition has proven itself through the overwhelming offers of support from our fellow breweries. We’re a strong community of breweries, which is why we are the craft beer capital of the world!” Visit Archetype Brewing online:

2017 OCTOBER 14+15


Sugar Mountain, NC September 2017 |



One Smile at a Time

This month, Blue Ridge Orthodontics, along with founder Dr. T. Luke Roberts, reaches a new milestone.


rthodontics is defined as a specialty field of dentistry, and with good reason: Treating the poor or abnormal alignment of the teeth can be very complex for many patients, and the solutions employed over the years have steadily evolved as technology has advanced. One such contemporary specialized strategy: Invisalign, which is a series of clear aligners called trays that are outwardly difficult to detect—with no metal wires or brackets like traditional braces, they are also removable for ease of brushing and flossing—and that gradually move the wearer’s teeth into place with each new tray, typically worn for about two weeks before switching out. And 3D computer imaging scans are used in place of having impressions taken to yield more exact images for the aligners. Here in Asheville, the award-winning Blue R idge Orthodontics (BRO) specializes in the procedure, along with a full menu of orthodontic treatments, ranging from early prevention for children, to dealing with periodontal disease in adults, to pain-free teeth whitening for all ages. “We’re [among] the top one percent of Invisalign providers in North America,” notes Dr. Roberts, one of Asheville’s only board


| September 2017

EX TERIOR MOCKUP of new Hendersonville Road off ice.

certified orthodontists. “I think patients should know this, because it is a broad field. We do a lot of Invisalign, which is largely because we stay at the top of the ever-changing research and advancements with Invisalign.” Dr. Roberts had originally been on a straight path to medical school, until his uncle, an orthodontist, took him aside one day. “He said, ‘You should consider orthodontics and the path of dentistry.’ He saw in me a passion for helping others, detailed mechanics, and ambition that I didn’t know was there yet. From there, I pursued dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where I fell in love with the mechanics and one-on-one patient-doctor relationship that develops out of the dental fields.” In the summer of 2007 Dr. Roberts, along with his wife and young son, moved to Asheville, where they opened BRO on Walden Ridge Drive. It began with just three staff

to Dr. Roberts, BRO has Dr. Megan Schuler on the staff. And joining just last month was Dr. Tyler Twomley. Also of note: Since 2007 BRO has surpassed $300,000 in charitable giving; created a “Blue Star” program to sponsor one patient a month to receive free orthodontic care; and worked with DSS to identify and treat kids who would never be able to afford treatment otherwise. Ultimately, says Dr. Roberts, it’s all about changing lives and working for the good of the community he and his staff serves. “In addition to my amazing staff and patients, I also work with other Asheville dental and medical practitioners to serve the cleft lip and palate needs in our community. I have travelled down a path that my family and my community has helped me along, and I will continue to give back to it and to my family every day, one smile at a time. “My father, who was a plastic surgeon, did a lot of work for cleft lip and cleft palate patients, and when I was a child, I spent my high school summers in the Dominican Republic, working alongside him in medical missions that served many of these patients. I loved watching how those surgeries completely changed the future of each child—giving them the ability to smile with confidence. Today, I still do. Every smile from a patient is a reminder that I took the right path.” Blue Ridge Orthodontics will reach another milestone this month when it unveils a new office on Hendersonville Road. “Our dream office,” says Dr. Roberts proudly, “and we can’t wait to open those doors! This next year will be a big one. We’ll open the new office in September and we will celebrate our ten-year anniversary. We’ll also be opening two satellite offices: one in Hendersonville and the other in Brevard. It’s a big, exciting year for us at BRO!”

Ultimately, says Dr. Roberts, it’s all about changing lives and working for the good of the community he and his staff serves. members; a decade later, that number is up to thirtyfive. “We pride ourselves on having great, flexible hours, sponsoring local organizations and schools, and providing the best customer service. We began small, and we’d like to continue to make our patients feel that warm, welcoming feeling that those first patients felt in 2007, when they walked in our doors. We strive to treat each individual and each family, and we want them to know they are unique and that their treatment is meant just for him or her.” Along the way, the practice has enjoyed some significant milestones. It was the first in Asheville to bring a female orthodontist onto its team, in 2014; currently, in addition

More info on Blue Ridge Orthodontics online:

September 2017 |


H&H TEAM (L-R) Zak Ruther ford, Taylor Howard, & Jason Riggs

Family THAT

With H&H Distillery, Wendell and Taylor Howard set out to create a craft liquor uniquely theirs, while still paying tribute to their deep regional roots.


| September 2017


written by jay sanders photos by anthony harden

video intervie w

capital atpl ay. com September 2017 | 19

JASON ADJUSTING still temperatures


Y O U N G W E N D E L L H O WA R D was peering out the window of his grandfather’s 1963 Cadillac as a massive hurricane was bearing down on New Orleans. Seeking relief from his implacable asthma, Hazel Howard had escaped the wetter deciduous weather of Western North Carolina for the drier climate of Arizona, but now his intrepid grandson had come for a visit. “We met him in New Orleans and we rode in his Cadillac,” Wendell fondly recalls now. “I remember that I couldn’t see—we were trying to beat the storm coming in. It was raining.” Years later, after Hazel had bought a new Cadillac, Wendell hinted that he might want the ‘63. “He left it sitting under a big oak tree,” Wendell says. “‘Let me buy that Cadillac from you, let me buy that Cadillac.’ Finally, one day Hazel said, ‘Just come and get it.’ I brought it home and let it sit on the ground—not under a roof—for a long time. When I had a little money, I’d fix a little bit, and fix a little bit—I’d pay somebody. I didn’t do it; I had somebody do it. It’s still got the original pocket cards—the registration cards with (Hazel’s) signature on ‘em.” 20

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Which brings us to Hazel 63. Here in 2017, Wendell, along with his son, Taylor, make up the father and son team behind Western North Carolina’s newest microdistillery, H&H Distillery. Located at 204 Charlotte Highway in Fairview (just outside Asheville), their production facility is open for free tours and tastings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or by appointment. And H&H’s premier spirit is Hazel 63, named in honor of Wendell’s grandfather (Taylor’s great-grandfather) and his eponymous Cadillac. Introduced in 2016, it has already received a pair of awards: the 2017 American Craft Spirit Association Bronze Medal and the 2017 American Distilling Institute Bronze Medal. Hazel 63 is a premium, double-oaked rum that combines the finest select molasses with crisp mountain water. The result is an exceptionally drinkable spirit that mixes perfectly in a cocktail, or you can drink it neat and experience a flavor profile complex enough to please even the most discerning palate. “My dad was the oldest of three boys. He’s the one that drank,” says Wendell. “My grandparents didn’t drink, but my grandmother would nip. My dad just turned 83. I asked his

brothers, one is 80 and the other is in his seventies, ‘Do you think my grandmother would be mad at me for having my grandfather on a bottle of booze?’ They said, ‘She would, but not for you—you were the golden child with her.’” The Howard family has deep roots in Western North Carolina. “Both of my parents are from Cleveland County, so that’s where I kinda hung out as a kid,” Wendell says. “I’m trying to tie all of our products to something,” adds Taylor. “Our vodka will be called Old 74—that’s the road that leads from here to Shelby.” Following the launch of Hazel 63, H&H has a delicious queue of exciting new spirits to roll-out in the next few years. These include Switchback Whiskey, Old 74 Vodka, Hwy 9 Gin, a coffee liqueur, and even an exceptional limoncello liqueur.

A Family Affair H&H Distillery is indeed a family affair. Wendell and Taylor are joined by head distiller Jason Riggs, assistant distiller Zak Rutherford, and Taylor’s wife, Leah. “We’ve got an awesome team,” remarks Wendell. “Jason is very talented. He’s like a chemist; he can do lots of things with the product.”

“We all sit down and have our employee meetings face-toface,” says Jason. “We have lots of projects, but there are leads. We assign them based on our specialties. Anything that is being designed goes to Zak. I write all of the copy. Leah applies for permits and pays our taxes. We all have a part in it, although we’ve had to delegate who’s taking charge so that there’s not too many cooks in the kitchen. There’s full autonomy in all of our work. I really appreciate the trust.” Jason is quick to observe the power, passion, and beauty that comes from a sense of collective ownership. Wendell and Taylor Howard also operate T&K Utilities, a licensed contractor specializing in water, sewer, and highway work. “I’m just a local,” says Wendell. “I went to Reynolds High School right across the street. Started out in the banking business back in 1982. I was a repo guy and I was in the sales finance area. I worked with Terry Brothers Construction for nine years, the same type of work that I do here now [with T&K Utilities]—we’ve been in business almost 22 years.” He adds that before getting involved in the distilling business, T&K played a major role in the construction of many of Asheville’s largest brewing operations. “Of course, number one September 2017 |



on the alcohol end is, we’ve been part of the infrastructure at Sierra Nevada. We did almost all of the water line and sewer line to the site and on the site. We brought the off-site water from Airport Road, which was a separate contract with the county. We were out there a long time. We’ve also done work for New Belgium at their plant and warehouse. The infrastructure on Wicked Weed when they first started. The fire line and the water line into their building [on Biltmore]. We’re currently working on the Apothecary Beverage Company on Coxe Avenue.” 22

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The seed that germinated into H&H Distilling was planted by Taylor. “I saw them do it,” he says, “and thought, ‘I could do that. Let’s go big and make it legal.’” Enter Joe Baker, a criminal lawyer who traces his roots to the earliest settlers of Eastern Tennessee. Baker is also the moonshine impresario behind Ole Smoky Distillery in Gatlinburg and the Yee-Haw Brewing Company in Johnson City. “I met Joe Baker and his wife, Jessi, at the gym my wife, Amy, and I go to,” explains Wendell. “I knew he had Ole Smoky, and I knew just a little bit about what it was, but I didn’t know how big it was. I told

him I was going to go to distilling school in Wisconsin with my son, and he said, ‘You don’t have to go to Wisconsin, you can come right over to Gatlinburg and stay as long as you want.’ So [Taylor and I] went over there together.” Taylor returned to Ole Smoky for four days, soaking up every ounce of knowledge he could find. “He’s welcomed us with open arms,” says Taylor. “They had two shifts. I was there for one and a half shifts for four days. All of our fermenters came from Old Smokey as a gift.” Continues Wendell, “Joe Baker told me one time, ‘You know that if Taylor’s business starts doing well, he’s going to quit your construction company.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine.’ My goal is for my kids to do what they like and can survive with. Ole Smoky took off very fast—they’ve got the foot traffic, and the laws in Tennessee [are much more favorable]. I think they went, in three years, from three people to 300 people.” H&H Distilling, LLC, was officially formed in 2012. They bought their equipment in December 2014, and it arrived at the end of 2015. “Our pot came from Alabama, our column came from Colorado, our plates came from Florida, our pumps came from Canada, everywhere,” says Taylor. “Nobody’s stuff blends in with the other person’s stuff, so you just kinda gotta figure it out yourself: ‘Oh yeah, this will work.’ That was a hurdle, but I like that kind of challenge. “As a kid, everything was hands on— tear crap apart, put it back together kind of thing. I went to school for electrical computer engineering. A lot of those [computations] will calculate for fluid and thermal dynamics. That was [also] a hurdle. Even our cooker, I got it in from a company and it wasn’t efficient. So I sat down and I tried to find people to calculate it, and we ended up coming up with our own design. We put a heat sink in there to make it more efficient. The heat-up times were drastically better, the exhaust temperatures were a lot cooler. We might do something similar with the still.” September 2017 | 23

It took nearly a year to get the distillery legal, but H&H finally received their TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) permits in January, 2016. Taylor notes that getting their DSP (Distilled Spirits Plant) permit involved a good deal of red tape. “Feds never came to inspect, but they asked for a lot of pictures. There were a lot of headaches in construction, but the state approved it on the same date.”

North Carolina Rum Runners The State of North Carolina has a long and often tumultuous history with alcohol. The state banned the sale of alcohol completely in 1909, a full decade before the 1920 ratification of the 18th Amendment that ushered in the era of Prohibition, and never approved the 21st Amendment that, in 1933 repealed the “Noble Experiment.” After years of self-imposed prohibition, and the resulting losses in tax revenue, the 1935 North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation to set up government-run “control” stores. The first Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) store opened in Wilson, on July 2, 1935. According to the Wilmington Star News, shoppers lined up to buy 825 bottles of liquor on the first day, and 100 customers had to be turned away when the store closed at 6PM. In 1937 the legislature enacted the Alcoholic Beverage Control Bill, which established a State Board of Control, now called the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Commission. When looking around for their first product, H&H settled on rum for “mostly economic reasons,” says Jason. “[Molasses] is a raw ingredient that you can get year-round. We wanted to improve the industry. Rum is in need of a big revival. I did a lot of research, I bought a couple of books, and I looked up old times because you can’t move forward without understanding the history of something. That’s where I learned a lot about rum running throughout Western North Carolina.” “We had the rum recipe before Jason,” notes Taylor. “We had all the yeast, everything was there, [then] he dialed in the amount of yeast, nutrient, and the sugar content, as far as where to start out at, to where we could maximize our efficiency. I had some different alternative aging techniques from [my studies in] Colorado and Davy Crockett Distillery from what Jason had—that’s kind of where he dialed in and tweaked the wood for the aging process.” “I did not have so much experience with rum, like a premium high-dollar rum that’s being brewed on a small scale,” says Jason. “That’s what I wanted to do. There were a lot of rums that were really sweet and spiced—and ours is distinctly different than that. I wanted to differentiate ourselves by having something that wasn’t sweetened and spiced and masked a lot of the flavors. It’s very delicate. It comes off the still and it’s aged on brand new American and French oak. The French oak gives you sweet characteristics, like vanilla from an acid called lignans, and the charred American oak gives it more of the smoky roasted character. You’ll see when you try it that it’s very dry. It’s a great sipping rum.” 24

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LEAH & Hawkins make the business a family affair.

ZAK FEEDING the yeast.

H&H BOOTH at the 2017 Asheville Wine & Food Festival, photo by Bonnie Roberson

W hile refining the recipe for Hazel 63, Jason performed extensive experiments. His research and development process focuses on the exhaustive isolation of each ingredient to ensure that it features the exact characteristics he is looking for. “I learned a lot about sugar. I learned a lot about what rum is, what it has to be to be called rum. From that, I took a wide variety of raw ingredients to determine which ones I wanted to move forward with. So I knew I had to work with a simple sugar. I used different variations of table sugar to 100

The same attention to detail is going into the development of H&H’s future products. As soon as they receive government approval, H&H will be bringing a delicious botanical gin to market. “People are getting turned on to gins,” notes Jason. “We did well over nine months of R&D before I was happy with the gin that we’ve come up with. I had over 100 botanical distillations, and then I started picking and choosing which ones that I wanted to use to come up with the simple nine botanicals that I put in our citrus forward gin.” “The gin is awesome,” agrees Wendell. “I’ve never been a gin fan, but I’ve changed my mind with what we’ve got now. The more people that get a chance at it, the more people that get exposure, the more I know will like it.” The team at H&H is also developing a lemonflavored Italian liqueur called limoncello. Most commonly produced in Southern Italy around the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi coast, the H&H limoncello is a delightful blend of lemon with a hint of local honey. “The limoncello’s all Zak,” says Taylor. “The lemons come from Chick-fil-A. They fresh squeeze daily, then box up the scrap rinds—eight boxes a day from one store. So we hand zested all of the lemons the same day, fresh. Zach used to work there and hooked up the lemons.“

Opening a distillery is considerably more difficult than starting a brewery or a vineyard. It is a lengthy process laden with multiple steps and potential pratfalls. percent molasses, and used different types of molasses—I didn’t just use one kind. I ordered a lot of molasses from a company called International Molasses. It’s all Caribbeangrown cane, and they extract it up here in the States. I got different grades of it. We also played with lots of yeast from different laboratories. That’s where I find the most enjoyment and play. Not only using one type of strain, but maybe combining multiple strains of yeast. They do perform differently in how well they convert alcohol, as well as how they create different characteristics.”

“You better have some coins.” Starting a spirits business can be an incredibly complex and challenging endeavor. Many laws that were put on the books after the repeal of prohibition in 1933 are still September 2017 | 25

in place today, and the industry is heavily regulated at the federal level by the TTB. The complexity of these laws is compounded by supervision at the state level. In many ways, alcohol enforcement is the ultimate example of state’s rights in the great American experiment. Every state approaches alcohol regulation differently. While the legal drinking age was established as 21 years old by the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act, many variations still exist in other areas of alcohol enforcement. Some states, such as North Carolina, highly control the sale of distilled spirits through ABC stores, while allowing the sale of beer and wine to be more readily available in grocery, convenience, and specialty stores. North Carolina also limits the alcohol content of beer to 15%, and does not allow a “happy hour” style special. Opening a distillery is considerably more difficult than starting a brewery or a vineyard. It is a lengthy process laden with multiple steps and potential pratfalls. “Starting up is a whole challenge because there’s a lot of time that we’re waiting to be approved,” notes Jason. “In that time they’ve required potential distillers to have equipment in place in the location. For folks that are taking out loans or paying a lease on a venue, and also for the equipment, that puts them in a bind because they can’t legally start producing a spirit and getting some cash flow.” “You better have some coins or some access to some coins,” advises Wendell. “My perception is because there is no return. Take, for example, the construction business. I can get a $200,000 piece of equipment and just go get it or pay rent on it. Sometimes they’ll let you pay in arrears. To get a still, even just a small one, you’re looking at $20,000. You can’t lease it or rent it. When you work in construction or go get a job, you generate some income out of it—let’s say, in a week, that you earned $5,000. I don’t know when we’re going to net $5,000 on our [distilling] products.” Once the distillery is granted a DSP permit, then the process of getting authorization for each individual product begins. The formula and recipe must be submitted to the TTB for approval, and then the labels must be passed through the COLA (Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approvals) review process. The COLA process examines the labels to make sure all of the font sizes and language are correct, all the government warnings are present, and there is nothing on the label that can be considered misleading or misunderstood. The entire process could be as short as a few days, but often drags into weeks and months as the TTB asks for clarification or revisions. And even after getting approved on the federal level, in order to sell in a particular state, a distiller has to get the direct blessing of that state. “Just in North Carolina, which is very challenging to work with, we go to the commission in Raleigh, and we have to have a bottle to say, ‘We have the product and we’re ready to start distributing,’” says Jason. “They say, ‘OK, cool. Send us a couple of pallets.’ Now the product sits in the warehouse. Even though Bob Hamilton, the director of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission in Raleigh, says you’re good to


RUM IN the fermentation tanks


| September 2017


sell, you have to hit the road and go visit some 400 ABC stores. This past year we have been splitting our time between producing and on the road selling.”

Additional Challenges When asked about the target goals of H&H Distilling, Taylor simply replies, “Make liquor, sell liquor, make more liquor, sell more liquor,” to which Wendell quickly appends, “I like the drinking part. The making and the drinking part.” The liquor industry judges growth based on case sale volume. “[So far], we have not been able to hit target,” says Taylor. “We have just now started to market our products. Our goal for 2018 is 3,000 cases. We just hired a brand representative that has a team of four, one for each quadrant of the state. They also represent Virginia, West Virginia, and South Carolina, and they’ll be moving to Tennessee soon. We’re approved for Tennessee. We should be approved this week for South Carolina. You go to Virginia every quarter, but if they approve you, it’s big. They approve you in every store. In North Carolina you still have to go to every individual board and store and say, ‘Hey, pick it up, pick it up.’ It’s hard to get into Virginia, but if you can get in, it is a big deal.” Jason also represents Western North Carolina as a board member for the Distillers Association of North Carolina, a liquor industry advocacy group. In a recent September 2017 | 27

interview with the Asheville Citizen-Times, he said, “We’re only seeking parity with the beer and wine industry in taxation, distribution, and samples.” It’s a topic he’s quite vocal about. “I would really love the opportunity to self-distribute like brewers do,” Jason elaborates. “Because if the ABC store doesn’t stock it, but I’ve

guy that’s interested and he wants it. Now I’ve got to connect him with the ABC stores and be like, ‘Look, you better make sure it’s stocked for when my customer comes in to buy it, otherwise you’re directly causing a barrier for my sales.’” In addition to that apparent bureaucratic catch-22, one of the biggest challenges that independent spirits producers face is getting consumers to try their products. On-premise retailers such as bars and restaurants make it a lot easier for a consumer to try a new beverage without being required to purchase an entire bottle or make a trip to the ABC store. “We pull reports and we can see who has a mixed beverage permit that can sell, and then I even do some Google searches on where’s the best place to eat in the area,” says Jason. “If they match our brand, I’ll go in there. You probably won’t see me in TGI Fridays and other chains.” Changes to North Carolina law through the so-called “Brunch Bill” that was passed in June have provided a small modicum of relief. The bill included a provision allowing craft distilleries to sell up to five bottles of their product to visitors who tour their facility. Previously, consumers were limited to one bottle per person per year.

Legal distilling is rapidly tracing the trends of the craft beer revolution, creating a new generation of aficionados who enjoy a fine tipple made from quality local spirits. got a restaurant willing to purchase it, I would love to pull a bottle out and sell it to them. The number one thing with the ABC stores is, they don’t want to stock it until people are asking for it. If I go and get people to ask for it, and it’s not available, the sale goes cold. It’s a balancing act. I’ve got a









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| September 2017


Distilleries can also offer quarter-ounce samples at festivals, trade shows, and other events, provided they obtain the proper permit. “The more people that we can get to taste our product in a legal fashion, the better,” says Jason. “We are really begging people to come to the distillery and try our stuff. Our tasting room is the safest place to do it. “We’re not in the business of making liquor, we’re in the business of selling it.” “It’s challenging to make it work, but it’s awesome to know that the product’s out there,” says Wendell. “Somebody said to me, ‘That’s yours?’ and I said to them, ‘Just try it when you’re out somewhere.’ The more people that get involved, the better. We’re all about local in this area. Everybody seems to be about buying local. I think that’s going to help us.”

A New Legacy The history of North Carolina is full of vivid narratives, but none are more evocative than the region’s legacy in moonshining. Ever since Alexander Hamilton’s Whiskey Tax of 1791, people have been creating illicit “white lightning” to avoid paying taxes on their beloved spirits. From the German and Scotch-Irish settlers who first brought their whiskey production from the

Old World, to the back road racing bootleggers that forged the path to NASCAR, distilling is one of the most colorful threads in the tapestry of Appalachian life. (Go to and enter the search term “Water of Life” to read a concise history of moonshining in Western North Carolina, originally published in the September 2016 issue.) Nowadays, legal distilling is rapidly tracing the trends of the craft beer revolution, creating a new generation of aficionados who enjoy a fine tipple made from quality local spirits. H&H Distillery is the area’s newest addition to this growing movement. That award-winning double-oaked rum, Hazel 63, their initial offering, is rapidly gaining attention from consumers and bartenders alike. Currently available at many ABC stores across the state of North Carolina, and at some of the region’s more prominent bars, look for H&H products to expand their distribution into South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee in the coming months. That old Cadillac may have once been parked under a tree, but now it is back on the road and ready to run. “You live around here long enough, you end up with some of the locals—the sources may still be around here,” says Wendell. “I ran into one old guy and told him we had a product and he said, ‘Golly, you’re my competition!’”

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September 2017 | 29


The Business of Brewing What breweries need to know about trademarks...


HE A SHEV ILLE A R E A IS HOME TO A thriving craft brewing industry with well-established brands, as well as up-and-coming breweries. As the industry continues to grow, is it important for breweries to consider their trademark rights with respect to their brand and brews.

Why It’s Important to Register a Trademark


william g . heedy, esq.,

is a registered patent attorney at The Van Winkle Law Firm in Asheville.


Businesses generally utilize trademarks for identifying their company name, products, and services as soon as they begin using the trademark in commerce. Sometimes—hopefully, most of the time—these businesses will consider exploring the trademark registration process. Brewery businesses face particularly unique concerns relating to trademark rights, given the proliferation of trademarks used to identify brews. While these concerns can vary depending on whether distribution is being considered, they exist regardless. Federal registration of a trademark for use in connection with beer provides, in part, nationwide notice of ownership of the trademark in conjunction with beer. By not federally registering a trademark, breweries are at a risk of potentially narrowing the geographic area within which the brewery might wish to expand or a certain brew might be distributed. In other words, registration preserves

| September 2017

a company’s rights to expand while simultaneously preventing others from using the mark where a likelihood of confusion exists. For these reasons, businesses with an eye toward expansion are particularly encouraged to consider registering their trademarks. If a brewery registers a trademark and continues to use the registered trademark for five consecutive years, then an Affidavit of Incontestability may be filed, which considerably enhances the owner’s trademark rights. In the event that a dispute is litigated in court, several defenses to trademark infringement would be eliminated.

When Starting a New Brewery Before starting a brewery business and using a trademark—in this case, a trade name—to identify the new brewery, the business should perform a trademark clearance search. Conducting a trademark search is necessary for ascertaining the availability for registration of a particular trademark

W and, perhaps more impor tantly, identifying potential conflicts that might be encountered if the use of a particular trademark is adopted. I’ve seen breweries and bars right here in Asheville have to change their trade names at varying stages of development, including after having already opened their doors. Depending on how far along they might be in the process (For example, has signage been installed?), having to change trade names can be a costly undertaking.


Protecting the Brand and Products A common issue in today’s brewery landscape is the sheer number of trademarks being churned out for each new brew. There is always a concern as to the availability of any new trademark being considered for use, but the craft beer industry can be particularly challenging, and a high degree of care needs to be given before using a trademark. This is particularly true when distribution for a particular new brew is likely on the horizon. After registration of the trademark, a business should be sure to include the registration symbol—®—adjacent to

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the mark. In the United States, failure to use the registration symbol may limit the remedies that can be sought from infringers in a civil lawsuit. Businesses must continually associate their trademarks with the relevant products or services within the context of the sale of those products or services to maintain exclusive rights. Businesses are tasked with the duty to protect their rights by policing their trademarks to prevent weakening of the mark. In some instances, failure to police a mark can lead to the abandonment of all trademark rights in the mark.

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Reserving a Trademark for Later Use


New brewery businesses should be aware that a trademark can be somewhat “reserved” for a limited period of time with the United States Trademark Office before they begin using the trademark if the applicant has a good faith intent to use the trademark in the future. In such a scenario, they might file an intent-to-use trademark application. This intent-touse application will be examined in the same manner that a standard in-use application is examined, except that the specimen and allegation of use are submitted and reviewed at a later date. Upon receipt of the Notice of Allowance for a particular trademark application, you will have six months to file the allegation of use or, in the alternative, file a request for a six-month extension. Up to five six-month extensions may be requested, which, if granted, ultimately “reserve” the trademark for up to three years post-allowance.

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The ultimate goal for any brewery business is to build and develop a longstanding product that people enjoy. Many longstanding businesses face the reality of having to update their logo to meet current trends. While some changes to a



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logo absolutely require the preparation and filing of a new trademark application for registration of the new logo, there are certain changes for which the United States Trademark Office might not require a new application. Generally, these changes would have to be non-material changes.


When Not to Pursue Trademark Registration There are a few instances where it might be advisable to not file a trademark application. One such instance is where the trademark is merely descriptive of the goods with which the mark is used in conjunction with. The Trademark Office will refuse registration of a mark that merely describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the goods or services covered by an application. For example, registration of “Hoppy IPA” for use in connection with beer would present challenges, as both “hoppy” and “IPA” are likely to be considered merely descriptive of beer. Another instance where registration might not be advisable is for a brew that is only going to be available for a limited time, in which case it might not be financially prudent to file a trademark application (But don’t forget that clearance search!).

Urgency Is Key One of the bigger pitfalls I see businesses experience with respect to the trademark registration process is a lack of urgency. Some don’t realize that they can or should get started, while others simply don’t appreciate the potential risks in delaying. I recommend exploring the possibility of registering a trademark as quickly as possible—either before or soon after the business starts using it. The sooner a company acts, the more protection its brand and products will have. ASHEVILLE | 828.254.2374 BOONE | 828.262.0997 MARION | 828.652.7044

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news briefs

From Handmade to Hands-Free western north carolina

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has begun work on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina. Earlier versions were printed by Handmade in America, in the 1990s, as the Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina. They provided a map with sales pitches for a curated list of studios, schools, galleries, and historic places throughout the region. Then, as now, the guide was promoted as generating business for local traditional crafters and artisans, while fortifying the area’s tourist trade. The third and final edition, published in 2003, listed almost 500 places. Handmade went out of business in 2015, so now, the new version of the travel guide is coming together thanks


to a $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, with matches from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and other private donors. The grant funded a series two-hour listening sessions in July and August, each open to the public and held at a different craft center. The balance of the money will be spent on market research and site documentation. In addition to a print guide, the grant will fund a web portal sponsoring 75 attractions. It is hoped the website will grow with new rounds of funding.

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North Carolina state agents are growing cannabis. The program was

launched pursuant to a provision in the last farm bill that allowed states to establish programs to support research and development for industrial hemp. North Carolina, interested in maintaining a diversified agricultural portfolio, followed up with the creation of the Industrial Hemp Commission, charged with determining the optimal conditions for growing the crop. Pilot studies are now underway at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, under the supervision of Kaleb Rathbone. Since hemp has been illegal in the state for 50 years, Rathbone expects it will take more than the customary five to 15 years to make sure growing conditions are understood well enough to hand the hemp baton off to farmers. The station is part of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, whose mission is to experiment with crops on a small scale in order to spare farmers the losses of experimenting wholesale. One acre was planted June 19 with 15 varieties of the plant. Now scientists will examine the effects of variables like light, water, and soil pH on the crop when used for fiber, food, and homeopathic remedies. Activities are tightly regulated and confined strictly to registered acreage.


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Recruiting for Recreation


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Tom Dempsey and Noah Wilson were among the greatest exponents for a state outdoor recreation recruitment director. Dempsey is president of SylvanSport, a manufacturer of recreational vehicles; and Wilson is director of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, a collaboration of local manufacturers. Due to their efforts, the North Carolina General Assembly agreed to fund the position, beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year. It will be the job of the director, working out of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, to recruit new outdoor business to the state, much like his counterparts already do in Utah, Colorado, and Washington. Also lobbying were Ross Saldarini, of Mountain Khakis, Will Morgan and John Hardin, of Manning Fulton & Skinner, and Bruce Nofsinger, of Topics Education. They worked with Senator Rick Gunn (Alamance) to bring the position into the last budget discussions, where it received broad bipartisan support. The Outdoor Industry Association celebrated victories in the creation of two such positions this year. Outdoor sports already constitute a growing $19.2 billion industry in the state, accounting for 192,000 jobs.


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The City of Hendersonville has hired Charlotte-based Black & Veatch for designing and permitting a new water system intake on the French Broad River. The engineers will also consider moving the Mills River uptake further upstream to avoid runoff issues. Billing 65,000 customers a month, Hendersonville Water and Sewer currently treats an average of 7.5 million gallons of water each day (MGD), with peak demands around 9 MGD. Current projections indicate the system will have to treat 21 MGD by 2040. Last October, during drought conditions, Hendersonville leadership called on citizens to exercise voluntarily conservation measures, which were only lifted in May, as preparations were made to install a temporary pump on the French Broad. The Hendersonville water department currently sources its water from Bradley Creek and Mills River. Mills River water is so pristine, it exceeds state standards before treatment, but the state requires it to be treated nonetheless. The French Broad, however, carries a greater volume, making it a more reliable source; volumes and quality having improved with the exodus of industry. The new intake should



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be able to collect 12 MGD for treatment, with a capacity for 21 MGD attainable with only minor upfits. The city intends to continue using the Mills River intake at capacity as water from the French Broad is phased into the system.

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The fourth annual Bsides Asheville cybersecurity conference was held at analytics firm RISC Networks (profiled in the August 2016 issue) on July 28 and 29. Bsides is a global network that offers conferences with corporate sponsorship and local organization. Its objective is to make cybersecurity accessible both conceptually and financially to small business owners and information technology engineers. Speakers stressed much more was at risk than simply having one’s data viewed by spies. These days, hackers can go after the systems that control traffic lights, hospital life support, and even internet-of-things household items, like thermostats and baby monitors. Ransomware is currently very popular. Cyberattacks that have hit Asheville include hijacked credit card readers at automated teller stations, restaurants, and gas pumps, not to

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mention hacking of WordPress as part of multiple global attacks affecting several hundred thousand accounts. A 2015 attempt to hack Mission Health’s private database was averted. Conference conversations contemplated social dilemmas, such as how to balance First Amendment rights with national security and where to draw the line between efficient communication and social engineering; and acquired skills were tested in games where participants vied to find the most vulnerabilities in a fictitious company’s setup and then attempted to disable the most software locks. Asheville’s conference was sponsored in part by RISC, Cisco Systems, Dell SecureWorks, and Immedion.

| September 2017

Many residents of Swain County still have neither internet nor cell phone service. Many of those who have service experience regular call dropping, and their internet blinks off every 10-15 minutes. Instinctively, residents want to blame the carrier, Frontier Communications; so Representative Mike Clampitt (Bryson City) led a town hall meeting with invited guest Susan Miller, the director of governmental affairs for Frontier. Miller explained Frontier is a for-profit business, so if it invests too much in losing ventures, it will fold. Ratepayers would not want to be billed what Frontier would have to charge to cover the construction of all the cell and broadband infrastructure needed to service all the pockets of just a few families scattered throughout the county. On the bright side, Miller said the FCC is providing funding for Frontier to fill in some of the gaps. The technology will be low-end, 10-megabyte DSL. Federal funds have already helped provide service to parts of Cashiers, Franklin, and Murphy. Most of the future work will be completed by 2020 and will service Whittier, along the Qualla Boundary. The FCC does, at


THANK YOU least, require carriers to provide landline service to anybody willing to personally pay for any needed construction.

Convenient Top-Rank Luxury Getaway watauga county

After eleven years of being in the top ten, Blowing Rock’s luxury Westglow Resort & Spa was rated the absolutely best destination spa in the United States by readers of Travel + Leisure. Properties are scored on the quality of their accommodations, amenities, food, and service. The magazine attributed Westglow’s high score first to its remote mountain setting. Other plusses were the character of its accommodations, in a Greek Revival mansion, two luxury homes, and a rustic lodge divided into suites. Readers further liked the state-ofthe-art Life Enrichment Center, where life coaches support guests in anything from aquatic therapies, to hiking and tennis, to yoga and less-familiar activities with exotic names. Spa offerings include traditional massages, herbal facials and body wraps, and salon services for hair, nails, and makeup. Lastly, the gourmet food at Rowland’s Restaurant was described as offering “indulgent” and “spa” menu items. Travel + Leisure is a monthly travel magazine with 4.8 million readers. It is in the same league as Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic Traveler.

As the Landscape of Healthcare Changes henderson county

Construction is beginning on a third Pardee UNC Health Care urgent care center in Henderson County. Located in the Ingles Shopping Center at the corner of North Mills River Road and Boylston Highway, the 2,500-sq.-ft. center is scheduled to open in 2018. Hospital spokespersons indicated

the center is being built to meet an immediate need. Urgent care centers are growing in popularity, with about 8,000 now operating in the United States. Another 1,200 retail clinics operate in drug store chains. Retail clinics are only equipped to treat minor problems. Urgent care centers typically can treat injuries including bone fractures, asthma attacks, and mild concussions. The Mills River center will be equipped for administering X-rays and performing lab tests. It will thus be able to handle sports and pre-employment physicals. Because the urgent care center is affiliated with Pardee, its board-certified providers on staff will be able to give qualified referrals for more complex issues. Urgent care centers remain open later and they are usually less expensive and more efficient than hospital emergency departments.

A One-Horse Town polk county

Tickets for the 2018 World Equestrian Games will go on sale in September. Costs run around $3,000 per person for a single week in the 14-day event, or $6,000-$7,000 for the full program. Rates include accommodations. The games are described as the Olympics of horse racing. Teams compete for medals much like they do in the horse games in the Summer Olympics, which include dressage, jumping, vaulting, and endurance. Mark Bellissimo, the developer behind the 1,600-acre, $175 million Tryon International Equestrian Center, where the games will be played, wants to make equestrian games to Western North Carolina what horse racing is to Kentucky. Bellissimo started lobbying for the games when he heard Bromont, Quebec, had backed out of the 2014 games due to problems securing public financing. At the time, he stated Aachen, Germany, was the only city poised to possibly compete with Tryon. Assistance was solicited from the governors of North and South Carolina.








September 2017 | 37


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| September 2017

local industry

photo by Bailey Batten

The Good Times Continue to Roll written by jennifer fitzger ald


photos by anthony harden

It’s been another strong year for the alcohol industry in Western North Carolina—and more growth is expected. Let’s examine why.


he anonymous quote “History flows forward on rivers of beer” certainly applies to the beer scene in Western North Carolina as Capital at Play takes its annual look at the industry. The region is home to 84 breweries, with two more on the way. These breweries continue to impact Asheville and the surrounding counties as they provide jobs and draw tourists throughout the year. One significant change for the alcohol industry occurred on June 30, when North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed the

state’s “Brunch Bill” into effect. It allows alcohol sales on Sundays to begin at 10AM rather than noon. Local government boards must approve this change. A few highlights from the past year include Madison County’s first brewery—Mad Co Brewing—opening on Main Street in Marshall, and the announcement in May that Asheville’s Wicked Weed Brewing was being purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev. (A complete list of regional breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries follows this article.) September 2017 | 39

BEERS ON TAP at Greenhouse Moto Cafe

Why the continued growth in the area?

“First and foremost, folks want to be in Western North Carolina,” says Billy Pyatt, co-owner of Catawba Brewing Company and president of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. “Consumers move here for the outdoor and craft-economy life style. Businesses—breweries in particular—pick Western North Carolina because of the craft beer culture, abundant natural resources, and because their employees willingly locate here. Our Western North Carolina counties actively recruit and incent industrial investment. And the North Carolina regulatory environment is pretty friendly.” If you turned your calendar back five years, you would find a totally different beer industry in the region. Who could have predicted the level of growth that we have experienced? “Over the past five years we’ve seen the ‘old guard’ Western North Carolina breweries, like Highland, Asheville Brewing Company, Green Man, Wedge, and Catawba, develop their own unique business models and expand,” continues Pyatt. “New Western North Carolina brewers have sprung to life to energize the area even further. National breweries, like Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, and New Belgium, focused their East Coast production resources here. And brewing raw material companies, like White Labs, located here to be closer to their customers. Western North Carolina beer has become a true, nationally known beer ‘scene.’ Sure, we locals still center a lot of our social lives around the breweries, but the influx of beer tourists has really been an amazing addition.” Pyatt stresses that a lot of the local beer scene has stayed the same over the years and that “brewers, from Sierra Nevada all the way to the newest startup, are a part of a solid, collaborative, and supportive community. All of us believe in giving back to 40

| September 2017

the community. Charitable causes—from a down-on-their-luck friend, to United Way, Eblen, and similar—are getting wonderful support from brewers, large and small. And that makes a lot of us old guard very happy.” As the number of breweries continues to grow, you might wonder if we have reached the saturation point. While we were in the process of gathering this report, it was announced that Sylva’s Heinzelmannchen Brewery was permanently closing, after 13 years in business. So the question inevitably becomes, how many is too many? “There are over 5,300 breweries in the United States right now, and that number alone could give concern,” says Pyatt. “But digging a little deeper, one finds that there is a very wide spread in brewery business models. Most start-ups are pretty modest and exist to serve a narrow geographic range with primarily retail (bar) sales. You can draw some parallels between those and other service-industry focused businesses, like restaurants. The well-managed, unique, high-quality, customer experience focused entities will survive and thrive. And there always seems to be room for another concept in Western North Carolina. Of course, there are closings and business failures along the way as well. Not everyone makes it, but a lot do. “Now some breweries aspire to be regional or even national in scope. That requires a very different set of skills and investments. Production cost and quality management becomes key, as are distribution and end-user marketing strategies and, of course, financial planning and management. Go visit Ingles and look at the craft beer cooler. You’ll see significant congestion from local, regional, and national breweries, vying for a piece of valuable display real estate. If there is one thing that can hold back the regional and national aspirants, it’s retail space. And I believe this side of our business is going to just keep getting tougher.”


“Microbreweries get a big federal excise tax break that microdistilleries don’t get. Several North Carolina distilleries have already gone out of business...”

WINE FLOWING at Russian Chapel Hills Winer y

The strong growth and performance of local breweries comes as no surprise, but how about the growth of distilleries? This year’s list includes seven distilleries, with another coming soon. Cody Bradford, owner of Howling Moon Distillery in Asheville, says there has been a lot of interest in distilling for several reasons. “One is several TV shows have generated interest,” says Bradford. “Then some of the distilleries have been successful that started up in the last five to ten years, so a lot of people think there is a gold mine and want to get in on it. Unfortunately, it’s not as profitable as people think because of the extremely high excise taxes. There is also a bigger investment upfront for equipment because we brew a beer first and need all the equipment to do that like a brewery, but then we have to have distillation equipment. “Unlike breweries, we can’t distribute our products as easily because of restrictions, and microbreweries get a big federal excise tax break that microdistilleries don’t get. Several North Carolina distilleries have already gone out of business and several others can’t be far behind them.” Bradford notes that distribution remains a challenge for distilleries. “They (North Carolina legislature) almost passed a bill to allow us to do taste testing in ABC stores, and that would have helped, but it was shot down. They almost passed a bill to allow us to sell online out of state. Five states and the District of Columbia allow direct shipment of liquor to consumers. That would have been huge. Finding a distributor for a microdistillery is a challenge. The market is flooded and distributors are being careful. They do allow us to sell up to five bottles per person per year, but that mainly is a one-time sell to tourist. It helps and it may allow some people to keep the doors open, but it’s not a major boost to business.”

Wineries & Cideries

The winery and cidery landscape remained the same this year—a robust number of locations spread throughout the region. Jeff Frisbee, the owner of Addison Farms Winery in Leicester, says there were several motivating factors for him and his wife to start a winery, including a strong desire to do something to preserve the family farm (he is the fourth generation to farm the land), a strong desire to be home, and their love of wine coupled with the belief that they were sitting on an ideal vineyard location. “There are a multitude of reasons for growth in the wine industry, but I think there are two reasons that are the key drivers,” says Frisbee. “First, North Carolina is a state of agriculture. We have a rich tradition of growing produce, raising livestock, and, of course, growing tobacco. Grapes are as close as most family farms can get to the same per-acre revenue that tobacco once provided. Potential revenue is not the same level, but grapes can allow the farm to survive. “Second, the United States is the largest wine consuming nation in the world, and while not nearly at the per capita levels of our European cousins, our per capita consumption continues to grow. Between 20102015, wine consumption in the U.S. grew by 113 million gallons, or a little over 14 percent. That growing demand, coupled with North Carolina being an under-recognized world-class wine growing region, makes it a natural fit that we would see growth in this industry.” September 2017 | 41

local industry

Note from the Editor

As we have done in the previous two years, we are publishing a map of the 18 counties of Western North Carolina, with Jennifer’s listing of all breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries dotting this corner of the state. Among the relevant data points: (A) does the company have a retail taproom or tasting room rather than just being strictly a manufacturer; (B) how many barrels or bottles does it produce, on average, per year, as a measure of size and productivity; and (C) what is the number of full-time and part-time employees. (The latter, in the aggregate, serves as a general indicator of how the alcohol industry directly impacts the regional employment outlook.)

We intend to keep the online version of this information updated on a regular basis, so please let us know of any updates, corrections, or additions we need to be aware of. It’s located at the Resources section of We’ve tried to be as complete as possible, but as the accompanying report on the previous page outlines, the regional alcohol industry continues to be in flux. And yes, as before, we accumulated our information the old-fashioned way: traditional journalistic inquiry—calling and emailing the principals, and consulting publically-available online resources—and not by utilizing algorithms, as many other such surveys do.

Western North Carolina Breweries 1. Boondock Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant West Jefferson Barrels Made Per Year: 500 Employees FT: 16 PT: 45 2. Lost Province Brewing Co. Boone Barrels Made Per Year: 700 Employees FT: 21 PT: 29 3. Appalachian Mountain Brewery Boone 4. Booneshine Brewing Co. Boone 5. Blowing Rock Brewing Co. Blowing Rock Barrels Made Per Year: 5,000 Employees FT: 18 PT: 37 6. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. Beech Mountain Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees FT: 3 PT: 2-6 brewery


7. Flat Top Mountain Brewery Banner Elk Barrels Made Per Year: 700 Employees FT: 4 PT: 3 8. Blind Squirrel Brewery Plumtree & Burnsville Barrels Made Per Year: 900 Employees FT: 25 PT: 5 9.Dry County Brewing Co. Spruce Pine Barrels Made Per Year: Nanobrewery Employees FT: 1 10. Homeplace Beer Co. Burnsville 11.Winding Creek Brewing Co. Columbus Employees FT: 6 12. Triskelion Brewing Co. Hendersonville Barrels Made Per Year: 4,500 Employees FT: 4 PT: 4

| September 2017

13. Southern Appalachian Brewery Hendersonville Barrels Made Per Year: 1,100 Employees FT: 2 PT: 9 14. Sanctuary Brewing Hendersonville Barrels Made Per Year: 500 Employees FT: 5 PT: 4 15. Basic Brewery Hendersonville Barrels Made Per Year: 50 Employees FT: 2 PT: 1 16. Blue Ghost Brewing Co. Fletcher Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees FT: 2 PT: 2 17. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Mills River Barrels Made Per Year: 500,000 Employees FT: 360 18. Mad Co Brewing Marshall

19. Oskar Blues Brewery Brevard Barrels Made Per Year: 90,000 Employees FT: 52 PT: 9 20. Brevard Brewing Brevard Barrels Made Per Year: 1,000 Employees FT: 1 PT: 3-5 21. Ecusta Brewing Co. Brevard Barrels Made Per Year: 800 Employees FT: 3 PT: 6 22. Boojum Brewing Waynesville - 2 locations Barrels Made Per Year: 2,500 Employees FT: 10 PT: 25 23. Frog Level Brewing Co. Waynesville Barrels Made Per Year: 500 Employees FT: 2 PT: 2


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24. BearWaters Brewing Co. Waynesville Barrels Made Per Year: 1,000 Employees FT: 10 PT: 2-6 25. Innovation Brewing Co. Sylva Barrels Made Per Year: 1,000 Employees FT: 5 PT: 6 26. Sneak E Squirrel Brewery Sylva Barrels Made Per Year: 200 Employees FT: 3 PT: 10


27. Satulah Mountain Brewing Co. Highlands Barrels Made Per Year: >500 Employees FT: 1 28. Currahee Brewing Co. Franklin Barrels Made Per Year: few thousand Employees FT: 5 PT: 2 29. Lazy Hiker Brewing Co. Franklin Barrels Made Per Year: 800 -1000 Employees FT: 10-15

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30. Mountain Layers Brewing Bryson City

33. Hoppy Trout Brewing Co. Andrews

31. Nantahala Brewing Co. Bryson City Barrels Made Per Year: 5,000 Employees FT: 20+

34. Valley River Brewery Murphy Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees FT: 4 PT: 4

32. Andrews Brewing Co. Andrews Barrels Made Per Year: 150 Employees FT: 1


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September 2017 | 43



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Buncombe County Breweries 1. Lookout Brewing Black Mountain Barrels Made Per Year: 1,000 Employees FT: 4 PT: 3

4. Whistle Hop Brewery Fairview Barrels Made Per Year: 100 Employees FT: 3 PT: 5

7. Hillman Brewing Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 1,300 Employees FT: 5 PT: 9

10. Hi-Wire Brewing Asheville 2 locations Barrels Made Per Year: 15,000 Employees FT: 23 PT: 10

2. Pisgah Brewing Co. Black Mountain Barrels Made Per Year: 5,000 Employees FT: 10 PT: 6

5. Highland Brewing Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 45-50,000 Employees FT: 50 PT: 20

8. French Broad Brewing Co. Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 250 Employees FT: 4 PT: 4


3. Turgua Farmstead Brewery Fairview

6. Sweeten Creek Brewing Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 650 Employees FT: 6 PT: 6

9. Catawba Brewing Co. Asheville 2 locations Barrels Made Per Year: 17,000 Employees FT: 23 PT: 37


| September 2017

A. Bhramari Brewhouse Asheville Employees FT: 3 PT: 3 B. Lexington Avenue Brewery Asheville

C. Thirsty Monk Woodfin and 2 Asheville locations Also Brother Joe’s Coffee Pub Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees FT: 30 PT: 16 D. One World Brewery Asheville Employees FT: 13 PT: 2 E. Wicked Weed Brewing Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 36,000 Employees FT: 135 PT: 85 F. White Labs Asheville

12. SOUTH SLOPE G. Ben’s Brewery Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 200 Employees FT: 2 PT: 1 H. Burial Beer Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 1,500 Employees FT: 9 PT: 8 I. Funkatoriuim Asheville For Barrels and employees see Wicked Weed info above J. Green Man Brewery Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 15,000 Employees FT: 15 PT: 15 K. Twin Leaf Brewery Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 600-700 Employees FT: 2 PT: 4 13.Habitat Brewing Co. Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees FT: 2 PT: 2

14. Asheville Pizza and Brewing Asheville 3 locations Barrels Made Per Year: 8,500 Employees FT: 60 PT: 100 15. Zebulon Artisan Ales Weaverville 16. Blue Mountain Pizza and Brewpub Weaverville Barrels Made Per Year: 140 Employees FT: 1 PT: 1 17. Ginger’s Revenge Asheville Employees FT: 2 PT: 4


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18. Wedge Brewing Co. Asheville 2 locations Barrels Made Per Year: 2,100 Employees FT: 7 PT: 44 19. New Belgium Brewing Co. Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 500,000 Employees FT: 130 based here 20. Archetype Brewing Asheville Employees FT: 6 PT: 4 21. Oyster House Brewing Co. Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 500 Employees FT: 15 PT: 3 22. UpCountry Brewing Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 600 Employees FT: 10 PT: 2 23. Fahrenheit Pizza & Brewhouse Asheville 24. Mills River Brewery Arden Barrels Made Per Year: 300 Employees PT: 4


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September 2017 | 45

local industry

Charlotte Street 180 Charlotte Street Asheville, NC 28801 828.785.1940

Sweeten Creek 76 Sweeten Creek Rd. Asheville, NC 28803 828.258.5385

Western North Carolina WINERIES

West Main Street 120 West Main Street Brevard, NC 28712 828.884.2285

1.Banner Elk Winery Banner Elk Bottles Made Per Year: 32,000 Employees FT: 4 PT: 9 2. Grandfather Vineyard & Winery Banner Elk Bottles Made Per Year: 54,000 Employees FT: 3 PT: 3 3. Linville Falls Winery Newland Bottles Made Per Year: 14,000 Employees FT: 2 PT: 5

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4. South Creek Vineyards & Winery Nebo Bottles Made Per Year: 9-12,000 Volunteers Only 5. Belle Nicho Winery Nebo Bottles Made Per Year: 4,200-6,000 Employees FT: 1 6. Parker-Binns Vineyard Mill Spring Bottles Made Per Year: 12,000 Employees FT: 4 PT: 1 7. Overmountain Vineyards Tryon Bottles Made Per Year: 25,000 Employees FT: 2 PT: 5

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| September 2017

8. Mountain Brook Vineyards Tryon Bottles Made Per Year: 4,800 Employees FT: 1 PT: 5



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9. Russian Chapel Hills Winery Columbus Bottles Made Per Year: 50,000 Employees FT: 3 PT: 2

12. Bee & Bramble Fine Meads Fairview Bottles Made Per Year: 9,600 Employees FT: 1

15.Fontaine Vineyards Leicester Does not process grapes on the premises- vineyards only.

19. Cherokee Cellars Winery Murphy Bottles Made Per Year: 6,000 Employees FT: 2 PT: 1

10. Burntshirt Vineyards Hendersonville Bottles Made Per Year: 48-60,000 Employees FT: 10 PT: 3

13. Biltmore Winery Asheville Bottles Made Per Year: 1,800,000 Employees FT: 11 PT: 1

16. Fox Hill Meadery Marshall

20. Valley River Vineyards Murphy Wine Made Per Year: 400 gallons

11. Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards Hendersonville Bottles Made Per Year: 72,000 Employees PT: 16

14. Addison Farms Vineyard Leicester Bottles Made Per Year: 10,000 Employees PT: 5

17. Eagle Fork Vineyards Hayesville Bottles Made Per Year: 8,000 Employees FT: 3 PT: 3 18. Calaboose Cellars Andrews Bottles Made Per Year: 6,000 Employees PT: 1

21. Nottely River Valley Vineyards Murphy Bottles Made Per Year: 10,000 Employees PT: 2 24 during harvest

September 2017 | 47

local industry

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1. Black Mountain Ciderworks & Meadery Black Mountain Barrels Made Per Year: 1,000 Employees FT: 2 PT: 1

600,000 case equivalents 5. Flat Rock Ciderworks Hendersonville Employees FT: 1 PT: 2

2. Urban Orchard Cider Company Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 968 Employees FT: 10 PT: 6

6. Appalachian Ridge Artisan Hard Cider Hendersonville Opens September 2017

3. Noble Cider Asheville Barrels Made Per Year: 2,500 3,000 Employees FT: 6 PT: 3

1. Blue Ridge Distilling Co. Inc. Bostic Bottles Made Per Year: 102,000 Whiskey (Defiant Whisky) Employees FT: 5 PT: 1

4. Bold Rock Hard Cider Mills River Barrels Per Year (at full capacity):

2. Oak & Grist Distilling Co. Black Mountain Local Gin & Whisky


| September 2017

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3. Asheville Distilling Co. Asheville Bottles Made Per Year: 300,000 capacity Whiskey (Troy & Sons) Employees FT: 5 PT: 2 4. Howling Moon Distillery Asheville Bottles Made Per Year: 20,000 Moonshine Employees FT: 3 5. Apothecary Beverage Company Asheville Under construction. Gin under The Chemist label.

6. Dalton Distillery Asheville Bottles Made Per Year: 3,000+ Rum Employees FT: 3 PT: 2 7. Eda Rhyne Distillery Asheville Appalachian Fernet, Pinnix Gin, Forrest Floor Amaro 8. H&H Distillery Asheville Bottles Made Per Year: 4,000 Rum (see p. 18) Employees FT: 2 PT: 3 9. Elevated Mountain Distilling Company Maggie Valley Whiskey, Moonshine, Vodka

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What Went Wrong With Chardonnay?

Why do so many people shun this once-popular grape?







Chardonnay.” I hear this refrain at least three times a week. Not only do a large number of people not drink Chardonnay themselves, they won’t serve it to their friends either. It used to be that Chardonnay was de rigueur at weddings. It was the one white wine that everyone could agree to.


john kerr

is the co-owner of Metro Wines located on Charlotte Street in downtown Asheville.


Now, few brides consider the grape for their receptions. At cocktail parties and other gatherings, it’s become a divisive grape. Only Riesling is rejected more than Chardonnay. So what happened to America’s most popular white wine? Part of the story lies in the media’s portrayal of the wine in an iconic movie series and a television show. But the main reason has to do with what happens to so many grapes that achieve widespread popularity. This story has repeatedly played out over last several decades. Let’s walk through the details. We all know what happened to Merlot. In the 2004 movie Sideways, oenophile Miles rants to his friend, “…if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving,” and he ends with conversation with, “I’m not drinking any **** Merlot.” That dialogue immediately put the brakes on Merlot in America. Merlot consumption plummeted to the point that I began receiving flyers from otherwise revered wineries pleading for people

| September 2017

to buy their Merlot, saying that it was the same high quality wine that had consistently sold out in previous years. To this day, Merlot sales have not completely recovered. However, there is one Merlot that saw no drop in sales when Sideways was released. Bordeaux from the right bank of the region’s river is mostly Merlot. But because most people don’t know this, Bordeaux never saw a slump in its sales and continues to sell as if Merlot had never been disparaged. The sad fact is that wine is like art, fashion, or any other product subject to consumer preference. A wine’s popularity is constantly influenced by the current fad or consumer trend. As with Merlot, Chardonnay had its own media bomb. The two Bridget Jones movies released in 2001 and 2004 featured Chardonnay in an unflattering light. Now referred to in the biz as the Bridget Jones effect, two scenes took their toll on Chardonnay. One scene showed her in a

J bar with tears on her face, lamenting her sorry life over a generous glass of Chardonnay. And later, her diary entry, “Dear diary, I’ve failed again, I’ve poured an enormous glass of Chardonnay and I’m going to put my head in the oven.” T h e s e c o n d h it c a m e f r o m Chardonnay’s nickname, “cougar juice,” which derived from the TV show Cougar Town. The show’s name came from the town’s high school mascot. But it didn’t take long for the public to apply the term cougar to the women stars who seemed to spend their lives drinking Chardonnay and chasing younger men.


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Although the dip in Chardonnay sales is not nearly as bad as what happened to Merlot, the effect of this one-two punch still lingers. Although bad press can kill a wine, the most common hit to a wine’s popularity is caused by the wine’s own prominence. Its meteoric fame becomes its demise and the wine craters under its own weight. No, it’s not because the public gets tired of the grape. It’s actually something a bit more sinister. Every business has its hucksters, and the wine business is no different. September 2017 |



When a wine becomes popular, opportunists know that a grape vintners graduated to a softer, buttery style, with a dominant will sell based on its name alone. As Chardonnay was being oak foundation. It’s a great style that helped define great “discovered,” the floodgates opened, and California wine. cheap Chardonnay began to appear at The demise began when several banquets, as well as grocery and big box vintners took too ser iously the stores (and they’re still there). Every American adage that bigger is better. SO, BEFORE grape has its cheap versions. But when The oaky, buttery style of Chardonnay YOU SWEAR OFF Chardonnay is bad, it’s really bad. started down the path of American car CHARDONNAY, Chardonnay is such a versatile grape styles in the 1950s. At that time, one TRY A FEW OF THE that it can be grown just about anywhere manufacturer decided to put fins on the in the world. So it will remain the back end of its cars. Since that year’s car DIFFERENT STYLES leading white wine for the foreseeable model sold well, competitors released FROM THE WESTERN future. But that also means that it will models with even bigger tail fins the UNITED STATES AND remain the most abused grape variety next year. Every year, the fins grew AROUND THE WORLD. bigger until the public had had enough. out there. The other major effect on Chardonnay Then sales plummeted. was the California style. California The popularity of Chardonnay started with the French style, and coincided with this oaky, buttery style. produced a wine so close that it fooled French wine critics, The good Chardonnay was still out there, but the average who accidently voted it the best white Burgundy during the consumer bought the cheap stuff flooding the market, and then famous Judgement of Paris in 1976. But soon, California assumed that this was what all Chardonnay tasted like. Most


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people tried Chardonnay at this time, and will forever associate Chardonnay with this blown out version. That’s when the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) club really took off. Don’t think you like Chardonnay? Maybe you haven’t tried the right style for you. When customers tell me that they don’t like Chardonnay, I always ask them if they’ve tried one from France. More often than not, the answer is no. Burgundy, French Chardonnay, has little or no oak and no butter. Instead, you’ll get notes of green apple wrapped in a beautiful texture. It truly is a different experience. Before you give up on Chardonnay completely, I encourage you to try one from France. While you can spend a fortune to buy a bottle from Montrachet, you won’t have to break the bank to get the white Burgundy experience. Here’s a couple with remarkable quality for the price. Nicolas Potel Macon Villages, at about $16, has a richer texture. And the current release is the 2014 vintage, the last of the classic styles for a couple of vintages due to the hot weather during 2015 and 2016. If you prefer a crisper, cleaner style, try Romanin Macon Villages 2015, also about $16. Its flinty crispness places it somewhere between a Burgundy and Chablis. CAPAugust17


10:40 AM

Although you’ll find stalwarts like Rombauer that maintain the buttery style, there is a trend in California and the Pacific Northwest that reaches towards Europe. Like the Oregon Pinot Noir, the style lives somewhere between Napa and Burgundy—a French style, but with a bit more fruit. One of the more popular is Donati “Sisters Forever” unoaked Chardonnay, at about $15, made from sustainably farmed grapes by a woman winemaker. One of my favorite premium Chardonnays is Oregon’s Domaine Drouhin “Arthur.” At about $38, its quality compares to a $100 Burgundy. You’ll find it on my dinner table every Thanksgiving. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a solid Chardonnay. Consider La Linda unoaked Chardonnay. The winery is little known in the United States, but is popular in Argentina. You’ll get that European texture at about $12 a bottle. So, before you swear off Chardonnay, try a few of the different styles from the Western United States and around the world. I’ll bet one of them will make you a Chardonnay lover yet again.

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news briefs

Return of the Milkman morrisville

Milkmen are coming back to the Raleigh area. The latest company on the scene is Oberweis Dairy. Oberweis sources milk from small Wisconsin farms, bottles it at their Chicago headquarters, and ships it to distribution centers, including the new facility in Morrisville. As in the old days, customers keep a cooler on the porch for exchanging reusable glass milk bottles. Unlike the old days, Oberweis delivers ice cream, yogurt, eggs, cheese, and orange juice as well. While the milk is not organic, it is “gently pasteurized,” trading off shelf life for more flavor and nutrients. For the quality and convenience, customers pay about 10% more than they would in stores. It takes Oberweis products 3-4 days


to travel farm-to-table, which is not as swift as Maple View and Jackson Dairy farms, who have been in the area longer, delivering milk from local dairies, but at higher costs. Maple View of Hillsborough began home deliveries in 2007; Chris Jackson, of Jackson Dairy Farm, now 78 years old, began home deliveries in the 1990s and continues to run the routes himself.

Almost Swiss southern pines

For the last two years, Spartan Blades has won the American-Made Knife of the Year at the International Blade Show in Atlanta. Last year, the award went to the Spartan-Harsey folder, a collaboration with celebrated knifemaker

William Harsey, Jr., of Oregon. This year’s winner was the Kranos folder, a collaboration with machinist and knife collector Keith Edick of New York. The full-size titanium knife makes use of a mechanical trigger mechanism that allows one-hand operation, while not running afoul of restrictions on automatic releases. Co-founders Curtis Iovito and Mark Carey took 30 knives to the show and sold all of them plus the one in Carey’s pocket. The duo met as snipers in Southeast Asia and were subsequently sent to Fort Bragg. Upon retirement they wanted to go into business manufacturing sniper rifles, but they decided liabilities were too great and profits too slim in the gun business. Making knives, however, afforded the latitude for creativity they sought. Their knives, which retail for around $500, are sold worldwide through 185 dealers.

Meticulously Landfill Ash to Import More morehead city

Following a 2014 coal ash spill in the Dan River, Duke Energy has been involved in a $5.1 billion cleanup project. Meanwhile, coal ash has found use as a

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cost-reducing, durability-enhancing filler for Portland cement, and demand in the state is far outstripping supply. So the North Carolina Council of State approved a two-year lease of warehouse space at the state port in Morehead City to Spartan Materials, LLC, of Blue Ash, Ohio. Spartan intends to use the space to store 150,000 tons of fly ash imported from India for use in North Carolina concrete plants. Spartan will also be given rights of first refusal for a long-term lease on two acres to store up to 200,000 tons of ash. Environmental standards, meanwhile, are forcing Duke to reduce ash waste, and the ash it will produce will likely be too “clean” for use in concrete. The Commonwealth of Virginia is also in the business of importing ash, while requiring extensive cleanup of domestic products. Since 2015, that state has accepted shipments from India, China, and Poland for shipment to Ohio and Wisconsin.



carolina in the west

national & world

the old north state

Tired of waiting in traffic, professionals are increasingly demanding homes closer-in. The only problem is, there is not much real estate left unbuilt in downtown Charlotte. So, people are buying up old homes to demolish them and build new, 3,000-4,000 square feet homes with modern features, like energy efficiency, vaulted ceilings, open floor plans, and granite and stainless-steel kitchens. The phenomenon was hot, with hundreds of permits for single-family residential teardowns being pulled in some neighborhoods. Developers could build on spec and be assured of a sale before construction was complete. But demand has been so great that some old houses now cost $500,000 as-is, making it difficult to turn a profit on new construction. One response has been to subdivide lots, which has given neighbors, concerned about the disruptive nature of nonconforming structures, even more ammunition for complaint.

Carolinas Healthcare Systems emergency room for an elbow injury, after being advised by the local urgent care outpost to do so. Among other charges deemed excessive, Komito was billed $1,244.44 for the room where his son sat on a stretcher for two hours waiting for the results of an X-ray. Komito said he and his son would gladly have waited in a hallway or gone to another facility had they known the cost. Komito said he had asked about charges during his son’s visit, but was told the hospital cannot provide pricing ahead of treatment, as sticker shock could cause patients to opt out, leaving the emergency department liable for failure to treat. After WJZY aired a segment on Komito’s predicament, the television station was inundated with echoes, and the Better Business Bureau said it gets about a thousand complaints along those lines for the Greater Charlotte region each year. WJZY has reached out to the hospital and state government, advocating change.

Out With the Old, Building the New

Hiding Scary Prices

This Bar Has a Captain



wrightsville beach

The Charlotte Observer reports a growing phenomenon in the downtown housing industry may be tapping out.

Steve Komito was so angry about his hospital bill that he took it to FOX 46 WJZY. Komito had taken his son to the

Siblings Christian Cardamone and Libby King combined their love of tiki bars and boating to create Aloha Tiki

8 Samuel Ashe Drive, Asheville 28803

MLS #3278736 Stunning western views of Mt. Pisgah and beyond from this modern 2016 built home in Beaucatcher Heights

3 Bed - 3 Bath Approx. Sq. Ft: 2989

September 2017 |


the old north state

Charters. The Alpha Tiki craft is an outboard-powered, floating platform, 15.5 feet in diameter. It is equipped with a circular bar that seats six, plus Captain Cardamone and his mate, who can also serve as tour guides. It is, of course, all topped off with a synthetic thatched roof. Cardamone charters three two-hour trips each day, exploring the back channels at Wrightsville Beach. The craft is stabilized against normal wakes and waves, but passengers can expect to get splashed. Aloha Tiki charges $400 per excursion. The price only includes running water, ice, a blender, and navigation. Passengers must bring their own food and beverages. If at any time guests become unruly, the captain will drop the perpetrators off at the next available port with a chaperone. Rainchecks will be issued in the event trips are curtailed after less than an hour due to inclement weather.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time ocracoke and hatteras island

An eight-day, manmade power outage took a chunk out of the tourist trade on two North Carolina islands. A construction crew working on the bridge that connects Hatteras Island and Ocracoke accidentally drove steel casing into a Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative main. The islands were left with no fans, air conditioning, or icemaking in humid 80-degree temperatures, and complications in sourcing materials and working underwater rendered repair schedules uncertain. So Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for the 10,000 tourists on the islands. To assist, Airbnb offered free mainland lodging through the weekend. Ocracoke and Hatteras are highly dependent on tourism. This time of year, there is typically no vacancy at the inns. Restaurants and pubs were losing thousands of dollars a day in diverted business and spoiled inventory, and workers were without tips and wages. As an interim quick fix, the electric company constructed a temporary overhead line to get the island back to business, while it wrestled with the underwater issues.

Green Eggs & Whac-A-Mole morganton

The third incarnation of Green Eggs and Jam has appeared in Morganton. Owner Stacy Peek opened a record shop by that name in Asheville in 1994. After selling it when he took a break to spend more time with his family—the store would be rechristened Static Age and is still in operation—he moved to Boone and opened a shop there, but when he moved again, he sold that store. Green Eggs and Jam originally opened in Asheville before the town had its current reputation as a happening scene. It was in the days before internet, and he carried punk, metal, 56

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Your Outsourced Accounting Solution underground, and similar hard-to-find music on vinyl. In 2017, while the majority of consumers get their music in digital form, Green Eggs and Jam persists as a solid source for vinyl, Peek commanding an inventory of over 10,000 records. Other items offered at the store include turntables, vintage clothing, VHS and DVD recordings, “weird books,” and “interesting oddities.” Peek hopes to host local musicians—especially those too young to play bars—for live music on a small stage in the store.

Bonehead Idea winston-salem

Elsevier published an article by Wake Forest University economics professor Frederick Chen with the title, “The Economics of Synthetic Rhino Horns.” Rhinoceros poaching in South Africa is on the rise, with 1,215 cases documented in 2014. The beasts have been brought to the brink of extinction primarily for their horns, which are used widely in ancient Chinese home remedies. Now, they are in more demand as status symbols. Chen’s paper explored the possibility of creating synthetic horns, which would be very difficult to distinguish from authentic horns, but engineered with some really awful characteristic. The idea was to create market uncertainty as buyers wouldn’t know if they were getting real horns or cheap trash. The high risk would disincentivize potential buyers, prices would drop as demand dwindled, and poachers would pursue more reliable gambles. Chen realized there would be no profit motive for going into business manufacturing nasty ersatz, so he suggested government could subsidize nonprofits who want to mass produce fake horns and flood the market.

Gonna Go About This Differently gastonia

Progressive Rail, with headquarters in Lakeville, Minnesota, is going to try to succeed where others have failed. The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Rail Division announced the company had been selected in a competitive bidding process to operate freight along an 11.6-mile line connecting the CSX track in Mount Holly and the Norfolk Southern line near downtown Gastonia. State and local government invested more than $7 million in restoring the abandoned track in 2012. Patriot Rail spent a couple years trying to recruit business before opting out. It was succeeded by Iowa Pacific, which wasn’t interested in renewing its two-year lease. Iowa had grown interest in the line with highly-publicized family Christmas trips, but the venture was not profitable. The government investment, after all, had been intended to incentivize a local transportation and shipping economy. Progressive’s first locomotive has already been leased, delivered, and inspected. It now sits in storage awaiting business.

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Mike Sowinski

(828) 712-2913 | 1528 Smoky Park Hwy, Candler, NC 28715 September 2017 | 57

Celebrating 10 years in Western North Carolina!


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photo by Anthony Harden leisure & libation

Looking for that special place where everybody knows your name—but with a twist? Western North Carolina abounds with unique, even downright unusual, bars. So we decided to visit a few of them.




written by

chall gr ay

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leisure & libation

CR AF T COCK TAILS at Post 70, photos by Anthony Harden


rom George Washington saying farewell to his troops at the Fraunces Tavern, to the Stonewall riots and the beginning of the gay rights movement, a great many pivotal moments in the history of this nation have occurred in pubs.

In the early days of American development, the pub was the place where political meetings were held, town councils elected, laws argued, constitutions drafted, weddings and funerals performed, parties held, and merriment enjoyed. Here in our corner of Appalachia, ensconced in the Bible Belt of the Southeast, taverns haven’t always played the central community role that they’ve filled in other places. Moonshine has a more storied history than bars in our neck of the woods—a fact discussed at length in this very magazine one year ago.


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But Western North Carolina, like much of the South, has always been composed of fairly close-knit communities. In a technological age in which people are increasingly disconnected from each other, as well as politically divided, some of the best examples of community hubs that can be found are bars. Each of the bars in the following pages have found a unique niche in their community, and they have also each succeeded in creating an atmosphere that welcomes pretty much anyone who occupies a barstool. Sit down and have a few with us as we visit four unique bars across the area.


POST 70 If you’re looking for a great cocktail bar in Asheville, you probably wouldn’t think to start in a former American Legion post in Oteen. You might think that finding a properly stirred Manhattan outside of downtown would be unexpected, and finding that drink in East Asheville would be still more unexpected--and you’d be right. But nothing about Post 70 is expected. Post 70 (more widely known as Filo, though the business uses both names concurrently, to a slightly confusing effect) is easy to miss when you’re heading through East Asheville on Highway 70. They are located at 1155 Tunnel Road, between Ingles and East Village Grille, but the square stone building is set back from the road and can look a bit foreboding at a glance. That feeling doesn’t dissipate once you’re in their parking lot, which makes it all the more surprising how comfortable the space feels once you’re inside. The bar is, somewhat incongruously, a large square, with the bartender situated almost directly in the center of the room. This prominent and central placement of the bartender was a specific choice, according to general manager Emilios Papanastasiou, made to highlight the performative aspect of the craft. “It’s kind of a stage… because one of the things we’re trying to do here is introduce people to something new.” Papanastasiou’s family opened the East Village Grille in 1991, and in the ensuing quarter century it has become an East Asheville staple. Maria Papanastasiou, Emilios’ aunt, added Filo Pastries in 2006. Filo operated successfully for a number of years, but they felt like the space was under-utilized with a space that closed at 5PM every day. Emilios, who remembers washing dishes and making salads at East Village Grille as a kid in the 1990s, hadn’t planned on going into the family business. His focus had been on becoming a doctor for quite some time, and things were going well. But he kept finding himself delaying pre-med homework to study cooking techniques and classic cocktails, until finally he decided to join the family business. The expanded Post 70 concept, with cocktails and dinner, opened in 2015, with Emilios at the helm as the general manager. The cocktail menu features a wide breadth of drinks, often utilizing ingredients and techniques from the kitchen. Recent cocktail menus have contained a plethora of ingredients, such

as turmeric, Greek yogurt, lavender, and house-grown concord grape juice. Post 70’s dinner menu is only offered after 5PM, but their multitude of other offerings are available from open to close. Thus, you can stop by for breakfast, your morning coffee, lunch, or an afternoon drink. “The relationship between cocktails and coffee is very harmonious,” Emilios said. He mentions that it’s a common occurrence for customers having coffee and working there in the afternoon to simply transition into socializing with friends and having cocktails or dinner without even changing tables. Events are a big part of the culture that Post 70 has created in East Asheville, and residents of that side of town enjoy no shortage of pop-ups that transform the bar. December 5th is the annual Repeal Day party, which Papanastasiou describes as perhaps their biggest of the year, followed closely by New Year’s Eve. Spring brings the Kentucky Derby party. In between those an interested imbiber can find oyster roasts, wine dinners, scotch and cigar pairing events, and whatever else the inventive team might get the notion to undertake. It’s fitting that the former home of the local American Legion Post 70 (the bar even has a cocktail named after the well-known former commander, C.W. Francey) is now a gathering place for East Ashevillians. “We’re really just trying to be a community center, where people can gather with friends,” Papanastasiou says. And if the lively conversations and smiles around the room are any indication, they have pulled it off with aplomb. 1155 Tunnel Rd, Asheville (828) 298-9777 Hours: Mon-Sat 5PM-12AM September 2017 | 61


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MELISSA ROBINSON photo courtesy Marshall Container Co.


Saturday, September 9, 2017 – 6 to 9:30 p.m. Proceeds Benefit Proceeds benefit The Collider’s

Thomas R. Karl Internship Program Tickets & Information at Platinum Sponsor

Preston and Dennis Davitt Silver Sponsors

Benchmark Auto Sales | Greenlife/Whole Foods Metro Wines | Oskar Blues Brewery | Teague Natural Farms Bronze Sponsors

AC Hotel Asheville Downtown | Deerfield Retirement Community National Parks Conservation Association

828-CLIMATE | | 1 Haywood St. | Asheville, NC

*Sponsors at press time.


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Most people visiting the tiny hamlet of Marshall, North Carolina, enter from the southeast direction. The two-lane road is bolstered by a large formation of rock and shale on one side and that great emblem of 19th Century industrial progress, a train track, on the other. It’s easy to feel as though you’ve traveled back in time when you’re in downtown Marshall. The brick and wooden buildings are nearly all of less-than-recent vintage, and the pace seems a bit less frenetic than the modern norm. The cars amble slowly through. A bee buzzes around, assessing newcomers. Despite, or perhaps because of, its history as a haven for various types of moonshiners and bootleggers, Madison County still doesn’t allow the sale of spiritous liquor in any form. It was only within the last decade that the town (on a vote that was split 60/40 in favor) voted to allow the sale of beer and wine. It may not be surprising, then, that the town has yet to achieve the drinking destination status that much of Western North Carolina has capitalized on in recent years. Even the few places that do serve alcohol in Marshall aren’t easily recognized as such at a glance. The Marshall Container Company (MCC) is a perfect example. Even though it sits on the corner of Main Street and Bailey’s Branch Road in a two-story brick building adjacent to the county courthouse, the business is easy to miss. A bright green blade sign protrudes from above the storefront. The logo on the sign could just as easily be for an architecture firm, or a hip retail store on a bustling city thoroughfare. If you had to guess, at a glance, what type of business operates within, it’s hard to imagine bar being very high on the list— or perhaps even making the list at all. But then, Marshall Container Company was never supposed to be a bar. “I had this plan that I was going to open a pottery studio, and we’d have a bell at the front and I’d come up and maybe

serve a beer here and there [in the] late afternoon,” owner Melissa Robinson remembers, laughing. “But then,” she continues, “on our first day open, the entire town showed up.” Things have been pretty non-stop at MCC since that first day in April 2014. Robinson, a graphic designer and ceramic artist, was looking north of Asheville for a studio space when she happened upon the space that is now Marshall Container Company. Much like the exterior, the inside of the space doesn’t seem much like a bar either. Most of the furniture is moveable, such as six-foot-tall A-frame bookshelves on wheels. This speaks to the “workshop vibe” that Robinson looked to create. The walls are white and devoid of neon beer

Given its origin story and atmosphere, it may not be surprising that MCC functions more like a community nexus point than simply a bar. signs or other standard bar decor tropes. The overall effect is a space that feels equal parts Scandinavian minimalist, neo-bohemian, and rustic industrial. It is late afternoon on a warm summer Friday as Robinson recounts her unlikely journey to bar ownership. “I really didn’t think I wanted to own a bar,” she says, laughing again. As she’s speaking, a man has unloaded numerous baskets of fresh produce and begun selling them in front of the bar. “He texted me a couple of hours ago and asked if he could set up. I said ‘sure’,” she says, by way of explanation. A young bartender rapidly dispenses pints of beer (they have a selection of four taps that rotates every time one of them kicks) as the bar fills up with patrons.

SIDEBAR ON BARS Western North Carolina is host to scores of interesting drinking establishments worth stopping in for a dram or a draught. There are far too many to list here, but among our current favorites: -Whistle Hop Brewing Co.1288 Charlotte Hwy., Fairview, NC

tales. If you’re lucky enough to find this spot open, it’s sure to be memorable.

Sitting in the cupola of this converted caboose is one of the neatest spots to enjoy a beer in our beautiful mountains.

-Asheville Guitar Bar122 Riverside Dr., Asheville, NC

-The Burger Bar1 Craven St., Asheville, NC Asheville’s oldest bar operating doesn’t have any burgers, but it’s always a good place to have a shot and a beer. -Casablanca Cigar Bar18 Lodge St., Asheville, NC Scotch ‘n’ stogies? It’s a natural fit for this Biltmore Village business. After perusing the walk-in humidor, settle in for a session that offers cocktails, wine, or craft beer. Premium coffee, too. -The Poe House105 1st Ave. W., Hendersonville, NC This beer bar has one of Western North Carolina’s best tap selections outside of Asheville, and is conveniently located in downtown Hendersonville. -The Inn at Brevard315 E Main St., Brevard, NC The Inn’s intimate bar is only open sporadically, but sometimes a legendary local named Oatmeal tends bar and tells

Located inside the Cotton Mill Studios in the River Arts District, this distinctive venue displays, you guessed it, guitars and other stringed things as wall décor. Think a more down-home take on the Hard Rock Café. -Greenhouse Moto Cafe4021 Haywood Rd., Mills River, NC In similar fashion, motorcycles—from dirt bikes to cruisers to full-on hogs—adorn the bar’s walls, are suspended from the ceiling, and flank the tables and stage. See our August 2016 issue for a profile of the people behind the Café. -The Gamekeeper3005 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, NC This rustic eatery focuses on carnivorous offerings, but their 1950s stone cabin is also a lovely place to enjoy a libation. -Broadway’s20 N Lexington Ave., Asheville, NC Scan Yelp reviews for this boho-AVL fixture and “cheap” is a recurring theme—as it should be for a self-proclaimed neighborhood “dive bar.” September 2017 | 63

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A PL ACE TO GATHER , the Marshall Container Company, photo courtesy Marshall Container Co.

photo courtesy Marshall Container Co.

The twelve seats they had upon opening in 2014 has since been expanded to more than double that. There’s a generally convivial atmosphere, and the clientele covers a broad swath of the socioeconomic spectrum. Given its origin story and atmosphere, it may not be surprising that MCC functions more like a community nexus point than simply a bar. Every December they have a pop-up holiday store (last year featured pottery by Robinson and others and leather backpacks by local maker Anna Jensen). Sometimes businesses rent the space during the day for a board meeting or presentation. There are the farmers markets, community meetings, and various other types of meet-ups. Then there’s Rough Draught. An “experimental community lecture series featuring deep thoughts on a theme,” Rough Draught is immediately evident as one of Robinson’s favorite achievements at MCC. “I’ve seen people who’ve known each other for years look at each other totally differently [in a good way] because one of them turns out to be an expert in something you’d never expect.” The lectures happen quarterly, and each installment has a theme (recent themes include Birth + Death, Unsung Heroes, Secrets + Lies). Prospective speakers can submit a written 64

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proposal that is reviewed by a “jury” (the quotations were added by Robinson, as she explained the process). Her description gave the distinct impression of a process that didn’t take itself too seriously, while still being incredibly earnest. Each lecture has an accompanying booklet that attendees are given, designed and produced by Robinson. A brief glance through the series’ web page turns up titles running the gamut, from In Defense of Getting Lost and Angler Fish & the Purpose of Men, to Mountain Dialect 101 and Foucault’s History of Sexuality. Fifty chairs are set up in the bar each lecture, but a significant part of the crowd is usually left standing. The upcoming dates for the series are posted on the bar’s website, but, as interesting as Rough Draught is, one really doesn’t need the excuse of an event to make the drive to Marshall. No matter when you visit, the crowd at the bar will likely be a diverse, interesting, and welcoming group. Melissa Robinson may not have set out to open a bar, and the bar she opened may not really look or feel that much like a bar, but Marshall Container Co. is a great little bar. 10 South Main Street, Marshall (828) 649-8700 Hours: Mon-Sat 3PM-9PM

THE CUT “And through it all, we cut the hair,” the 1950s barber Ed Crane opined, in the the Coen Brothers’ underrated film The Man Who Wasn’t There. Billy Bob Thornton played, with a pitch perfect droll understatement, the role of Ed Crane in that movie, and one can easily imagine a character like that, clipping away in Hedden’s Barber Shop, which operated for many years on at 610 Main Street in Sylva.

The barber shop originally opened in 1929, and photos show that as late as the 1980s the space was virtually unchanged from when it first opened. Small glass cases on the wall held hair creams, tonics, formaldehyde, and other necessities of the trade. A photo from the 1950s shows locals congregating in the space, socializing, getting haircuts, exchanging banter, with barber Wimpy Hyatt presiding. That Main Street address in Sylva is now called The Cut. It still has the glass cases, and the tile of the floor is adorned with the emblem of a straight razor and scissors, but there are no more lathers, shaves, or trims to be had. Jacqueline Laura is now the proprietor, and cocktail shakers have taken the place of clippers and combs. There are still many nods to the past—the $8 Shampoo & an Up-Do gets you a Miller High Life and a shot of Irish Whiskey—but The Cut Cocktail Lounge is a thoroughly modern endeavor. Jacqueline Laura grew up in Portland, Oregon, and has spent the last 20 years bartending in a variety of locales. Her first time behind a bar was in Glasgow, Scotland, and since then she’s had stints in Seattle, San Diego, back in Portland, New Orleans, and numerous other places. After hearing great things about Asheville, she made her way to Western North Carolina, putting some time in behind the bar at Asheville staples, such as The Double Crown and The Lobster Trap. She had wanted to open a bar for quite some time, and it didn’t take long for her to decide that this area was the right place to do it—just not in Asheville. “I spent time going to every small town in WNC, trying to figure out which one would be the best fit for a craft cocktail bar,” she recalls. Sylva turned out to be the clear winner. The town had a progressive feeling and a strong community that struck Laura as well-suited for what she wanted to do. The Cut is in many ways a very ambitious idea for a business. The craft cocktail renaissance has swept the country over the last two decades, but you would still be hard pressed to find many places on the proverbial (and literal) Main Streets of small-town America serving a drink featuring mezcal, strawberry puree, and honey liqueur, yet The Cut does. It’s a bar that doesn’t even have a television, in a town where every other bar is a sports bar. And it has been thoroughly embraced by the local community. “We wanted to go the opposite of pretension and keep the cocktails reasonable,” says Laura. Despite her vast cocktail knowledge, she was careful not to overwhelm the Sylva clientele. “The people of Sylva are really honest, but they’re also open to trying new things.” With each successive cocktail menu (a new one comes out quarterly, and they tend to have a seasonal ingredient focus), Laura has elevated the cocktail program a little bit more. This summer’s menu featured a Manhattan variation made with ruby port, and another cocktail with pickled watermelon. “People will be cool with having something they don’t know, as long as you keep a dialogue open,” Laura notes. Her

JACQUELINE L AUR A behind the bar at The Cut photos by Terri Clark Photography

REPURPOSED BARBER SHOP goods decorate the bar.

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willingness to accept feedback has obviously helped The Cut flourish, but there’s more to it than just their approach to the drinks. The bar feels comfortable, quirky, and cozy, not always easy with a space that has such a history. Back in the days of passenger rail service, it had Sylva’s only public showers in what is now one of Laura’s storage areas, as well as the town’s first elevator. Those glass cases are still on the walls (you can easily see how each barber’s station was laid out), but they’re now full of all manner of ephemera (animal bones, vintage liquor bottles, old shaving equipment, dried butterflies, and various other interesting finds). The bar opens at 5PM, and on most days the regulars start to trickle in not long after that. No matter who is working, Jacqueline or one of her employees, they will typically be able to greet nearly everyone by name, and will already know their drink. Chances are if you stop in it won’t take long for both of those to become true for you as well.

RIVERSIDE TIKI BAR , photos by Oby Morgan

610 West Main Street, Sylva (828) 631-4795 Thecutcocktaillounge-1599668446917243 Hours: Mon-Sun 5PM-2AM

RIVERSIDE TIKI BAR It’s easy to trace the genesis of what we’ve come to know as tiki. It began in Los Angeles in 1934 with a Texan named Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt. But by then the former bootlegger had already adopted the name of Don the Beachcomber, and it was in this post-Prohibition climate that he opened a bar named, of course, Don the Beachcomber. Designed to show off his extensive collection of Polynesian artifacts and ephemera, the bar also showcased his deft drink mixing skills. Mai-Tais, pu-pu platters, and Zombies all came later, for the tiki bar is a distinctly American creation. We’re now 75 years past the heyday of tiki culture, when Don the Beachcombers and their more successful (though similarly fated) competitor, Trader Vic’s, dotted the country. As with just about any trend or style from the modern era, tiki eventually came into vogue again—though only recently. In fact, there are now tiki bars (Lost Lake in Chicago or Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, for example) that are considered among the finest cocktail destinations in the country. But what about thirsty readers looking for a destination slightly closer to home? Look no further than the Riverside Tiki Bar, in Lake Lure. Ironically, in the same way that America’s notion of a tiki bar bore little to no resemblance to the bars of the South Pacific, the Riverside Tiki Bar doesn’t flaunt too many of the standard tiki tropes. During an exceptionally busy summer weekend recently there was nary a Zombie or Painkiller in sight. A large part of the afternoon passed by without a rum cocktail even crossing the bar. 66

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But, to quote Martin Cate, the proprietor of Smuggler’s Cove, tiki bars “were an attempt to re-create the sense of escape and paradise of the islands on American soil.” And it is in this respect that the Riverside Tiki Bar shines. When it comes to the uniqueness of the atmosphere and experience, this bar has no equal across Western North Carolina. For starters, it’s likely the only bar in the area with banana trees (there are, of course, some of the standard tiki hallmarks). It’s almost certainly the only bar with banana trees and a pool. And it absolutely has to be the only bar with banana trees, a pool, and a beach volleyball court. And a private swimming hole in the Broad River. And life-size checkers. And a special parking lot just for motorcycles. And a fire pit. And, and, and—you get the idea. Tucked behind the Geneva Riverside Hotel, just west of Lake Lure on Highway 74, the bar isn’t quite visible from the road, which helps create its singular ambiance. Bartenders rapidly pass cheap beer and well drinks across the islandshaped bar as Adele belts out exhortations to a former lover over the speakers. In keeping with the times, several of the taps are now devoted to craft beer from the area and beyond. Despite there being at least 200 patrons spread around the

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ABOUT PISGAH LEGAL SERVICES Pisgah Legal Services is a nonprofit law firm that has provided free civil legal aid to low-income people in Western North Carolina since 1978. Pisgah Legal helps our neighbors avoid homelessness, escape domestic violence, and secure income, food, health care and other essentials. Last year Pisgah Legal Services helped more than 15,000 people in crisis across our mountains. With Pisgah Legal we can create more justice and less poverty in Western North Carolina. WWW.PISGAHLEGAL.ORG

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grounds, the bartenders seem to know the majority of them as one person after another gets another beer. “The staff makes it fun,” Renee Miskelle, co-manager of the bar, says with a smile. “We have lots and lots of repeat customers.” Miskelle, who has been at Riverside for

The closest analogue the bar has, at least in terms of feeling, is an old-school bar in the Caribbean—everyone wants to have a good time and escape life for a little while. Signs, notes, placards, and other ephemera cover nearly every square inch of the walls. Numerous printed warnings make it clear that there will be zero tolerance for customers in wet swimsuits trying to sit on the bar stools. Another sign reminds that: “You, the customer, are always right! (Until the bartender decides you are no longer a customer!).” Ziploc bags of water incongruously hang in the open windows. (“They’re supposed to keep the flies away,” a bartender explains.) Numerous business cards have been tacked above the bar by someone named OddJobBob, for whom there is “No job too small!”. A great many colorful characters have frequented the bar over the last 17 years, since it opened in 2000. There was “Ducati Steve” Melton, who also went by the name Birdman, a moniker he earned thanks to his parakeet, Sabrina the Biker Bird, who rode across the United States on the handlebars of Melton’s vintage Ducati. Every now and

As we speak she often refers to the bar’s patrons as family, and when asked how she would succinctly describe Riverside Tiki Bar, she responds simply: “Heaven.” six years, takes obvious pride in the fun and welcoming atmosphere of the bar and their tight-knit clientele. As we speak she often refers to the bar’s patrons as family, and when asked how she would succinctly describe Riverside Tiki Bar, she responds simply: “Heaven.”



562 Long Shoals Rd. Arden NC 28704 | 828-687-1968 |


| September 2017

then the Blues Brothers, when their tour schedule brings them in the vicinity, will show up unannounced. “They’ll pull down here, park the Bluesmobile right by the pool, jump up on the karaoke stage, and sing a few numbers with whoever happens to be up there,” Miskelle says. “Something happens here every day.” The bar gained a number of extended “family” last fall, albeit through unfortunate circumstances. During the Table Rock fires that threatened Lake Lure and the surrounding environs last November, all area residents were forced to evacuate for 11 days, until the flames nearest the town were contained (the fire burned for nearly a month). The bar reopened the next day, serving as an ad-hoc community center for the many firefighters who were brought in from across the country to assist. Miskelle moved the patio furniture around to form a long dining table, and the weary firefighters ate dinner there nightly—much of it provided by locals and bar regulars. Many of those firefighters, from Minnesota, Florida, New Mexico, Utah, and various other places, have already returned to the bar for a visit or brief vacation, Miskelle notes. The Riverside pool opens Memorial Day weekend, and usually closes for the winter sometime in mid-October. Summer is certainly the boom time in Lake Lure, for obvious reasons,

but Riverside Tiki Bar has operated year-round for nearly a decade now. Like one of those aforementioned Caribbean bars, things get somewhat quieter in the off-season, but it’s still a party every day at the Riverside Tiki Bar. Miskelle says that they have observed deer, otters, and even bears bathing in the creek—all from the comfort of a barstool. Whether you come in the summer or during the off-season, one thing is for sure: No matter when you visit, Riverside Tiki Bar will be ready to provide a cold drink, a smile, and a good time. 3147 Memorial Hwy, Lake Lure (828) 625-4121 Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30AM-9PM; Fri 11:30AM-10PM; Sat 8AM-10PM; Sun 8AM-9PM


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September 2017 | 69


Connecting The Dots

Buying and selling land is rarely, if ever, a simple process, so doing your homework regarding the relevant practical, logistical, legal, and financial issues involved in a potential transaction is essential.



to buy or sell land tracts and acreage in Western North Carolina, gaining an understanding of many details is critical to success. For land buyers, verifying information about the property and asking the right questions allows for informed decisions to be made.

For sellers, compiling and presenting robust information generates more buyer interest and helps to facilitate smooth transactions.


collin o ’berry

is the Managing Broker of Altamont Property Group and curator of AshevilleLandBlog. com.


Location | Highest and Best Use Land values can differ drastically on account of many factors. Location typically comes first, as rural properties tend to not carry the same value as properties closer to towns and amenities. However, rural properties with superior site improvements, natural capital, or bordering protected lands may carry higher values. Surrounding properties and their uses can also influence the values of both rural and in-town land tracts. The highest and best uses for the property come next, but a one-size-fits-all answer simply doesn’t exist. Land uses depend on individual needs and tend to vary greatly. Examples of ways land can be used include residential, equestrian, agriculture,

| September 2017

specialty commercial, development and subdivision, cattle grazing and management, timberland, hunting and recreation, mineral harvesting, summer camps, conservation, hospitality, investment and land banking, luxury estates, and more. When it comes to marketing any property, identifying the highest and best uses helps to reach the right buyers in less time.

Natural Capital | Topography Natural Capital is defined as the environmental stock or resources of Earth providing goods, flows, and ecological services required to support life. Every tract of land is unique and offers a different natural environment. Examples include vegetation and animal species, merchantable timber, age of forests, water presence and quality, pastureland, tillable acreage, soils, rainfall data, minerals, and viewsheds. Economic value exists in harvestable

C timber, minerals, and agricultural fields, while personal value exists in the natural setting of pristine mountain tracts, conservation and resource protection, and tax benefits. Topography is defined as the study of land and water features in an area. Land in the Appalachian Mountains can be quite steep, where it’s common for tracts to be over a hundred acres, yet only offer a few acres of more gentle, usable space. We refer to this usable space “functional acreage.” Water presence is also an important topography factor to consider. It’s common to find springs and small creeks on mountain acreage, while river and lake frontage is less commonly found, especially for private settings away from roadways and other properties.

The sights… the seasons…

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Utilities | Improvements Improvements on land tracts can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. Determining what improvements exist on the property, and what value they hold, helps sellers to set the optimal price. In addition, improvements help buyers to project long-term costs for their highest and best use. Examples include homes and dwellings, outbuildings, utilities, grading improvements, agricultural improvements (irrigation, amended farmlands), pasture and livestock improvements (fencing, cattle wells), hunting improvements, and more. Additionally, gathering valid information about available utilities is crucial for property use and development. Utility examples include electricity, water (city water, well, private system), sewerage (city sewer, septic, private system), cable and internet, natural gas, and propane.

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Zoning | Restrictions It’s necessary to investigate all possible restrictions when considering the purchase of any property. While it’s common to find information on known restrictions advertised by the seller, it’s vital for buyers to verify information with the help of an attorney and other professionals. Examples of property restrictions include zoning restrictions from the


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city, county, or state, restrictions placed on the property from the current seller, deed restrictions from previous owners, covenants and bylaws from a community or planned unit development, and environmental restrictions from state and federal governments. It’s far too common for buyers to complete purchases without verifying the restrictions, only to find out after the fact they can’t make their desired improvements or use the property as they wish. While restrictions are more predictable on building lots, thorough deed, zoning, and regulatory research is advisable for larger acreage tracts.

Legal | Surveys Legal representation is very important for any party in a land and acreage real estate transaction. Aside from the conventional preparation of closing documents, attorneys work to verify access, title, and restriction details. Many tracts of mountain land have been passed down within families for generations, and many are sold through estates and family trusts. In some cases these deeds are handwritten and can be over a hundred years old. I have seen an old Haywood County deed where a boundary marker was defined as “the oak tree where Grandpa

buried the coonhound.” This would be very difficult to locate today, and a survey would be advised! Marketable title to the property is verified by an attorney and a title insurance policy is always recommended.

REGARDLESS OF YOUR PLANS—BUYING, SELLING, OR INVESTING IN A PIECE OF PROPERTY—IT IS ADVISABLE TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONALS TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR TR ANSACTION. Furthermore, verifying how access is provided to a property is imperative. Access can be obtained privately across the owned property, or through deeded right of way across a neighboring property. If deeded, the widths, improvement restrictions, use

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restrictions, and even timeframes can vary. An easement is the legal right to use someone else’s property without legally owning the property. Examples include appurtenant easements, prescriptive easements, and easements in gross. Easements, rights-of-way, and deeds are also referenced by a surveyor when engaged to map a property. A survey is always recommended upon any property transfer, and in North Carolina this is the responsibility of the buyer unless negotiated otherwise. Surveys can range in detail, from boundary surveys showing property boundaries and improvements, to topographic surveys showing elevation data manually gathered by the survey team. For larger acreage tracts it can take weeks to survey the land, flag property boundaries, and create the plat for recording. Buyers should take this timeframe into account for their due diligence period, while sellers should certainly market if they have a recent survey on file for buyers to reference.

Tax Benefits | 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges Tax exemptions can offer valuable long-term savings for land owners. Examples include conservation incentives, forestry exemptions, agricultural exemptions, charitable incentives,

scientific uses, renewable energy, environmental remediation incentives, and more. Additionally, 1031 tax deferred exchanges are valuable tools for the use in buying and selling land tracts and acreage. A 1031 tax deferred exchange allows a property owner to sell an investment property and reinvest the proceeds into a replacement property while deferring any capital gains taxes. Land tracts offer appealing 1031 exchange options for buyers to use as personal getaways, conservation properties, development opportunities, and more. Any funds collected from the sale of a property and reinvested into another are required to be held by a certified intermediary to oversee and consummate the exchange.


Regardless of your plans—buying, selling, or investing in a piece of property—it is advisable to surround yourself with knowledgeable professionals to ensure the success of your transaction. Working with a knowledgeable land and acreage real estate broker, along with attorneys, surveyors, city or county representatives, contractors and graders, appraisers, tax professionals, environmental professionals, and other service providers help buyers and sellers to “connect the dots” and accomplish their real estate goals.


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news briefs

Investing Responsibly boston, massachusetts

Following a $390 million first round of fundraising by Bain Capital, industry analysts were saying impact investing had arrived. Impact investing is risking resources for social or environmental healing, with financial returns presumably taking a second seat. The Bain Capital Double Impact Fund will consider funding organizations engaged in health and wellness, sustainability, or community-building initiatives. The investment company expects to support 12-15 companies with its initial fundraising, to which Bain partners contributed only $40 million. The first two recipients were Living Fitness, a leading Planet Fitness franchisee, and Living Earth, a large-scale recycler of organic landscaping materials. Former Massachusetts


governor and Bain investor Deval Patrick explained, “More and more we are recognizing that the kinds of challenges that face us as a nation cannot be solved by government and philanthropy alone. Business has an important role to play.”

Aviation: An Industry in Infancy oshkosh, wisconsin

The 2017 Experimental Aviation Association’s AirVenture extravaganza reported record attendance, topping 600,000. For one week in July, Wittman Field was the busiest airport in the world, recording more than 15,500 aircraft arrivals and departures. Bringing together enthusiasts from all walks of life, the event showcases industry

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innovations, futuristic ideas, and curiosities from aviation history. Special events included an airshow by the Blue Angels and a reunion of six Apollo astronauts in a forum drawing an audience of 7,000. Among the 880 exhibitions were Jeff Bezos’ reusable rockets and crew capsules, the B-29 flying Superfortress, and man-carrying drones by China’s Ehang. Large companies, like Airbus and Uber, while not presenting, did send reps. Among the most interesting guests was aviation enthusiast Ian Kharma, who is also president of Botswana.

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Celgene Corporation agreed to settle a whistleblower lawsuit out-of-court for $280 million. Former Celgene salesperson Beverly Brown had been trained to promote Thalomid and Revlimid as cancer treatments. Thalomid is a trade name for thalidomide, the morning sickness drug responsible for a rash of birth defects in the 1950s and 1960s, and Revlimid is a slightly-modified formulation. Both were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998 for treating leprosy, not cancer. And while

me to Plant!

the FDA would eventually approve limited cancer applications, Celgene raked in billions of dollars selling it as such before the fact. The suit further claims doctors and patients were not warned about potential side effects. Legal papers censured aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies and said Celgene was essentially engaging in human experimentation. Celgene denied wrongdoing and agreed to settle, citing only the distraction and expense of litigation.



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includes health insurance, retirement savings plans, corporate stock, and paid tuition for career-credentialing courses. Last year, after 20 years of business, Amazon employed 300,000 globally, and in January of this year, it committed to add 100,000 jobs over the next eight months. Employment currently stands at 382,000.

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Job Explosion seattle, washington

On August 2 Amazon hosted Jobs Day in 12 United States cities. The stated purpose was to hire 40,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time workers on-the-spot. Approximately 20,000 applicants showed up, with the company encouraging those who could not make it to a brick-andmortar location to apply the Amazon way, online. The company was not hiring high-tech professionals, but fulfilment workers, people who pick and pack at warehouses and drive delivery trucks. These jobs are described as physically-demanding and highly-repetitive, but they pay $11.50-$13.75 per hour, with a competitive benefits package that

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission voted unanimously to allow the Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, to name a bar outside the baseball stadium the Budweiser Brickhouse Tavern. State “tied-house” laws aim to prevent a single company from monopolizing alcoholic beverage supply chains by protecting the independence of manufacturers, retailers, and distributors. And the Bud name implied undue influence of a manufacturer over a retailer. The Ricketts family argued the bar fell under an exemption allowing tied houses in entertainment venues; the state countered the bar was outside the stadium, and no game ticket was needed for admission. It was the fact that the family had contracted with a third party, Four Corners Tavern Group, to operate the

national & world

bar, which won commission approval. The naming rights deal also grants AnheuserBusch InBev sign advertising and concert sponsorships at the stadium.

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Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, announced the agency intends to regulate the level of nicotine in cigarettes to “non-addictive levels.” Cigarettes, he said, represented, “the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users.” The FDA is already putting pressure on the tobacco industry to spend billions of dollars developing “reduced-risk” portfolios that include, for example, vaping products. Also encouraging smoking cessation are state taxes, which averaged $1.74 per pack last quarter. The announcement came right after attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare were pronounced failed, and the very week British American Tobacco completed its $50 billion purchase of Reynolds American, citing a favorable United States market. Stock in tobacco companies nosedived after the announcement, some dipping double-digits.

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Then Came the Fee Fee southport, united kingdom

John and Marion King, owners of the Birkdale Guest House bed and breakfast, will retire September 30. The final straw, they say, was being billed a performance fee for televisions in their guest rooms. The fee is demanded by both the Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music Limited a nd Phono g raph ic Per for ma nc e Limited. While it amounted to just over £50 a year, the Kings, who already license the TVs in their guestrooms, asked, “What’s the point of paying for a hotel TV license if you can’t provide a TV without paying again?” They said it would be proper to charge a licensing fee if they were charging admission, but having to pay for music in the background of commercials and programs was over-the-top. PRS representatives defended the fee, saying music is powerful in shaping quality of life, and creators deserve proper compensation. A new law defines “public performance” as any music played outside a domestic setting.

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A Sacramento-area business is among the first, if not the first, to bring inflatable pub rental to America. Inflatable PubTM, based in Dublin, Ireland, already has a serious presence in Europe, but Shenanigans Inflatable Pubs purchased a couple of the smaller models to rent for parties in Northern California. The pubs are more sophisticated than bounce houses, featuring faux stone and brick walls and black ceiling beams. They even have mock fireplaces. Only the walls and roof inflate, though, as solid floors are more appropriate for serving food and beverages. The Malloy, 14.9 feet x 16.5 feet, can hold a party of 30, while the Mac, 16.5 feet x 26 feet, can hold fifty. The pubs rent for $395$695 a day; portable bars, pub tables,

whiskey barrels, and signage will cost extra. Renters will have to stock the bar themselves, but co-owner Kathy McDonald said she is working on hiring a bartender and authentic Irish chef to cater events.

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Target announced it will shut down its Cartwheel Perks loyalty program. Launched last year, Cartwheel allowed enrolled shoppers in five markets to earn points with purchases, which could be redeemed for gear, food, and apparel. Store representatives explained the development of fun and convenient digital tools for loyal customers requires paying close attention to the analytics and responding to follow consumer interest. Cartwheel, designed to unobtrusively track interests, ironically showed there wasn’t much interest in the program itself. Cartwheel members could continue to earn points through August 27 and redeem them by September 27. “We had many learnings about how to engage and reward guests that we plan to leverage in the future,” read the official announcement. Up and coming Target apps include store maps that alert shoppers when they’re approaching bargains and mobile payment options for REDcard holders.

For the Price of a Bicycle orlando, florida

As many as 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year in the United States. It is too easy to cut through traditional locks in ten seconds with workbench tools. So the design team at Deeper Lock has been at work for two years to develop something better. They have now launched a Kickstarter campaign

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for a hardened steel lock, which can withstand more than five tons of loading. It’s thicker and fits tighter and gets locked and unlocked by an app, which is secured by log-in. That way, friends can borrow a bike if they have the credentials, and owners can log in with another phone if something happens to theirs. If an unauthorized person attempts to appropriate a bike, a 110-decibel alarm will sound, and the app’s GPS tracking system will be activated. The software used is encrypted but accessible to law enforcement. The technology runs on solar batteries with a Bluetooth connection. The lock will retail for around $300 plus GPS charges. Your dream is our business.

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Insurance companies have filed a motion to dismiss a class-action lawsuit in which 40 homeowners want coverage for crumbling foundations. Those in the suit represent a fraction of the state’s estimate of 30,000 people living in affected homes constructed in Central and Northern Connecticut between 1980 and 2016. The problem takes over a decade to manifest, and the average damage to homes is estimated at $200,000. The cracking and otherwise deteriorating foundations have been traced to pyrrhotite, a mineral found in aggregates from a quarry in Willington that were widely sourced for concrete. While homeowners complain their homes are unsafe, of little value, not marketable, and too costly to fix, the insurers claim the plaintiffs are not covered unless their homes fall down. Residents don’t want to wait, and they are challenging a recent change to their policies redefining structural collapse as necessarily sudden. The suit targets at least 24 insurers.

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Craft Man written by derek halsey

HOEING SPENT grain out of the lauter tun af ter the mash is done. The lauter tun is where the malt is “mashed� (mixed with water) and where the starches in the grain are conver ted to simple sugars.


| September 2017


photos by anthony harden

Andy Mason, of Boone’s Lost Province Brewing Company, is bringing an alchemist’s mind to the art of beer brewing.

September 2017 | 79

ADDING HOP PELLETS to the boil kettle during the production of wor t (unfermented beer).


| September 2017


These days, craft beer brewing is big business.

maller breweries have popped up from time-to-time over the last few decades, but recently, what was once a niche industry has been propelled to new heights, with micro-brew hotspots ranging from Colorado to Portland to Brooklyn—and to Western North Carolina. A century ago, however, nearly every beer company was a craft brewer. Before the bottling industry came on the scene and they found a way to keep beer contained enough to transport and be stocked on store shelves without losing its fizz, the beer barrel was the only way to go. If beer barrels did take a trip far from the brewing company, they had to be kept cold all of the time, and that meant using ice from ponds, rivers, and lakes, even the Great Lakes. Before electric ice-making technology hit the scene, ice was cut from nature: Barns and building were filled with it, caves and underground rooms were also used as ice storage facilities well into the summer months, and rail cars were packed to the brim with massive chunks of frozen lake water ready for transport. Because of those limitations, most cities in America had multiple breweries. Milwaukee became known for being the beer capital of the United States. At one point in the 1800s, Cincinnati, Ohio, sported over 30 breweries making beer in town at the same time. By the turn of the 20th Century, Cincinnati had upwards of 40,000 people working in various aspects of the overall beer brewing industry. These days, virtually every list of the top craft brewing towns in America features Western North Carolina in the top 20, and some in the top ten or higher. Asheville has led the way in that regard. But September 2017 |


LOST PROVINCE has a variety of beers on tap.

now, places like Boone have also stepped up with impressive breweries making high-quality beers of all stripes, flavors, and ingredients. In downtown Boone, at 130 North Depot Street just 60 feet or so from the now-famous bronze park bench statue of late, local music hero Doc Watson, is the Lost Province Brewing Company. The on-site brewery, restaurant, and live music venue is run

sets of the same ingredients and—as you will read below—create two different kinds of beer with them. With Mason’s ability to think as an alchemist, combined with a love for the history and art of brewing, the result is a constantly changing lineup of unique beers at Lost Province. “I was a forensic toxicologist, which came about after 15 years of training,” says Mason. “I did all of

“I’ve been a home brewer since 1989. There was a guy who lived across the street who was a home brewer, and I fell in love with the process of grabbing up the materials and just doing it.” by the owners, Andy and Lynne Mason, along with daughter Carolyn and an enthusiastic staff. What is cool about Andy Mason—also the head brewer—is that he was a man of two worlds that became one. He is a trained chemist who developed a love for brewing beer over two decades ago and that confluence changed his life.

Turning a Hobby Into a Passion Brewing is not an easy task, as there is a lot that can go wrong and a lot that can go right with the process. For example, you can take two identical

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& unique mountain properties | September 2017 82

my graduate work at UNC at Chapel Hill and got a doctoral degree in medicinal chemistry. I worked in the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office [in Raleigh] from 1980 to 1992, starting out as a grad student, and I left as North Carolina’s Chief Toxicologist. That was before forensics became cool.” In the late 1980s, he came across a friend who made his own beer and then he tried to do it himself. “I’ve been a home brewer since 1989. There was a guy who lived across the street who was a home brewer, and I fell in love with the process of grabbing up the materials and just doing it. I


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kept on reading about it and studying and brewing beer and got more and more interested in it. Way back in 1992 I thought about doing something like this, but I never had the opportunity until later on in life.” So Mason began to task of making his own specialized brews—a hit or miss proposition when one is a beginner. “When I made my first batch, it was okay, but it wasn’t anything special,” he recalls. “But the beer wasn’t bad enough to discourage me, either. I thought, ‘Well, okay. I can do this.’ And that is where it went from there. “Now, if I am known for a certain beer, one of our most interesting beers right now is the Tubby Monk. We have won some awards and gold medals with it in various competitions. It is seasonal, so it comes out around Christmastime or a little

Recently, that dedication to innovative beer brewing paid off at the 2017 Carolinas Championship of Beer competition held on April 22, as the Lost Province Brewing Company won a Gold Medal for their Deep Valley Dunkel beer. They also won eight Silver Medals for their other beers, including the aforementioned Tubby Monk, Brothers Mason Dubbel, Mosaic IPA, Lost Sasquatch Stout, and more.

Finding—and Creating—A Community Mason and his wife had always talked about moving to Boone. After leaving his government job in Raleigh he had moved to Pennsylvania, where he managed a laboratory. “Lynne and I have been married for 35 years, and it has been the best and

LOST PROVINCE taproom and restaurant

bit later. It is a Belgian dark, strong ale and it has strong flavors of sour cherry and roasted fruit in it. It is a lot of fun to make.” Mason, clearly enthusiastic about describing some of the complexities inherent to brewing, continues, saying, “You can take those two same sets of ingredients and then modify things like time and temperature. You can adjust your boil time and produce light, golden-colored ale with one set—and if I boiled the heck out of it and did it at a higher temperature, I could produce an amber beer from the same batch of ingredients. It also matters when you add the hops. To get to a really dark beer, you tend to use highly-roasted malts and barleys. So, it is just about knowing the craft and learning to manipulate things.”

proudest accomplishment of my life. I spent a couple of years in Pennsylvania [but] I wanted to come back to North Carolina. We used to joke about moving to Boone when we retired, and then we had the opportunity to come back earlier. So, we just did it. Lynne found a job and I was able to move my business from Pennsylvania down here for the first couple of years, and then I started my own company. The stars happened to align in the right way.” The biggest change for Mason was going from working for the government to running his own business and now having to deal with employees, shipments, business taxes, food and kitchen inspections, marketing, and so forth. September 2017 | 85

“It has been great, both on the fermentation side and otherwise, as it gives you the opportunity to more selective about what you do and how you do it,” says Mason. “There are a few less constraints, while on the other hand there are a few more constraints because you don’t have Big Daddy watching over you (as with government work). But, I really enjoy being an entrepreneur. I really enjoy the whole running-a-business concept. It’s been a real gas, but it is not easy.” With a stage built inside their restaurant and bar, the Masons make sure that live music is featured at Lost Province at least four nights a week, which makes it an important venue for local and regional bands. “Music has always been a big part of my life,” he explains, “and it adds to the entertainment of the facility. People get off work in the evening and want to enjoy music, and we are very happy to support local talent and pay them, and to pay them appropriately. We want to support that part of our community.” Mason is also enthusiastic about being a part of the whole craft beer movement, noting that for him, not only is it a labor of love, it brings with it an ever-widening and growing community of enthusiasts and artisans, one which overlaps with other, similarly-minded communities.

“I think that more beer is better beer. I think that American society, and people in general, demanded more local food, demanded food with more flavor, and demanded food that is less processed and as free from pesticides and GMOs as possible. So our food is local, regional, and seasonal, and a lot of it really does come from up here in the High Country.” The same approach is utilized in the making of local and regional craft brews. “On the beer side, craft beer also has that flavor and has those intangibles. It is produced locally, produced fresh, and consumed fresh, and that is what people want. I am real happy about the growth of the craft beer industry in this state. I think that North Carolina has led the way in the Southeast, and Boone has been a part of it and will continue to be a part of it. I am thrilled, and I think it is good for the state—it is my understanding that there have been over 10,000 jobs created in North Carolina, in a 1.2-billion-dollar industry and growing! “Craft brewing is one of the fastest growing industries in the state. So I think we make a real impact, especially locally, on the economic vitality of towns like Boone and many others. There are a lot of other towns that are trying to get a brewery in their downtown area because it tends to become a draw and


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a magnet and serves as an anchor for your downtown area. I just think it is a great phenomenon that is going on.” Lost Province has been enjoying its own burst economic vitality, too, as the business currently finds

Incidentally, last November, Mason went to the North Carolina Brewers Guild convention and was proud to represent the Boone area and its new brewing history. “There is a real feeling of camaraderie there and a real feeling of shared community in the brewing community of North Carolina,” he says. “It is so much fun to go there and see these people that you know and like, and you get to taste some of their product. They [also] have some great presentations. There is technical information offered. There is a trade show with people [who] are in the business of selling products to breweries. It is a part of that continuous learning thing that you have to do if you want to be a part of the society. “It is about the community and about the learning experience—and it helps to grow the industry. You have to be a continuous learner.”

“There is a real feeling of camaraderie there and a real feeling of shared community in the brewing community of North Carolina,” he says. itself in expansion mode: To meet demand, Mason is increasing the number of tanks on-site, and he’s only half-joking when he says that it is about to get crowded inside the brewery. This, however, is what we would call a good problem to have. “I’m almost having trouble keeping up because business is so good. Each month this year we have been up between 15 and 25 percent over 2016.”

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FROM ARBOR TERRACE OF ASHEVILLE We listen. We respond. We care.

3199 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803-2136 828-681-5533 |

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September 2017 | 87

People Play at







1. Studio Zahiya owner Lisa Zahiya leads Rise & Grind. (RH) 2. Festival co-directors Sara LaStella & Amanda Hale. (MP)


3. Participants in Partner Yoga (AK) 4.Henna Sophia’s River Dawn gives henna tattoo to Alexandra Reznikoff of The Silversmith. (RH)

| September 2017


5. Trysh Stockwell (L), & Robin Simmons Blackwell of Charlotte Family Yoga Center. (AA) 6. YMI Cultural Center Yoga. (RH)

7. Valerie Shrader & Emily Polomus, co-owners of Melange. (RH) 8. Sunnyside Trading Company owners Charlotte & Will Hough. (RH)

Asheville Yoga Festival Asheville, NC | July 27-30, 2017 Photos by Miranda Peterson (MP), Alice Arthur (AA), Amber Kleid (AK), Raleigh Harris (RH), Asheville GreenWorks (AGW) 8









9.Jenny Weiler & Heather Stam. (AA) 10. Jean Jacques Gabriel (Philadelphia) teaches Partner Yoga at Hyatt Place. (AK) 11. French Broad River cleanup with Chelsey

Korus (front center). (AGW) 12.Brandy Freeling, Heather Gray TenBroek, Kristi Paxton, Julie Ann Schuette & Jan Wencel. (AA) 13. Meditation and breathing. (MP)

14. Yoga in Practice (RH) 15. Paddleboard Yoga. (AA) 16.Carrington Jackson (Raleigh) leads class at YMI Cultural Center. (RH) September 2017 | 89


september 1


EVENTS september 1- 4

North Carolina Apple Festival

10AM-8PM (Fri-Sun) 10AM-5PM (Mon) Main St, Hendersonville, NC Labor Day Weekend is the time Hendersonv il le celebrates apples because Henderson County produces over 65% of the apples grown in the state. You can buy them by the bushel, or buy them by the singletons. Or you can buy apple products or arts and crafts. Musical fun starts at the Historic Courthouse Fri.-Sun. after the street fair ends. On Monday things wrap up with the King Apple Parade.

> 828-697-4557 >

Craft City Workshop 5-8PM

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design 67 Broadway, Asheville, NC New media artist Victoria Bradbury will teach how to make conductive dioramas. Craft City Workshops give people a chance to learn DIY from expert makers outside, in a festival atmosphere.

> Admission: FREE, Craft Kits: $5-$10 each

september 2-17

Arts for Life Pediatric Patients’ Exhibition + Benefit

10AM-5:30PM (Mon-Sat), 11AM-5PM (Sun)

Grovewood Village 111 Grovewood Road, Asheville, NC Laying in a hospital bed is not usually fun. Arts for Life provides kids in this predicament with educational arts programming. Some of the more spectacular

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> 828-253-7651 > september 2

5th Annual World Masterwork Series


Diana Wortham Theatre 2 South Pack Square, Asheville, NC

> 828-785-1357 >

Fabric center

works from kids across North Carolina,. will be for sale, with all proceeds recycled for future programming. The opening reception is Sept. 2, from 2-5PM. The Hop Ice Cream CafĂŠ is sponsoring.

On the program are Johannes Brahms, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and then back to Bach. Proceeds benefit local performing artists.

>Tickets: $36 > 828-257-4530 > september 2 runch ekend b e w g Fungifest 2017 in v Now ser 9AM-5PM ch nd brun e k e e w Bryson andseKittredge rving building, NowWilson Warren College, Swannanoa, NC


sunday brunch and $5

bloody marys and mimosas starting at 10am!

weekend serving

kend ving wee r e s w o N



Calling all ‘shroom-heads for a day of vending and workshops. You can look at a huge collection or BYO for identification. There certainly are enough scary-looking mushrooms out there these days. Classes and walks cost extra.

> Admission: Adult $10, Student $5, Child/WWC Student (0-5) FREE > 828-236-3817 >

september 3

LAAF Street Festival

12-9PM North Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC Formally known as the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival. After a year’s hiatus, it lost an F, and now so it’s just the Living Asheville Arts Festival. The downtown three-block party welcomes random acts of creativity and strives to keep Asheville weird. Booked attractions may include fire dancers, circus arts, drumming, and vendors of funky apparel. Entertainment on 3 stages.

> september 7- 9

Blue Bear Mountain Camp

Music Fest

7PM (Thu) – 11PM (Sat) 196 Blue Bear Mountain Rd, Todd, NC Hate those long drives home after concerts? Why not come to the three-day festival, so when you finish listening to music on the 155 acres of mountain greenspace, you can just roll over and not have to wake up again until you want to hear more. Expect plenty of Appalachian, bluegrass, folk, and Americana sounds.

> Admission: $300 > 828-406-4226 > september 8 -10

12th Annual Mountain Song Festival Wittington-Pfohl Auditorium, Brevard Music Center 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC

The headliner, Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, will unmask its 9th studio album. Other attractions include picking sessions, as well as the usual food, art, and children’s activities. This is not a camping festival. Mountain Song

Festival benefits the Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County.

> 828-243-3496 > september 8 -23 The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged) 7:30-10PM (Fri, Sat, Sun) Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre 92 Gay St, Asheville, NC This is a parody of the works of the Bard, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. You may be in for seeing your favorite tragicomedies performed as cooking shows or with football announcers, fast, backward, or in a jumble because the theme is the same anyway. Audience participation is usually a part of the show.

> 828-254-5146 > september 9


7:30PM Concert Hall,

September 2017 | 91


Blue Ridge Community College 49 East Campus Dr, Flat Rock, NC THE INNOVATORS OF COMFORT™

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Shows this season are being punctuated that way, like PASSION!, JOY!, and BRILLIANCE! This show demonstrates three styles of violin playing: Celtic, Bluegrass, and classic.

>Tickets: Adult $40, Gen Y (0-39) $20, Student $10 > 828-697-5884 >

september 9

2017 Indigo Ball

* THE MORE YOU BUY, THE MORE YOU SAVE. 2-3 seats 4-5 seats 6+ seats

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Credit may be applied to any Stressless ® or Ekornes accessory or use it towards additional seats. The choice is yours.

9:30PM The Orange Peel 101 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC This is an annual fundraiser for the Asheville Area Arts Council. Everybody will be in blue this year, so you might want to be as well. The Out of the Blue Patron’s Party starts at 6PM. Pre-parties start at 7:30PM. They are held at various venues with themes “Under the Sea,” “Flamenco Nights,” and “Tokyo Twilight.” Patrons get to go to all the parties.

> Admission: General $75, Patron $125 > 828-258-0710 >

september 10

TEDx Asheville

1-5PM Isis Restaurant & Music Hall 743 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC



(828) 669-5000 Mon. - Sat. 9am - 5:30pm SPECIAL FINANCING See store for details.


| September 2017

This year’s theme for the progressive, always-creative TED talks is “awakening.” Ten speakers—among them, the Dogwood Alliance’s Danna Smith, songwriter David LaMotte, youth advocate Danya Perry, and the Moog Foundation’s Michelle Moog-Koussa—will delve into social, environmental, and global issues.

> Admission: $45 >

september 15

Black & White Show Opening Gala

6-8PM Tryon Arts & Crafts School 373 Harmon Field Rd, Tryon, NC Color balls must be the thing for art galas. This one is described as an elegant fundraiser, and attendees are encouraged to come in black and white wearable art. The exhibit will run from September 15 through October 31, showcasing new works from emerging and professional artists in any medium as long as it is a shade of gray.

> Admission: $20 > 828-859-8323 > september 15


– october 1

7:30PM (Fri, Sat), 2PM (Sun) Hendersonville Community Theatre 229 South Washington St, Hendersonville, NC This is a play about a celebrated professor who is diagnosed with cancer and begins chemotherapy. The questions she tries to answer are likely going to play into the lives of all audience members at some point.

>Tickets: Adult $22, Student $18, Youth (0-17) $15 > 828-692-1082 >

september 15 -30


Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC

Award-winning and highly-rated prodigy Broadway artist Nat Zegree returns to the Playhouse as the complex character Volfy (Mozart).

>Tickets: Adult $45/$50, Senior (60+) $45/$48, Student $30

YOU CAN PLAN BETTER IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S COMING > 828-693-0731 > september 16

4th Annual Blowing Rock Music Festival 2017

10AM-8:30PM The Blowing Rock 432 The Rock Rd, Blowing Rock, NC

Why not get outside and enjoy some spectacular summer scenery for one last hoorah this year? The music is icing on the cake. In addition to rock music, Americana, folk, blues, jazz, and soul will be blowing around the festival as well.

>Tickets: Adults $45, Child (0-12) $10 > 828-295-7111 >

We do Estate Planning. We do it Well. Estate Planning/Asset Protection and Business Succession Planning Lawyers Licensed in North Carolina, Florida & South Carolina 77 Central Ave, Suite F Asheville, NC 28801 828-258-0994

104 N. Washington St Hendersonville, NC 28739 828-696-1811

191 W. Main Street Brevard, NC 28712 828-348-1342


september 16

9th Annual Flock to the Rock

11AM-3PM Chimney Rock State Park 431 Main Street, Chimney Rock, NC All sorts of opportunities to search for, watch, and learn from experts about the local birds shall abound. For an extra fee and with advance registration, birders may attend a Fall Early Bird Walk at 7:30AM.

>Tickets: Adult $13, Child (5-15) $6, Infant FREE > 828-625-9611 >

– october 8 King Mackerel and the Blues Are Running september 20

7:30PM (Wed-Sat), 2PM (Sun) North Carolina Stage Company 15 Stage Lane, Asheville, NC Theatre takes a break from the usual El izabetha n dra ma queens a nd




1200-C Hendersonville Rd. Asheville, NC • 828-277-8041 • September 2017 | 93


depressing New York tenement scenes. In this one, created by North Carolina’s own Jim Wann, Don Dixon, and Bland Simpson, a singing trio sing and tell fish stories as a benefit to save the Corncake Inlet Inn in the Outer Banks.

>Tickets: $34, $26, $16; Season Subscription $185 > 828-239-0263 >

september 22 – october 28 Ghost Train®

7:30PM (Fri, Sat) Tweetsie Railroad 300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane, Blowing Rock, NC

Ghosts are scary, but it seems the Ghost Train ® organizers thought modern physics was at least as scary. In addition to a haunted house, scary movies, and frightening candy (trickor-treating), there will be a Black HoleTM, Warp Tunnel, and black light show. The train leaves every half-hour from 8-11PM.

>Tickets: $38 > 877-893-3874 > september 23

Trevor Noah

7PM & 10PM Thomas Wolfe Auditorium 87 Haywood St, Asheville, NC The early show sold out rapidly, hence the addition of a second one. Will the host of The Daily Show make 7PM the “family friendly” set and 10PM the “dirty” one, like Bill Cosby did in the ‘60s? Or will he simply do what he does best, which is skewer Trump and other politicians with hilarious laser-like precision?

>Tickets: $39.50 and up 94

| September 2017

> 800-745-3000 > september 23

Go Over the Edge

Gennett Building 29 North Market St, Asheville, NC This event is for people who might not warm up to a request for help feeding the elderly, but would pay to watch you rappel down the side of a seven-story building. Space is limited to 92 thrill-seekers, but you must first raise $1,000 to participate. Rappelers are encouraged to dress in costume, and the event’s sponsor, the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, is trying to coax local celebrities into making the plunge. Minimum Fundraising: $1,000

> 828-277-8288 > september 23 -24

Carolina Guitar Show

10AM-5PM (Sat), 10AM-4PM (Sun) Davis Building, WNC Agricultural Center 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd, Fletcher, NC This is a chance to buy, sell, or trade guitars and similar instruments, and accessories like amps, effects boxes, straps, and strings. Anybody carrying an instrument or amp at the door gets a dollar off admission.

>Tickets: Adult (Sat) $10, Adult (Sun)

$8, Accompanied Child (0-12) FREE > 828-298-2197 >

september 23

The Kingston Trio

8PM Diana Wortham Theatre 18 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC One can find on the YouTube “The

Kingston Trio’s very last performance together.” So, what’s this? With guitar, banjo, and vocals, Bill Zorn, George Grove, and Rick Dougherty (none are original members) bring back their once new sound, which ended up dominating the AM airwaves in the 1960s.

>Tickets: Adult $40, Student $35, Child $20 > 828-257-4530 >

september 24

Rebel, Saint and Sinner 3PM Oakley United Methodist Church 607 Fairview Rd, Asheville, NC How much does the scandal and insight of a composer—and the images he paints through sound—color melody, timbre, and chording? If it does, this presentation would sound like a sticky wicket. Works of Jean-Féry Rebel, Benedictus Buns, and Johann Rosenmüller will be delivered on voice, violin, viola da gamba, harpsichord, and organ.

>Tickets: Door $25, Advance $20, Military/Student $5

> 828-254-7123 > september 25

Leigh Ann Henion

6-8PM Grandfather Mountain 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy, Linville NC

Henion traveled the globe, following migrations and eclipses and things. Her book Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World, received praise from numerous reviewers. Hors d’oeuvres will be served until 6:30 when the lecture begins. Pre-registration is required.

>Tickets: General $20, Sierra/Bridge Club FREE

September 2017 | 95


Feather Your Nest


Specializing in upscale one-of-a-kind furnishings, housewares, home decorative items and vintage & fine jewelry.

New items arriving daily!

Come see for yourself! Tuesday through Saturday | 10am to 4pm 1215A Greenville Hwy. Hendersonville, NC


> 828-733-2013 >

– october 1 Asheville BARNAROO 2017 september 29

5PM (Fri) - 2PM (Sun) Franny’s Farm, 22 Franny’s Farm Rd, Leicester, NC It all began when musician Andrew Scotchie wanted to offer something for peeps too young to attend Bonnaroo. Now, in its fifth year, BARNAROO will host local rock, funk, and Americana performers, as well as students from the Asheville Music School.

> 828-544-1823 >

Accepting Quality Consignments

september 29 -30

Black Mountain Songs


with Free Sewing Classes For ForThe TheLove LoveofofSewing: Sewing:

8PM Diana Wortham Theatre 18 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC

vehicle, equipping and maintaining it, and handling it in a variety of predicaments. Advance registration is required.

> 877-393-2230 x 3 > september 30

18th Annual Autumn in the Mountains British Car Show 8:30AM-7PM Jackson Park 801 Glover St, Hendersonville, NC

All European cars are welcome. The event is hosted by the British Car Club of Western North Carolina. A raffle and silent auction will raise money for Meals on Wheels in Buncombe and Henderson counties.

> Vehicle Registration: $30 > 828-684-3418 >

This is a significant, curated production with vocals from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The work of eight composers will be celebrated with assistance from filmmaker Matt Wolf. Hosted by Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC-Asheville.

>Tickets: Adult $20, Child (0-18) $12 > 828-257-4530 >

– october 1 Overland Expo East september 29

8AM (Fri) - 7PM (Sun) The Biltmore Estate, 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC FABRIC • SEWING MACHINES

BERNINA • BABY LOCK • HORN 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville (next to Fresh Market) 828-277-4100 • Mon-Sat, 10a-5:30p


| September 2017

Over 300 class-hours will be taught by experts on overland travel. The event caters to 4WDers and adventure motorcyclists. Learn about choosing the right

If your organization has any local press releases for our briefs section, or events that you would like to see here, feel free to email us at Please submit your event at least six weeks in advance.

September 2017 | 97




Historic Biltmore Village 9 Kitchin Place 828-274-2630


Mon. - Fri. 9:30am-7pm Sat. 9:30am-6pm Sun. 12pm-5pm 98

| September 2017

Transformations begin here and last a lifetime.

Carolina Day School and its predecessor schools have more than 3,600 alumni in 50 states and around the world. The School was established in 1987 by the merger of Asheville Country Day School and St. Genevieve/Gibbons Hall. The high standards of these schools for academic achievement, character development, and service live on in our alumni and at Carolina Day 30 years later. We believe in developing young people for lives of leadership and service to their community. In fact, our mission is to inspire our students to make a meaningful difference in the world. Apply now for 2018-19. 828.407.4442 828-407-4442

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| September 2017