Across the French Broad River from Wedge Brewing Co. and up the hill from New Belgium Brewing Co.’s East Coast facility, the River Arts District turns into West Asheville — appropriately enough at a landmark called Beecham’s Curve.
The resurgent part of town has multiple appealing restaurants, a church-turned-music venue, a dependable old-school muffler shop, Urban Orchard Cider Co.’s original location, and, for nearly a year and a half, Archetype Brewing Co., where co-founder and head brewer Steven Anan has exhibited his prowess with a variety of styles.
On the flagship front is Nameless Light, the quasi-mandatory IPA, though its inclusion of 100 percent Brett yeast hints at the inventive twists on familiar styles on draft, as does having a Belgian-style Wit, Dry Irish Stout and coffee-infused Porter as fellow year-rounders.
Additional taps tend to follow seasonal traditions with an excellent Festbier welcomely hanging around in the wake of Oktoberfest celebrations and 8 percent ABV Chocolate Stouts and Holiday Beers heralding the pending winter, though lighter offerings in the Spring and Summer adhere to a similar flavor-forward approach.
Archetype has also gotten into the packaged beer game with a trio of cans debuting in late September and bottles of Liber Novus Belgian-style Red Ale and the lauded Devil’s Nest Belgian-style Tripel in December — the first two entries in its Third Way Barrel Program. Aged in French oak wine barrels and sold in 375 ML bottles to help keep the price point low, the program’s beers adhere to the philosophy that the absence of souring agents results in a more complex and creative barrel-aged brew.
With one of the Asheville area’s most spacious parking lots and generous indoor spaces (where patrons can actually hear one another converse, no less), Anan and co-owner Brad Casanova have been integral in establishing Archetype as a warm, comfortable destination for craft beer fans and nearby residents who live a short walk from some of the best beer in town.
As its fellow neighborhood-based breweries across the city continue to thrive thanks to hyper-local support, look for future establishments to follow its lead.
Archetype Brewing Co.
265 Haywood Road
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: (828) 505-4177