Zebulon Artisan Ales in Weaverville, North Carolina by Edwin Arnaudin
At Zebulon Artisan Ales, the past and present collide to degree practically unparalleled in the Asheville area. A 10 minute drive from the bustling South Slope, the Weaverville brewery is one of the region’s newest producers but features the talents of one of its most experienced beer minds in former Green Man Brewery small-batch brewer Mike Karnowski.
The modestly sized operation – fitting for the author of the lauded Homebrew Beyond the Basics and former New Orleans homebrew shop runner with his wife and Zebulon co-owner Gabe Pickard – focuses on Belgian and French farmhouse beers, but also crafts historically accurate varieties from bygone eras and other forgotten styles.
Zebulon’s most impressive flashback to date was its “Evolution of English IPA” series during Asheville Beer Week in May 2016, for which a handful of styles including a strong (12 percent ABV) October Pale Beer from the 1700s and a 3.5 percent ABV brew echoing the IPAs of the 1970s were recreated.
Such brewery exclusives are available Fridays and Saturdays from 1-6 p.m. in the tiny but welcoming taproom, located in a former firehouse. These experimental batches as well as Zebulon creations that have been bottled are sold in $1 flight-sized pours – one of the best beer bargains around and a forgiving way to try something before committing to a corked and caged 750 milliliter vessel.
The beers selected for bottling are identified by chronological batch numbers paired with witty odes to influential, creative figures. Recently departed rock stars like David Bowie (hoppy farmhouse style ale) and Prince (funky saison with apricots) and living legends such as David Lynch (smoked stout with coffee) and Yoko Ono (Tokyo style gose) are among those who’ve received nods thus far, and if Zebulon’s first year of smash hits is any indication, plenty more tributes await.
Zebulon Artisan Ales
8 Merchants Alley
Weaverville, NC 28787