In early January 2016, Burial Beer Co. announced their plans for second brewery and plans for a new side project. The brewery, which opened in 2013 with a one-barrel system, quickly outgrew the home-brew size brewery into a ten-barrel operation. Now nearing their third anniversary this summer, the brewery will add a four-vessel, twenty-barrel system capable of producing sixty-barrel batches.
The historical two acre property, deemed “Forestry Camp” in South Asheville houses six buildings that will be repurposed into a production brewery outfitted with a system fabricated by Mark’s Metalworks and Design in Washington, staff offices, a two-story tap room, a locally purveyed restaurant, urban gardens, and plentiful parking.
Currently in renovation stages, plans to brew on the new system are slated for early July with sights set on South Carolina and Georgia as the first markets for expansion. Their southern neighbors can anticipate cans and draught of Skillet Donut Stout, Shadowclock Pilsner, and Ceremonial Session India Pale Ale as the first brands to leave the state of North Carolina
proceeded by Bolo Coconut Brown, Surf Wax India Pale Ale, and Gang of Blades Double IPA in August. Though the expansion allows Burial to brew considerably more beer, their goal is intentional and limited beer production.
“Our goal is to expand in such a way that allows us to know the community of people who are supporting our brand. Being in niche markets fosters that connection,” explains owner Jess Reiser. “It’s my true belief, that in this craft, quality of beer and branding are the things that stand the test of time. Human connection is what is going to push craft further.”
Following on the heels of external expansion is the internal growth of new staff. Vince Tursi, former brewer and barrel manager of Night Shift Brewing and Head Brewer of Lord Hobo Brewing, joins the team as Head of Brewing Operations. Zachariah Hilyar, who worked at Oskar Blues will take the helm as Head of Packaging, while Erin Jones, former Brand Manager for Wicked Weed Brewing, will take on the role of Marketing Director.
“Having the opportunity to help build a brand like Burial is a unique chance,” states Jones. “They’ve culled life out of little industrial area of Asheville which isn’t an obvious or easy choice. It’s wholly shaped who they are and given them a voice that’s more necessary now in craft beer than it has ever been.”
Continuing in their mantra of resurrecting and re-establishing the forgotten places, Burial hopes their expansion and addition of their grand cru sour and wild side project will bring revival to another industrial cityscape and to craft beer itself.
“We birthed a brand named Burial because we saw beauty in the cycle of life, and chose to breathe life back into the dead. Whether it’s buildings that have decayed beyond use, or wonderful beer styles left for dead — we should pay better homage,” explains owner Doug Reiser. “ We hope our name rings louder, today, than ever. And when people forget about century old styles of beer for hops and acid, we can remind them that they too can be wonderful.”