Entries by Brent Manning

Eastbound and Down……

I spent most of last Wednesday in our Sprinter van…running the gauntlet of I-40 for close to 500 miles.

I met with our buddy Uli Bennowitz, from the Weeping Radish Brewery, by the side of the road and dropped off our first shipment of malt!  Weeping Radish is located near Manteo and focuses primarily on German styles.  Although their beer is not currently available in WNC, they are expanding their distribution channels and offer shipping services on their website,

 » Read more about: Eastbound and Down……  »

It’s Business Time…

Last week was a whirlwind….final inspections (which we passed), grain deliveries, and a successful kiln test!!!  A wild ride to say the least.  We capped off the week by starting our first batch.  We have chosen to begin at 50% capacity…just until we get things “wired”.  I also envision it will take us awhile to figure out the bag sewer…nothing like the thrill of holding a high-powered needle gun next to your fingers!

The weeks ahead will be packed with preparations for a busy Oktoberfest season.  

 » Read more about: It’s Business Time…  »

Road Trip: Greens Creek

Word is getting out about Riverbend and we are fielding calls from interested farmers across the state!  In the past few weeks we have spoken to farmers in Granville County (near Kerr Lake) and Polk County who are interested in growing grain for us during the 2011-12 season.

Since Polk County is just an hour south of Asheville, I scheduled a visit to meet the farmer (Bruce Edwards) and “talk shop” in his driveway. 

 » Read more about: Road Trip: Greens Creek  »

Workin’ On The Building…

I know you’re all asking yourselves….what is taking so long?  Trust us, we are right there with you.  Since our return from Canada (and even during) we have worked with our contractors, city inspectors, and spent countless hours searching for equipment on the interwebs.  Along the way we’ve experience the normal cost overruns, scheduling conflicts, and logistical headaches that plague most businesses during their initial start-up….but I’m proud to say we are well on our way!

 » Read more about: Workin’ On The Building…  »

Learning Aboot Malt…..

Greetings from Winnipeg! Brent and I just completed our second week of malt training at the Canadian Malt Barley Technical Centre. Our typical day starts with 3-4 hours of lecture in the morning, followed by “hands-on” work in the malt house or lab  in the afternoon. The lectures have covered everything from the biochemistry of malting to world market conditions. These lectures have been presented by a variety of staff members who have decades of experience in the field of large-scale malting and brewing operations.

 » Read more about: Learning Aboot Malt…..  »

Hitting The “Ground” Running….

The development of local food systems is essential to creating a durable and sustainable economy in our region … A recent article in Grist Magazine highlights one of our key partners, Carolina Ground (aka NC Organic Bread Flour Project), who is forging their own food system for organically grown wheat in our state. They also do a little name dropping on our behalf. Check it out here.

 » Read more about: Hitting The “Ground” Running….  »

Research Trials Begin … In New Zealand?

How did our barley get to New Zealand you ask? Turns out their climate is very similar to North Carolina’s, but their seasons are opposite ours since they are in the southern hemisphere. These conditions have set the stage for an exciting partnership between the two countries to develop new varieties of small grains at an accelerated pace.

Here’s how it works … Dr. Marshall’s team spent the winter cross-breeding 6-row and 2-row varieties.

 » Read more about: Research Trials Begin … In New Zealand?  »

Big News From Big Love!!!

Wow!! what a warm welcome from the Asheville beer scene. We entered our “Appalachian Pale Ale” in this year’s Just Brew It! Homebrew Event, sponsored by Just Economics. It garnered rave reviews from the judges and attendees. This beer was produced using 85% locally grown and malted barley and hops, provided by Echoview Farms. In keeping with the warmer weather, our APA was designed as an “All Day IPA” with a floral,

 » Read more about: Big News From Big Love!!!  »