ETOWAH, N.C. – A new brewery has taken root that brings a different approach to the craft beer scene in Western North Carolina.
Sideways Farm & Brewery debuted in August on 11 acres in rural Etowah. Although surrounded by dozens of craft producers in the brewing-rich towns of Hendersonville, Brevard and Asheville, the brewery stands out for a farm-based commitment to growing its own ingredients.
A typical Sideways tasting menu features anywhere from 12-14 small batch, seasonal brews highlighting products cultivated on property – as well as sourced from local suppliers – by owners Jon and Carrieann Schneider. A sampling includes rosemary, figs, lemongrass, pumpkins and sage.
The tasting room experience stands out as well. Beers are grouped into tastings and poured from 750-milliliter bottles. The tasting bar, made from a black walnut tree on property, is U-shaped and patterned after the tasting bar at Burntshirt Vineyards in nearby Hendersonville.
“It’s much more like a winery tasting experience,” Carrieann says. “Our idea is to take beer back to its agricultural roots. Most breweries are set up in an industrial area. We want to bring people to a farm to see where we grow and harvest what goes into their beer.”
The brewery and tasting room are housed in a 2,400-square-foot facility surrounded by crops and a flower garden. The Schneiders live in one of two houses on property, while her parents, who are partners in the venture, live in the second house.
A further illustration of the brewery’s commitment to agriculture is a community-supported beer (CSB) program. Much like community-supported agriculture initiatives, the CSB allows customers to purchase a share in advance of harvest/production and receive 12 exclusive 750-milliliter bottles, each of a different batch. While regular customers may purchase a small pour of the CSB batches, only CSB members receive sealed bottles for take-home consumption.
The brewery’s name is inspired by a song of the same title by Carlos Santana and Citizen Cope. The Schneiders were living in suburban Florida when Jon began brewing and they were knocked “sideways” by a shared passion for what could be created in the brewing process.
“Our corncrib logo is actually an 1800s structure that is leaning sideways on our property,” Carrieann says. “We like to joke that all of our projects go a little sideways on the farm, so the name continues to fit us and our exciting adventure.”
For more info, call 828-595-4001 or go to www.SidewaysFarm.com.