There are numerous things that make Wicked Weed stand out in the craft beer industry and in the local Asheville scene. From their dank, medieval looking downstairs bar to their iconic King Henry VIII mural and hop logo with the quote, “Hops are a Wicked and pernicious Weed.” Every aspect of the entire restaurant/brewery was given a great degree of forethought and care.
Not only does Wicked Weed have an amazing atmosphere, but they have the beer and food to back it up. Within less than a year of being opened, Wicked Weed won a GABF gold medal for their 100% Brettanomyces wild ale called Serenity. What is GABF you ask? It is the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colorado: the largest ticketed beer festival in the United States. Over 500 breweries compete in the 83 different beer categories and Wicked Weed won gold in the American Brett Beer category.
Wicked Weed also has an open fermenter that is contained in a small, climate controlled room under lock and key. I was given access to photograph this amazing style of fermenting beer, and I was lucky that the yeast was at high krausen (the peak of fermentation) when I was photographing because the foam in the mirror looked at its best.
The other thing that blew me away is how hands on one of the primary owners/investors was in his business. Every time I go to Wicked Weed, Rick Guthy (Co-Owner) is either cleaning toilets, sweeping the floor, or vacuuming everything in sight. He is the type of hands on owner who leads by example and shows that he is not above doing any job. I love this kind of mentality. He even apologized for “getting in my way” a couple of times and I just thought to myself, “Dude, you own this place.” This is the way to run a business and to simply conduct yourself as a human being. If you have not yet checked out Wicked Weed Brewing, do yourself a favor, get over their to try some delicious craft beer. If beer is not your thing, the food alone is worth the trip. Don’t forget to check out both the upstairs and downstairs bars.
Here is the upstairs bar and restaurant.
This is the downstairs bar with the Brett Beer GABF gold medal adorning the chalkboard containing numerous choices of craft beer from Belgians to West Coast style IPA’s and barrel aged Sours. They’ve got it all.This is the open fermenter. It has a mirror in which you can see how the yeast is forming. In this particular photo it is at high krausen meaning the yeast is in high activity replicating itself and creating alcohol and CO2. This is the Funkatorium and that beautiful brown baby is Serenity 100% Brettanomyces Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale sporting its illustrious GABF Gold.