Currahee Brewing Company opened its doors in late July with limited hours to get their feet wet while still working out the kinks but after Saturday, Franklin’s second brewery will be open full-time and ready to serve the community.
“Currahee is about community and we want to give back to the community by letting them know we are a place for them and their families to kick back by the water, have a beer, and have a good time,” said Brandon Hintz, co-owner of Currahee Brewing. “We are really excited about the grand opening. We have had a very welcoming response from the citizens of Franklin and Macon County and hope for a huge turnout. We’ve obviously been open a few weeks now, but we thought it would be a great idea to officially celebrate the people of Franklin and Macon County and throw a bash for them. The people of Franklin have been so encouraging throughout this entire process and we simply want to thank them for their support.”
What’s in a name?
The brewery was named Currahee in honor of the Cherokee people who are deeply rooted in Western North Carolina as well as the brave men and women in the military who fought and continue to fight for our freedoms today. Currahee originally stems from the Cherokee Indian word which roughly translates to “Stand Alone.”
Currahee is the official motto of the 506th Infantry Regiment, originally designated as the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (506th PIR) during World War II, a unit of the 101st Airborne Division. The unit was made famous by their role in Operation Overlord (D-Day), Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and many other campaigns throughout World War II, and the Vietnam War. The 506th Infantry Regiment continue to defend our nation today.
Currahee’s commitment to Macon County and Macon County is evident in the names of their first run of beers which include Bastogne Pale Ale (Belgo-American Pale Ale), Garand IPA, Wayah Lager (German influenced Lager w/ New Zealand hops), and Frankenstrong (Belgian style Golden Strong) as well as two seasonals: Oktoberfest and Burningtown (Belgian Dubbel w/ Mosaic hops).
“Our goal in founding Currahee was to bring something new to the WNC beer scene and focus on the foundational tenets of beer, European style (German and Belgian influenced) with an American twist,” said Hintz. “You can make some really unique beers when you start playing with Belgian yeast, whether it be an American hopped trappist style beer or a nicely blended Flanders Red.”
Aside from the first four year-round beers on tap at Currahee, the brewery has focused on Belgian style beers. They have made a Belgian Single (Patersbier), Tripel and a Quad. They have also put both the Tripel and Quad into barrels, which they hope will yield some very exciting results in a few months.
“We’ve brewed roughly 250bbls (7750 gals) thus far and hope to keep that pace throughout 2016,” said Hintz. “The public won’t be able to taste a lot of what we’ve brewed thus far, roughly 75 bbl’s worth already, because this product will be and has been going into our various barrels (red wine, red wine, new oak, bourbon, and rye) for aging and souring. We hope that the public will be as excited as we are for the release of those beers over the coming months.”
With a little more than a month spent serving cold brews, Hintz said business has been good, which he attributes to the support of the Macon County community. “It’s gone great, much better then we could have hoped for in fact, thanks in large part to the turnout and support from the community,” said Hintz. “We’ve had the opportunity to work out most of the kinks over the last few weeks leading up to our grand opening and are running fairly smooth now. Once the food truck gets up and officially running, we plan to change our hours a bit to accommodate the lunch and dinner crowds.”
As part of Saturday’s grand opening celebration, which kicks off at noon, the Georgia Mountain String Band will be playing that night. “If you haven’t seen them, you’ve got to stop by and check them out,” said Hintz. “They put on an awesome show. We’ll also be releasing our first barrel aged beer, along with two other beers in honor of the occasion. We also hope that, by Saturday Mountain Fresh will be serving food. They have been working on getting proper permits and such, but should be up and running by then.”
What’s for lunch?
Mountain Fresh Grocery will have a full-time food truck at the brewery the week following the grand opening and live entertainment is also something Hintz plans to make part of the regular line-up at the brewery.
With full hours at the tap room, seven days a week, Hintz said the focus will now be to continue producing great craft beer for Western North Carolina.
“Beer is what’s next,” Hintz said. “We are super excited about our barrel program, expect a lot of barrel aged beers in the future. We are also trying to plan some weekly beer events. Doing a firkin (cask) beer on a certain day, a different dry hopped beer on another, etc. We are also in talks with a couple of distributors. Hopefully we will be signed up with a distributor in WNC by the end of the month; however, we plan on maintaining our local presence by self-distributing in Macon County though. By doing this, we feel we can provide the best support and service for the on-premise accounts in our community.”
Currahee Brewing Company is located at 100 Lakeside Dr, Franklin, NC 28734. For more information about the Grand Opening call (828) 634-0078.