Fun, circus-themed approach with their classic yet creative craft beers
Established in 2013 by Adam Charnack and Chris Frosaker, Hi-Wire Brewing Company is a circus-themed craft brewery based in Asheville, North Carolina. The brewery focuses on crafting balanced, approachable beers with plenty of traditional and experimental styles in the lineup.
Since opening its doors just five years ago, Hi-Wire has been incredibly successful, quadrupling their capacity in under two years and expanding to three production/taproom locations, all while earning several honors and awards including being named North Carolina’s Best New Brewery by RateBeer.com. This is no small feat, considering that Asheville has one of the best beer scenes in beer-crazy North Carolina, so there’s plenty of competition. We are happy to feature this rising star brewery and share two of their most popular offerings with our Craft Beer Club members.
Chris Frosaker and Adam Charnack first met as college roommates and each went on to separate careers upon graduating; Chis became a pharmacist and Adam was an affordable housing real estate developer, but they both enjoyed brewing beer on the side. They had always talked about starting their own business, so when a local brewery was selling its old equipment, they didn’t have to think twice. Good friends, homebrewers and avid fans of craft beer, Chris and Adam jumped on the opportunity and Hi-Wire Brewing Company was born.
In a town of beer lovers, people were initially skeptical of Hi-Wire. Luckily the people of Asheville gave them a chance, and Hi-Wire was ready with their delicious brews since day one.
The circus-theme at Hi-Wire perfectly depicts the company, with its fun, authentic and crafty vibe. Plus, Asheville itself can feel a bit circus-like, so the theme seemed fitting all around. The tightrope has become key to the branding, representing the balance Adam and Chris seek in their beers.
Hi-Wire’s original brewhouse is located in the heart of downtown Asheville’s South Slope Brewery District. This cozy, industrial-chic neighborhood hangout space is dedicated to brewing sour and wild ales and one-off small batch beers.
Their second location, named ‘Big Top,’ opened in 2015 and features a taproom and production brewery where visitors can enjoy a pint of Hi-Wire’s flagship lagers and ales beside the tanks where they were created.
The third location, a huge taproom with plenty of games and activities (soccer pool tables, table tennis, shuffleboard courts, etc.), is due to open late 2018 in the “Durham Fun Zone” in Downtown Durham. This taproom comprises an 8,844 square foot indoor area, and a 1,678 square foot outdoor roofed patio (where all the fun activities take place) and a beautiful beer garden. The bar at this location has 24 taps that include everything from their most popular year-round beers, to their seasonal, specialty, sour, and one-off beers. On top of their wide beer selection, this taproom also carries a selection of wine, locally made ciders, and special guest taps that feature beers from neighboring breweries. Durham is a family friendly location until 8 p.m. when it then becomes 21 and older.
Their fourth and final location is located just across from the Tennessee River in South Knoxville. The 10,187 square foot taproom is part of a mixed use building, where Hi-Wire occupies the entire second floor, which includes a 455 occupant taproom and two outdoor decks, one of which is a rooftop with views of downtown Knoxville. Similar to the Durham location, this space is also game and activity heavy, and carries the same beverages choices also having a 24 tap bar.
In addition to capitalizing on their prime tasting room location, Hi-Wire Brewing made a bold and unusual decision, which they now claim to be one of the best they have ever made. Being in close proximity to other well-known and liked craft breweries such as Asheville Brewing, Burial, Green Man, Twin Leaf, and Wicked Weed, Hi-Wire wanted to make themselves stand out. Immediately after opening, they began their launch of 12-ounce six pack bottles, which were distributed by Next Generation Beer Company. Although at the time they were small, and bottling six packs is very manually intensive and costly, this decision instantly got their name out and across North Carolina, putting their beer into more people’s hands than they ever would have thought possible in such a short amount of time.
All is certainly going well for Adam Charnack and Chris Frosaker, who are incredibly proud of their brewery’s fast success. Strategic growth has always been a part of the Hi-Wire vision, and they are very excited about the continued expansion plans that are underway. Hi-Wire Brewing is definitely a brewery worth seeking out if you are ever in the bustling beer scene of Asheville. We hope you enjoy these two delicious Hi-Wire offerings featured in this Beer of the Month Club shipment.