The taps at Headwaters are flowing

By Paul Viau | Apr 27, 2012
Source: Paul Viau RAISING THE BAR — (Left to Right) Kevin Sandefur, Brewmaster at Headwaters Brewing Company, his son and idea man, Shaun, and business parter, Heidi Dunkelberg, are now sampling six (count-em) beers.

Try as hard as I can — one pint at a time — I can’t seem to keep up with the new breweries coming to our area. Though it’s a long way off, I’d like to lift a glass to both New Belgium Brewing Company (Fat Tire) and Sierra Nevada (Pale Ale) for having the wisdom to pick Asheville for their East Coast home.

But even closer to home (and helping Waynesville come of age) this month, yet another microbrewery is making its debut — Headwaters Brewing Company.

Headwaters is Waynesville’s second microbrewery, and with all the necessary permits and licenses, has just started pouring from its tasting room in the commercial area behind Waynesville’s Sagebrush Steakhouse.

You may recall the Headwaters name from my 2010 “Ale be home for Christmas” ode to coming beer attractions. Local brewer Kevin Sandefur was the recipient of the 2010 Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s grant for promising new businesses, and he used the money to purchase his Brew-Magic system.

But the real magic was in Kevin’s skill as a brewer.

Keeping it local, Kevin teamed up with another local brewer, Heidi Dunkelberg.

Now, I would have teamed up with Heidi because her name drips of brew karma. But as it turns out, Heidi is an experienced small business owner (co-owner of Clyde’s Coffee Cup Café) and she is quite an inventive and experienced brewer.

And (Did you know?) Heidi Dunkelberg (I still love that name!) was a finalist for the same grant that helped Kevin get his start. They were meant for each other.

Who says there is no a place for a runner up?

Kevin and Heidi (after work at Coffee Cup Café) have been perfecting the Brew-Magic system for several months now and collaborating on several tasty brews.

Headwaters Brewing Company is currently brewing several beers:

White Water Wit (a wheat hefewiezen)

Delta Blonde (golden, sweet and malty)

Sliding Rock Ale (a nice, light amber ale)

Angler’s Amber Ale (with surprising caramel richness)

Skipping Stone Stout (Yummmm!)

Stiff Pale IPA (one of the best India Pale Ale’s I’ve ever tasted)

Oh yes, and did I mention that Headwaters Brewing Company is dedicating one tap to good, old-fashioned root beer?

Headwaters tasting room is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 4-9 p.m., with a last call at 8:45 p.m.

Where is this all happening, you’re probably wondering.

As I mentioned earlier, Headwaters Brewing Company is located in the industrial complex behind Sagebrush Steakhouse. Just take Frazier Street west off Russ Avenue, turn right into the industrial complex, and look for #7.

For all you GPS-lovers, the actual street address for Headwaters Brewing Company is 130 Frazier Street, #7.

Trust me, by the time you read this, there will be plenty of cars parked in front of Headwaters. All you’ll have to do is “Go with the flow.”

And if tasting rooms are not your thing, you can enjoy Headwaters brews in a restaurant environment. Anthony Wayne’s at The Gateway Club is currently serving Angler’s Amber; and Frogs Leap Public House has Stiff Paddle IPA.

Also, by the time you read this, Headwaters Brewing Company will also be serving wine by the glass along with a few simple “munchies.”

Down the road (in time, not in location), Headwaters will also be brewing hard cider, partnering with Barber Orchards.

Now is the perfect time to try Headwaters brews, in a relaxed and friendly, “Cheers-like” atmosphere in the peace and quiet of their tasting room.

But If you like big parties, mark your calendar for Saturday, May 26, when Headwaters Brewing Company will have its grand opening.

I hope they have plenty of beer brewed by then, because my brother, Rob, and I will both be there with our wives/designated drivers.