Friday, August 19, 2016

A love for animals and beer makes this Hendersonville brewery a must when in town

By Dathan Kazsuk | August 19, 2016
Twitter: @TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: @trianglearoundtown

Sanctuary Brewing Company
Address: 147 First Avenue E., Hendersonville, NC
Phone: (828) 595-9956

We first visited Sanctuary Brewing Company this past April during a brief vacation up in the Hendersonville/Lake Lure area of Western North Carolina. I'm usually the one excited to visit a new brewery, but it was Jen who was a little more excited than me about Sanctuary. Really? Jen more excited about a brewery than Dathan? Yes. That's because the co-owners of Sanctuary, Lisa McDonald and Joe Dinan are huge into animal advocacy - just like us. From puppy adoptions in the taproom to yoga with cats on Saturday mornings, Sanctuary Brewing loves animals just as much as we do.

Although we missed the yoga with cats that morning, we arrived at the brewery for one of the puppy adoptions with a local animal shelter. So before we even started drinking beer, Jen and I were playing and petting the adorable puppies who were all hoping to find their forever home.

Prior to arriving at Sanctuary, we reached out to co-owner McDonald, so when she had a few free minutes to chat with us, we sat down and talked about how her, along with Dinan came up with the concept of the brewery. The story goes a little like this: McDonald was tired of the corporate world and Dinan's home brewing skills were peaking – add that to their love for animals – and hence, Sanctuary Brewing was born. Yes, it is that simple.

Once we finally pulled up a couple seats to the bar, it was time to order. We looked over the expansive list of beers on draft – 16 beers to be exact that day we arrived. And, as usual, we decided to order up a flight, so that we can both enjoy an assortment of beers without adding extra inches to my gut. Our typical flight will be filled with stouts, porters, sours, anything barrel-aged ... and for me, we'll toss in an IPA or two.

This time we selected the following: Caturday (IPA); Ollie the Destroyer (Imperial IPA); Cranberry Saison; Scottie's Red (Red Ale); Carolina Panther (Chocolate Porter) and the Weekend Joe (Coffee Stout).

One by one we sampled each beer. Each beer ended up being pretty true to style, with Jen's favorite being the Weekend Joe, and mine being Ollie the Destroyer. There were so many different beers to sample that day, and I wish we could have tried more – but unfortunately we had a few more breweries to hit up that weekend, including a tour of Sierra Nevada and a stop at Bold Rock Cider's North Carolina production facility.

Would we go back to Sanctuary? In a heartbeat. With great beer, live music, and a small assortment of Vegan salads and pizzas, if you're ever just a little south of Asheville, you must check out Sanctuary Brewing Company.