Asheville, NC — Just six months after opening their 50-barrel production facility, Wicked Weed Brewing is adding two more year-round brands to their ever- growing portfolio, Lunatic Blonde, Belgian-Style Ale and Napoleon Complex, Hoppy Pale Ale.
Planned for package and release in February, both beers have been an integral part of Wicked Weed’s lineup at their original 15 barrel brewery in downtown Asheville. Lunatic Blonde, appearing on the brewpub’s draught list since day one, is a flagship Belgian-style ale drawing inspiration from Old World beer practices, while still appealing to modern palettes.
“When we first talked about crafting Belgian beers for our portfolio, open fermentation was really important to us,” explains Walt Dickinson, owner and Head Blender, “We wanted to craft beers that felt like the Old World, but with a New World perspective. Lunatic Blonde has become the base that we build everything else off of because it’s the most straightforward beer and there’s nothing to hide behind. It’s all about yeast character and fermentation.”
Releasing a Belgian blonde on this scale might seem like a surprising choice given Wicked Weed’s propensity for hard-hitting IPA’s and their opening of one of the largest sour programs in the Southeast, but Dickinson believes beers like Lunatic Blonde still have an important place in the craft sphere.
“We’re so excited to finally make this beer on a larger scale and invite people understand why a Belgian blonde is such a special style. I think it’s one of those beers that is often forgotten about, but it’s so beautiful, delicate, and important. At the core of every regional beer style is simplicity and drinkability, and really, that’s the beginning point of beer.”
Following closely on the heels of the Belgian blonde is Napoleon Complex, a hoppy pale ale with an approachable abv and hefty dry-hop at over two pounds per barrel (more than most breweries use to dry hop their IPA’s). While pale ale can be considered a throwback style in the states, Dickinson says the brewery’s goal with Napoleon Complex was to craft a new take on an old classic.
“We wanted to take down and revisit the pale ale. We found that we prefer the backbone of a pale ale with the aggressive hop nature that an IPA brings to the table. We crafted Napoleon Complex to be very nouveau; this is where we see pale ale going and, for us, it’s a beer we want to drink every day.”
Consumers can expect to see both Lunatic Blonde and Napoleon Complex on draught and in 6 packs year round across the state in North Carolina and Georgia starting in mid February. Both brews will be widely available in bottle shops and select grocery stores. The addition of these two beers bring the flagship total to five core beers that include Freak of Nature Double IPA, Gluten
Freek Gluten Reduced IPA, and Pernicious IPA. With over a dozen more brews planned for production scale, seasonal releases over the course of 2016 the Wicked Weed lineup shows no sign of slowing down or easing up.
About Wicked Weed Brewing
Wicked Weed Brewing is based in Asheville, North Carolina. Opened in December 2012, the original brewpub (91 Biltmore) consistently hosts 25+ beers on tap including hop-forward, West Coast-style ales, open fermented Belgians, and barrel-aged beers. With the opening of the second location, The Funkatorium, in October 2013, Wicked Weed is striving to become one of the leading producers of barrel-aged sour and wild beers in the Southeastern United States. Wicked Weed Brewing was awarded a gold medal for both 100% Brettanomyces Serenity in 201 and Mompara Honey Ale in 2014, and a silver medal for Pernicious IPA in 2015 at the Great American Beer Festival. Wicked Weed most recently opened 50-barrel production brewery that will allow for wider distribution on the East Coast.