We were driving up to Asheville last weekend to re-take the tasting portion of the Certified Cicerone exam (good news – pretty sure I passed easily this time), and decided to give Brent of Riverbend Malt House a call to see what he was up to. It turns out that he and Brian were going into the malt house to steep some grain and invited us over to come see the place and talk beer for a little while before our test.
While we were there, we found out that not only were they going to be soaking some grain, they were also boxing up their first 40 all-grain homebrew kits! Instantly, I was intrigued.
They have a Hefeweizen kit and an American Pale Ale kit. The Hefeweizen uses 100% Riverbend malt, including the Pilsner malt that they’ve just made for the first time. The Pale Ale kit uses their Heritage and Pale malts with a pinch of chocolate malt for color (unfortunately, the chocolate malt is not from Riverbend).
They have pre-crushed the grain based on the optimum mill setting, and vacuumed sealed all of the malt within 2 hours of crushing, so it is still VERY fresh. The kit also comes with pre-measured hops and a dry yeast packet (US-05 for the Pale, Danstar Munich Wheat for the Hefe). Additionally, they have provided instructions with recommended mash temperatures and everything you need to turn the contents of the 1″ x 1″ cardboard box into five gallons of fresh homebrewed beer!
To top it all off, the kits sell for just shy of $40. That’s EVERYTHING you need to make a 5-gallon batch of homebrew with almost 100% Asheville grown and malted grain, for less than $40. That’s a steal. Not to mention that due to Riverbend’s small size and high demand from the local brewers, it is very hard to come by their malt otherwise, so this is a great way to try out some of their malt.
As Riverbend expands, they hope to have the capability of providing more grain to homebrewers, but for now, you’ll have to get your hands on this limited supply of homebrew kits. These will eventually be available in stores, but if you just have to get your hands on them now, then shoot an email to Brent and let him know that you’re interested and that I sent you his way.