From the Ashevegas Hotsheet:
After five years of strong, steady growth, the founders of Asheville craft soda maker Devil’s Foot Beverage Company are preparing to invite the public into their spacious new taproom as they settle into an accompanying (and similarly big) production space.
Devil’s Foot founders Ben Colvin and Jacob Baumann have moved out of a cramped Woodfin location, where they started canning their non-alcoholic concoctions by hand in 2017, and landed in the sprawling former Daniels Graphics print services complex at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. Here, they’ve got 14,000 square feet to grow their automated canning operation, as well as plenty of storage room to entertain visitors. Chow Chow food festival event attendees will get their own preview of the taproom, dubbed The Mule, this weekend. Look for an early October opening to the general public.
In classic Asheville fashion, the new location brings together a group of locally minded stalwarts ready to support one another. Jami Daniels, now at the helm of the family business founded by her father, Jim Daniels, was looking for new collaborators after Daniels Graphics announced it had merged its print, mail, and marketing portal business with Allegra Marketing Print Mail earlier this summer and would launch a co-warehousing and shared flex workspace business called Ernest. Before his Devil’s Foot work, Colvin had been active in the environmental nonprofit world as an executive director and development director, while Baumann, a drummer, has played with a long list of fellow musicians and their bands over the years.
The new location, featuring a giant bar made in part by salvaging old wooden palettes as its centerpiece, will allow Devil’s Foot to triple its production. That’s important, because the company is distributed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, with more to come. Last year Venture Asheville, the entrepreneurship initiative of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, named Devil’s Foot to its annual list of the 15 fastest growing local start-ups.
It’s all a little head-spinning for Colvin, Baumann and their friends and family, who first landed on the idea of making a bubbly, non-alcoholic drink with real fruit and no artificial sweeteners during backyard barbecue get-togethers, where they sought a tasty mixer for their bourbon and vodka.
They sharpened their focus to sourcing fresh fruit from local, organic or family-run farmers, and brewing the sodas as simply as possible, then sweetening them lightly with organic cane sugar and regional honey. (All their sodas contain 18 grams or less of sugar, which is less than half the sugar found in a traditional soda.)
“Many of our longtime partners are bars and breweries who are really eager to carry a craft beverage that’s non-alcoholic but still celebratory for special occasions,” Colvin says.
“Having a non-alcoholic option makes social gatherings a lot more inclusive and seamless for people choosing not to drink or just taking a break for whatever reason.”
The new Devil’s Foot taproom will be a drinker’s dream – with or without alcohol. It will feature Devil’s Foot sodas in cans and on tap. They’ll have a full-service bar showcasing craft cocktails (more on this at a later date) and mocktails, seasonal craft sodas, and other locally made beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. (Devil’s Foot makes 12 flavors: their Classic Ginger Beer, Fuego Ginger Beer, Ghost Ginger Beer, Blackberry Ginger Beer, Sparkling Black Tea & Lemonade, Sparkling Lemonade, Sparkling Limeade, Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade, Sparkling Blueberry Lemonade, Sparkling Cherry Limeade, Sparkling Peach Lemonade, and Hop’d Lemonade (a collaboration with The Whale Craft Beer Collective).
When it comes to inviting in the public, Colvin and Baumann note that the new location will serve as an event space for private and community events, which Devil’s Foot will use to support non-profit community partners. And there’s a 1-acre property that will allow for a wealth of outdoor seating and parking.
If all that isn’t enough, take the short drive down Sweeten Creek Road toward Biltmore Village to visit even more drinking options: the new 7 Clans Brewing taproom (66 Sweeten Creek); Hillman Beer (25 Sweeten Creek); French Broad Brewery (101 Fairview Road just off Sweeten Creek); Eda Rhyne Distilling (next door to French Broad Brewery on Fairview Road); and the new Village Pub restaurant and bar preparing to open at 100 Fairview Road.
Thanks for reading,