The crafted tastes of Botanist and Barrel’s natural southern ciders and wines are now being served in Asheville. Creating thirst-quenching beverages from their farm in Cedar Grove since 2017, the company is taking its talents westward.
“I just felt like it was time to have an urban platform,” said co-founder Lyndon Smith.
“Asheville felt like a more natural way to grow,” explained Amie Fields, also a co-found of Botanist and Barrel and wife to Smith. “We would rather showcase [our products] ourselves and teach the education of natural wine and cider. Asheville is a great place to showcase that.”
The Asheville scene brings out a whole other side to the Botanist and Barrel. The marble features, gold accents, and white leather chairs provide a mid-century modern vibe, a different atmosphere to the scenic views of their Orange County farm.
“Cedar Grove is Botanist and Barrel country style, and Asheville is like Botanist and Barrel goes to manhattan,” said Smith with a bit of a laugh. “Asheville is more chic, whereas Cedar Grove is more rustic.”
Along with the wine bar and carefully curated food pairings, the Asheville location also offers a full bottleshop.
“We have a lot of guest ciders, beers, and wines,” explained Smith. “We are trying to bring a lot of Cedar Grove to Asheville, so we have Forgotten Road out of Graham, Trophy, and Crankarm [from Raleigh].”
In addition, collaborations with other businesses have added new flavors to the menu.
“We get more playful here with cider cocktails and stuff, things you can’t really do on a farm,” said Fields. Partners like Honey Bee Hills and Durham’s Alley 26 add zest to the new specialty drinks, as well as produce from their own family farm. “We have a propagation farm here in Asheville, so we’ve got another 400 blueberry plants, 100 elderberries, and another 123 apple trees,” explained Fields.
While Smith and Fields take charge of the Asheville branch, other Botanist and Barrel co-founders Kether Smith (sister to Lyndon) and Deric McGuffey (husband to Kether) continue to oversee the production, distribution, and tasting room run from their Cedar Grove farm.
Asheville is not Botanist and Barrell’s first expansion endeavor. Since 2017 the company has expanded its distribution into South Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, and California. As the crew continues to push the envelope in all things natural cider and wine, the brewmasters stick to their traditional practices, “embracing old-world methods with modern sensibilities.”
“We are doing everything the same as we ever did; we’re just more confident,” said Smith. When asked how they continue to evolve, even during a pandemic, Smith responded, “It’s a little bit of crazy, a lot of optimism.”
The company’s newest location is located at 32 Broadway Street and open Thursday-Monday noon - 7 p.m.
“Come see a different side of us. It’s a totally different experience [in Asheville].”