A new brewery is coming to downtown, and although the taproom won't open until next summer, WanderLinger Brewing Co. will be distributing its products in late spring.
The new brewery, which will be at 1208 King St., near St. John's Restaurant, is the brainchild of owner/brewer Mike Dial, who started homebrewing in college.
There will be at least 12 on tap, but these are the six that have names so far:
The 100 Day IPA is an India pale ale.
The Stumpthumper pale ale is an American pale ale.
LingerLonger lager is Munich Helles lager.
Hillwalker pilsner is a "hopped-up" American pilsner.
Hobb's Cabin porter is a "robust" American porter.
Appalachian Appreciation is a Dusseldorf altbier.
His hobby and brewing gear grew over the years, as did the urge to open his own brewery.
So with help from his wife, Mandy, and brother Chris, he got to work. They spent about two years getting all the details together, working with the Business Development Center and securing a small business loan for the project, which represents more than half a million investment.
The new facility is the first anchor tenant of a six-story building that is being redeveloped.
In addition to a taproom, there will be a beer garden with cornhole and seating, covered front porch, large inside bar, mezzanine, and lounge with couches and board games. And there will be live music.
"The taproom is going to be killer," Dial said.
They will have at least 12 beers on tap and will serve snacks. There won't initially be a kitchen, but owners might add that later, he also said.
Mandy and Mike are avid backpackers, and the new business' name reflects that.
Mike said that Mandy came up with the name, which reflects what they do when they hike—wander and linger.
The vibe of the brewery will also reflect their backpacking hobby, he said.
After years of work, it's exhilarating to be moving toward making the products, which Dial said he will start doing as soon as possible.
He's ordered all the equipment and is working with the city to get a permit to start brewing before construction is complete.
So the beers will be available in other restaurants before the brewery actually opens, Mike said.
"We're really excited," he said. "It's been a long time coming."