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Who we were. Who we are. Who we will become.

A look back on the rich history of Burial through the lens of Co-Founder and CSO, Doug Reiser.

Year 1:

Never forget your first project. The concrete walkway that Jess’ 30th bday built kinda says it all. The relics we left inside were happenchance. Just little reminders of our lack of readiness and resolve. Stapled grain bags, dusty bricks, and decaying railings masquerading as an aesthetic. We made due with very little. Worked with what we found. Begged and borrowed our way. Brazen ideas fueled every week. Lack of caution became our calling card. And customers gave us wandering eyes and curious souls.

You latched us in your jaws and carried us through. Lining up for donut holes on toothpicks we struggled to justify. Loaning us your backs, mistake fixers, and bright ideas. That first year was magical. Asheville was everything. Wicked Weed’s otherworldly launch, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium coming to town. Somewhere trapped inside it all was the tale of a little hole in the wall brewery that couldn’t keep beer on tap for a weekend. Just a little morsel of chaos that must have had you all intrigued enough. Either that or our infatuation with solving the mystery of saison without temp control in tiny imploding tanks.

The Unresolved Beautification of Inexact Geometry
A Saison with Yuzu, Ginger, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea and Chrysanthemum. A Saison inspired by Tim Gormley. The task was to do something “drinkable but memorable,” a common task of today’s Burial. But leave it to Tim to find a way to draw back to the experimentation of our beginnings, and still land a beer as ubiquitously enjoyable as our values demand. Intention demands Epiphany Craft Malt’s Pils, Vienna, Oats and Rye at the core of this beer, alongside a pop of Spalter and Huell Melon hops. We added fresh ginger root, tea leaves, and chrysanthemum to the kettle, and yuzu pulp to a free-rising high temperature ferment with our house saison yeast.
ABV: 5.5%
OG: 1.048
IBU: 23
Allegory: Glass Full With Wonder
Tasting: Citrus spritz, jasmine iced tea, melonballs

Year 2:

Pay attention to your muses. Their wake will help you navigate the unknown. The tide moves quickly in craft and we were swimming upstream. Feeling lost became our greatest tool for staying alive. So we purchased the grounds around our taproom and set out to define ourselves. We opened up the galleyway that Winter and began to fill the taps with our own beers for the first time. We finally felt unafraid to embody our fondness for hops. We allowed ourselves to be pulled to the damning patience of lagers. I remember that first batch of Surf Wax that went on draft. It was November; we were a mixed mélange of mess throughout the space, no intention to our design. But that cold resinous froth eased my fear. Burial put out a fun array of ales, waded into mixed cultures, and concocted Shadowclock.

Things were beautifully a mess at that time. No aim in our coffers. And as we began to build a team, we recognized the immense allure to relationships with collaborators. These were our conspirers. The makers of fine flavors, and the fermenters of great elevation. It was then that we met eternal friends like Other Half and French Broad Chocolates. It was a time where curiosity took hold. And we wondered what our truth really looked like.

Experiential Projections Derived From Transcendental Thought
A West Coast-Style India Pale Ale hypothesized by Andrew Tobin. Andrew is one of the finest analysts we know, calculated in plan and patient for resolve. The backbone of this IPA is inspired by his kick-flipping California roots, based in a mineral-driven water table, the palest barley, a touch of kilned malt, and the full onslaught of C hops. We added Citra, Chinook, Cascade and some Simcoe Cryo on the hot side, and followed that up with a double dry-hop of our hand-selects by the same name.
ABV: 7%
OG: 1.063
IBU: 70
Allegory: Of the Brightest Blinding Flash
Tasting: Sticky Tangerine dream, orange slices, mixed berry marshmallows, sweet herbs

Year 3:

It takes time to recognize what you have to offer the world. But after a couple of years, we knew we wanted to be in experiences. Immersing people in a time and place, among conversation, with an exploration of sound and art to feed the mind’s introspection. That was us. We gave up the ole farmhouse dream that year, tipping our caps to the Fonta Floras of the world, and accepting the challenge of breathing new life into the dead and decayed. We found Forestry Camp that Winter on a Craigslist ad tipped off by a colleague. We were intoxicated by the ghosts of the space. It was perfect. Our team built Camp with its bare hands as we awaited permits, tearing floors out, hanging them on ceilings, loading steel, pulling the bootstrap. The stories of 100 years of hard work culminating in a rebirth. It was still kinda calm in those days. Canning beer downtown, cutting ribbons, bringing in new faces, hosting new friends. The bar started to rise. We tried to rise with it.

Something Truly Evil For When You Decide You Need It
A Double India Pale Ale spurred by the infection of our adoration for hops. Back in 2015, we first met Matt and Sam of Other Half. We forged friendship over commonalities in our lives, and a fondness for hops. From that Burial made its first ever East Coast DIPA in a can. It fortified our fascination with high gravity ales and over the years we brewed over 30 collaborations together. This beer is a culminating reminder of our faves from that partnership, and under the veil of the Heavy Resin. We focused on reliably fresh form of Citra and Motueka at its core, and enlivened by tropically bombastic Galaxy and Strata. As always, we finished with a dose of Cryo, from our hand-select Idaho Citra.
ABV: 8.5%
OG: 1.083
IBU: 34
Allegory: An Emerging Expectation
Tasting: lemon lime soda, passionfruit sorbet, peach rings, OG kush

Year 4

The excitement of growth roams among no finer hell than a shoestring budget. And that’s our story in a verse. Burial’s pending growth put us in a headlock with rationality on a daily basis. The challenges of cultural stability, product quality and financial intelligence smacked us across the brow with each setting sun. A lot of helping hands carried us to surface, and we suffered many difficulties along the way.

I find this to be an awakening period in retrospect. A time where we appended to the narrative that this would be hard and require immense evolution of ourselves as people. The resonation of this feeling became our products and experiences as we evolved into a more personal narrative with names and stories. It felt more real that way. It kept us engaged and fulfilled. And you seemed to dig it as well. We sold our first Camp cans in November that winter, and landed in New York and Atlanta. We birthed our barrel-aged sour program. We sent our wares to Belgium, brewed out on the West and East coasts. And we became something more than what we thought we were. This felt like something more than beer.

A Momentary Expression of Cosmic Potential
A Dry-Hopped Pilsner and the final ship captained by Good Guy Jeff McGuire. Our entire crew adores the potential of Australian Eclipse, and so we lodged it as the centerpiece of this classic Burial-style American Pils. Made from Epiphany Craft Malt Pils and a water supply of vast minerality and salt, we countered sweet mandarin Eclipse base with hand-select Motueka. A vibrant coexistence of cold-fermentation and hop expression.
ABV: 5.2%
OG: 1.047
IBU: 34
Allegory: A Map for Connection
Tasting: fizzy fanta, dried lime, wafer crisps, mineral seltzer

Year 5

With form comes function. Sometimes it just takes you awhile to get there. This was the year we invented the projection you know as Burial. We opened the year with our first sour releases. Hosted some of the world’s finest lager makers for Ambient Terrain. And birthed an IPA series, a dissected mural piece by David Paul Seymour we called The Earth As We Now Know It. We were finding a place to rest. But the four corners of our craft began after a trip to the beach. It was then that we latched back on to the reason we were here. You. The customer. We defined our experiential aim and the core values that divided us from others. That did not come without scars.

The first full year of Camp came with many hardships in our quest to preserve integrity and take care of customer desires. We often failed to care for ourselves. It’s still the most impactful teaching moment we’ve had and the guidance we share with other upstarts. And it’s led to our most deeply-inspired art, branding and product lines. It made us recognize the human journey and how it connected to our very own name. The cycle of finite consciousness. And the value in camaraderie, exploration, and inspiration. So we shared what we found. We took chances. We found a way. That year we quietly rebuilt our vision. More focused. More sincere. More realistic.

As It Exists Through The Eyes of Others
A Barrel-Aged Blend of Sour Ales with Raspberries molded from the hands of Rachael Morris. Our head blender relished the chance to make our first ever spin on the classic Framboise, and delivered a killer experience that espouses the linear motto of our sour program. Over 1800# of fresh raspberries went through carbonic maceration and initial fermentation on their own, before we added to a select blend of 1 year aged golden sour ales from our wood cellar. The beer has a moderate acidity, present terroir and yeast character, and robust fruit depth.
ABV: 6.0%
OG: 1.050
IBU: 4
Allegory: Blood Just Spilled
Tasting: raspberry cinnamon tart, lemon berry gelato, floral teas, American Carignan


Year 6

It took us 2 years to gather a regimen of brewing that offered us comfort. That and really great people. Much of the Burial team you see today joined around this time. We leaned in where we knew best. And those adorning the affectionate gospels of Wax, Clock, Hawk, and Tube became mainstays. We birthed more brands than ever, telling the stories of our everyday in each and every hoppy ale we mustered. We captured the very human path of brewers with Off Topic. And we finally left our safety nest of Asheville, and embarked on the vast unknown to connect with our East side customers in Raleigh. The Exhibit brandished a new look for us. Some celebrated. Others wanted more Sloth and Selleck. But it was a first step outside ourselves and into a wider identity. It paved the way for us connect beyond our hometown and it proved to us that our community was much larger than we thought. The Exhibit would meander a path of self-exploration 2 more times before settling in as the killer vibe it is today.

Never Asked To Be This Way
A Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout blended by many hands. This one is a triumph of camaraderie in our brewing team. Proposed barrel stocks were delivered to our sensory staff, before our blending team worked tirelessly through multiple sensory panel feedbacks to craft a masterful blend of our barrel program. The final blend was comprised of 70% 13 month aged Willet Bourbon Barrel, 16% 18 month old Double Buffalo Trace and Willets Barrel, and 14% young stout. The benefit of the depth of ages affords great sugar complexity, fruit leathers, and obvious bourbon presence.
ABV: 15.0%
OG: 1.168
IBU: 27
Allegory: A Darkness Unrelenting
Tasting: bourbon toffee, caramel chews, dark chocolate bar, raisin

Year 7

Not all bridges are meant to be crossed. But we entered the year catching stars. The cosmic path of Forestry Camp was unveiled. We will forever adore the first iteration and understand why restaurants are an underappreciated beast of passion. We dished out our high country basque grub aside rambunctious wines and beers from some of the most inspiring creators. We trespassed on an overly ambitious growth plan to bring beer back to our home state. And Burnpile set Camp ablaze with chaos for one incredible night with Beach Fossils and more.

Right as it all felt the heaviest, the plague set in. We have always adored spontaneity, and the unbridled force of necessity mandated we think beyond. Haphazardly we setup shop on the ole web and found a willing shipping partner. What followed was remarkable. Beer evaporated into the ether. We had no time to evolve. And so we turned on a dime. Our team packaged more beer than ever, offering up an ambitious array of new wares each week. It became the hymn we call The Flow. We handed out Imperial Stout weekly, blended more sour ale, birthed the Heavy Resin and finally found space for our own devotion to traditional lagers. This meant an end to many brands of yesterday. But the flood of creativity rushed over us, as we embraced the chance to connect in new ways.

A Conceptual Architecture for the Worship of Nothingness
An Imperial Stout with Toasted Coconut, Cocoa Nibs, Onyx Coffee Beans, Macadamia Nuts, Maple Syrup, Toasted Waffle, Thai Banana, Orange Zest, Sea Salt, Cognac Barrel-Aged Vanilla Bean. This 10 subject chaos is the mastercraft of Scott Graham. Our sensory program affords remarkable sharing of feedback, and time for adjustment. But this one did not need a shred of help. It hit from the start. Calling on the base that got us here, Nothingness, lays a a foundation of coconut, chocolate and vanilla, upon which we have applied some of our favorites of recent use. This cornucopia of delicacy is anything but linear, offering a deep tasting experience as you peel layer from layer.
ABV: 15.0%
OG: 1.158
IBU: 28
Allegory: The Fluidity of the Spectacle of Evil
Tasting: macadamia chocolate chip, bananas foster, coffee liqueur

Year 8

The new something. People like to refer to a change of equilibrium as an alteration of “normal”. But we always lived the fluid way. The pandemic was yet another shift in our medium. And the goal of customer connection never changed. As our state opened up, so did we. We responded by investing in the face-to-face experience we all yearned. And we purchased spaces in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood and our neighboring building in Asheville’s South Slope.

Leaning back in brought us closer to our community, and we recognized that our goals of inclusivity beckoned more accommodation of more interests. We launched VISUALS to do this. It brought new elevations to our experience, offering our customers a way above their own equilibriums, and a welcome to wine, cider and restricted explorers. We’d launch wines seasonally, tell the tale of apples from our own hills, and mix up fortified herbal allegories of the journey. Going beyond beer filled us up. By year end we knew the inevitable. Music would be the next portal into a vast new world.

Until There Was Emptiness Where There Was Once Something Left To Give
A Triple India Pale Ale born from the past imprints of the Dream Candy. The Earth As We Now Know It, The Dissection, The Vast Landscape, Heavy Resin. All were stories to tell. And today it is the calming voice of Dream Candy that has carried us to a perpetual place of fondness. We dabbled in a coronation anthem for the series with this strong ale. Made of barley, oats and candy sugars. Infused with Cryo and Incognito. Triple dry-hopped with a select array of Mosaic, Simcoe, and Eldorado. Finished with Simcoe Cryo. Sublime.
ABV: 10.0%
OG: 1.097
IBU: 31
Allegory: An Awakening In An Afterlife
Tasting: Sugared berries, passionfruit pineapple frappe, peach gummy bears, tropical skittles

Year 9

The power of open mindedness is gripping. It beckons connection in places you never knew you’d find it. We’d built a massive endeavor of strong ales. And we’d left little room for the onward journeyers. So we set a course for sessionability. We made more classic lager, birthed One of Us Will Have to Bury The Other, doubled down on a return of our beloved Billows and mapped a plan to turn our new downtown brewhouse into a maven of 5% festivity. Prophetmaker became our darling. We walked you out of the Dark, into the Bright lights and through the Dusk. And as we started fostering adoration for even more moderation, we opined of future booze-free offerings.

The summer brought us to Charlotte. The House of Relics was our most ambitious opening yet, rife with all the risk-taking modality that you hate and adore from us. Free from the tethers of our imprints, Relics confused public perceptions with a different glance at our very curious world of art, nostalgia, festivity and camaraderie. We maintained a special window into the world of Boris & Natasha, and launched with the fervent support of Charlotte’s finest brewers. It was the badass array of connection that represents the reason we go to work each and evey day.

All That You Desire But Only For A Moment
A Barrel-Aged Barleywine crafted by the hands of our barrel lord, Chris Golden. The barleywine mantle is a tough one to climb, and so we put a lot of love into forging these beers. After rounds of sensory concluded the right course for this ale, the final blend was made from 50% 1 year aged Willets Bourbon Barrel Barleywine, 40% 1 year aged Willets Boubon Barrel Barleywine aged an additional 1 year in steel, and 10% 1 year of Cuvee of Barrel-Aged Barleywine and Imperial Stout. The result is perhaps our most balanced array of fruit and sugar complexities, all with the appropriate spiritous presence.
ABV: 13.0%
OG: 1.135
IBU: 32
Allegory: Born Back From the Void Into Light
Tasting: vanilla cream soda, espresso powder, chopped dates, creme de cacao

Year 10

Nobody knows the dividing line between right and wrong. But we aim to walk along it. On one side or the other. Asking for your interpretation. Hearing it when we can. We will disappoint you. We will lift you up. We will rot away as the old. And we will usher in the new. That is the story of rebirth we promised 10 years ago. Put it out to pasture. Let it die. Till the land for your new beginning.

It enables this story to be told by many. It will evolve as they are urged by their hearts to tell it. The Burial of Year 11 welcomes in new friends, new spaces, new experiences. And new curators, new voices, new contortions of the Burial you came to know. How will you challenge them to push beyond? How will they implore you to keep walking through the door? All I know is that you won’t let each other down.

A Gateway to Inhabiting Vast Magnificent Worlds
A Kolsch built by Alia Midoun. Alia balanced this beer in the trajectory of her transatlantic story. Forged from a base of traditional German Pilsner, she applied a new angle with American Wheat, before combining old stalwart Hallertau Mittelfruh, with revolutionary German Hallertau Blanc. We fermented cool with German Ale yeast, and skip extended aging to present it fresh, complimenting an abundant mineral water table.
ABV: 4.9%
OG: 1.044
Allegory: Letting Go of Disruption
Tasting: spiced bread, white grape, lemongrass wildflower tea, citrus zest

Label artwork by David Paul Seymour. Animations by Trevor Carmick of Beer Labels in Motion.