Billy Klingel was already well known in the Asheville community as a star bartender when he was hired as one of the first employees of The Lobster Trap in 2004. Little did we know that Billy harbored a deep passion for home-brewing and possessed an extraordinary talent for creating unique and flavorful brews. One fine day, he approached us with the idea of creating the perfect oyster stout – brewed with oysters! The idea sounded intriguing, albeit slightly far-fetched to me. I wished him luck and told him he could start our brewery operations if he succeeded. Billy was up to the challenge and vanished into his garage.
Our fearless Billy survived yellow jacket swarms, ants, boil-overs, a patio covered with sticky wort and other minor disasters. He emerged 12 months later with a frosty glass filled with a delicious smelling stout. I tasted my first pint of Oyster House Oyster Stout.
What a treat! A perfect combination of roasted barley and chocolate malts, with just a hint of some black patent malt and five pounds of those delicious oysters on the half shell. I knew immediately how lucky I was to have Billy on board and what an asset Oyster House beers would be to The Lobster Trap.
It is a pleasure for me to see how well received Oyster House beers have been since we started serving them at the restaurant in early 2009. I was not surprised when Billy started to earn awards for his beers and to see Oyster House become known throughout the region.
By 2012, we couldn’t keep up with demand at our small brewery in The Lobster Trap. Billy opened his own brewpub, Oyster House Brewing Company, closer to home in West Asheville. At the brewpub, you will find Oyster House beers along with an eclectic selection of guest taps and an enticing menu of small plates. Billy’s place is a true neighborhood brewpub where you will be sure to experience the flavor of West Asheville.
The Lobster Trap continues to feature Oyster House beers and work closely with Billy. Although Billy’s brewing capacity increased exponentially when he opened the brewpub, he can only keep up with demand at The Lobster Trap and Oyster House Brewing Company. So, for now, those are the only two places that his beers are available. Oyster House beers compliment our menu to perfection, and we invite you to sample them during your next visit. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.Cheers, Amy Beard Owner The Lobster Trap