John Silver, Owner
A graduate of Mountain Heritage High School, John grew up here in Burnsville, NC. After a journey down to Greensboro for school, a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and a successful career brewing in Asheville, John returned to Yancey County to open Homeplace Beer Company in 2017. He puts in long hours to keep this place running, but when he’s off, you can find John spending time with his (creative, amazing) wife Emily and two (spunky, precocious) young daughters. His favorite brew is the Natural Traveler, a high IPA named as a nod to local lore of an enigmatic wanderer.
Alex Smith, Head Brewer
You’ll recognize him when you spot the beard, flannel, and brewing boots. Originally from Whiteville, NC, Alex attended UNCW and eventually made his way to this part of the state to try his hand at craft beer. Aside from the hard work he puts in at the brewery, you can find Alex hanging out with his best bud Wayne (rest in peace, Jasper), listening to a Gang Starr record, and working on house projects or building something.
Robert Carter, Packaging and Sales
Meet Robert Carter. He graduated from behind the bar to the back of house, lending a hand with the brewery operations. He is a descendent of Yellow Jacket Bailey. Grew up in Wesley Chapel, NC, Robert is a Navy Veteran and Ohio University Alum. When he’s not working, he enjoys playing golf, camping, tubing, fishing, and playing on the Homeplace tennis squad. You can often find him in the taproom enjoying a Second Home or Biscuits ‘n Gravy ESB with a Whole Hog from Hog Hollow.
Dustin Ferguson, Taproom Manager
Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Dustin first traveled west to the University of Oregon and then found his way to WNC, residing in Burnsville since 2012. “I’ve always been attracted to the welcoming spirit of not only Homeplace but Burnsville in general. Every visit to Homeplace feels like getting together with old friends.” He likes to garden in his spare time and has two cats: Meowsie & Butter Bean. His favorite Homeplace brew is the Lumbercamp Pilsner. Dustin has a knack for hospitality, and we are so excited to have him on as our manager at the new flagship Homeplace.
Missy Batten, Events and Marketing Manager
Meet Missy, a Florida native who moved to NC in 2007. She now resides in the Prices Creek area. She loves the Homeplace community, both staff and guests. You may catch her hanging out enjoying her year-round favorite brew, Biscuits N’ Gravy ESB or her seasonal faves the Berry Bucket Sour or the Burnsville Common; paired with her Hog Hollow go to, a trio pizza with banana peppers and balsamic glaze.
Daryl Byrd, Floor Manager
Daryl was born and raised in the area. He had the opportunity to travel a bit when he was younger, but like the rest of us, Burnsville called him back home where he started his own family. You will catch Daryl either behind the bar or running food. He enjoys meeting all the customers, hanging out with his wonderful coworkers, and learning the in’s and out’s of beer. His two favorite brews are the Shady Grove Kolsch and the Natural Traveler. Strike up a conversation about his love for playing music, hiking, and hanging out with his family and two pups.
Claudia is a Charleston native who left the coast to find a slower pace of life to raise a homestead in the cozy town Appalachian Mountains. After visiting Burnsville with her husband, they both fell in love with the charm fo the community and decided to make it their home. In her downtime, you might find her enjoying her favorite brew, the Haulin’ Oats, paired with her Hog Hollow go-to, a veggie burger on a salad, in a pita or on a bun – it’s so tasty anyway you have it. The next time you’re in, chat with her about gardening, crafting, or foraging.
Mea is from Mars Hill and found her way over to Yancey County in 2012. After graduating from App State in 2017, her partner Doran encouraged her to come back to Burnsville where they are building their first home. Mea is an avid sour drinker, with her current favorite being the Peach Wood Smoked Sour. She also enjoys Hog Hollow’s Trio Calzone. She loves all the laughs she shares with her Homeplace coworkers and customers. Outside of Homeplace, she likes to spend her time traveling and exploring with her partner and their two pets. Mea is starting up her marketing business, Meandering Marketing, give her a shout out for all your digital marketing needs.
Originally from southwest VA, Hannah has lived everywhere from southwest Texas to New York City but recently returned to re-root in the beautiful southern Appalachians she considers home. She is a new homesteader who is busy scheming in her spare time of ambitious land and building projects. She enjoys being outside with her adventurous little striped hound dog. Being new to the Burnsville area, she has come to enjoy the unique and welcoming community that the Homeplace creates and sustains. She likes to sip on the Coffee Blonde and will always recommend Hog Hollow’s Greek Salad topped with a homemade veggie patty.
This sweet soul is originally from Florida but grew up right here in Burnsville, NC. Her favorite thing about Burnsville is that it is a small town with a big heart. She holds down the bar on our Tuesday singer-songwriter nights. She enjoys listening to the Black Keys and Kruangbin, doing pottery, and running. Strike up a conversation about beekeeping, gardening or indie music!
Born in England, Cara grew up mainly in Philly. She lived most recently in Vieques, Puerto Rico with her husband prior to living in Burnsville, where they moved after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the surrounding islands. Cara fell in love with the Blue Ridge mountains while visiting the area some years ago, and enjoys the small tight knit-community that comprises Burnsville. Her favorite Homeplace beer ever brewed was the Granny Witch Gose, which she is hoping to see again this year coming up (Alex…?). Summertime finds her riverside basking in the sun with a Willa Cather novel; wintertime, cooking in the kitchen listening to NPR or some classical music. You can chat up Cara about food and traveling!
Photos by Meandering Marketing