John Silver, Owner
A graduate of Mountain Heritage, 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 dank 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. Alex is especially excited for our move to the new location and the opportunity to experiment with creative sours and the barrel aging process.
The first and longest Homeplace employee, this Burnsville native brings a little fire to the Homeplace brewhouse. She has returned from Appalachian State University with a Fermentation Sciences degree in hand. Her favorite thing about Homeplace is all of the great friends and connections she has made here, feels like a big family! Favorite Homeplace/Hog Hollow combination is Biscuits ‘n Gravy ESB and a Whole Hog with extra jalapeños.
Meet Robert Carter. He graduated from behind the bar to the back of house, lending a hand with the brewery operations (over 4,500 cans labeled and packaged!) 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 Pizza Truck.
Dustin Ferguson, Front of House Manager
Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Dustin first traveled west to 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.
Joyce Hones, Events/Marketing/Social Media
Originally from Maryland, Joyce made her way to Burnsville by way of Columbia, SC (University of South Carolina). She used to spend her time bartending, but now has a hand in planning events, the No Place Like Homeplace beer festival, and letting people know what is happenin’ at Homeplace. She loves the strong community here in Burnsville, and her favorite part of this job is figuring out ways that we can be involved and give back. She loves studying/teaching yoga and brewing kombucha. You’ll find her drinking Ginger’s Revenge, but loves to taste all the heady Homeplace IPAs.
Evan Baker, Bartender/Music Booking/Second Home Kitchen
Meet Evan Baker, beer-pouring extraordinaire, entertainment booking, and head of the Second Home kitchen. Originally from Hampstead (outside Wilmington), Evan started working at Homeplace two years back. His consistent favorite Homeplace brew is Faith Healer, but lately he is sipping on the Area C or Mustang Oil. Come in when Evan is working to chat Bob Dylan or ask him about his cats. Every now and then, you’ll catch him on the Homeplace stage playing his original folk 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!
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!