‘BAD Craft’ has the goods

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

Customers walking into one of the newest Cherry Street businesses will likely notice one of several things.

If they are fans of Western North Carolina’s thriving craft beer scene, they'll notice the selection of local beer. Art enthusiasts' eyes will drift to the pieces hanging on the exposed brick walls. Those with a sweet tooth will fixate on the platter of donuts in the middle of the room.

All of that is exactly what Randy Giles had in mind when he came up with the idea for BAD Craft, which opened at 128 Cherry St. in January.

Randy Giles looks out onto Cherry Street from behind the bar at BAD Craft, the beer, art and desserts store he opened in January.

“You have your beer, you have your art and you have your dessert, which gives you the ‘BAD,’” he said. “Then ‘Craft,’ which describes the beer, the art and handcrafted desserts.”

Giles, a Weaverville resident who worked at Blue Mountain Pizza and Brew Pub for several years before deciding to open a business of his own, thought downtown Black Mountain would be an ideal fit. 

"This was an area that I had been keeping an eye on," he said. "I had the idea for the business, I had been working with Mountain Bizworks to secure a loan. I drove by this spot, saw a 'for rent' sign and knew this was the spot."

BAD Craft offers around two dozen craft beers from local brewers, as well as work from local artists and bakers.

The concept is simple, Giles said - feature work by local artists, offer a wide array of craft beers and partner with local bakeries. 

"I wanted a place  (that's) a quiet, comfortable environment where people can talk and get to know each other," he said.

Opening in the winter gave Giles a chance to familiarize himself with the local community, he said. So far the feedback he's received has been positive. 

"We have a few people who have been coming in regularly," he said. "Black Mountain locals seem to like the environment, and a lot have said they appreciate the beer selection."

BAD Craft keeps about six or seven beers on tap, Giles said, and offers bottles and cans individually or in a mixed six-pack. The selection is hand-picked by Giles. 

"I select the beers based off of customer feedback and my own personal tastes," he said. "I'll also bring in stuff that fits with the seasons, so in the winter I had a lot of porters and stouts and now I'm offering more saisons and wheat beers and fruity flavors."

As a gallery, BAD Craft provides a space for local artists to display their work. 

"There are so many local artists around here who work full-time jobs and do art on the side, and I wanted to give them a place to showcase their stuff," Giles said. "I just like to keep a mixture of mediums and not have artists that are too similar up at the same time."

Giles also offers donuts, like maple-glazed with bacon crumbles, and peanut butter pie. He plans to add to his selection of desserts this spring when he begins hosting pairings with seasonal beers. He also plans to host events featuring local artists "in the near future," he said.  

"Craft beer and art are two of the things we're known for in Western North Carolina," Giles said. "And who doesn't like desserts? I think it's nice to have a place where people can walk right in, have a beer and something sweet while looking at work by local artists."