Rising Star Brewer Luke Dickinson of Wicked Weed - Biography

Asheville, NC

November 2013

The name Wicked Weed Brewing might put one idea in your head. But for brothers, and owners, Walt and Luke Dickson, Wicked Weed Brewing is about one thing and one thing only: making great craft beer. We should clarify the wicked weed in question is, in fact, hops, which King Henry VIII condemned (as he was wont to do) as wicked and pernicious. Fortunately, since his condemnation-heavy reign, clearer, hop-loving, heads have prevailed, among them those belonging to the Wicked Weed brothers.

Not always a brewer, Walt stumbled into what would become his professional future in 2009, drinking craft beer (appropriately) at a craft beer bar with Luke, who at the time was working in the craft beer business at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and talking about the dream of opening their own place. They weren’t just interested in cranking out a spectrum of beers. Like many modern and market-savvy brewers, Walt and Luke were interested in producing certain styles of beer, specifically hop-forward West Coast beers and Belgian style ales that would “inspire those who drank them.”

With the help of a long-time friend and his family, Walt and Luke were able to put together enough capital to start a small operation—as many small breweries, begun in a basement—that’s since morphed into a high-demand operation. But maybe that’s no surprise, since Walt and Luke pride themselves on personality and boundary pushing. Case in point: they have the largest barrel ageing program in North Carolina and beer production that includes finds like Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winning Serenity Brettanomyces as well as  hop-worshipping Freak Double IPA and Wicked Tea Party, a tea ale actually made for the James Beard House in New York City. In 2013, the brothers earned a StarChefs Rising Star Brewer Award for their work at Wicked Weed.