The brainchild of celebrated Asheville, North Carolina, chef Jacob Sessoms and Wicked Weed Co-Founder Walt Dickinson, Cultura is a “New Agrarian” restaurant located in the city’s South Slope neighborhood, set alongside Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium.
Cultura’s food and beverage program is built upon the same foundation as Wicked Weed’s sour beer program, where the name of the restaurant, shares the same name of the soon to be released spontaneously fermented Belgian-style Lambic beer. This spontaneous style of brewing is the most involved, most Old-World, time intensive process and Cultura, inspired by this, strives to incorporate Old-World technique with New World innovation and a focus on utilizing fermentation in as many of the restaurant’s components as possible.
Cultura’s wine list is primarily comprised of natural wines that use minimal intervention, wild yeast for fermentation, and low to zero added sulfites. It features over 120 old and new world offerings to appease all palates. These styles are bridging the gap between wine and sour beer. In addition, Cultura offers 24 draft beers of which 18 one tap lines are dedicated to Wicked Weed’s sour and farmhouse beers. Many of the beers have been fermented and aged in oak barrels for up to two years with wild Brettanomyces yeast, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus bacteria to develop acidity and complexity.
Overall, the restaurant focuses on building a deep cellar of fermented and locally procured fruits and vegetables that are the base of most cocktails. The cocktail list, which is seasonal and everchanging, relies upon the availability of locally grown produce from the Western North Carolina Mountains, alongside the idea that many of the cocktails are also based on the flavor profiles of sour beer as well. This concept has evolved the beverage program into offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic fermented beverages such as kombucha, kvass, and shrubs.