Another good excuse to drink beer: The Asheville Downtown Association’s Oktoberfest party will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. on Wall Street. Tickets cost $25 and are still available on the association’s Web site.
A small but experienced group of local brewers will offer tastings of their multitudinous beers — Asheville Pizza & Brewing, French Broad Brewing, Green Man Brewing, Highland Brewing, and Pisgah Brewing. Event organizers also plan to offer a Brewer’s Room, where folks can talk one-on-one with the brewers.
Restaurants Cucina 24, Jack of the Wood and Laughing Seed will prepare authentic German food served with local mustard Lusty Monk Mustard (not included in ticket price though—bring cash for food). Performers are The Stratton Mountain Boys and The Goodies.
John Stewart, Green Man brewer, will release his Oktoberfest beer at Oktoberfest. Pisgah Brewing will release their Octoberbest the previous night at their brewery, but the beer will be featured at the event. Organizers ask that folks leave their canine companions at home and pick up their tickets at Will Call, starting at noon at the Flat Iron sculpture.
Funktober: That’s what the Pisgah Brewing guys call this month.
On Oct. 7, Pisgah will show the movie, Beer Y’all, in what’s touted as its “final public screening on the big screen,” at 8 p.m. The movie tells the story of seven Asheville beer lovers who visited 27 North Carolina craft breweries in nine days. Many of the makers and stars of the film will be on hand, so you can ask how the post-filming liver detox went.
As mentioned above, the Octoberfest beer release party takes place at the brewery on Oct. 10. Also, Pisgah’s new San Francisco-style lager will be ready soon, as well as a fall Belgian Amber Ale (I know I’m going to love this one). A Schwartzbier (black German-style lager) will be coming soon too.
Finally, “With summer winding down, we have found some time to start bottling again. So look for many more styles of 22’s on the shelves soon—including IPA, Vortex I, Porter and others,” says Pisgah co-owner Dave Quinn. By 22’s, he means 22-ounce bottles. I think.
Beer dinner yum: Highland Brewing Company and Fiore’s Ristorante will be hosting a beer dinner as a kind of preview party for Asheville Oktoberfest. On Thursday, Oct. 8, diners can feast on a 6-course small plate menu with accompanying beers created by Fiore’s chef and owner Anthony Cerrato and Highland’s founder and president Oscar Wong. Tickets cost $45 and the dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. at Fiore’s.
Cold Mountain double yum: Highland Brewing’s much anticipated Cold Mountain Ale is in the tank, well, most of it at least.
This from sales rep Steve Schwartz: “We now have two 200 barrel batches in the tank, and we have another 200 barrels scheduled to brew the week of Oct. 12. That is 600 barrels total, up from 400 last year. We have some new spices we are excited to try out. Within the next two weeks, we will gather our tasting panel and decide how this year’s Cold Mountain will be spiced.”
Not to try to influence the tasting panel, but my favorite Cold Mountain Ale was the one brewed in 2005—a cinnamon-scented raspberry-flavored delight. Just saying.
More importantly, release dates: The first release of Cold Mountain will be the week of Nov. 2, and include draught, 1-liter and 22-ounce bottles. For the first time, the ale also will be released in 12-ounce bottles, available as a 12-pack, during the week of Nov. 16. Just in time for Turkey Day!
Craggie soon: Craggie Brewing Company has all their permits. Brewer Bill Drew (a member of the two first names club) says he’ll brew his first test batch next weekend or the week after, depending on when the grain arrives. The first keg should roll out the door four or five weeks afterwards. “We are very excited to join the “beer” world. I bet the farm on this brewery, and I am hoping it takes off to great acclaim all over WNC and hopefully the Southeast!” says Drew.