Lots of cities have one. Beer City, USA, however, didn’t. So some folks who love beer (a lot) decided we wanted one. Thus was born Asheville Beer Week.
Over a number of pitchers of local brew, several regional beer-industry people brainstormed about what we wanted the inaugural AVL Beer Week to look like.
First of all, there would be way too many events to fit into a measly seven-day week. Our week must encompass 11 beer-filled days and nights. (Did you know that beer drinkers have the ability to manipulate time? They do.)
Second, we needed a mascot. Since we really don’t care, we chose the crazy Honey Badger, who has nothing to do with beer (but hey, we were drinking). And we like his attitude.
Third, we needed a mission statement. In a moment of drunken grandiosity, I came up with this: Our mission is to celebrate that nectar known as beer — to taste many different styles and variations of beer; to pair beer with a smorgasbord of delicious foods; to learn about and explore beer in all its delectable complexity; and, most of all, to have fun drinking in the brew-centric mountains of Asheville.
Then (oh yeah) we needed events — dinners, special tastings, tap takeovers, beer education classes, beer celebrity appearances and more. Organizing all these would prove a bit more challenging than items Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Luckily, some networking, emailing and social media chatter helped populate the Asheville Beer Week calendar. Take a gander at the diversity of exciting events, from a free glass-trading party to a home-brewing fest, to a beer forum with beer sommelier Greg Engert, to a Root Ball beer tourney, to the third Beer City Fest.
Restaurants, bars, stores, and, of course, breweries, located all over town (and beyond) are involved.
We killed the cobra. And we ate it. It’s now up to you, beer lover, to decide how effectively we killed it, and to bring the festival to life. Not that we care, but if you’d like to give the Asheville Beer Week committee any feedback, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee’s gratitude goes out to our sponsors, each other, the local beer industry and all you local beer drinkers. Your taste buds helped make this all happen. Thanks especially to the guy who took on the leadership of the Asheville Beer Week committee — the Honey Badger of beer, Mike Rangel, president of Asheville Brewing Company.
We couldn’t have done it without you. Or without beer. Slainte!
The Asheville Beer Week organizing committee: Julie Atallah, Caroline Forsman, T.J. Gardner, Anne Fitten Glenn, Mary Eliza McRae, Mike Rangel, Adam Reinke, Jimi Rentz, Tim Schaller, Simone Seitz.
— Anne Fitten Glenn has been writing the Brews News column for Xpress for almost 3 years. She’s currently writing a book on the history of Asheville beer, which will be published in Fall 2012 (if her liver survives Asheville Beer Week).