Brews News

• Spring beer festival: If you missed out on Brewgrass tickets, you may have the chance to attend another locally run beer festival this spring.

The Asheville Brewers Alliance has committed to hosting a spring beer festival, according to alliance spokesman Mike Rangel.

The festival will be similar in scale to Brewgrass, but with a slightly different slant, Rangel says. Entertainment will consist of local rock bands and comedy acts. More beer “education” tents, hosted by local groups such as the Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters, will be on hand as well.

“We want it to have more of a carnival feel,” Rangel says.

Brewgrass organizer Jimi Rentz says he wanted to offer two annual beer festivals, but he didn’t want to have to organize more than one such event per year without significant help. So the alliance stepped in to partner with Brewgrass organizers.

“The Brewgrass guys have got the knowledge of how to run a beer festival down to a science,” Rangel says. “We’ll be learning a lot from them.”

Other than the entertainment, the two festivals will be similar, featuring 40 or more craft brewers from around the country, including all the local breweries and several local food vendors.

The event is planned for Saturday, May 29, and the festival’s venue will be announced soon. Tickets will be distributed to members of the Brewers Alliance on Friday, Rangel says, and will be on sale at Saturday’s Brewgrass. The cost is $30 per person. I assume the venue for Spring Beer Fest will be announced before tickets go on sale.

• Asheville Oktoberfest: Green Man Brewing will launch their specially crafted Oktoberfest Ale at Asheville Oktoberfest on October 10, says brewer John Stewart. The Green Man Tasting Room (known locally as Dirty Jack’s) has a new and quite popular dartboard, according to Stewart. The hole-in-the-wall brewery also is home to the Green Man United Football Club, whose members already are gearing up for next year’s World Cup.

• Brew & Boo: By far the hottest Halloween party east of Asheville is Catawba Valley Brewing’s Brew & Boo. Their third annual beer-quaffing costume gala is held in their taproom in Morganton on yes, Oct. 31.

• Bruisin’ tastings: On Thurs., Sept. 17, Bruisin’ will offer tastings from BrewDog, award-winning Scottish Brewery. Much-loved Magic Hat Brewing Company of Vermont will be offering samples of five to six of their tasty brews on Thursday, Sept. 24, at one of Bruisin’ Ales’ almost weekly beer tastings. One other note — click over to Bruisin’ Ales and check out their redesigned Web site.

• More of the Wedge: Wedge Brewing owner Tim Schaller tells me he’s adding another fermenting tank to his River Arts district brewery. He says that’ll kick up production by 20 to 25 percent in November or December to keep up with demand. “Then that’s it. That is big as we’re going to get,” Schaller says.

• Pisgah growth: Pisgah Brewing also has purchased two new tanks, which, according to co-owner Dave Quinn, will allow them to brew a lager every couple of months, plus keep more of their beers in stock while still producing enough of their much loved Pale Ale. Also, Quinn promises a “special night” on Fri., Oct. 9, when “guitar god” Larry Coryell and his trio perform at the taproom/music venue.

• Thirsty Monk: Now those of you drinking South of I-40 can enjoy some excellent local, American and Belgian beers at the new Thirsty Monk South at 1836 Hendersonville Road in Gerber Village. Don’t worry, the downtown location will remain the same. The new locale has outside pup-friendly seating, a couple of dartboards, and like the downtown locale, a well-stocked to-go cooler. The menu’s limited for the moment, but will expand at some point.

Have you got some area brew news? E-mail me at


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