Brews News: Trying a few homebrews and voting for the best Beer City

Just brew it homebrew fest on May 1
The second homebrew fest sponsored by Just Economics will take place on Sunday, May 2, at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park. More than 65 home brewed beers have been entered by 50 amazing home brewers.. To attend, visit and join at the $16 level. Green Man, Highland, Altamont Brewing, Wedge, Pisgah and The Thirsty Monk will hand out beer prizes, among others (including me). Five of our craft brewers will chose a home brew to brew in their production facility, which is kind of awesome. The brewers are Highland Brewing, Green Man, Thirsty Monk (new nanobrewery), Altamont Brewing (not sure where they’ll be brewing) and Craggie.

Just Economics is an Asheville based non-profit who promotes and oversees the Living Wage Campaign in WNC.

This event will be held in conjunction with the Big Love Festival hosted by The Big Crafty and the Asheville Grown Business Alliance/Love Asheville/Buy Local Campaign.

More Beer Master Tourney semi-finalists emerging
The second qualifying round of the Asheville Beer Masters Tournament was held on Apr. 18 at Brixx Pizza in Biltmore Park. Curt Arledge won that round and will move on to the semi-finals on May 15 at Wedge Brewing. First runner-up was Jeff Erhardt. At the round at The Thirsty Monk downtown on April 25, Liv Erhardt won, becoming the first female to qualify (Yes, she and Jeff are married. He says they’ve been studying a lot). Runner-up at the Monk was Trevor Reis. UPDATE: Trevor Reis won the qualifying round at Jack of the Wood on April 26, and Jeff Erhardt was first runner-up again.

The next three rounds are as follows: Pack’s Tavern on April 28, at 7 p.m., Barley’s Taproom on May 2, at 6:30 p.m., and The Bywater on May 4, at 7 p.m. Come out to play or just take in some great beer trivia.

Also, Green Man will release The Truth, their double IPA, at the Beer Masters qualifying round at Jack of the Wood on April 26. There will be small plate pairings available to go with this amazing brew.

Beer City poll May 2-8 (again)
We won last year. We tied the year before, with the great beer city of Portland, Ore. (which has a population about seven times that of Asheville). Who will reign this time around?

The third annual online competition to crown a town “Beer City USA” is coming soon: voting will take place May 2 through May 8. Beer guru Charlie Papazian hosts the unscientific but fun poll.

Our area’s active social media network and serious craft beer lovers had much to do with Asheville’s victory last year.

The designation Beer City USA, regardless of its import, has been credited with making WNC a beer destination and bringing in the brew tourists.

To vote or follow the poll, visit

Tickets are still available for Asheville’s Beer City Fest on June 4 at Roger McGuire Green downtown. Visit your local brewery or Barley’s Taproom to purchase. The first Asheville Beer Master will be crowned at the festival.

WNC breweries win bunches of medals at Hickory Hops
Regional breweries brought home 35 medals from the Carolinas Championship of Beer competition at the Hickory Hops Brew Fest in Hickory, N.C., on April 16.

Congrats to Lexington Avenue Brewery for their seven medals, including three golds for American Pale Ale, Donkey Weizen Dunkelweizen and Goldle Belgian Tripel. LAB got silvers for Blondle Pilsner, Wefeweizen and Witbier, and a bronze for their Oktoberfest Marzen. Pisgah Brewing was just behind the LAB with six medals: five silvers for Valdez Stout, Bacon Stout, Helles, American Pilsner and Schwartzbier; and a bronze for Vortex I Imperial IPA.

Highland Brewing and Green Man Brewing both netted five. Highland won silver for Barrel Aged Gaelic, PSA Pilsner, and Tasgall Ale. They also got bronzes for LAMA Legato Saison and Little Hump Spring Ale. Green Man silvered for Kill Devil Stout and Green Man Stout, and bronzed for Green Man Pale, Green Man Porter, and The Dweller Stout. Craggie Brewing brought home a silver for Burning Barrel Chipotle Ale and a bronze for Toubab Brew German Lager, while French Broad Brewing took three bronzes for Gateway Kolsch, Abbey Belgian Ale and Wee-Heavier Scotch Ale. Wedge Brewing earned a gold for Raspberry Imperial Stout and two silvers for Julian Price Pilsner and Abbey Belgian Ale. Asheville Brewing got a gold for Ninja Porter.

Nantahala Brewing of Bryson City won a gold for German Pilsner, a silver for Monday IPA and a bronze for Bryson City Brown Ale.

The best of show awards went to other North Carolina-based breweries. Best of Show went to Natty Green’s of for the Woody and Barrel Aged Sour Ale. Second to Olde Hickory’s Irish Walker Ale (Hickory), and third to Duck Rabbit’s Barleywine Ale (, with an honorable mention to Foothills Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate Stout (Winston-Salem).

The entries were judged a few weeks ago and awards were presented at the festival.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.