Brews News: Suds and fests

Brewgrass cometh
Once again it’s time for the Southeast’s most salivatory beer fest, Brewgrass. The celebration of brews and bluegrass will be held on Sept. 17 at Martin Luther King Jr Park, from noon until 7 p.m.

Organizers had planned to hold a number of tickets to sell to locals from Barley’s Taproom, but the 3,500 that were available sold out on-line in a matter of hours — despite multiple server crashes from the onslaught of craft beer lovers vying for tickets. (If they aren’t golden tickets, they should be.)

If you did score a place in the beer lines, here’s the deal.  More than 45 breweries from all over the country will be represented, including Dogfish Head, Weeping Radish, Bison and Lagunitas (to name a few nationally known crafters). There will be five brewgrass-y bands, some local food, and lots and lots of Porta-Johns.

My advice is to keep your ears open for tappings of special casks and off-the-wall brews. It will happen, and that beer will disappear quickly. Also, have fun talking to brewers — many of them come to the festival, so it’s an unique chance to get some insights into the biz. Oh, and try to avoid sliding into home plate or vomiting in public (both occur pretty much every year).

For more information, see http://brewgrassfestival.com.

French Broad River (Fall) Fest adds a beer tent
Wait, it’s September. Isn’t French Broad River Fest held in the spring time? Why yes, it is. But organizers decided to add a fall festival this year.  They’ve also added a beer tent tasting.

The first French Broad Fall Fest will be held at Hot Springs on Saturday, Sept. 24. Currently, there are eight breweries participating — seven craft breweries and one Anheuser-Busch knock-off (Shock Top). North Carolina breweries are Highland Brewing, French Broad Brewery and Natty Greene’s. Other craft breweries (so far) are SweetWater Brewing from Atlanta, Starr Hill of Virginia, Abita of Louisiana, and Appalachian Brewing Company of Pennsylvania. Organizer Sid Border says the fest will provide up to five taps for each brewery, so there should be a variety of brews available. Sampling will run from 2 until 10 p.m.

“Some of the things we love about this area are the outdoors and craft beer,” Border says. “We don’t think there’s anything else like it—where people can come to a beer fest and camp.”

He adds they’ll have a beer tent at the spring version of the festival as well.

Tickets to the tasting tent are $15 per person. That’s in addition to your $60 festival pass (which includes camping). For tickets and more information, go to http://www.frenchbroadfallfest.com. Beer tent tickets will be available at the festival.

Green Man Hop Fest Tap Takeover
WNC is not only blessed with more craft breweries than most entire states, but the region also is rich with stellar home brewers. To celebrate this, Green Man Brewery on Buxton Avenue will host a Hop Fest Home Brew Tap Takeover on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 2 p.m. until closing (the brewery is locally known as Dirty Jack’s). There will be 14 taps dispensing only hoppy beers brewed in small batches by Green Man assistant brewer Mike Karnowski and other local home brewers (Karnowski brews for both work and pleasure. In fact, he pretty much brews all the time). Karnowski promises India Red Ale, India White Ale, India Brown Ale, India Black Ale, Imperial Pilsner, Hoppy Black Saison, Imperial ESB and more (I didn’t even know there are that many types of India ale). Admission is free and half pints will cost $2.

And…Oktoberfest
Once again, Asheville’s Wall Street will be transformed into “Little Germany” on Saturday, Oct. 8, for the Asheville Downtown Association’s third Oktoberfest.

The event features beer tastings just from local breweries including Highland, Asheville Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, Green Man Brewery and French Broad Brewing Company.

Many brewers are featuring seasonal ales for Oktoberfest — including Highland’s Clawhammer Oktoberfest and Green Man’s new The Fall Guy Oktoberfest.

Only 1,800 tickets are available at $25 per person at http://ashevilledowntown.org. Get them soon, as this party is likely to sell out. I’ll have more information about the day in the next Brews News.

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4 thoughts on “Brews News: Suds and fests

  1. CraveRecords

    @Doug: Every year, they try to sell them at outrageous prices. And every year, I’ve gotten mine for ticket value from someone standing outside the gates the morning of Brewgrass.

  2. Annie Napalm

    They’re scalpers–they use different credit cards, p.o. boxes, etc., to buy up tickets.

    I agree with Crave. Every year there are people who can’t go at the last minute and will sell outside the gate at face value.

  3. Annie Napalm

    Looks like it’s going to be a crisp fall day, with a chance of showers for Brewgrass. Dress appropriately, if you’re going.

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