Dispatch from Day Six of Asheville Beer Week:

Now that the first Asheville Beer Week is more than half over, it’s time for all you beer-loving Honey Badgers to take a little nap (the Honey Badger is the unofficial ABW mascot — for many silly reasons). Don’t take a long rest, however, because more beer-soaked events start up again a few short hours from now. Supposedly, this ABW committee member passed out just like a Honey Badger who’d been bitten by a cobra at 9:45 last night. I think the Pisgah Solstice at The Market Place tasting sealed the deal.

But like the Honey Badger, I have risen again, perhaps a little wobbily, and I’m ready to drink beer for five more decadent days. Before we move on to the next party, let’s look at some of what we’ve done over the past six days of ABW (damn, it’s gonna be depressing when I no longer have five to 10 beer events to choose from EVERY SINGLE DAY). 

So, ABW kicked off with the Finals of the Asheville Beer Masters Tournament, which ended with ABW committee member and home brewer, Adam Reinke, taking the 2012 crown. Highland Brewing held a fundraiser the same night for Ben Harris, a Redhook Brewing employee who was killed recently when a keg he was cleaning exploded. A number of Asheville Brewers Alliance breweries contributed beer and more than $4,000 was raised to help Harris’ wife and unborn child.

Memorial Day weekend offered a number of happenings — from loads of beer at Mountain Sports Festival to loads of home brew at Just Economics of WNC’s Just Brew It Festival. It was a good weekend to be outside, whether at a festival, at the Root Bar’s Root Ball tourney, or just sitting on the front porch of the Thirsty Monk drinking one of the many extra-special beers they’re featuring this week.

Monday night featured fancy beer dinners on both sides of town. The southern-inspired fare at Moe’s Barbecue paired with North Carolina beers was one of the best beer dinners I’ve had the luck to attend. Greg Engart, beer director of Churchkey in Washington, D.C., shared masses of interesting information on beer and food pairings with diners. Meanwhile, in West Asheville, Sierra Nevada held court at Sunny Point, and I hear much good food and brew was had there.

I scored some new glassware last night at The Bar of Soap’s glass trade party, and got to chat with some uber beer geeks (because we typically have more glassware than we have room in our cabinets for). There have, over the past few days, been many, many kegs tapped, and many of those have run dry in a matter of hours. Green Man Brewing is already out of their session beers (they’d planned to offer three a night for the rest of the week). Barley’s Taproom has been powering through some kegs as well — and will be giving away samples from two kegs of Lost Abbey on Thursday night. This awesome California brewery doesn’t distribute in North Carolina. Asheville Brewing is releasing their District 12, summer pale wheat, today, and I’m guessing that one won’t stay in the stainless steel for long.

On tap for the second ABW weekend are the bomber Beer City Fest on Saturday (tickets still available at Bruisin’ Ales and Barley’s Taproom). Then our 11-day week culminates with the Pisgah/Blind Pig Food Truck Battle (16 more tix will be released today) and the sold-out Wedge/Admiral dinner.

But until then, there’s tonight. I’ll be kicking it at the Beer Chef Dinner, a collaboration between Bruisin’ Ales, Pack’s Tavern, and AIR. Which means I better go take that nap now.

[Editor’s note: This was from yesterday. Tonight’s the night for the Xpress/Sweet Tee Mini Golf sponsored-Sink It and Drink It Pub Crawl. See you there!]


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