Asheville Beer Week 2016: Events


Beer Cocktails at Top of the Monk

Top of the Monk, downtown

Top of the Monk will have a special menu of beer-infused cocktails designed for both beer and cocktail lovers alike.


Sanctuary Shakeup

12-11 p.m., Sanctuary Brewing Co., 147 First Ave. E., Hendersonville

Sanctuary Brewing Co. is releasing 10 one-of-a-kind, small-batch beers in its taproom, including Raspberry Hendo-Weisse, Blueberry/Orange Fierce Thirst wit, Banana Panther banana chocolate porter, Blackberry Saison, Cookies ‘n’ Cream Panther porter, Coffee Winterfell IPA, Chocolate/Orange Fierce Thirst wit, Peanut Butter/Raspberry Saison, Apple Pie Scottie’s Red Ale and more. The brewers will be on hand to discuss the beers, and Carolinabound will provide live music.

Highland Brewing Co.’s Rooftop grand opening and Asheville Beer Week kickoff party

4-9 p.m., Highland Brewing Co., 12 Old Charlotte Highway, free

Highland Brewing Co.’s  rooftop patio grand opening is kicking off Asheville Beer Week. The brewery will also be serving its Highland Pilsner in cans for the first time at the brewery. There will be music in the meadow and food trucks on-site.

Dinosour release

5-11 p.m., Asheville Brewing, South Slope, and Innovation Brewing, Sylva, free

Dinosour, a sour blonde ale with rose petals, elderberry and hibiscus, is the result of a creative partnership between Asheville Brewing Co. and Innovation Brewing in Sylva. This beer will be released simultaneously at both breweries. Brewers will be on hand to discuss the brewing process and how this “collabeeration” came to be.

Coolcumber release

5 p.m., Wicked Weed Brewing, downtown

Wicked Weed Brewing hosts its annual release of the popular spring seasonal Coolcumber.


Barrel-Aged Threesome

12-6 p.m., Asheville Brewing Co., South Slope, free

Asheville Brewing will release three very limited barrel-aged beers simultaneously at Beer City Festival and at its brewery on Coxe Avenue. The beers: toasted coconut bourbon barrel-aged Carolina Mountain Monster Imperial Stout, Brandy Barrel-Aged Ninjabread Man Porter and cabernet sauvingnon barrel-Aged Carolina Mountain Monster Imperial Stout. Brewers will be on hand to discuss the barrel-aging process.

Balancer Summer Ale Release to Benefit Hadaya Toys

12-5 p.m., Green Man Brewery, South Slope

Green Man Brewing will show the Champions League Final (Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid), and the event will serve as the first-time release of Balancer Summer Ale, a session, dry-hopped English pale ale. One dollar from each pint of this beer sold will go to Hadaya Toys, a local nonprofit started by two Asheville moms that brings soccer balls and other toys to children in refugee camps throughout the world. These deliveries bring joy and psychological relief to kids who have been affected by war.

Brew your own IPA class

1-3 p.m., Fifth Season Gardening Co. Asheville Market, East Asheville, $24.99

Fifth Season Gardening Co. Asheville Market, home of North Carolina’s largest brew-on-premises facility, is offering a reduced-rate brewing class for Asheville Beer Week. Expert instructors will guide participants through every step of the brewing process on state-of-the-art equipment. After the beer has fermented for two weeks in a climate-controlled environment, everyone can come back to bottle up a gallon (12-pack) to take home. The beer to be brewed during the workshop is Brewcraft Gigantic IPA. A fermenter will be given away to one lucky participant. Preregister at

Beer City Festival

1-6 p.m., Roger McGuire Green, downtown, $45

Beer City Festival brings the best local and regional breweries from Asheville and surrounding areas together for a great day of beer and music. This year’s event features more than 32 breweries, plus local music acts. All of the breweries featured in Beer City Festival are members of the Asheville Brewers Alliance. The ABA focuses on the growth of local and surrounding Asheville breweries through active partnership and support. You can purchase tickets here. []

Menage a Freak Triple IPA release party

5-11 p.m., Wicked Weed Brewing, downtown, free

Come out to the downtown location to celebrate the annual release of Wicked Weed’s Menage a Freak Triple IPA in the downstairs tasting room. The event will also feature aerial artists, live music and more for a burlesque/circus themed event. Costumes are encouraged.


Bourbon barrel-aged Skillet bottle release

12-5 p.m., Burial Beer Co., South Slope, $16/750-milliliter bottle (limit three per person)

This breakfast stout is crafted from a blend of nine barley malts, a healthy scoop of oats, milk and molasses sugars and our favorite blend of freshly roasted Counter Culture Coffee beans and aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels for eight months.

Saison Sunday

12-11 p.m., Wicked Weed Brewing, downtown

Wicked Weed will release 10 of its saisons in honor of Asheville Beer Week. All of them will be on tap at the downtown location in the downstairs tasting room.

Biltmore Garage Rock Social

2-9 p.m., Catawba Brewing, Biltmore Village, free

Catawba’s Biltmore Village location will host this event featuring beer, food and vinyl. There will also be live music from Asheville bands Doc Aquatic and Analog Moon starting at 4 p.m.


5-8:30 p.m., Sierra Nevada Brewing, Fletcher

Sierra Nevada can’t wait until October to celebrate Oktoberfest, so it’s hosting Spring-toberfest for Asheville Beer Week. The event will feature traditional oompah music with a twist, German snacks and steins of festbier to sample.

Pickin’ Party with the Jeff Austin Band

8-11 p.m., Highland Brewing Co., East Asheville, $15

Wrap up Memorial Day weekend with a bluegrass pickin’ party in Highland Brewing’s new event center with the Jeff Austin Band. Best known for co-founding Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff Austin has shared the stage with Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Earle Scruggs, Jon Fishman and Phil Lesh.

Pisgah Mountain County Stout release

1-8 p.m., Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain

Pisgah Brewing releases its newest monster of a beer, Pisgah Mountain County Stout. This imperial stout, aged 11 months in Four Roses bourbon barrels, is full of dark-roasted malts, raw cocoa nibs from French Broad Chocolates and a proprietary blend of dark-roasted organic coffee from Pisgah’s neighbor, Dynamite Roasting Co. This 11.8 percent ABV stout will be available in 22-ounce bottles starting at the Black Mountain taproom.


Oskar Blues Trolley Crawl with Thirsty Monk

5:30-9:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk, downtown, free

Come hop on the Oskar Blues trolley to tour all Thirsty Monk locations. The ride starts at the Downtown Monk and will hit up Open Brewing in Gerber Village, Biltmore Park and Woodfin along the way, returning downtown to finish. Be the first to try our OB/TM collaboration “Trolley Crawl” beer at each stop. The trolley will feature music, beer trivia, giveaways and more. Be sure to arrive at the Downtown Monk by 5:15pm to get on the trolley.

Natural Born Farmer Beer Release

Locations’ regular hours, Ben’s Tune Up and Bhramari Brewhouse, downtown, free

This peach sour saison —a collaboration between Ben’s Tune Up and Bhramari Brewhouse — will be released on Memorial Day to celebrate Asheville Beer Week 2016. It’s a tart ale that includes all the rustic grains, including barley, wheat, corn, oats, rye, spelt and sorghum, and weathered a lengthy triple fermentation with pure peach juice. This summer sour is available at Ben’s Tune-up and Bhramari Brewhouse.


Beer Flavors 101

1-3 p.m., upstairs at Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria, downtown, $35

Certified cicerone and local beer educator Cliff Mori of BREW-ed will lead participants through an exploration of hops, malt and yeast by tasting and discussing beers that highlight the characteristics of each ingredient. Parking is available in nearby parking decks and on-street parking. Tickets are $35 and are available at

Women of WNC Beer at Thirsty Monk Downtown

5-9 p.m., Thirsty Monk, downtown

Thirsty Monk, Highland Brewing Co. and AVL Girls Pint Out will celebrate some of the Western North Carolina craft beer industry’s leading ladies. On tap will be the International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day beer, Unite Ale, a Belgian golden strong ale brewed by women from Asheville’s beer industry in collaboration with Pink Boots Society. A portion of every pint sold benefits Our VOICE, a nonprofit organization serving victims and supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault in Buncombe County.

Evolution of English IPA (circa 1750-2000) Lecture and Tasting

6-7:30 p.m., Zebulon Artisan Ales, Weaverville, $20

An informal lecture on the evolution of IPA from the massive pale beer of the 1700s to the lowly golden bitter called IPA in the 1980s. This talk will show how world wars and taxes slowly eroded what would become the most popular beer style in the U.S. The talk includes five 8-ounce pours of IPAs through the years starting with a monster 11% ABV October Beer from the 1700s, the Brettanomyces, fermented IPA sent by ship to India and others as IPA progressed through 200 years of wars, legislation and public tastes. All beers were brewed as close to historical records as possible. Seating for the first 30 attendees is available, after which it is standing room only. For guaranteed seating RSVP to or on the Zebulon Facebook page. []

Lo-Fi Brewing Co. tap takeover with Slick Rick the Ruler

8 p.m., The Grey Eagle, River Arts District, $22 in advance/$25 at the door

Pisgah Brewing Co. co-founder Jason Caughman’s new Charleston brewery, Lo-Fi Brewing Co., will take over the taps at The Grey Eagle with a featured performance by legendary hip-hop storyteller Slick Rick the Ruler. For tickets, visit


The Dweller Vertical Tasting

3-10 p.m., Green Man Brewery, South Slope

Green Man Brewery cellared three years worth of The Dweller Imperial Stout, which will be available to taste side by side at this event at the Greenmansion. The evening will feature flights of 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages of this special release.

Thirsty Monk Pint Night

4-11 p.m., Thirsty Monk, all locations

It’s a Thirsty Monk Pint Night at all locations. Grab a pour of any of Thirsty Monk’s in-house beer lineup and take the glass home with you.

Asheville Brewers’ Tasty Invasion

5-8 p.m., Tasty Beverage Co., South Slope

Tasty Beverage Co. proudly features Asheville breweries on its shelves and on tap year-round, but for this night during Asheville Beer Week, all the taps flow with favorites from local breweries.

Brewmaster’s tasting with Don Richardson of Quest Brewing

5-7 p.m., Bruisin’ Ales, downtown, free

Meet Quest Brewing Brewmaster Don Richardson for a tasting of Quest Brewing beers hand-selected by Richardson himself. Richardson has been in the beer industry for more than 20 years and has gained a stellar reputation for the award-winning beer recipes he brewed while at Boulder Beer Co. in Colorado and Cottonwood Brewery in North Carolina. Richardson’s ties to Western North Carolina beer run deep — he’s the “King Don” behind Catawba Brewing Co.’s King Don’s Pumpkin. Beers will include Golden Fleece Belgian Pale Ale, Smoking Mirror Porter, Ponce Cucumber Jalapeno Saison (World Beer Cup gold medal winner 2016); barrel-aged Elegast (Flemish-style sour aged for 18 months).

Not So Big BIG Beer Festival 2016

5:30-9:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk Warehouse, Biltmore Village, $10

America’s top craft breweries will feature a selection of their rare and specialty beers in an intimate outdoor and covered setting. This small-scale beer festival will have several rare and one-off beers all in one place curated by Thirsty Monk especially for Asheville Beer Week 2016. Participating breweries include Prairie Artisan Ales, Evil Twin Brewing, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Allagash Brewing, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, Thirsty Monk Brewery and others. The $10 ticket includes admission, souvenir tasting glass and one Thirsty Monk brewery beer to go. Tokens will be available for $3 each that can be redeemed for festival pours or various food options. Parking is available on site. Please try to carpool if possible. No overnight parking.

Kick the Keg Throwdown

6-9 p.m., Pour Taproom, West Asheville

Pour Taproom will host kegs from Highland Brewing, Hi-Wire Brewing and New Belgium Brewing in a competition to see whose keg kicks first. The event will feature beer specials and giveaways.

Movie Night – Strange Brew

Doors at 8 p.m., Show at 9 p.m., The Grey Eagle, RAD, $5

Kick back and enjoy a cold one while cracking up with Bob and Doug McKenzie from Strange Brew. “This movie was shot in 3B – three beers – and it looks good, eh?” There will be popcorn and strange brews on tap, and The Taqueria will be open during the show. The movie will be shown on the patio, weather permitting.


Rage Yoga

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., The Millroom, downtown, $20

The Asheville Brewers Alliance is hosting this daytime program featuring loud music, beer-drinking and Zen-attaining, also known as Rage Yoga. Join local yogi Heather Newman, from Grow Yoga, as she leads participants through a one-of-a-kind yoga experience. Bring your mat and pent-up frustrations; instruction, music and a beer will be provided (the ticket price includes beer). Parking is available in nearby paid lots and on-street parking. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at

Rusty Buffalo beer release

Brewery hours, Bhramari Brewhouse, South Slope

Bhramari Brewhouse will release its Rusty Buffalo — a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel-aged oud bruin.

Barrel-Aged vertical tasting

3-10 p.m., Green Man Brewery, South Slope

Flights of two vintages of Holly King Barrel Aged Holiday Ale and two vintages of Demon Dweller Imperial Stout will be available all evening.

Skillet Six Ways

4-5 p.m., Burial Beer Co., South Slope

Burial Beer Co. has taken its popular Skillet coffee breakfast stout, split it six ways and aged it on different ingredients. All six will be tapped and served with Vortex doughnut pairings.

New Belgium Patio Party at Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park

4-10 p.m., Thirsty Monk Biltmore Park, South Asheville

New Belgium’s new Citradelic IPA, Lips of Faith Hof Ten Dormaal collaboration, Hop Kitchen Series and more will be on tap. There will be a  photo booth and specialty glassware to take home as well as a New Belgium bike giveaway (winner must be present).

Cask night at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

4-8 p.m., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Fletcher

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will tap one of its cask ales and will serve until it’s gone.

Bruisin’ Ales: Blind IPA Tasting

5-8 p.m., Bruisin’ Ales, downtown, $6

Think you know your favorite local IPA? Come find out as Bruisin’ Ales hosts a blind tasting of  10 Asheville and Western North Carolina IPAs. Participants will have the chance to rate them leading up to the evening’s big reveal. Those who can also guess which IPA is which will get bonus points and the chance to win prizes at the end of night.

Craft Brews and Rescues

6-8 p.m., Sanctuary Brewing Co., 147 First Ave. E., Hendersonville

Sanctuary Brewing Co. will host an adoption party with Blue Ridge Humane Society while also releasing three new beers: Cookies and Ice Cream Porter, Blueberry Wit and Chocolate Orange Wit. There will also be actual cookies and ice cream, blueberry cobbler and other sweet pairings. Blue Ridge Humane will bring puppies and kittens, and there will be a photo booth with props, plus tunes from Ashley Heath. A portion of proceeds from this event will go directly to the Blue Ridge Humane Society.

SOJA with Allen Stone at Pisgah Brewing Outdoor Stage

6:30-11 p.m., Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain, $29.50

SOJA is a Grammy-nominated, Washington D.C.-area band, that blends reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop. The group will perform on Pisgah’s outdoor stage for a night of conscious music. Tickets are available at

Boojum Brewing Beer Stein Holding Contest

7-11 p.m., Pour Taproom, West Asheville

Pour Taproom will feature a Boojum Brewing tap takeover including beer specials and prizes.

Thirsty Thursday Baseball — Beer City Tourists vs. Greenville Drive

7:05-9:30 p.m., McCormick Field, downtown, $8

For one game only, the Asheville Tourists will become the Beer City Tourists — the Tourists will don special Beer City jerseys and caps. Regular beers are $1 and craft beers are $2. Thirsty Thursdays are an Asheville tradition that started at McCormick Field in 1983. The team currently controls the trademark “Thirsty Thursday.”


Bold Rock Hard Cider Birthday Bash

June 3-5, noon-8 p.m., Bold Rock Hard Cider, Mills River, free

Finish Asheville Beer Week with a three-day Bold Rock Birthday Bash Weekend at the Mills River Tap Room & Cidery. Located just south of Asheville on 8 acres of scenic farmland, the taproom will play host to local musicians, food and cider pairings, tours, activities for children, raffles and educational demonstrations all weekend.

Monk Beer Academy – Asheville Beer Week Edition

4-5 p.m., Thirsty Monk, downtown, free (RSVP required)

With the pursuit of “beerducation” in mind, Thirsty Monk announces the Asheville Beer Week edition of its Monk Beer Academy series. Join certified cicerone and draft quality manager Jeremiah Tracy to learn about local lagers as he  picks a few of their WNC favorites, and talk about each brewery’s inspirations. The class is complimentary, but participants will have to pay for tasting flights. RSVP at

AVL Brewed Arrogant Bastard Pit Stops at Highland Brewing

4-8 p.m., Highland Brewing Co., East Asheville

Stone Brewing  has taken its Arrogant Bastard on the road and made a stop at Highland Brewing Co., so locals can taste Arrogant Bastard brewed right here in Asheville. It will be served only at Highland Brewing Co.’s tasting room, and $2 from every pour of this collaboration benefit goes to Foster Care to Success.

BerLemon Weisse release

5-10 p.m., Asheville Brewing Co., South Slope

Specially brewed for Asheville Beer Week, Asheville Brewing Co.’s BerLemon Weisse is an American sour wheat made with fresh-squeezed lemons in the classic Berliner weisse style. Brewers will be on hand to talk about the style.

Sam Adams Beer Pong Battleship Event

6-11 p.m., Pour Taproom, West Asheville

Pour Taproom hosts a Sam Adams takeover that will also feature beer pong battleship. Prizes will be awarded to winners.


King Coconut Luau

12-8 p.m., Catawba Brewing, South Slope, free

The King Coconut release party luau will feature outdoor games and pit-cooked pig in the Catawba Beach Courtyard.

Just Brew It

2-5 p.m., Wedge Brewing Co., RAD, $50

Just Brew It is a homebrew tasting and competition where some of the area’s finest homebrewers will offer samples of their creations and compete for prizes. Just Brew It is open to members of Just Economics. To become a member, go to

Picnic Series Kickoff Party

2-8 p.m., Sweeten Creek Brewing, South Asheville, free

Join Sweeten Creek Brewing for a family- and dog-friendly celebration on its spacious creekside lawn. This will be the first of many Saturday picnics throughout the summer featuring free live music from area bands with picnic-style food specials and the regular sandwich shop menu items for sale on the lawn.

Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass

7-11 p.m., Pisgah Brewing Co., Black Mountain, $25

Join Pisgah Brewing Co. for a one-of-a-kind event as it presents Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass featuring Keller Williams with The Infamous Stringdusters. This multifaceted event will feature a solo set from Keller Williams followed by a set from The Infamous Stringdusters, then a set of Grateful Grass featuring all artists.

Asheville Beer Week Closing Party

8 p.m., The Grey Eagle, RAD, $8

Come grab a cold one to commemorate the end of Asheville Beer Week.  The Blue Dragons will be playing sweet tunes and it will be a chance to raise a glass to everyone that made this week big wit beer.


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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at

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