Beer Scout: Clips is coming

NOW POURING: A marquee displays the wide variety of beers available for sampling at New Belgium's Clips event. Photo courtesy of New Belgium Brewing Co.

A stop-motion movie featuring a banana, a taste of Coconut Curry Hefeweizen and donating money to Asheville on Bikes: It’s all part of New Belgium’s Clips Beer & Film Tour, which returns to Asheville on Friday, Sept. 5.

 “The short films this year are really good,” says Jesse Claeys, one of the festival’s producers. “We’ve got 20 clips with everything from a dance video with a guy in spandex to a unique Colorado race where participants are attached to donkeys.” While humorous, the films are also family-friendly, says Claeys. They’ll also be easy to see from a variety of vantage points thanks to the 35-foot screen New Belgium will set up on the green. 

The films, the winners of a nationwide contest, only run for the first half of the event. The other half lets attendees focus on the wide variety of beers. “The short films do a good job of setting a stage for the beers,” Claeys says. “We’re passionate about both. … They’re both [creative and] handmade.” 

In addition to the New Belgium offerings you normally see in stores, Yuzu Berliner Weisse, Wild Dubbel, FOCOllaboration IPA, Gruit, Gratzer, Le Terrior, Coconut Curry Hefeweizen and La Folie will also be pouring. The festival is token-based, which means you trade cash for wooden tokens at one of the tents. Then one token is good for a 3-ounce pour of beer or four tokens can be traded for a 12-ounce pour. Food will be provided from local food trucks and carts, including Gypsy Queen Cuisine, Pho Ya Belly and Avery’s Dogs. 

In addition to the clips and beer samples, there are a variety of interactive tents. A mystery beer tent challenges tasters to guess a secret mix of three different beers. The Snapshot Photo Booth, which has toured the country with silly props and backgrounds, will also be there. But the biggest draw might be The Sour Experience booth, a multitent event that presents an educational beer journey through New Belgium’s sour beer production process.  “We’ll have a sour-beer expert on hand from our main brewery in Fort Collins [Colo.] … to guide people through the process of wood-barrel aging a beer or stainless-steel aging a beer on its way to becoming a sour,” says Claeys. “And of course we’ll be pouring sour beers in that tent.”  

Two local organizations will partner with New Belgium on the event. Asheville GreenWorks will be the waste partner, which means it will try to divert as much festival waste as possible from the landfill. Last year, Asheville GreenWorks recycled or composted 92 percent, which beat the nationwide festival average of 85 percent according to Claeys. Asheville on Bikes is the charity partner for Asheville, which means it will receive all proceeds from the beer sales at this festival stop. Last year AoB received more than $10,000, and New Belgium donated $400,000 to nonprofit organizations nationwide with the Clips Beer & Film Tour. “It’s great to have a national company championing the value of active transportation,” says Asheville on Bikes Director Mike Sule. “[We’re] thrilled to continue working with New Belgium.”

Clips will be Friday, Sept. 5, 7:30-10:30 on Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park


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About Thom O'Hearn
Thom O’Hearn is a writer, book editor and homebrewer. Twitter: @thomohearn

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