Brewtopia rocks: RateBeer offers an annual list of the worldwide "Best in beer," and once again a number of Asheville beer purveyors have been honored. The RateBeerBest 2010 includes: Bruisin' Ales as the No. 3 best beer retailer; Highland Brewing as No. 26 best brewery to visit, Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria as No. 27 best beer restaurant; The Thirsty Monk as No. 41 best beer bar, Mellow Mushroom as No. 41 best beer restaurant, and Wedge Brewery as No. 43 best brewpub. Congrats to the winners and to all you lucky local beer lovers.
Cooking with beer: Heinzelmännchen Brewery in Sylva has released a cookbook. Aptly titled "Your Gnometown Cookbook," the book of beer-infused recipes will be celebrated at a party on Thursday, Feb. 25, at Spring Street Café in Sylva from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Purchase the cookbook at the brewery or at City Lights Bookstore for $21. Kielbasa, mac-and-cheese casserole with Ancient Days Honey Blonde? Yes, please.
More eats with beer: Chef Adam Hayes of the Grand Bohemian Hotel's Red Stag Grill has added a five-course plus beer dinner to his menu in honor of Highland Brewing's 15th anniversary. The meal is paired with six of Highland's beers for $40. It includes an aged Cheddar soup made with Gaelic Ale, hop-rubbed pork ribs, and a dessert parfait made with Black Mocha Stout. The dinner's currently available as a regular menu item.
All Hail Dubbels: Craggie Brewing Company will release a seasonal Dubbel in February, appropriately called Dubbelicious. The Craggie crew refer to the beer as Craggie's "Love Brew" (6.5 percent ABV).
Highland will introduce a new seasonal, Seven Sisters Abbey Style Ale, in March. This will be an Abbey style Dubbel (also 6.5 percent ABV). The beer will be available until May.
Beer tourist? Or just a lost local? This app is for you: Asheville-based Wolf Mountain Apps has published an Android application that provides Google Maps location markers for Asheville's micro-breweries (the 10 in the city plus Pisgah Brewing). A marker placement displays details about that brewery including a hyperlinked Web site address, phone number and street address. The user's current location is provided as an overlay on the map, and you also can use a satellite view. The application is free and can be found in the Android Market on most Android devices, such as Verizon's Motorola Droid. As of last week, there had been 390 downloads of this app. Scott Hicks, Wolf Mountain's owner and developer, plans to release an IPhone version of the app by the end of February.