Brews News

Beery trivia: Each Asheville Beer Masters Tournament round will have a slightly different group of judges, mostly pulled from the local beer industry and community. At the qualifying round at Brixx Pizza, a few of the judges were from L to R: Erica Nelson of Highland Brewing, Adam DeBoer of Highland Brewing and Doug Riley of Asheville Brewing. Photo by Anne Fitten Glenn

Which home brew is the best?

The second homebrew fest sponsored by Just Economics will take place on Sunday, May 2, at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park. More than 50 home-brewed beers have been entered — and we have some amazing home-brewers in the region. To attend, visit and join at the $16 level. Green Man, Highland, Altamont Brewing, Wedge, Pisgah and Thirsty Monk, among others (including me), will hand out beer prizes. Hops and Vines will give a 15 percent discount on brewing supplies to all who enter their beer.

Just Economics is an Asheville-based nonprofit that promotes and oversees the Living Wage Campaign in WNC.

This event will be held in conjunction with the BIG LOVE FESTIVAL (yes, that’s all caps) hosted by The Big Crafty and the Asheville Grown Business Alliance/Love Asheville/Buy Local Campaign. Check it out at

Who will be the Beer Master?

The second qualifying round of the Asheville Beer Masters Tournament was held on April 18 at Brixx Pizza in Biltmore Park. Curt Arledge won that round and will move on to the semi-finals on Sunday, May 15, at Wedge Brewing. First runner-up is Jeff Erhardt. All who played and lost are welcome to try again.

The next qualifying round at Thirsty Monk took place on April 25, but results came too late for print. Next week will see two rounds: the first at Barley’s Taproom on Monday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m., and the second at The Bywater on Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. Come out to play or just take in some great beer trivia.

Will Asheville keep its Beer City title?

We won last year. We tied the year before, with the great beer city of Portland, Ore. (with a population about x times the size of Asheville). Who will reign this time around? The third annual online competition to crown a town “Beer City, USA” is coming soon: voting opens on Monday, May 2, and goes through Sunday, May 8. Beer guru Charlie Papazian hosts the unscientific but fun poll.

Our area’s active social media network and serious craft beer lovers had much to do with Asheville’s victory last year.

The designation Beer City USA, regardless of its import, has been credited with helping make WNC a beer destination and bringing in the brew tourists.

To vote or follow the poll, visit

Tickets are still available for Asheville’s Beer City Fest on Saturday, June 4, at Roger McGuire Green in downtown Asheville. Visit your local brewery or Barley’s Taproom to purchase. The first Asheville Beer Master will be crowned at the festival.

How did WNC breweries fare at the Hickory fest?

Pretty well, it turns out. Regional breweries brought home 35 medals from the Carolinas Championship of Beer competition at the Hickory Hops Brew Fest in Hickory, N.C. on April 16.

Congrats to Lexington Avenue Brewery for their seven medals, including three golds for American Pale Ale, Donkey Weizen Dunkelweizen and Goldle Belgian Triple. LAB got silvers for Blondle Pilsner, Wefeweizen and Witbier, and a bronze for their Oktoberfest Marzen.

Pisgah Brewing was just behind the LAB with six medals: five silvers for Valdez Stout, Bacon Stout, Helles, American Pilsner and Schwartzbier; and a bronze for Vortex I Imperial IPA.

Highland Brewing and Green Man Brewing both netted five. Highland won silver for Barrel Aged Gaelic, PSA Pilsner, and Tasgall Ale. They also got bronzes for LAMA Legato Saison and Little Hump Spring Ale.

Green Man silvered for Kill Devil Stout and Green Man Stout, and bronzed for Green Man Pale, Green Man Porter and The Dweller Stout.

Craggie Brewing brought home a silver for Burning Barrel Chipotle Ale and a bronze Toubab Brewe German Lager, while French Broad Brewing took three bronzes for Gateway Kolsch, Abbey Belgian Ale and Wee-Heavier Scotch Ale.

Wedge Brewing earned a gold for Raspberry Imperial Stout and two silvers for Julian Price Pilsner and Abbey Belgian Ale. Asheville Brewing got a gold for Ninja Porter.

Nantahala Brewing of Bryson City won a gold for German Pilsner, a silver for Monday IPA and a bronze for Bryson City Brown Ale.

The best of show awards went to other North Carolina-based breweries. Best of Show went to Natty Green's (Greensboro) for the Woody and Barrel Aged Sour Ale. Second to Olde Hickory's Irish Walker Ale (Hickory), and third to Duck Rabbit's Barleywine Ale (Farmville), with an honorable mention to Foothills Barrel Aged Sexual Chocolate Stout (Winston-Salem).

The entries were judged a few weeks ago and awards were presented at the festival.

— Send your brews news to Anne Fitten Glenn at


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