Beer City Festival by the numbers
The inaugural Beer City Fest took place on a sunny Saturday, June 5, at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square Park.
By all accounts, it was a successful celebration for Beer City, USA — lots of excellent craft beer, great music and a convenient fountain, perfect for cooling off. Here's the Fest by the numbers:
• 30 craft breweries from both North and South Carolina
• 100 plus craft beers
• 5 musical acts
• 6 hours (not long enough, according to some beer lovers)
• 2,500 attendees (this is a guess — organizers were happy it wasn't more, as it got pretty darn crowded)
• 6 organizers (between the Brewgrass crew and the Asheville Brewers Alliance crew)
• 6 Asheville police officers
• 2 security guards
• 1 pair of scissors for cutting off the wristbands of anyone misbehaving (no comment on how many times those were used)
• 35 portable toilets (no lines at the ones in the way back of the park)
Around $5000 of proceeds to be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina.
Appalachian Craft Brewing is on the way, Hendo
Appalachian Craft Brewing said earlier this year that's it's moving from Fletcher to Hendersonville, and plans to expand to include a tasting room and music venue. That's still happening, says Kelly Cubbin, co-owner along with her husband, Andy. It's just coming a little more slowly than planned, because of the permitting process. The couple is still crafting brews at their facility in Fletcher, while waiting permission from government officials to move. They're hoping that the new taproom will open in September at 822 Locust Street in downtown Hendersonville. Watch for updates.
Nantahala Brewing Company puts Bryson City on the craft beer map
NBC's now selling craft beers all over far Western North Carolina. Their tasting room is still under construction, but you can try their beers at Across the Trax (Bryson City), Nick and Nate's (Waynesville), the Pour Over Pub (Bryson City), Murphy's (Murphy) and more. Check their web site for locations: nantahalabrewing.com. I tasted NBC's Brown Ale at Beer City Festival; it's a nicely balanced sessions beer. Brewer Chris Collier also offers an IPA, a Pale and a Stout — so far.
Beer Y'all benefit for White Horse Black Mountain
On Thursday, June 17, White Horse Black Mountain will host a screening of the documentary film, Beer Y'all, at their music venue in Black Mountain. The film tells the tale of seven friends who toured 27 craft breweries in North Carolina in nine days. Pisgah Brewing and French Broad Brewing are featured. The filmmakers will discuss their work and answer questions at the end of the movie. There will be N.C. beer specials as well, including a few from Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salem. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students with ID.
ABC infuser brew schedule
Asheville Brewing Company on Coxe Avenue will continue their weekly infuser-enhanced beers. On June 17, their Scout Stout will be run through cinnamon and cloves. The next week (June 24), they'll push some Rocket Girl Lager through fresh watermelon. Then on June 31, it's the Roland's ESB with jalapenos (my favorite — and a hit at Beer City Festival). Check it, starting at 5 p.m.
Inaugural brew-off and tasting
As of now, more than 30 home brewers will showcase their beers at the first brew-off on Saturday, June 19, from 2 to 4 p.m. outside of Wedge Brewing. Just Economics, a local nonprofit that educates, advocates and organizes for a just and sustainable local economy in WNC, will host the event. The party will feature music and homebrew tastings. For admittance, join Just Economics at the $15 level at justeconomicswnc.org. You can also buy tickets at the Wedge from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Wedge Brewery is located at 125-B Roberts St. in Asheville's River Arts District.
Hops & Vines next home brew class: Rye Pale Ale
This beginner to intermediate class will take place Sunday, June 27, noon to 3 p.m. at Hops & Vines in West Asheville. Here's how it works: You brew the beer at the store, then go back to bottle it two weeks later. All participants get to take home a six-pack of their home brew. Cost is $45 per person. Call 252-5275 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Asheville Brewers Alliance's site gets a facelift
The ABA's been busy lately, what with organizing beer festivals, supplying WNC with great craft beers and updating its Web site. Read all about the Alliance, the brewers, and their projects at their renovated site:
National Geographic's blog, Intelligent Traveler, includes an article on Asheville's role as Beer City, USA. The story mentions Wedge Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Asheville Brewing, and Brews Cruise.
All About Beer Magazine includes The Thirsty Monk in downtown Asheville on its list of the "150 Perfect Places to Have Beer."
Wedge Brewing celebrates its second anniversary on July 17 with a showing of Thunder Road at dusk. Other party plans to be announced.
Congrats to all. Western North Carolina rocks beer, y'all.
Send your brews news to Anne Fitten Glenn at email@example.com