Brews News

Our favorite national holiday approaches. Get ready for a sparkly, Brewgasmic, patriotic weekend. Drink beer for America, y'all. Just do it right and drink some locally crafted brews, kay? Because they're healthier — higher levels of plant estrogens that help strengthen your bones.

Brew-off: The Buzzed Home Most Original Home-brew award went to Colleen O'Donnell for her "Cinnamon-Basil Brown Porter called "F-BP with a Cinnamon Stick." Photos by Michael Muller

And keep it healthy, please. No over-serving yourself then operating heavy equipment—that includes cars, motorcycles and lighter fluid. Though, you could use a flaming frankfurter as a sparkler if you're desperate for some fireworks.

Enough of the PSA. Let's get to the Brews News and beer happenings around town.

Home brewers represent

The inaugural home brewer brew-off and benefit for Asheville non-profit Just Economics was a roaring success. Held June 19 at The Wedge Brewery, 32 home brewers offered tastes of more than 40 beers to more than 400 beer lovers. Mountain Xpress' own Alli Marshall was a celebrity judge.

Here are the winners of the competition:

People's choice winner: Cathy and David Krafcik for "Celo Coriander Citrus Wheat."

Celebrity judge choice: Cathy and David Krafcik for "Celo Coriander Citrus Wheat."

Brews Cruise award: Jon Chassner for "Imperial Mango Rye."

Wedge Brewing award: Bart Roberts for his American Rye Blond, "One Rye-Night Stand with a Blonde."

The Hops and Vines award: Jake Allen for his Nut Brown Ale, "Good Foot Brown Ale."

The Buzzed Home award for most original: Colleen O'Donnell for Cinnamon-Basil Brown Porter called "F-BP with a Cinnamon Stick."

Buzzed: The award for best all around went Daniel Wright for his Oak Amber Ale, "Keep your shirt on Oak Amber."

The Buzzed Home award for best all around: Daniel Wright for his Oak Amber Ale, "Keep Your Shirt on Oak Amber."

The most creative name award: Jason McCammon for "Dunkel My Schnitzel."

The most creative table award: Sean O'Connell of Tuckaseegee Brewing Cooperative for his "Kayakerator" beer-serving apparatus.

The Rock 104.9 award: Trey Vierra for "David Allen SimCoe IPA."

The Second place most creative table award: David Maida for "R2Beer2."

Another rocking Pisgah party

Get into the holiday spirit a day early at the inaugural Southern Revival BBQ & Beer Festival at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain on Saturday, July 3. The music starts at noon and runs until 9 p.m.

Headlining the festival are Asheville's own southern rockers, Velvet Truckstop. Other groups performing are Soulgrass Rebellion, Woody Wood, Wisebird, Scenic Roots and Jackass Flats from Richmond, VA.

Camino's Southwestern Grille of Black Mountain will provide the BBQ. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Visit for ticket information.

All-grain brew demo and gabfest

Asheville Brewers Supply's all-grain brew demo and gabfest returns on Saturday, July 3, starting around 1 p.m. From here on out, the home-brew demo will always occur on the first Saturday of the month (unless there's a conflict such as June's Beer City Festival).

"We usually mash-in around 1:30 p.m., and sparge about 2:30 to 3 p.m. It's not a formal class, but a very good demo that helps brewers figure out if all-grain brewing is for them. We usually have a few beers too, and highly informative mishaps are inevitable," says owner Andy Dahm.

Let me translate for him here. First off, you can home brew using a purchased extract kit or you can use the actual grains, such as malted barley, which supposedly gives you more control over the process. In brewing, mashing is the process of mixing your grains with water and heating the mixture so that the starches in the grains break down into sugars. Sparging is trickling water through the grains to extract the fermentable sugars that will become the alcohol and beer. But let me tell you that you'll learn a lot more about the process at ABS on Saturday. Maybe they can name Saturday's beer "The Brewgasm"?

As always, the ABS demonstration takes place at the storefront at 712 Merrimon Ave., and it's free.

Green Man comes out of the woods

New owner of Green Man Brewing Company, Dennis Thies, is upgrading his brewing equipment in order to double the brewery's output capacity. "I've always wanted to buy myself a Cadillac Escalade," Thies says. "Instead I bought myself a Cadillac boiler." So the brewery now holds a new boiler plus two additional fermenters and another 30-barrel storage tank. Expect to see more Green Man brews around town as the brewery picks up new accounts. Their Imperial IPA, dubbed "The Truth," will be re-released this week and available at the brewery at 23 Buxton Ave. Drinking "The Truth," at nine percent ABV, will put a whole new spin on that game of "Truth or Dare."

Send your Brews News to Anne Fitten Glenn at


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