Thanks to a pair of events on Sunday, May 21, the Omni Grove Park Inn is about to turn the phrase “leave a sour taste in one’s mouth” into something sweet.
The festivities begin with a Sour Beer Brunch at Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen from noon-3 p.m., featuring sour brews built into a la carte menu items. Then from 3-6 p.m., 14 breweries from across the state will serve an array of sour beers on the Mountain View Terrace as part of the inaugural NC Sour Sunday. The event also features live music and small bites from Grove Park’s culinary team and local farm partners.
The Mountain View Terrace is a prime wedding spot where guests will have a breathtaking, panoramic view of Asheville’s foothills. (The glassed-in skyline room will be made available if the weather does not cooperate.) An entirely new selection of dishes is created for each monthly beer brunch, and Sour Sunday’s menu will not be completed until the event draws closer.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the chef will put together,” says Tracey Johnston-Crum, director of public relations and community outreach at the Grove Park. “Each time we feature a different brewery, style and have someone from the brewery in attendance to share knowledge. I’ve learned to appreciate beer in ways I’ve never though because we’ve learned so much from different brewers.”
Johnston-Crum feels it’s vital to showcase the Asheville breweries that help contribute to the city’s beer scene, such as Hi-Wire Brewing, which will be pairing two of its beers with lunch items for the brunch. “This is the first time that I know of that this type of event has happened here and should prove to be pretty exciting and interesting,” says Hi-Wire beer juggler Chris McLain.
By highlighting breweries from places in North Carolina other than just Asheville, more flavor is added to the event, and those attending will have their horizons broadened regarding the variety of beers available nearby. “It gives our guests the opportunity to try different sour beers from all over the state, some which aren’t normally available in our area,” Johnston-Crum says.
Among the non-Asheville breweries participating in NC Sour Sunday are NoDa Brewing Co., Olde Hickory Brewery and Mother Earth Brewing. Also on board is D9 Brewing Co., whose “full-on sour line” Johnston-Crum describes as “adventuresome” and constantly pushing the boundaries of sour beer.
The beer brunch is the “baby” of Edison manager Aaron Matthews and general manager Miranda Escalante. “Our primary focus has always been to showcase the incredible talent and diversity of North Carolina beer,” the two say in a joint statement.
“We believe that North Carolina brewers use exceptional ingredients and have developed a love of the sour style. Sour is a traditional style that requires a greater amount time and attention than many other styles, and one in which brewers can express themselves and offer unique flavor profiles. North Carolina is also special in the fact that we have a disproportionate amount of brewers making sours than other states. North Carolina has developed a love for sour beer and its variations, as well as the brewers who make them, and that is why this event focuses on some of the best beer our state has to offer.”
Tickets to NC Sour Sunday are $50 and may be purchased in person or by calling 800-438-5800. Tax and gratuity are included in the fee. For a full list of participating breweries, visit the Grove Park website.