‘North Carolina Craft Beer and Breweries’ authors to speak at Malaprop’s

Erik Lars Meyers and Sarah Ficke will sign copies of the newest edition of their book, North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries, on Wednesday, July 6. The event will include free beer from Highland Brewing Co. and One World Brewing. Photo courtesy of John F. Blair Publishing

For Erik Lars Myers and his partner, Sarah Ficke, what started as a hobby of homebrewing beer quickly turned into a full-time job and a series of books reviewing the over 130 breweries in North Carolina.

Both Myers and Ficke will be at Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café on Wednesday, July 6, at 7 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of their latest release, North Carolina Craft Beers & Breweries, Second Edition. The event may prove to be very popular — both Highland Brewing Co. and One World Brewing will be at the signing to supply guests with free beer samples.

In 2012, Myers, now president of the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild, and Ficke, an English professor and researcher at Marymount University in Virginia, began writing a history of brewing in North Carolina and dug up as much information about the state’s beer culture and history as they could get their hands on.

“Historians sort of gloss over North Carolina when it comes to beer,” says Myers, “which is ridiculous, because you’re talking about an area that was settled by the English, the Germans and the Czechs, so there was definitely some beer drinking going on.”

A few months later, the pair released the first edition of North Carolina Craft Beer and Breweries, which focused on the state’s burgeoning craft beer scene and breweries. Taking his passion to a logical conclusion, Myers opened Mystery Brewing Co. in Hillsborough that same year.

In the years following the first edition’s release, the North Carolina brewery scene expanded rapidly. The state now boasts almost 175 breweries, and, thus, the second edition of North Carolina Craft Beer and Breweries was commissioned.

The updated version features reviews of most of North Carolina’s craft breweries and a glossary of beer types and terms for the aspiring beer connoisseur. But Myers admits the scene is growing so fast that some of the newest businesses missed the cut. “We had to stop writing at some point and turn our manuscript in to the publisher,” Myers said. “Since then, we’ve had 40 breweries open in North Carolina.”

Myers and Ficke reviewed 23 Asheville-area breweries for the new edition of the book, including breweries in Black Mountain, Brevard, Weaverville and Waynesville. But while Myers applauds the recent growth of Western North Carolina’s beer scene, he is not one to pick favorites.

“[Western North Carolina] is definitely the leader, but I think it would be a mistake to say it’s superior to the rest of the state,” he says. “We have an incredible industry everywhere and outstanding beer in every corner of the state.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.