Year in review: Looking back at brewing industry news

PODIUM STATUS: Asheville Brewing Co. won a bronze medal for its Ninja Porter at the prestigious World Beer Cup competition in 2018. Photo courtesy of Asheville Brewing Co.

It’s been another whirlwind year for the local beer industry. Four new brewing companies opened in Buncombe County, one landmark location is closing (but will quickly be reborn) and five Western North Carolina breweries won medals in major national competitions. Here are the highlights:

New on the scene: Fermented Nonsense Brewing, Asheville’s smallest brewery, opened at the Craft Centric Taproom and Bottle Shop; Triple 7 Brewhouse joined the Westville Pub space, then changed its name to All Sevens Brewing; Black Mountain Brewing arrived in its namesake downtown; Eurisko Beer Co. expanded the South Slope’s footprint; and Brouwerij Cursus Keme was launched on Thompson Street near Biltmore Village.

Farewell LAB: After a nine-year run downtown, Lexington Avenue Brewery will close at year’s end. The spot will reopen in March as The CANarchy Collaboratory, an innovative brewpub from the collective that includes Oskar Blues Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, Perrin Brewing Co. Squatters Craft Beers and more.

Highland’s brand refresh: Asheville’s oldest brewery, Highland Brewing Co., introduced dramatic new packaging and retired Scotty, the bagpipe-playing Scotsman used in its logo since 1994. Some beer drinkers initially expressed a mixed reaction, especially with the disappearance of the familiar Scottish musician.

Prestigious prizes: Asheville Brewing Co. won a bronze medal for its Ninja Porter at the World Beer Cup. At the same event, Hi-Wire Brewing earned a bronze for its Dry-hopped Brett Pale Ale. Meanwhile, at the Great American Beer Festival, Hillman Beer took a silver medal for its ESB, BearWaters Brewing Co. of Canton won a gold for its Pink Passionfruit Sour, and Appalachian Mountain Brewery of Boone got a gold for its lager.

Alliance changes: Kendra Penland resigned as executive director of the Asheville Brewers Alliance, which represents local breweries and related businesses. Penland had been a prominent face in the local beer scene, making frequent media appearances. Mike Rangel president of Asheville Brewing, took over as interim director. As of press time, the position remains unfilled.

SHARE
About Tony Kiss
Tony Kiss covers brewing news for the Xpress. He has been reporting on the Carolina beer scene since 1994. He's also covered distilling and cider making and spent 30 years reporting on area entertainment. Follow me @BeerguyTK

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.