What’s new in food: Carolina CiderFest debuts at McCormick Field

CIDER CELEBRATION: Carolina CiderFest hosts over 24 beverage makers at McCormick Field for its inaugural event. Photo courtesy of Honeygirl Meadery

Shay & Co., in partnership with the N.C. Cider Association, hosts its inaugural Carolina CiderFest on Saturday, Oct. 21, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at McCormick Field.

This is the first Asheville cider event owned and produced by the cider makers, according to Shay Brown, founder and owner of Shay & Co.

Carolina CiderFest will feature a variety of local, regional and national makers of cider and mead, artisanal food, arts, crafts and live music. Over 24 unique cider, mead and apple wine makers will be pouring samples of their products for an expected crowd of over 3,000 guests. The entire event will take place on McCormick Field where the hometown Asheville Tourists play.

“Our hope is that everyone discovers a new cidery that they did not know about before the festival,” says Brown. “We want participants to be excited to visit these cideries in the future and educate and elevate cider to build the audience of cider enthusiasts.”

General admission ($45 per person) includes entry, a commemorative glass and unlimited samples. VIP tickets ($75 per person) include early entry at 10:30 a.m., additional snacks and exclusive access to the Wicked Weed Brewing Party Pavilion, and VIP Plus tickets ($95 per person) provide VIP parking and access to the Grandstand Suite. A portion of all proceeds from the festival will benefit the N.C. Cider Association.

An array of food options, including local cheeses, baked goods, caramels, ice cream and McCormick Field’s classic ballpark concessions, will be offered throughout the event, and live music will be provided by both DJs and local bands. Bottles and cans of cider for takeaway will also be available for sale.

“Shay & Co. is excited to produce and grow this festival alongside the N.C. Cider Association,” says Brown. “Our focus is to highlight the cider makers, work with the community and build out this festival to accommodate a growing number of tourists interested in visiting cideries and orchards for tours and learning more about the art of cider making.”

McCormick Field is at 30 Buchanan Place. Visit avl.mx/d2p to purchase tickets and for additional information, including a full list of participating beverage vendors.

Rural cider collaboration

Twisty Maple Events and Barn Door Ciderworks come together for a cider and cheese pairing event on Thursday, Oct. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Twisty Maple event venue in Fletcher.

“We love to partner with and highlight fellow small businesses in their endeavors and thought a pairing event would be a fun way for both of our small businesses to work together,” says Twisty Maple co-owner Jessie Dement in a news release. “We believe the aspect of entrepreneurship and focus on local is critical to our region; we need to support one another in keeping this alive.”

Four barrel-aged, varietal ciders, including the Rusty Coat and Vintage Winesap ciders made from American Golden Russet and Old Fashioned Winesap apples, respectively, will be paired with four unique cheeses made from varying milk types by WNC Cheese Trail cheesemakers.

“We’re always excited to partner with our fellow small businesses, especially those located outside of the Asheville city limits,” says Barn Door Ciderworks co-owner Dan Fowler in the same news release. “Twisty Maple is a beautiful venue with great energy.” It features sprawling views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, old-growth trees and rolling pastures.

Twisty Maple is at 226 Gravely Branch Road, Fletcher. Visit avl.mx/d2n for tickets ($40 per person) and additional information.

Brews and brains

The Whale’s annual Oktoberfest celebration takes place Saturday, Oct. 21, 1-5 p.m., at the craft beer bar’s West Asheville location at 507 Haywood Road.

“Oktoberfest has become an annual tradition that we look forward to for months,” says co-owner Andrew Ross in a news release. “It’s a great chance for us to bring in beers from overseas and showcase them in a fun environment. Expect the best seasonal beers in the world.”

The event will showcase classic German fest beers spanning several styles (festbier, dunkel, wheat, kölsch) from some of the most acclaimed German breweries, such as Ettaler, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, Erdinger, Andechs and Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores Brewing. “We have wooden-clad kegs that we will be tapping, and we are very excited about that,” adds event manager Kaitlyn Berkenstock.

Various traditional games like pretzel toss and stein holding will begin at 2 p.m. Underground Baking Co.’s Brezel Bus will be on-site serving classic fest dishes, and Haywood Common will feature a brat and sauerkraut sandwich and a schnitzel as daily specials on its menu.

“Ultimately, we want patrons to experience and celebrate German culture, partake in togetherness and appreciate some of the traditional beer that has brought craft beer culture to where it is today,” says Berkenstock.

Beginning at 4 p.m., the Oktoberfest will take a Halloween-themed turn as a face painter arrives to transition willing guests into zombies for the bar’s inaugural Zombie Beer Crawl. The zombie horde will shuffle down Haywood Road to Cellarest Beer Project, then to Archetype Brewing and Bottle Riot before concluding the crawl at The Wedge.

Visit avl.mx/d2m for additional information

Halloween bar crawl

Halloween gets started early on Saturday, Oct. 21, with the Asheville Happy Hour Halloween Bar Crawl from PubCrawls.com. 

Beginning at 5 p.m. at The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall, costumed crawlers will enjoy drink specials themed for the holiday, up to 25% off select foods and up to 50% off drinks at several stops, including Asheville Bier Garden and Green Man Brewery. An after-party will be held at both The One Stop and The Funkatorium after the crawl concludes.

Door charges will be waived for all venues, and live DJs will score the horror-themed evening at select locations. A photographer and videographer will snap pictures and capture footage of the best costumes. The winner will take home a prize package valued at over $2,000 for the evening’s best costume.

The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall is at 55 College St. Visit avl.mx/d2o for tickets ($19.99 per person) and additional information.

Dos eventos de Tequio Foods

Tequio Foods, the company founded by chef Luis Martinez that brings authentic Zapotec products from Mexico to the U.S. East Coast, has two events planned this weekend.

First up is an OaxaCarolina Fiesta pop-up event held at Leveller Brewing Co. on Saturday, Oct. 21, noon-4 p.m. Martinez will prepare tacos, tostadas and pozole, using spices and flavors designed to both complement and contrast with Leveller’s craft beer.

On Sunday, Oct. 22, 1-6 p.m., Martinez will join Greenhouse’s Hallow-Tiki-Art-Fest, a celebration of local artists with a tiki-inspired Halloween twist. He will serve traditional Oaxacan dishes such as mole tamales and adobada tacos, while local mixologist Joe Nicol concocts Halloween-themed tiki drinks. Shea McKibben of Bloodroot Holistics will provide Thai massages, and Greenhouse will offer flash tattoos, tooth gems and a costume contest awarding a $100 gift card to the winner.

Both events are free to attend. Leveller Brewing is at 25 N. Main St., Weaverville. Greenhouse is at 15 Zillicoa St.

Pumpkin patch pizza party

White Labs Brewing Co. hosts an autumnal event featuring pumpkins, pizza and Halloween fun on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1-3 p.m.

General admission tickets cost $35 and grant entry for one adult and one child. Additional children’s tickets will be available the day of the event at $15 per child.

Included in the ticket price is a pumpkin to decorate with a number of provided tools, one cheese pizza, an adult drink ticket redeemable for an alcoholic beverage and a nonalcoholic beverage ticket for children. Spooky music will be played during the event, and a family-friendly Halloween film will also be screened.

White Labs Brewing Co. is at 172 S. Charlotte St. Visit avl.mx/d2t for tickets and additional information. 

Fall menus at Chestnut

Chestnut has launched new brunch and dinner menus highlighting the tastes of fall.

Chef Matt Dorough designed these new menus as an ode to autumnal foods and a showcase of seasonal produce and provisions. “It’s personally my favorite time of year because it’s when the comfort food starts to show up,” he says in a news release. “Most everyone, aside from those of us in hospitality, just kind of starts to wind down with the crisp change in the weather.”

Two salads lead the new brunch menu: one composed of fall fruits, baby arugula, spiced quinoa, candied almonds and a lemon honey yogurt dressing, and another playing on the classic Caesar salad with shrimp. A fall vegan hash, huevos rancheros, pork belly benedict and the return of the Chestnut Reuben round out the new brunch offerings.

A pumpkin quinoa salad, General Tso’s oysters, savory apple strudel and pretzel-crusted pork schnitzel can now be found on Chestnut’s dinner menu. A new fall vindaloo dish meets the needs of vegetarian and vegan diners: a medley of local fall squashes, cardamom basmati rice, spicy vindaloo sauce, chickpeas, serrano peppers, pistachio sumac raita, micro cilantro and papadum cracker. Dorough is particularly excited to debut what he’s dubbed “the black-tie affair,” composed of puff pastry-wrapped scallops, fresh burgundy truffles, port wine beurre rouge, smoked trout caviar, pickled plums and micros.

Chestnut is at 48 Biltmore Ave. Visit avl.mx/c1a for additional information.



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.