What’s new in food: Prost to fall at Highland Brewing Co.’s Clawtoberfest

PROST!: Highland Brewing Co. welcomes the return of fall with its inaugural Clawtoberfest celebration Saturday, Sept. 17, noon-5 p.m. Photo courtesy of Highland Brewing Co.

As the crunchy leaves and crisp evening air of fall return, so, too, does the time to break out the lederhosen and raise a stein of mäerzen.

Oktoberfest is here again.

Highland Brewing Co. will kick off the season’s arrival Saturday, Sept. 17, noon-5 p.m. with Clawtoberfest, a new annual celebration of autumnal beer, food, fun and games.

“Clawhammer, our Oktoberfest beer, celebrates its 14th year as our fall seasonal,” says Nikki Mitchell, vice president of brand development. “It’s a fantastic beer that continues to resonate with lager fans.”

Several food trucks and pop-ups are expected to participate, featuring themed menus from Deli Volv and Root Down, as well as apple cider and pumpkin spice doughnuts from MunchOs Mini Donuts. Additionally, Eddy Schoeffmann, Blunt Pretzels’ co-founder and Munich native, will be making a special beer cheese using Highland’s Clawhammer to complement his pretzels.

“Our Clawtoberfest will blend lots of old and new traditions,” says Mitchell. “In addition to Clawhammer, our innovative brewers created three new Oktoberfest-inspired small-batch beers.”

A number of traditional Oktoberfest games and competitions, including a keg roll, stein hoist, stein race and a mustache contest, will be held throughout the event, as will pickup volleyball, ax throwing from Axeville Throwing Club and interactive juggling demos from Asheville Aerial Arts.

Cold Mountain Winter Ale tickets will be offered as prizes for these games, and a portion of every Clawhammer pint poured will benefit the efforts of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. Lagerhosen, a Black Mountain-based band, will play traditional Oktoberfest music throughout the event.

Highland Brewing Co. is at 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Suite 200. Visit avl.mx/xmasjbe for additional information.

A decade of nobility

Noble Cider, the first cidery established in Asheville and the second in North Carolina, celebrates 10 years in business with a special event set for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2-9 p.m., at its taproom and production facility.

“A lot has changed over these 10 years in the cider world,” says Lief Stevens, co-founder and cider maker. “When we started, there were very few cideries in the U.S., so there wasn’t a template to follow. We had to figure everything out ourselves, which was challenging but also exciting.”

Anniversary party festivities include the tapping of Wild Berry Knight, a new mixed berry cider made with whole fruit strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. This release is the first new addition to Noble Cider’s collection of flagship ciders in six years.

A special plum mead will also be released, and a firkin (small, traditional cask) filled with a special conditioned cider will be tapped. Live music, door prizes, cider specials, apples and produce from Bright Branch Farms and food from Cecilia’s Kitchen food truck round out the day’s offerings.

“We’ve gone from delivering kegs of cider from our cars to distributing in multiple states.  It’s an incredible thing,” says Stevens.

The Cidery Taproom & Production facility is at 356 New Leicester Highway. Visit avl.mx/bzj for more information. 

Practice makes perfect (pasta)

When it comes to pasta, there are those content with boxed noodles topped with sauce from a jar and those who yearn for something more. If you identify with the latter, mark your calendars and get ready to take your pasta game to the next level.

Ciao Asheville is teaming up with Metro Wines and Sarah Ubertaccio of q.b. cucina for a live pasta-making demonstration Sunday, Sept. 18, noon-2 p.m. Ubertaccio will cover all the basics of homemade pasta, from ingredients to kneading and shaping techniques, as she crafts several pasta forms, including tagliatelle, garganelli, farfalle and sorpresine.

Metro Wines will offer wine tastings and light snacks during the demonstration, and various pasta-making tools and Italian wares will also be available for purchase at a special q.b. cucina pop-up shop taking place during the event.

Metro Wines is at 169 Charlotte St. Tickets are $30. Visit avl.mx/byr to register and for additional information.

Tour de fromage

Cheese aficionados are encouraged to attend Edible Asheville‘s Artisanal Cheese Farm Tour, the first taking place Friday, Sept. 16 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., for an inside look at some of Asheville’s award-winning cheesemakers.

The tour will begin at Round Mountain Creamery, a working goat farm and farmstead cheesemaker, then progress to Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery, where guests will tour a hand-built cheese cave, before ending at Plēb Urban Winery for a special wine and cheese pairing.

Guided cheese tastings and education conducted by local cheesemakers are included as part of the tour, as is transportation from and to downtown Asheville via tour partners Van in Black.

“One of our primary goals at Edible Asheville is to help people cultivate a deeper appreciation of local food,” says Tenille Tracy Legler, publisher of Edible Asheville. “By taking folks directly to the farms, where the magic begins, we hope they can fall in love with our local food scene in a more authentic way.”

Tickets cost $112 per person. Visit avl.mx/byv for tickets and additional information.

Garden grub

Bountiful Cities’ Community Garden Network will host a Fall Equinox Garden Dinner Party welcoming the new season at the Shiloh Community Garden on Thursday, Sept. 22, 5-8 p.m.

Chefs Clarence Robinson, Gene Ettison, Shaniqua Simuel and other local vendors will prepare appetizers, entrees and desserts specially prepared using fresh garden ingredients. Children’s activities, such as making seed bombs and potting plants, door prizes and cooking demonstrations will round out the evening’s events.

“We hope people take away an appreciation and awareness of the 30-plus community gardens in the Bountiful Cities Community Garden Network,” says Cathy Cleary, outreach coordinator for Bountiful Cities. “We want to acknowledge and celebrate the work that community garden leaders put in this season.”

The Shiloh Community Garden is at 59 Hampton St. Tickets are available on a sliding scale of suggested donations ranging from free to $15. Visit avl.mx/byu for registration and additional information.

Kick it at The Mule

Yet another new beverage option has landed on Sweeten Creek with the arrival of The Mule, a new taproom from Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.

Connected to the beverage maker’s latest 14,400-square-foot production facility expansion, The Mule features a full-service bar showcasing cocktails and nonalcoholic mocktails made from Devil’s Foot’s farm-to-can craft sodas.

The new location also serves as a space for private events and community gatherings, which Devil’s Foot will use to support and host local nonprofit community partners.

“Many of our longtime partners are bars and breweries who are really eager to carry a craft beverage that’s nonalcoholic … for special occasions,” says Ben Colvin, president of Devil’s Foot, in a company release. “Our new space will really allow us to meet the moment by tripling our production capacity.”

The Devil’s Foot Beverage Co.’s production facility and taproom is at 131 Sweeten Creek Road. Visit avl.mx/ajm for additional information.

Experiential learning

You’ve heard of the “walk and talk,” now get ready for the “sip and stroll.” The N.C. Beverage Museum and Asheville Free Walking Tours have announced a partnership that will culminate in a new experiential tour allowing participants to learn about and taste the history of North Carolina craft beverages.

The tours will take guests through various museum exhibits located at Plēb Urban Winery’s Aventine Wine Bar, 25 Page Ave., Suite 102; Cultivated Cocktails Distillery, 25 Page Ave., Suite 103; and Wedge Brewery’s newest taproom at the Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Suite 152. Along each stop, tastings of local spirits, wine and beer will be provided and paired alongside shared insights on the origins and evolutions of the local beverage scene.

“The North Carolina Craft Beverage Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting our state’s craft beverage story and celebrates its role in building and defining our local, state and national community,” says Kimberly Floyd, N.C. Craft Beverage Museum board president, in a press release. “Come celebrate with us on this brand-new tour in downtown Asheville.”

Visit avl.mx/bys for more information on the tour and its schedule.

No such thing as too many tacos

Taco Boy, a Mexican cuisine-inspired eatery based in South Carolina, has announced plans to open two new Asheville locations by next spring.

The first new restaurant will open by the end of 2022 in the former Zia Taqueria location at 521 Haywood Road in West Asheville. An additional location in Biltmore Park Town Square at 2 Town Square Blvd., No. 130, will follow.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring Taco Boy to Asheville,” says founder Karalee Nielsen Fallert in a press release announcing the expansion. “We believe that all good things are possible with the power of inclusivity, generosity, interconnectedness and tacos.”

For additional information on Taco Boy, visit avl.mx/byw.

New owners resurrect JK’s Kitchen

JK’s Kitchen, a local eatery featuring fast and friendly country cooking, closed last month after over 15 years in business. Shortly after the closure was made public, it was announced that new owners have stepped in to take over and keep the restaurant alive.

The JK’s Kitchen name will remain, as will the menu’s breakfast and lunch staples with a few new additions soon to be announced.

JK’s Kitchen is at 6 Long Shoals Road, Arden. Visit avl.mx/byx for the menu and 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.