In photos: Beer City Festival 2017

Hi-Wire Brewing

Story by Tony Kiss.

Asheville’s eighth annual Beer City Festival delivered the goods May 27 at Pack Square Park with an impressive showcase of mostly local brews.

The festival, the first big event of the annual AVL Beer Week celebration, offered brews for just about every taste, from pale ales to porters, lagers and IPAs. The festival was hosted again by the nonprofit Asheville Brewers Alliance for the benefit of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of WNC. The turnout was strong, and the crowd spread out across the grassy park in front of Asheville City Hall and the Buncombe County Courthouse.

Some beer drinkers brought folding chairs and plopped them in the shade under trees. Others were content to wander the plaza in search of their next big beer find.

Most of the brews could be called sessions beers, which are lower-alcohol beverages. But here and there, more potent ales could be found, such as Asheville Brewing Co.’s Carolina Mountain Monster imperial stout, which carries 12.8 percent alcohol. It was being served in tiny pours.

Many of Asheville’s best-known beer personalities were there including Mike Rangel, Doug Riley and Pete Langheinrich of Asheville Brewing Co., John Stuart of Green Man Brewery and Oscar Wong, founder of the city’s first brewery, Highland Brewing Co.

Along with the city’s oldest breweries, some newcomers were on-site as well, including the recently opened Whistle Hop Brewing Co., Hillman Beer and Ginger’s Revenge brewery, which was serving its alcoholic ginger beer.

The most unusual beer featured at the event might have been My Currant Mistake, a Belgian wit kettle sour with black currants brewed by Hillman Beer. The tart, smooth brew was a real standout amid the hundreds of beers on draft.

The festival set the tone for the coming AVL Beer Week activities, which continue through Saturday, June 3.


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.

About Jack Sorokin
Jack is originally from the NYC area and has a background in fine art. He earned his BFA in Photography at The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. He specializes in shooting food, people and beer. Jack is currently based in Asheville, North Carolina, and available for hire anywhere you will send him. Follow me @jackflame0127

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.