Brews news: From festivals to staying thin

Get your Beer City Fest tickets
What we formerly were referring to as “Spring Beer Festival” has been renamed “Beer City Festival.” The event will be held on Saturday, June 5, in Asheville. It’s being organized by the same folks who bring us Brewgrass (plus a few other key Asheville beer people). Tickets will go on sale Monday, March 29, at all local breweries (including both Asheville Brewing locations), Bruisin’ Ales and Barley’s Taproom & Pizza, according to organizer Jimi Rentz, who wants locals to get first dibs. Cost will be $35 per ticket, cash only. There will be 3,500 total tickets sold. The location of the festival will be revealed on March 29. Check out the Beer City Festival Facebook page.

Local brew canned
Catawba Valley Brewing of Morganton will start canning some of their craft beers this spring. Brewer Scott Pyatt says he researched bottles versus cans and decided to go with cans because of their light weight, high recyclability, and the fact that cans protect beer from light (which can make beers skunky). Pyatt says he’s in the midst of getting label approvals and working out other details, but he expects to see six-packs of Catawba Valley brews at specialty retailers later this spring.

Greenville gets a brew fest
Top of the Hops — Greenville, S.C.,’s own craft beer festival — will offer tastes of 130 to 150 brews from 40 to 50 different breweries at its inaugural festival. The event will be held on Saturday, April 10, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Bi-Lo Center. Highland Brewing will represent Asheville (other WNC-crafted brews currently aren’t distributed in Greenville).

“We want to offer an eclectic and world-class collection of beers for beer lovers,” says Jay Wilson, one of the festival organizers. “Our goal is for them to be like kids in a candy store.”

There will be music by The Jaywalkers and Big Jar of Jamm, food vendors and beer-education seminars.

Greenville’s Barley’s Taproom & Pizza and Thomas Creek Brewery are primary sponsors. Top of the Hops is the brainchild of Red Mountain Entertainment, based in Birmingham, Ala. The group is working to organize beer fests around the country in cities where there isn’t already an established beer festival, Wilson says.

He notes that Top of the Hops will buy the beer for the festival from the breweries instead of asking for donations. “We’re hoping to help perpetuate the scene by purchasing beer and helping keep these small breweries in business,” Wilson says.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the festival. VIP tickets are $60 in advance ($65 on festival day) and include early admission and special beer tastings.

For more information and tickets, visit

Alcohol consumption can keep women svelte
Staying slim seems to be one of the benefits of drinking a couple glasses of beer or wine a day, but only for women, according to a recent study done at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The study found that females who drank one to two alcoholic drinks daily were least likely to gain weight. In fact, they were 30-percent less likely to pack on the pounds than women who eschew alcohol completely.

The balancing scale of health benefits versus health dangers of alcohol seems to be tipping toward mommy’s little equilibrium enhancer — red wine’s heart-healthy, beer’s good for bone density — now we learn that a couple drinks of either can keep you slender.

As always, the key is moderation. More than two drinks a day puts you at higher risk of certain cancers, not to mention an inability to operate dangerous equipment, including cars, knifes, and television remote controls.

The researchers followed more that 19,000 normal-sized women, aged 39 and older, for 13 years. Though all the women tended to gain weight over time, teetotalers gained the most, per U.S. News & World Report. Why? That question wasn’t answered, though it could be that women substitute alcohol for other foods, while men add alcohol to their caloric intake.

Remember the adage, “Don’t drink your calories”? Women may be better at following that, or at least compensating for the added calories by cutting elsewhere, than men.


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