Brews News: What’s new in the world of local beer

Asheville Beer Masters Tournament

Want to show off your beer knowledge? How would you like to be named Asheville Beer Master? Here’s your chance.

The Asheville Brewers Alliance is organizing the first Asheville Beer Masters Tournament. If you’re older than 21 and don’t work in the beer industry, you can enter the pre-qualifying round of beer-trivia questions, blind tastings and more. There will be eight pre-qualifying rounds held at local restaurants and brewpubs before May 13, followed by two semifinal rounds for those who ace the pre-quals.

The final round is tentatively scheduled for June 2, so the winning Beer Master can be honored at the Beer City Festival on June 4 at Roger McGuire Green. To put your name in the hat, or to sponsor a round, e-mail Mary Eliza McRae at Check out the tournament’s Facebook page for rules, restrictions and up-to-the-minute information (search Asheville Beer Masters Tournament). Let’s see what you got, future beer masters.

The next beery fest: Tickets for the second Beer City Festival went on sell last week at Barley’s Taproom. The first 200 tickets were sold in less than an hour. Tickets are still available at Barley’s and local breweries for $40. The event will take place June 4 at Roger McGuire Green at Pack Square downtown. —photo by Anne Fitten Glenn

Find your St. Patrick’s Day fun

If you’re looking for green beer on Thursday, March 17, don’t look here. If you’re looking for great local craft brews and fun St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we’ve got more of those. This Irish feast day has become one of the leading times for alcohol consumption in the U.S., so here’s your guide to where to imbibe (responsibly, please).

Altamont Brewing: Asheville’s newest brewery will open as a taproom on St. Paddy’s Day at 7:30 p.m. While they don’t yet have their own brews, they’ll offer 10 taps of local beer. Music by The Freight Hoppers (old-time) at 9 p.m.

Asheville Brewing: Offering an infusor of Roland’s ESB with sweet potatoes and four-leaf clovers at the Coxe Avenue locale starting at 6 p.m.

Craggie Brewing: Offering their newly released Dry Irish Stout fermented with Irish-ale yeast. Music will be Hello Hugo (experimental instrumental) from 6 to 8 p.m. and Doc Aquatic (folk-rock)  from 8 to 10 p.m.

French Broad Brewery: Offering $6 stout growler refills all week long.

Green Man Brewing: Tapping their last keg of Kill Devil Rum Russian Imperial Stout (plus fun and surprises).

Highland Brewing: Releasing Tasgall Scotch Ale and tapping a cask of Tasgall that’s had Scotch-infused oak spirals added for flavor. Music will be Blind Boy Chocolate & The Milk Sheiks (old-time).

Oyster House Brewing: Offering $2 pints of local beer all day, including Oyster House Ales, at The Lobster Trap restaurant.

Pack’s Tavern: Tapping cask-conditioned Bell’s Brewery Kalamazoo Stout. Music by Scott Raines and Jeff Anders.

Pisgah Brewing: All stouts and IPAs will be $1 off all day and night. Music by Danny Barnes (serious banjo) kicks off around 9 p.m.

Thirsty Monk downtown: Tapping Green Man Irish Stout infused with cocoa nibs from French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Also tapping a rare keg of Porterhouse Brain Blasta Barleywine from Dublin.

Universal Joint: Tapping cask-conditioned Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA at 5 p.m.

Wedge Brewing: Making corned Beef and cabbage, and giving it away until it’s gone.

Who won the Highland Cup?

This year’s Highland Cup was held March 5 at Highland Brewing Company, and 222 homebrews were entered. The Best in Show winners: first place to Alex Buerckholtz of Asheville for his Black IPA 1; second to Adam Reinke of Arden for his Fifty Pounds of Pils; and third to Steve Morgan of Fletcher for his Summer Saison. Buerckholtz’s winning IPA will be brewed and bottled by Highland later this year. There are first, second and third place winners in 17 other flights as well. For a list of all the yummy winners, visit

Nantahala Brewing Company Tasting Room opens

NBC’s tasting room in Bryson City recently opened. The room will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in March from 4 until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 2 until 6 p.m. This brewery, built in a huge old Quonset hut next to the railroad tracks, is well worth a visit. 


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