Growing pains: Craft brewing comes of age

North Carolina has always had a complicated relationship with alcohol. However, alcohol has consistently been an economic driver in North Carolina, as it still is, with 130 craft breweries as of 2014 – the most of any Southern state. As the craft brewing industry in the region grows into a multimillion-dollar business, the desire to review the statutes and improve communication with state officials has come to the forefront.

In photos: Oskar Blues Burning Can Festival 2015

Oskar Blues Brewery hosted its 2015 Burning Can ExtravaCANza Friday and Saturday, July 17-18, at its REEB Ranch just outside of Hendersonville. Despite some complications with the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Department, a few thunderstorms and a blistering-hot afternoon sun, brewers, performers and attendees stuck it out and had a ball.

Update: Petition against Bell’s Brewery collects 1,200 signatures in 15 hours

Innovation Brewing in Sylva reveals its legal fight over conflicting language with a much bigger company — Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The small Sylva brewer received nationwide support following the dispute, sparking both a petition and a GoFundMe page for the microbrewery’s legal fees. The petition has already reached 3,500 signatures.

In bed with the Brewers’ Alliance

Pisgah’s here. Wedge is here — aloof rock stars of Asheville beer, confident and not entirely lacking in swagger. French Broad is the proletariat of the scene, big and gentle, unstylish, a touch shambling. Highland: the jetsetter, slick and self-assured. All is revelry, echolalic chatter drowning out the jazz trio.