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When you wake up on May 23, it might seem like you’re starring in Groundhog Day. If you lived in Asheville last May or the one before that, you’ve already lived through Asheville Beer Week, right? Not exactly. While the first year was a ton of fun, there were a lot of lessons learned. Everyone was busy figuring out how to drive this thing. Then last year the number of events exploded. There were more pint nights than you could shake a free glass at. But this year you won’t see any additional events. In fact, you’ll actually see fewer pint nights and swag giveaways. In their place, you’ll find a slew of creative events that just seem more, well, Asheville. In what other city, in what other week, could you find everything from a blindfolded beer tasting and a beer-themed short film festival to a trolley pub crawl and a farm-to-table beer dinner that actually takes place on a farm? Where else could you be forced to choose between a beer-filled “carnival” and an epic sour beer festival that takes place in a “Funkitorium?” Once again, this guide is an attempt to manage the unmanageable. It provides a day-byday breakdown of what’s happening where — and why a particular event might be worth your time and money. There is one key change from last year’s guide: We’ve pulled out all the beer dinners from the daily events and listed them separately. We figured that if you’re picking a beer dinner, you’re just going to go with your favorite(s), whichever day they’re happening. Cheers from Thom O’Hearn, David Ackley, Edwin Arnaudin and the Mountain Xpress team PHOTOS BY TIM ROBISON 2




by Edwin Arnaudin


Adam McCrary and Lawrence Frost at Wicked Weed Brewing

Beer festivals are an excellent way to sample a wide range of craft breweries and styles. But if the festival scene doesn’t sound appealing, beer fans can create their own diverse festival at their own pace on almost any day of the week — while also getting the most out their drinking budget. The answer: flights. “You can’t really taste a beer until you have a full pint, but a flight gives you at least a window into what that beer might be like,” says John Garcia, owner and master brewer of Lookout Brewing Co. in Black Mountain. All 15 craft breweries in Buncombe County offer flights of their current lineup throughout the year, and bars like the Thirsty Monk and growler stores Appalachian Vintner, Asheville Growler and Craft Room Growlers provide a variety of local and North Carolina breweries along with those from outside the region. Flights are composed of pours ranging from Lookout’s 3.5-ounce to Green Man Brewery’s 6-ounce and vary in the number

of samples, going as high as Wedge Brewing Co.’s 10-beer serving. Altamont Brewing Co. and Lexington Avenue Brewery are two of several that have a set flight while others, such as Asheville Brewing Co., offer customization. Served in 3- to 4-inch tasting glasses, the styles are identified by various means, from pre-printed laminated sheets (French Broad Brewing Co.; Catawba Brewing Co.) to handwritten names on the paper lining an oyster tray (Oyster House Brewing Co.) to a poker chip that sits below its corresponding brew (Lookout). To get the flights from tap to table, glasses often rest on a notched wooden paddle, as they do at Hi-Wire Brewing, or an elevated board with legs. Wicked Weed Brewing’s flights of six are served on a carrier made out of bourbon barrel staves (with a handle for easy lifting), while Twin Leaf Brewery’s Tim Weber is building twotiered rectangular boards in his and wife/ co-brewer Steph’s garage. (Twin Leaf bartenders currently carry the 5-ounce pours

of the brewery’s five house beers out to customers one by one.) Throughout the county, the small tastes have proved popular among beer tourists and locals alike, and breweries are delighted to offer them to their customers. “It’s honestly one of the best ways to showcase the variety that we have on tap. You want people to try everything and get a feeling for who you are,” says Jessica Reiser, co-owner of Burial Beer Co. Due to the representative nature of flights, brewers are also apt to repay that across-the-board patron interest with insight on getting the most out of their creations. “It’s good to educate your customer when they get the flight on when to drink them. You want to start with pilsners and pales, then the slightly heavier stuff like ESBs and IPAs, then finish off with bigger beers that tend to get better as they warm up,” Garcia says. In addition to sampling that range, flights offer access to a brewery’s more adventurous endeavors without the risk of blindly investing in a full pint. Among these experiments are Burial’s occasional split-batch series, in which they brew a barrel of one variety, separate it into three equal quantities and treat each keg with a special ingredient. So far, these ventures have included a blonde inoculated with German weisse, Belgian ale and American ale yeasts, and a gastronomy porter series, in which individual infusions of fresh ginger and peaches, smoked shiitake mushrooms and a combination of raspberries and coconut created a morning, noon and night feel. Sampled side by side, customers may compare the series’ three beers and decide if a full pour of one is in order — or perhaps another flight trio. With demand for flights remaining high, Burial recently invested in more tasting glasses, though other breweries have opted not to offer the popular option during their busiest hours. Twin Leaf doesn’t do flights on Fridays or Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m., Wicked Weed doesn’t do them at all on those days (or on weeknights after 7), and both Highland Brewing Co. and Pisgah Brewing Co. restrict flight sales during music events. “That’s when the band rolls in and we have [500] to 600 people, and it just doesn’t work,” says Jamie DeJohn, Highland’s bar manager. Still — considering the spectrum of breweries and beers around town — with a little planning, that specialized festival of flights is well within reach.

Join us for our BEER & SUB pairing event. PERFECT FOR FATHER’S DAY. June 12th, 6 to 8pm. $5 @ MetroWines, 169 Charlotte Street. Let us know you are coming: 575-9525

Edwin Arnaudin is an Asheville-based music and beer writer and film reviewer.X MOUNTAINX.COM/BEER



BEER WEEK DINNERS The Craft Beer of the Carolinas -Since 1999-

Beer Week 2014 Events Friday May 23


at Creekside Tavern

Brewer and owner supported “tap takeover.” Keep the logo glass.

Saturday May 24


15th Anniversary Hawaiian Luau, Pig Roast w/Moe’s BBQ, King Coconut Porter Release, Island Music of Con Tiki.



at FIG Bistro (Biltmore Village) Fantastic and unique food/pairing courtesy of one of Asheville’s best restaurants.

Monday May 26


Asheville Sandwich Co., West Asheville

Dine in or take-out food/beer to go enjoy Memorial Day activities— sandwich and beer specials.

Tuesday May 27

Tuesday May 27


Beer and Truffles - 4 decadent French Broad truffles paired with 4 specialty beers.

Thursday May 29


HNG, King James Public House, & Catawba present a farm-to-table dining and craft beer experience.

Friday May 30


Enjoy a riverside evening of Catawba beers & food truck pairings. Celebrate music & AVL Beer Week in the RAD.

Friday May 30


at Creekside Taphouse

Chef and brewer collaboration for a unique food/beer pairing. Head Brewer Kevin Sondey on site.

Saturday May 31


Downtown Asheville

Local breweries and special guests show off their wares in downtown Asheville!


Saturday 5/31

Buy a Catawba growler fill, get a free half-gallon growler. Small batch and specialties available.

at Biltmore Tasting Room

on Merrimon Ave



Jamar Woods Trio brings their unique funk/soul/pop experience back to Biltmore - great topper to a great week!



Weekends may be prime time for festivals and other big events, but the hosts of Asheville Beer Week have put together a wide variety of beer dinners to keep us thoroughly occupied on weekdays too. All Souls Pizza and Riverbend Malt House will prepare a unique malt-centric meal, and Sunny Point Café and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will team up for a garden-to-table feast. Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian and Hi-Wire Brewing will host what may be the first Italian food/craft beer dinner Asheville has seen, and there are a dozen other options as well. On the following pages, we’ve listed them by price rather than day, so you can find the best one (or two, or three) that fit your budget. Work your way down from the multicourse meals to the handful of events where you can pay à la carte.


Bruisin’ Ales and King James Public House Beer Dinner $65, King James Public House, Sunday, May 25, 6 p.m., 252-2412 Every other coursed beer dinner spotlights the talents of a single brewery, but when Bruisin’ Ales is the host, you’re sure to see a masterful multibrewery selection instead. The preliminary beer list is as mouthwatering as the food, with everything from The Bruery’s Rueuze sour blonde to Olde Hickory’s Irish Walker barley wine. King James chef Steven Goff is preparing a five-course meal to accompany the beers, so expect hearty fare featuring local meats, like an English pork pie with fried marrow and a riff on the house duck wings.

Burial Beer Co./Bull and Beggar Beer Dinner $65, The Bull and Beggar, Sunday, May 25, 6:30-9 p.m., 575-9443 Some restaurants do beer dinners only once in a blue moon. The Bull and Beggar is one of them. The menu won’t be announced until the day of the event,

but you can bet it will include some tasty meat and seafood. On Burial’s side, expect favorites like Scythe Rye Pale Ale alongside rarer offerings like Battle Axe Belgian Strong. Four courses and four beers, including dessert.

Catawba Brewing Co., King James Public House and Hickory Nut Gap Farm Beer Dinner $75, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Fairview, Thursday, May 29, 5-9 p.m., catawbabrewingco. com If you’ve never been to Hickory Nut Gap Farm, it’s probably about how you’d imagine it: a pastoral, hilly patch of land with roaming animals, berry bushes and a farm store. Nestled at the base of Berry Hill, organizers plan to reverse the farm-to-table concept, bringing the table to the farm. King James Public House’s kitchen crew, led by chef Steven Goff, will join forces with Catawba Brewing’s team and set up one long table for 75 guests. A selection of charcuterie will start the evening — only fitting, since it’s made from meat raised on the surrounding hills. Four courses and four more beers will follow over a few relaxing hours. For those who’d rather not drive to the country and park in a pasture, Asheville Brews Cruise will be offering a shuttle (which must be purchased separately).

Mother Earth Brewing and Rhubarb Beer Dinner $60, Rhubarb, Thursday, May 29, 6:30-10 p.m. (after-hours hangout starting at 10 p.m.), The staple Mother Earth Brewing beers can always be found around Asheville, but this dinner will give diners a chance to sample some of its harder-to-find brews, including a cask offering. If you can’t make the dinner, you can stop by afterward for a special bar menu and pay-per-pint beer.



Riverbend Malt House and All Souls Pizza: Grazing in the Grass $60 All Souls Pizza, Wednesday, May 28, 6-10 p.m., 254-0169 All Souls has done such a stellar job not only with pizzas but also with polentas, sandwiches and fermented foods that it’s hard to believe it’s less than a year old. Yet this will be the first full spring and summer where we get to enjoy its outdoor space. All Souls plans to kick off the outdoor-dining season with what’s sure to be one of the most interesting dinners of Beer Week. In addition to Riverbend malts in beers from Hi-Wire, Oyster House and Burial, expect to see some creative uses of grain. For example, Fonta Flora’s Todd Boera plans to send a fermented malt vinegar, Asheville Fungi is providing mushrooms grown in malt rootlets and other cast-aside malt pieces, and French Broad Chocolate Lounge is doing chocolate featuring malt pieces.

Wicked Weed V: Five Breweries. Five Courses. Five Rare Beers $75, Wicked Weed Brewing, Tuesday, May 27, 6:30-9:30 p.m.,

Wicked Weed Brewing’s V beer dinner was one of the quickest sellouts last year. It’s sure to be the same story this time around, but ask your friends or check online for a last-minute ticket. While this year’s guest breweries include such familiar names as Dogfish Head, Stone, Allagash and NoDa, the beers will be anything but ordinary. Everyone will bring something hard to find, and the chefs at Wicked Weed will build a menu around those selections. When Wicked Weed says, “Prepare to be excited by what we have on tap,” it’s best to listen.


Catawba Brewing and FIG Bistro: Block Party Pairing Dinner $50, FIG Bistro, Sunday, May 25, 6-9 p.m., 277-0889 Last year, FIG Bistro was the venue for the big reveal about Catawba’s Asheville tasting room. This year, the two are teaming up again. FIG chef Jerami Jones will work with Catawba owners Billy and Scott Pyatt to match five courses with five beers. They’ll also go a step beyond the standard pour by developing a unique beer cocktail with the FIG mixology team. Billy and Scott will both be on hand to answer questions and talk about their future plans in Asheville. MOUNTAINX.COM/BEER






Sierra Nevada and Sunny Point Café Beer Dinner

IPA Night with Foothills Brewing and Sierra Nevada

$55, Sunny Point Café, Wednesday, May 28, first seating 6 p.m., second seating 7:30 p.m., 252-0055

No entry fee: pay per beer or dish, Jack of the Wood, Thursday, May 29, 8 p.m., jackofthewood. com

Sierra Nevada is to pale ale what Sunny Point is to huevos rancheros. These two companies are simply at the top of their game when it comes to delicious food and beer. Special guests from Sierra Nevada will join Sunny Point chef April Moon for a brief garden-tour happy hour followed by a multicourse meal.

Considering the hosts, you can expect Torpedo and Hoppyum to be flowing. However, both breweries also plan to bring harder-to-find IPAs. Meanwhile, Jack of the Wood will provide a range of small plates designed to complement (and contrast with) IPAs.

Twin Leaf Brewery and The Barleycorn Beer Dinner

The Junction Third Anniversary BBQ Bash, Featuring Foothills Brewing

$55, The Barleycorn, Tuesday, May 27, doors open at 6 p.m.; dinner 7-10 p.m., Sunny Point and Sierra Nevada may be the sure thing, but it’s always fun to check out the new kids on the block. One of Asheville’s newest breweries teams up with The Barleycorn, a recent West Asheville addition, on a four-course beer dinner. Twin Leaf will be bringing a combination of house favorites, such as its Belgian-style wit and tripel, and rarer beers like Mexican Chocolate Stout. The Barleycorn will pair them with such dishes as pan-seared scallops with beer jus and succotash, stuffed loin of rabbit, and a raspberry-and-orange trifle. Twin Leaf Brewery

Hi-Wire and Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian Beer Dinner $50, Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian, Tuesday, May 27, 5-9 p.m., 253-1077 Beer and pizza go hand in hand. Yet we rarely see beer on the menu with anything else that’s even remotely Italian. Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian is taking a bold step here with the week’s only Italian-food-and-craft-beer dinner. The chefs will match some of the brews with beer-infused dishes, like pale-ale-poached shrimp and pesto bruschetta. Other dishes will see beers intermingling with more classic Italian fare, such as fettuccine in a Marsala cream sauce. Hi-Wire will bring an assortment of its favorites as well as a brand-new rum-barrel-aged scotch ale.

The LAB Presents Super Hero Beer Dinners No. 1 and No. 2


Catawba Brewing and French Broad Chocolates: Truffle & Beer Pairing

$45 ($80 per couple), $45 ($80 per couple), Lexington Avenue Brewery, Tuesday, May 27, 6-9 p.m.; Wednesday, May 28, 6-9 p.m.,

$20, Catawba Brewing Co.’s Asheville Tasting Room, Tuesday, May 27, 6-7 p.m., eventbrite. com/e/french-broad-chocolates-catawbabrewing-present-a-truffle-beer-pairing-tickets-11330127717

Are you sick of fancy beer dinners? Or just sick of leaving your cape (or your Spider-Man costume) at home? Then the LAB’s Super Hero Beer Dinner is the meal for you. This six-course event is sure to be out of the ordinary. Costumes are encouraged, and a variety of short performances will take place throughout the evening. LAB’s beer dinners have proved popular in the past, so the restaurant is offering both Tuesday and Wednesday seatings to accommodate all of Asheville’s heroes.

If you’d rather eat at home during Beer Week and just grab a dessert pairing instead, French Broad Chocolates and Catawba Brewing are your one-and-only option. Four decadent French Broad truffles will be paired with four Catawba beers in an interactive tasting. According to the organizers, “You’ll be able to share opinions, moans and pure joy with your fellow chocolate and beer lovers.” You’ll also learn about truffle making and the differences between cacao from different countries. MOUNTAINX.COM/BEER

No entry fee: pay per beer or dish (reservations encouraged), The Junction, Tuesday, May 27, 6-10 p.m., As The Junction enters its third year, it’s no longer a secret that this River Arts District restaurant turns out some of the most interesting plates in town. And thanks to recent partnerships with New Belgium and Hi-Wire, it’s no stranger to beer, either. Expect perfectly paired food and beer options from chef Chad Kelly and the Junction team alongside a selection of Foothills beers. A portion of the proceeds and raffle ticket sales will benefit Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

A Night with Anderson Valley Brewing, No entry fee: pay per beer or dish, Jack of the Wood, Tuesday, May 27, 8 p.m., Anderson Valley Brewing Co. plans to bring a sampling of its farmhouse-inspired beers, including hard-to-find sours. Jack of the Wood will serve up a selection of complementary small bites.

Stone Brewing Soirée No entry fee: pay per beer or dish, Jack of the Wood, Wednesday, May 28, 8 p.m., Stone Brewing Co. plans to throw a big bash at Jack of the Wood, with plenty of special beers on tap and a surprise firkin. There’ll also be live music and food specials to round out the program. X



by Gina Smith

ALL IN THE FAMILY ASHEVILLE’S BREWERY CULTURE BUILDS COMMUNITY surrounding region). So it’s clear that these mountains are home to a healthy population of brew hounds with a hankering for handcrafted suds. And though many local beers can be found on tap at area restaurants and bars, some breweries don’t distribute beyond their own boundaries or even offer take-home options like growlers. This means that if you want to sample Burial’s Skillet Donut Stout, you must be up for a little taproom socializing. “I think taprooms separate themselves from bars specifically because you might not be able to get their product anywhere else,” says Lookout Brewing co-owner John Garcia. “Ours in particular you can’t get anywhere else in the world.” Guests at Lookout in Black Mountain can take their favorite flavors home in quartsize Mason jars, but Garcia and his wife, Alison, don’t bottle or can their beer for wider distribution.


Adam McCrary, left, with wife, Lauren, and son, Abram, on vacation from Chattanooga, Tenn., at Wicked Weed Brewing

n a field flush with fresh grass and rimmed with friendly shade trees, a sizable crowd has gathered to watch local favorites The Secret B-Sides unleash some soulful tunes from an outdoor stage. It’s early on a Friday evening, and The Meadow is speckled with a patchwork quilt of picnic blankets harboring lawn chairs, food containers and the occasional dog. A gray-haired couple sporting matching straw hats holds hands and sways to the music. Children run in loud, gleeful packs, veering off occasionally to climb a tree or kick a ball around, while adults stand in loose groups, talking and sipping pints of amber beer. The aroma of smoked meat and



deep-fried edibles beckons from a pair of food trucks stationed at the perimeter. It could be a scene from LEAF or some other local festival, but it’s actually a weekly happening known to many locals as simply “Fridays at Highland.” With its flat, open outdoor area, free live music and laid-back, welcoming vibe, Highland Brewing Co. is just one of numerous craft breweries in the region that, for many, have come to be about much more than just the artisanal beer.

IF WE BREW IT, THEY WILL COME Local breweries run the gamut from Lookout Brewing Co.’s half-barrel, 20-gal-



lon-per-batch system and cozy, homey tasting room to Sierra Nevada’s expansive Mills River operation, with its international distribution and ambitious plans (restaurant, tasting room, estate gardens, indoor and outdoor music venues, hiking/biking trails and French Broad River kayak and tubing landings). But whatever their size or flavor, craft brewery tasting rooms are increasingly becoming regular community gathering spots for Asheville residents of all ages and walks of life. The beer, of course, is a major draw. Some 15 breweries now operate — and apparently thrive — just within the Asheville city limits (and others in the

Still, he maintains, there’s something more at work here. “Being the way we are, having our family there all the time and with Alison and me working there most of the time … it’s a place where people can meet and feel like it’s their living room and have this atmosphere that’s intimate and small, but they don’t have to [meet] at their house.” Catawba Brewing Co. co-owner Billy Pyatt says he was surprised to witness the same phenomenon when he opened a 1,700-square-foot brewery in the little town of Morganton, N.C., back in 2007. “We didn’t have a taproom or anything,” remembers Pyatt. “We were just concentrating on production. … We never realized it would become a gathering spot … but then we realized that we were seeing a lot of families, a lot of people over and over again. We had people who had met there, then got married and had the reception there. It’s just been really interesting.” Catawba embraced its role as a local, all-ages hangout in Morganton and has extended that approach to the temporary Biltmore Village tasting room the brewery opened recently. Pyatt says he hopes to create the same environment at the larger tasting room and brewery the company intends to build across the street. “Plans since Day One have been to create a community gath-




Peanuts are free at Wedge Brewing Co.

ering space with the new facility,” says Pyatt. Architectural renderings show both indoor and outdoor areas with a German beer garden feel and plenty of room for socializing. Grant DaSantos, Highland’s tasting room manager, says The Meadow, with its outdoor bar and stage, evolved in a similar fashion. About five years ago, he recalls, the company opened a small taproom in the back corner of its East Asheville production facility (an area he and other Highland employees jokingly dubbed “the prison yard” because of its barbed-wire-topped chain-link enclosure). DaSantos decided to book bands to play free shows starting at 6 p.m. for folks who couldn’t make it out to local music venues with 10 or 11 p.m. start times. “People started bringing their families, because it was a convenient time, and we thought, ‘How cool!’” he explains. “We had to ask ourselves, ‘Do we want to be a kid-friendly place?’ And we all agreed that it would be pretty neat. I mean, in some countries, that’s pretty standard.”

SYNERGY West Asheville cabinetmaker Terry White finds elements of his native London’s pub life at Wedge Brewing Co., his favorite Asheville hangout. “The typical English person is always looking 10

to find a pub,” says White. “I’ve got a lot of friends at the Wedge that are German, Belgian, French. It’s just a really good meeting place, and you can bring your family too.” He’s quick to add, however, “The Wedge is particularly good, because they have really good beer.” Leah Mathews, an economics professor at UNC Asheville, frequently visits local breweries with her husband, who works for Sierra Nevada. During a recent study she conducted of local tailgate markets, Mathews, an applied environmental economist, found that the social interactions and community-building aspects influence purchasing behavior and are crucial to bringing customers back week after week. She sees the same dynamic at work in breweries. “As an observer,” says Mathews, “I think there are aspects of microbreweries in Asheville that make them what we might call ‘third places’: a place where you can gather that’s not work and not home, where you can meet up with people you won’t necessarily encounter at work or home but who you want to cultivate relationships with.” Peter Nieckarz, an associate professor of sociology at Western Carolina University, likes to hang out at Sylva’s recently opened Innovation Brewing. He believes taproom socializing is part of a broader reaction against an increasingly globalized, homogeneous culture.



Outside Wedge Brewing Co.

“People don’t want to just drink Budweiser or even Heineken anymore,” says Nieckarz. “They want to feel connected to the places where they live, and they’re ready for something different. They find this difference in craft brew … and it becomes this community-embedded thing where people have to drive to the Wedge or to French Broad and get their growler. Oftentimes when I buy my growler, I will sit down and have a pint or two, and it just feels very organic, very natural. You get to know the other people, and chances are the people in that brewery feel the same way you do about investing in your local community, and I think there’s a lot of synergy there.”

BRING THE KIDS AND DOGS Many breweries, notes Nieckarz, now have business models aimed at nourishing that synergy. They do it, he says, by creating an atmosphere reminiscent of The Bywater, a River Arts District bar that offers outdoor recreation areas, picnic tables and the option of bringing or even cooking your own food. “The people who drink craft brew tend to be a little older, in their late 20s, 30s, 40s; they tend to be middle-class and often have children,” Nieckarz explains. “If you want those people to come drink your beer, you have to welcome a family environment, and most of these breweries in WNC have done that — made it a place where you can sit on

Dirty Jack’s

a Saturday afternoon, bring your children and not feel ostracized or feel like you’re being a bad parent.” Indeed, most Asheville-area brewery taprooms are both kid- and dog-friendly, and many actively encourage families and pet owners to hang out by providing things like toys; games; juice, sodas and snacks for the kids; and water bowls (and sometimes even doggie treats) for the canine contingent. Many breweries also feature familyfriendly closing times — often as early as 8 p.m. — offering free music and other activities earlier in the day, when families are more likely to be out and about. East Asheville resident Amy Tepper and her two young daughters, Rae and Cora, can often be found dancing to the music in Highland’s Meadow on Friday evenings. “There are people from our neighborhood who go there, and other families,” she says. “My kids can interact with their peers, and I get time to socialize with my peers.” Tepper, a single parent, also notes that Highland’s free music and community atmosphere give her an option for an evening out that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. “I can go there and have a beer, get my kids a pizza and, you know, have a Friday night. … I can’t afford to go out and see a band and pay a baby sitter. … And I know Downtown After 5 is free, but it gets crazy down there.” At Highland, she continues, “There’s usually someone there I know, and I feel like it’s a

“There’s usually someone there I know, and I feel like it’s a community: It’s family-friendly, not just a lot of people getting drunk.” — EAST ASHEVILLE RESIDENT AMY TEPPER

community: It’s family-friendly, not just a lot of people getting drunk.” Jacqui Castle, a mother of two who recently moved to Asheville from Portland, Ore., says it’s this feeling of community that sets Asheville’s brewery scene apart. She paused to talk with Xpress as she and her family packed up their picnic blanket after their first visit to Highland’s Meadow — a practice she says they plan to make a weekly tradition. “There are a lot of family-friendly places in Portland,” she says, “but what we don’t have there is the small, community feel that we have here. There aren’t many places you can take the kids and hang out with friends and feel like you don’t have to be watching them every second. … We all look out for each other; it’s amazing. It makes it such a relaxing experience for everybody.”

KEEPING IT SAFE But does the mix of potent beer, children and dogs ever create problems? “We worry, because we want everyone to be safe, so we’re constantly looking for potential safety hazards,” says Leah Wong Ashburn, Highland’s vice president. “It’s impossible to make an industrial manufacturing facility 100 percent safe, so we’re really trying to find balances, and the closer parents can keep an eye on their kids, that helps,” continues Ashburn, the daughter of company founder Oscar Wong. To that end her husband, Brock, has devoted himself to clearing The Meadow’s wooded area of poison ivy and other potential fun killers. The contractor and engineer also tries to keep an eye out for other technical issues that need attention.

“Most places don’t really encourage families, because it’s a lot to keep up with,” says DaSantos, speaking about tasting rooms elsewhere in the U.S. “But I think it helps our vibe. We don’t really have to deal with any drunkards, because it has that natural family environment and everyone’s here just to relax.” And John Garcia says with a laugh, “I’ve had a few dogfights and a couple of kid fights, but no more than you’d find at a local playground or anywhere else.” His taproom at Lookout has the feel of a family living room, with chess boards and other games indoors, free popcorn and a cozy fire pit on the outdoor patio. “I find that introducing [kids and dogs] to the atmosphere definitely changes it from that of a bar. I worked in a bar for quite a while, and it’s just different,” he says. “We don’t have as many people who are there to get drunk. We have people who are there to enjoy a great product. Instead of asking, ‘How many of these can I drink?’ people say, ‘I’m going to try a couple of these and then we’ll probably go on our way.’”

SOCIAL CAPITAL Ultimately, these brew-centric venues are much more than watering holes for beer aficionados. By offering places where folks of all ages and walks of life can congregate and connect, breweries may be doing their communities a real service. “Opportunities to establish, maintain and foster social ties,” says Nieckarz, “tend to strengthen communities and build social capital, which can result in further opportunities for community improvement.” Pyatt, meanwhile, says building community around a pint glass may just be human nature. Before launching his brewing career, Pyatt traveled the globe for 27 years as a marketing executive, and in places like Germany, Austria and France, he saw a similar dynamic at work. After you travel for a while, he says, “You start looking at how people gather: It’s coffee shops and beer gardens. This is not a new phenomenon; this has been with us since antiquity. Folks have been doing it forever.” Gina Smith can be reached at 251-1333, ext. 107, or at

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by David Ackley

LIKE A LOCAL HOW ASHEVILLEANS CELEBRATE THEIR BREWS Asheville has one of the best beer scenes around, but also one of the quirkiest. Wondering how the locals celebrate craft beer? Check out the tips below: Bring your baby. It’s surprisingly common to see people with their babies at bars and breweries around town. (Makes you wonder how many bars and breweries are indirectly responsible for said babies.) Let the kids run wild at Highland Brewing Co.’s Meadow, play games at Asheville Brewing Co. or Burial Beer Co., or enjoy some free popcorn at Lookout Brewing Co. in Black Mountain. There’s no reason Asheville Beer Week can’t be fun for the whole family. Bring your dog. Fido is welcome at many local establishments, especially breweries. You might even catch a pup

behind the bar at Twin Leaf Brewery. Let your mutt hydrate at the water tap at Wicked Weed Brewing’s downstairs patio. Just about anywhere you go, your happy hound is welcome. Fair warning: Pets are not allowed at Beer City Fest. Let your beard hang low. Something about beer seems to bring out the beards. They will be out in all their hairy glory all week long, so be sure to let yours go wild. What’s that? You don’t have a beard? There’s a great shop on Broadway that sells those stick-on mustaches. Yes, that will do nicely. Get your homebrew on. Just Brew It is the official Asheville Beer Week kickoff event, a massive homebrew festival with over 50 area homebrewers serving up more than 200 creative concoctions.

Wicked Weed Brewing

You might come across a hibiscus wit, a triple IPA, a poblano porter and a honey saison in a matter of minutes. It’s all fair game at Just Brew It. The event supports the local nonprofit Just Economics, an organization that works to implement living wages throughout Western North Carolina. Is your favorite brewery living-wage certified? Hang out at your favorite local brewery. If you do nothing else all week, get out and support your favorite local brewery. Don’t have a favorite yet? Consider a Brews Cruise, Asheville Brewery Tour or a downtown pub crawl to help you in your “research.” Spot the biking nun or the Pubcycle. Spend much time in Asheville, and you’re bound to see some interesting sights — a man in drag dressed as a 12



nun riding a bike, for example. “Sister Bad Habit” makes a regular fly-by to the Thirsty Monk. We also have a Pubcycle in town — a 13-person, pedal-powered mobile bar. Book the Pubcycle or a LaZoom comedy bus tour (both BYOB) for a one-ofa-kind Asheville Beer Week experience. Use the #AVLBeerWeek hashtag. Share the fun by tagging all your beer week updates with #AVLBeerWeek. It’s a good way to keep up with what’s happening around town. Come back next year. You’re just about guaranteed to have a great time at Asheville Beer Week. So go ahead: Put it in the book for next year. You’ll be glad you did. David Ackley is an Asheville-based writer and marketing consultant with a passion for promoting the craft beer industry.X

BEER EVENTS eries and Belgian beer — in this unique event. Sure, there will be breweries you can’t normally find in Asheville among the 20 to 30 invitees, including Outer Banks Brewing and Fullsteam. However, even our own team will be bringing some Belgians you just won’t see anywhere else, like Oskar Blues’ Tickled Pink Raspberry Saison and Nantahala Brewing Co.’s Devils Courthouse Belgian Golden Strong.


Multibottle Release Party 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Wicked Weed Brewing, free entry, pay per beer,

Ben and Lauren Jones of Winston-Salem, N.C. in The Meadow at Highland Brewing Co.


Menage-A-Freak Release Party Noon-11:30 p.m., Wicked Weed Brewing, free entry, pay per beer, Just like Christmas, Wicked Weed’s Triple IPA comes but once a year. And though the name of the beer has changed (last year it was Freak of Nature), not much else has: It’s still made with nearly 100 pounds of hops and weighs in at an intense 11 percent ABV. It won’t be released in bottles or distributed: It’s just Wicked Weed’s way of saying, “Happy Beer Week.” To help celebrate the release and to kick off the week, Wicked Weed’s party will feature the Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Fest. The beer will be tapped at noon, but the kickoff party starts at 6 p.m.

Catawba Pint Night 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Creekside Taphouse, no entry fee, pay per beer,, If you’re looking to ease into Beer Week instead of jumping in feet first, head to East Asheville favorite the Creekside Taphouse for a lower-key Friday evening. Catawba is the featured brewery all month, which means $3 pints day in and day out. On Friday, however, brewer Kevin Sondey will be hanging out to talk beer and give away Catawba goodies.

Thirsty Fest: North Carolina Belgian Beer Festival 6-9 p.m., Thirsty Monk North (Reynolds Village), $15 ($50 in combination with May 28 Thirsty Fest: Not So Big BIG Beer Festival), Beer Week ends with the big Beer City Festival on May 31, so why not kick it off with a festival as well? Thirsty Monk combines two of its favorite things — North Carolina brew-

If you’re looking for something to do in the morning, or if you’re skipping Just Brew It, two bottle-release events are worth a look. The earliest one is hosted by Wicked Weed, which has held a few popular bottle-release events this spring. For Beer Week, it’s ratcheting it up with double the fun. At press time, the two beers hadn’t been announced, but it’s a smart bet to show up early, as the first 100 people will get in as VIPs ahead of the 11 a.m. official start time for bottle sales. There’ll be live music throughout the day, and the beers will run $10.95 to $12.95 per bottle.

Ringmaster’s Reserve Bottle Release Party 11 a.m., Hi-Wire Brewing, free entry, pay per beer/per breakfast, reservations: The second bottle-release event is at Hi-Wire, whose immediate success has been due in large part to its signature lager. On Saturday, however, Hi-Wire will debut a new series that walks on the wilder side. Ringmaster Reserve offerings will be limited-release, “envelopepushing” beers in 750 mL bottles. The first one is a wine-barrel-aged Belgian IPA, so Hi-Wire is celebrating with a Belgian breakfast. Expect Belgian waffles and pommes frites — and, of course, first crack at the bottles.

Escape from Beer City: The Wild West Mobile Cruise 1-6:30 p.m., Asheville Brews Cruise, tour departs from Vance Monument, $75,


If you think you’ve seen all there is to see in town, Asheville Brews Cruise is ready to take you beyond the city limits. From the Vance Monument, the tour immediately heads west: first to Sylva, where “Gnometown” favorite Heinzelmännchen Brewery will pour a variety of Germanand American-inspired beers. Then it’s down the street to newcomer Innovation Brewing to sample both traditional and more experimental beers. The next stops will be in Waynesville, where local brewers Frog Level and BearWaters will be the hosts. The trip will end where it began — which, if you’re not already beered out, happens to be just down the street from Wicked Weed’s event.

Just Brew It Homebrew Festival 2-5 p.m.,Wedge Brewing Co., $20 and up (tickets available only in advance) From massive lines to hordes of people trying their best to get their money’s worth, outdoor beer festivals can get out of control. Just Brew It has been the complete opposite of that for years. For a reasonable $20 donation, you get to walk around, sample beer and talk to some of the best homebrewers the area has to offer. (And we’re talking about Asheville, where some of these folks have been brewing since long before it was popular … or even legal!) While there are certainly the rare and wild — chamomile wheat or blueberry stout, anyone? — there are also exceptional IPAs, Pilsners and even a cider or two mixed in among the 100-plus beers. To put the cherry on top, the entry fee is a donation to one of the area’s hardest-working local nonprofits, Just Economics.

Trail Mix: fundraiser for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy 3-11:30 p.m., Altamont Brewing Co., no entry fee, pay per beer, What better way to start Beer Week than by moving from one fundraising event to another? After the Just Brew It Festival, head over to Altamont for a bit of live music and a full pint after a day of small sips. More than a dozen small-batch and specialty taps from regional brewers will be pouring.



Catawba’s 15th Anniversary Luau and King Coconut Release Party 4-10 p.m., Catawba Brewing Co.’s Asheville Tasting Room, Free entry, pay per beer, Catawba Brewing Co. may have been born in Morganton, but it has been serving beer in Asheville ever since. Fifteen years later, Catawba was finally able to open its first tasting room within the city limits. Help Catawba celebrate this momentous occasion luau style. King Coconut porter, one of Catawba’s most sought-after beers, will be pouring for the first time in about a year; a whole pig will be roasted, and Con Tiki will provide island tunes starting around 4 p.m.


Sunday Beer Run with Bruisin’ Ales, LaZoom and The Feral Chihuahuas 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. departures, departs from Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.’s Coxe Avenue location, $28,

The patio at Highland Brewing Co.




For the third straight Beer Week, the Sunday Funday dream team is back. Bruisin’ Ales and The Feral Chihuahuas will hop on the bus and join the LaZoom crew for their once-a-year, beer-centric tour of Asheville. For the 2014 edition, LaZoom says the bus will be hot on the case of a notorious international beer assassin. Detective Lazer McSteel and the Feralton Police Force must solve the case to restore order to Beer City. Unlike most LaZoom tours, this one includes two free on-bus local beers for anyone 21 and up. And note that the tour itself is only for those 18 and up, as there’ll be adult language and “intense torture scenes … with wieners,” according to LaZoom.

Westside Fest 1:30-5 p.m., Urban Orchard Cider Co., $23, While most of Beer Week focuses on, well, beer, the Westside Fest looks to do something a bit different. The inaugural edition will take place in the courtyard at Urban Orchard Cider Co. and include craft cider and kombucha in addition to craft beer. The invitees draw heavily from West Asheville: Altamont, Oyster House, New Belgium, Wedge and, of course, Urban Orchard will all be in attendance. They’ve also invited Noble Hard Cider and Black Mountain Ciderworks. Tickets include unlimited cider and beer samples, and special infusions and cider cocktails will also be available. Live music and food will round out the fest — check the website for last-minute details.

Spread Like Wildfire: Dogwood Alliance Benefit 2-9 p.m., Twin Leaf Brewery, free entry, pay per beer, With a name like Twin Leaf, you’d expect the brewery owners to be passionate about the outdoors. Tim and Steph Weber love exploring local trails by hike or by bike whenever they’re not brewing, so issues like forest destruction and deforestation are always top of mind. To help raise awareness of those issues, a portion of all beer sales at this event will benefit the Dogwood Alliance. Twin Leaf will also release a special Wildfire Chili Ale featuring poblano, ancho and arbol chilis. They say they want to spread the word like wildfire that burning trees as “renewable” energy is not the answer to finding an alternative to fossil fuels.

Local Beer and Cheese Tasting 3:30 p.m., Weinhaus, $15,, 254-6453 The Cheese Store of Asheville will provide a variety of cheeses for Weinhaus experts to pair with various local beers. RSVPs are encouraged.


Innovation Brewing IPA Tap Takeover 4-11 p.m., Innovation Brewing (Sylva); no cost to attend, pay per beer; If you’re looking for a good excuse to check out Sylva’s newest brewery, Innovation

will be pouring five of its own IPAs in pints or flights.

Sierra Nevada Presents: Drinking in the Dark 6:30-10 p.m., Thirsty Monk (downtown), $20, You’re tired of food and beer pairings. You’ve had all the IPAs before. You’ve experimented with sours. Wait a minute ... is your beer-tasting life getting boring? Spice things up with this unusual event — probably the only one in Beer Week that comes with a blindfold. At certain times during this guided experience, you’ll be asked to use it to taste a variety of beers without seeing them. Get in tune with the rest of your senses, and find out what you smell and taste when you’re quite literally left in the dark. Sierra Nevada Beer Ambassador Bill Manley will be the evening’s host. Wicked Weed Brewing


Ben’s Beer Carnival

Monk and Oskar Blues even produced a collaboration beer that will debut here: No Country for Old Hops.

5 p.m.-2 a.m., Ben’s Tune-up, free to attend, pay per beer,, events/320266164787278

Catawba Brewing Growler Takeover

Ben’s beer garden has quickly become one of the go-to places to grab a brew outdoors. True, much of the magic comes from the courtyard itself — from the landscaping to your fellow imbibers — but Ben’s also tends to have a solid draft list, and it just released its first four house sakes as well. On Tuesday, May 27, Ben’s will throw a big bash and invite a dozen breweries to bring their best. Expect carnival acts, music and other oddities alongside beers like Left Hand Brewing Co.’s Smokejumper smoked imperial porter and Great Divide’s oak-aged Yeti imperial stout.

Thirsty Monk/Oskar Blues Trolley Crawl 5-10 p.m., Starting at Thirsty Monk (downtown), free trolley ride, but must reserve a seat and pay per beer, What’s better than a pub crawl? A pub crawl where the Oskar Blues trolley takes you from pub to pub, of course. Departing from downtown, the trolley will drive participants to four Thirsty Monk locations — including the new Woodfin venue — and Oskar Blues will tap a special beer at each one. Thirsty

5-9 p.m., Asheville Growler, free to attend, pay per growler fill or beer, events/320266164787278 Catawba head brewer Kevin Sondey will be on hand, and all Catawba fills will come with a free Catawba growler.


Hop Domination Challenge 3-9 p.m., Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co., no entry fee, $7 for a 7-beer flight, For the past couple of months, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. has been releasing the same beer with one key change: A different variety of hops is used for each release. Weekly contests have been rewarding those with discriminating palates, but for Beer Week, APB is issuing the ultimate challenge: Guess four out of seven and win a beer prize pack. Identify all seven, and you can become a “hop legend” at Asheville Brewing.

Asheville Beer Week Pint Night 4-11:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk (downtonw, Biltmore Park, Gerber Village and Reynolds Village), free to attend, pay per beer, Did you miss out on that beer that Wicked Weed brewed with New Belgium? And who was it who teamed up to make a white IPA? Catch up on any partnerships you’ve missed at this pint night, where Thirsty Monk will showcase many of the beer collaborations produced by Asheville breweries during the past year.

Goose Island Pint Night 4-11:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk (Biltmore Park), free to attend, pay per beer, Before you yawn, thinking this will be a night of beers like 312 Urban Wheat and Honkers Ale, remember where it’s taking place. Thirsty Monk has invited Goose Island to bring its MOUNTAINX.COM/BEER



Saison Tap Takeover

opportunity to check out which small-batch beers Highland has on tap, and $1 per pint goes to Veterans Helping Veterans of WNC.

Wicked Weed deserves a lot of credit for popularizing saison, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale, in Asheville. It always keeps a few rotating on draft, but for the Saison Tap Takeover it’s promising more than a baker’s dozen. Of course there’ll be considerable variety, with everything from Appalachian Saison (with sweet potato and grits) to Puer Saison (fermented Chinese black tea). If you’re nuts enough, you can enlist a friend and sample the whole collection with the ultimate saison flight.

Follow the Hops

6-11 p.m.,Wicked Weed Brewing, no entry fee, pay per beer,

Carolina Cinemas and Oskar Blues “Can” Film Festival 7-9 p.m., Carolina Cinemas, free to attend, pay per beer,

best, and Goose Island has promised to deliver, with beers including the highly-sought-after Bourbon County Stout, Matilda, Lolita, Sofie and more.

Twin Leaf Brewery Mutt Mingle 4-10 p.m., Twin Leaf Brewery, free to attend, pay per beer, It’s rare to stop by Twin Leaf and not see a pup or two hanging out in the taproom, but you’re likely to see a heck of a lot more of them at this dog-centric event. It’s really as simple as it sounds: Bring your dog to the brewery to meet other dogs. There’ll be beer for the humans and complimentary doggie treats made from spent brewing grains for the pups. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Charlie’s Angels, a local animal rescue organization. (Dog and cat food donations will also be accepted.) Last but not least, some lovable and very adoptable pups will attend, ready to meet their future parents.

5 p.m.-2 a.m., Ben’s Tune-Up, Free to attend, pay per beer, Highland Brewing Co. will take over Ben’s Tune-Up to celebrate the brewery’s 20th anniversary. Highland staff will be on hand with commemorative pint glasses and other merchandise.

Thirsty Fest: Not So Big BIG Beer Fest 6-10 p.m., hosted by Tryon Distributing and Thirsty Monk at its future South Slope location (92 Thompson St.), $35 ($50 in combination with Thirsty Fest: North Carolina Belgian Beer Festival on 5/23), While many of Asheville Beer Week’s events celebrate local breweries, a few notable doings bring in stellar breweries and rare beers from outside the state. This is one of those events. Allagash, Avery, Bell’s, Dogfish Head, Stone, Victory and more have all provided something you’d normally find only at a really BIG beer festival. Except here, limited ticket sales will keep the crowds small, so only the beers are big. An early peek at the list showed Founders’ Boilermaker, Allagash Avancé and a tripel from Victory that was made for the Craft Brewers Conference. Organizers say that ticket holders are likely to be surprised when they find out. 2014 ASHEVILLE BEER WEEK OFFICIAL GUIDE


Beer and a 12-legged Chicken 3-11:30 p.m., Altamont Brewing Co., free to attend, pay per beer,

Highland Tap Takeover


Carolina Cinemas is always a safe bet on Wednesdays. Who can say no to a $5 movie? On Wednesday during Beer Week, however, there’s another reason to head down Hendersonville Road. A handful of local filmmakers submitted short films (three minutes or less) to be screened at this event. Attendees can sip a beer, watch the clips and vote for their favorites. “Oskars” will be given to the winners, and a variety of prizes will be awarded as well, including the chance to brew for a day at Oskar Blues in Brevard.


Altamont Brewery was a bar first and brewery second, which is worth mentioning because this neighborhood favorite knows what it’s doing when it comes to its guest taps. On this particular Thursday, Altamont has invited friends from a dozen breweries to put one of their favorite beers on tap while serving up the one and only 12-legged chicken.

Community Pint Night

4-10 p.m., Burial Beer Co. and Twin Leaf Brewery, free to attend, pay per beer, and Since Twin Leaf opened, people have slowly but surely figured out a shortcut between the two breweries. This event will highlight that shortcut in the best way possible: with a hop-marked trail. Stop by both taprooms if you want to try the full complement of IPAs they’ll be pouring. Among the dozen single-hop creations you’ll find familiar names as well as some of the new hops on the block, like Mosaic and Rakau.

Rare Belgians Tap Takeover 4-11:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk (downtown), free to attend, pay per beer, Thirty Monk’s downstairs taproom is always the place to go in town if you’re craving a Belgian brew. On Thursday, it plans to surpass its own high standards, putting some Belgians on tap that you rarely see the rest of the year. Expect offerings from Duvel, Ommegang, Chimay, Unibroue and Gouden Carolus, among others.

Can vs. Draft: Oskar Blues Blind Taste Test! 6-9 p.m., Bar of Soap, 255-7710 Does canned beer really taste different from beer fresh out of the tap? Challenge your palate with a blind tasting of Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Dale’s Pale Ale, G’Knight and Old Chub. There’ll be prizes for anyone who can correctly guess all four.

Hi-Wire Pint Night 5-11 p.m.,The Brew Pump, no entry fee, pay per beer, Check out Asheville’s only gas-station bar and collect a free Hi-Wire glass with any beer purchase. The brewery owners will be there to shake hands and kiss babies.


4-8 p.m., Highland Brewing Co., free to attend, pay per beer,

Highland Brewing Co.’s 20 Events for 20 Years

Highland Brewery invites everyone in the community to stop by for this monthly event. While it’s not beer-driven, it’s a good

10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Westville Pub, free to attend, pay per beer, Westville Pub, a West Asheville institu-

tion, has partnered with Highland on 20 events to celebrate the brewery’s 20th year in business. The 10th event falls on this Beer Week Friday. Highland will have a variety of its 20th anniversary specialty beers on tap, and Westville will bring in a number of other regional offerings. Brewery representatives will be on hand to talk beer and give away some brewery swag.

Fonta Flora Feature noon-11:30 p.m., Thirsty Monk (downtown), free to attend, pay per beer, Fonta Flora Brewery is less than an hour away in Morganton, but it’s popular in its own town, so it rarely has beer to spare for the Asheville market. It has made an exception for Beer Week, and if you stop by the Thirsty Monk on Friday you’ll find 10 of Fonta Flora’s creative offerings. It’ll pour taproom favorites like Hop Beard IPA as well as a passel of saisons.

For Love of Beer and Mountains: Razor Wit Release Party 4-9 p.m., Highland Brewing Co., free to attend, pay per beer, If you’re attending Beer Week from out of town, a stop at Highland Brewing Co., the godfather of Asheville’s beer scene, is mandatory. For its 20th anniversary, it’s releasing 20 special brews throughout the year, and it’s sure to have a couple of them on tap. On Friday, Highland will give tourists and locals alike an even bigger reason to come by: the release of its summer seasonal Razor Wit. As with all the brewery’s seasonal release, the party is thrown in partnership with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. That means a percentage of proceeds from beer sales will go toward protecting the beautiful mountains around us.

Skillet Six Ways 4-10 p.m., Burial Beer Co., free to attend, pay per beer, Explore one of Burial’s most popular brews, Skillet Donut Stout, served up with six different flavor infusions, including vanilla, coconut and raspberry. Stop by and try one before Funk Asheville — or make a night of it and order a flight of all six.

Night Flights 5-7:30 p.m., Weinhaus, $10 for a five-beer flight, While you might think of wine when you hear the word Weinhaus, they’re leaving the reds and whites on the shelf for this tasting. Five beers will be on offer, and there’ll be live music from One Leg Up, a Gypsy jazz band.

Funk Asheville: A Gathering of Wild & Sour Beers 7-10 p.m. (VIP at 6 p.m.), hosted by Pints for Prostates and Wicked Weed at the Funkitorium (147 Coxe Ave.), $80 (VIP $100), Wicked Weed has quickly made a name for itself with its sour and wild beer program. It even brought back Asheville’s first Great American Beer Festival Gold for one of its beers made with the wild yeast Brettanomyces. So when it announced that it would throw Asheville’s first sour-centric festival, it just made sense. In addition to the killer tap list — which will include special offerings from breweries like Green Man and New Belgium as well as out-of-market rarities from Crooked Stave and Cigar City Brewing — the event will also provide a sneak peek into Wicked Weed’s new Funkitorium space, which won’t open until later in the summer. A silent auction of unique beer experiences and collectible items will benefit Pints for Prostates.


Innovation Brewing’s Reggae Day Party Noon-11:30 p.m., Innovation Brewing, Free to attend, pay per beer, If a low-key day trip sounds like your ideal way to wind down Beer Week, head to MOUNTAINX.COM/BEER


BEER EVENTS Innovation Brewing’s Sylva taproom where you’ll find a reggae party in full swing. There’ll be a salsa-andbeer pairing in partnership with Soul Infusion Tea House and Bistro, while Positive Mental Attitude provides the tunes.

Beer City Festival 1-6 p.m., Roger McGuire Green, $45, With live music, unlimited beer in the middle of downtown, and tickets that go on sale to locals first at a reduced rate, it’s easy to see why the Beer City Festival has grown into one of Asheville’s most popular beer events. In many ways, it’s like a big block party to kick off the summer. As usual, the brewery list is heavily weighted toward local and regional, though Brooklyn Brewery, DuckRabbit, Green Flash, Lagunitas and more will also be pouring. The live music lineup will feature The Jamar Woods Acoustic Band, The Resolvers and Flow Tribe.

Escape from Beer City: The East Side Mobile Cruise 1:30-5:30 p.m., Asheville Brews Cruise, meet at Vance Monument, $60, ashevillebrewscruise. com Maybe you missed out on Beer City Festival tickets, and you’re bitter. Or maybe you just can’t stand the crowds. Whatever the case, if you’re looking to get out of Dodge on the day of the big event, RSVP and meet the Brews Cruise team at the Vance Monument. From there, you’ll be whisked out of town to the HopN-Blueberry Farm, a seventh-generation family farm specializing in hops, blueberries, medicinal herbs and pollination. After touring the beautiful land with pint in hand, you’ll head to Lookout Brewing Co. — Black Mountain’s newest brewery and a big proponent of using local hops. The last stop will be Pisgah Brewing, for a brewery tour and a taste in their taproom, where they always serve up far more beers than what you see around town.

Catawba’s Post Festival Night Funk Jam!

New and Old T-Shirts for $10

6-10 p.m., Catawba Brewing Co.’s Asheville Tasting Room, free to attend, pay per beer,

Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co.,

Even though the Beer City Festival ends relatively early (6 p.m.), there’s never been a formal afterparty. Catawba aims to change that. It’ll keep the beer flowing and the live music funky with Asheville’s own Jamar Woods.

If you don’t have a Shiva shirt, or if you want to get some Christmas shopping done really early, Asheville PIzza & Brewing Co. will have all its shirts on sale for $10 during Beer Week, including three brand-new designs.


Sammies and Suds

Flights and Bites and $3 Pints

Asheville Sandwich Co., free to attend, pay per beer,

Lexington Avenue Brewery,

Asheville Sandwich should probably be a stop on your Beer Week itinerary at some point: After all, it has sandwiches with fries built right in. But this week, Asheville Sandwich is giving you another reason to pop in: creative beer pairings. Featured breweries include Burial, Catawba, Frog Level, Hi-Wire, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada and Twin Leaf. Oh, and if you’re one of the first 20 people to enjoy that day’s special, you can also win a beer-related prize. X

If you haven’t been to the LAB in a while, stop by during Beer Week and see what the new head brewers are up to. They’ve retooled a few favorites and brought a few additional styles to LAB, including a Belgian-style tripel and a hop-burst ultrahoppy pale ale. All pints will be $3 during Beer Week. And since they just rolled out a new spring menu, they’ll also be offering a three-beer/three-small-bite combination each day for $9.

ASHEVILLE french fry




beer week sandwich 23-31 it’s breakfast time pairings in west may asheville: Fri 5/23: Sierra Nevada, Summerfest AleSeared tilapia w/preserved lemon fennel slaw, kale, fried chickpeas, cilantro aioli. Sat 5/24: Hi-Wire, Saison--Fried calamari w/ romesco mayo, frisee, pepperocini/tomato relish Sun 5/25: Altamont, Red IPA--Smoked paprika rare-seared beef tenderloin w/ arugula, roasted beets, herbed chE‘vre, red wine vinaigrette. Mon 5/26: Catawba, Ted’s Cream Ale/ Firewater IPA/ White Zombie White Ale--Grilled Bratwurst w/ sautE’ed onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, cheddar cheese, Lusty Monk mustard. Tue 5/27: Burial beer co, Rye Pale Ale-Cured corned beef, house made pickles, aged cheddar, red onion, dijon mustard.

Wed 5/28: Oskar Blues, Gubna Double IPA-Parmesan encrusted chicken, roasted tomatoes, fried artichoke hearts, housemade fresh mozzerella, lemon-basil aioli. Thur 5/29: New Belgium, Summer Helles and Snapshot--Sesame encrusted rare-seared tuna, soy mushrooms, cucumber slaw, spinach, fried wontons. Fri 5/30: Twin Leaf, White Belgian/ESB-Donor kebab slow-roasted shaved lamb, marinated onion, house pickled banana peppers, roma tomatoes, tzatziki. On pita. Sat 5/31: Frog Level, Jalapen˜o Amber Ale-Braised pork belly, wilted greens, avocado, pickled jalapen˜os, overnight tomatoes, roasted chili aioli.

starts at noon each day at haywood rd location


enka/candler: 491 sardis Road, 633-6299, 7am-7pm, mon-sat


1987 Hendersonville Road • Mon-Thu: 11am - 8pm • Fri-Sat: 11am - 9pm

West Asheville: 794 Haywood Road, 252-0110, 11am - 10pm, 7 days


(828) 676-3060




WHERE IT’S ALL HAPPENING ALL SOUL’S PIZZA 175 Clingman Ave., 254-0169, ALTAMONT BREWING CO. 1042 Haywood Road, 575-2400, ASHEVILLE PIZZA AND BREWING CO. 77 Coxe Ave., 255-4077, ASHEVILLE PIZZA AND BREWING CO. 675 Merrimon Ave. 254-1281, ASHEVILLE BREWS CRUISE Various locations, 545-5181, ASHEVILLE GROWLER 660 Merrimon Ave., 774-5115, ASHEVILLE SANDWICH CO. 794 Haywood Road, 252-0110, BAR OF SOAP 333 Merrimon Ave., 255-7710, BEN’S TUNE UP 195 Hilliard Ave., 424-7580, BULL AND BEGGAR 37 Paynes Way, 575-9443,

KING JAMES PUBLIC HOUSE 94 Charlotte St., 252-2412, LAZOOM TOURS, kick off at French Broad Food Co-op, 225-6932, LEXINGTON AVENUE BREWERY 39 N. Lexington Ave., 252-0212,

THE BREW PUMP 760 Haywood Road, 774-5550, brewpump THE JUNCTION 348 Depot St., No. 190, 225-3497, the THIRSTY MONK Biltmore Park 2 Town Square Blvd., 687-3873, THIRSTY MONK Downtown 92 Patton Ave., 254-5470,

THIRSTY MONK NORTH, Reynolds Village 51 N. Merrimon Ave.,

HICKORY NUT GAP FARM 57 Sugar Hollow Road, Fairview, 628-1027, HIGHLAND BREWING CO. 12 Old Charlotte Highway, 299-3370,

THE BARLEYCORN 697A Haywood Road, 774-5598,

CAROLINA CINEMA 1640 Hendersonville Road, 274-9500,

FIG BISTRO 18 Brook St. 277-0889,

O N L IN E !

SUNNY POINT CAFÉ 626 Haywood Road, 252-0055,

THIRSTY MONK Future Brewery 92 Thompson St.,

CREEKSIDE TAPHOUSE 8 Beverly Road, 575-2880,


RHUBARB 7 SW Pack Square, 785-1503,

BURIAL BEER 40 Collier Ave., 475-2739,



THIRSTY MONK SOUTH, Gerber Village 20 Gala Drive, 505-4564, TWIN LEAF BREWERY 144 Coxe Ave., 774-5000, URBAN ORCHARD CIDER CO. 210 Haywood Road, 774-5151, VINNIE’S NEIGHBORHOOD ITALIAN 641 Merrimon Ave., 253-1077, WEDGE BREWING CO. 125B Roberts St., 505-2792, WEINHAUS 86 Patton Ave., 254-6453,

HI-WIRE BREWING 197 Hilliard Ave., 575-9675,

WESTVILLE PUB 777 Haywood Road, 225-9782,

INNOVATION BREWING 414 W. Main St., Sylva, 586-9678,

WICKED WEED BREWING 91 Biltmore Ave., 575-9599,

JACK OF THE WOOD 95 Patton Ave., 252-5445,




THE LAB MAY 23 - MAY 31 All Week

All Pints $3 Specialty entree and featured beer pairing nightly - Varying Price Wednesday - Thursday, May 27-28

Super Hero Dinner

- A six course super hero dinner show paired with LaB craft beer. 6:30PM - Call for Reservations

Monday - Thursday, May 26-29

Flights and Bites

- Mini flight (3), each paired with a small bite of creativity $9

39 N. Lexington Ave • 828-252-0212 • 20



Mountain Xpress 05.21.14 (Beer Week Guide)  
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