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BY ANNE FITTEN GLENN Lots of cities have one. Beer City, USA, however, didn’t. So some folks who love beer (a lot) decided we wanted one. Thus was born Asheville Beer Week. Over a number of pitchers of local brew, several regional beer-industry people brainstormed about what we wanted the inaugural AVL Beer Week to look like. First of all, there would be way too many events to fit into a measly seven-day week. Our week must encompass 11 beer-filled days and nights. (Did you know that beer drinkers have the ability to manipulate time? They do.) Second, we needed a mascot. Since we really don’t care, we chose the crazy Honey Badger, who has nothing to do with beer (but hey, we were drinking). And we like his attitude. Third, we needed a mission statement. In a moment of drunken grandiosity, I came up with this: Our mission is to celebrate that nectar known as beer — to taste many different styles and variations of beer; to pair beer with a smorgasbord of delicious foods; to learn about and explore beer in all its delectable complexity; and, most of all, to have fun drinking in the brew-centric mountains of Asheville.

Dieter Kuhn, Heinzelmannchen Brewery’s brewmeister, was born and raised near the Black Forest in Germany. For real. Find out more at

Then (oh yeah) we needed events — dinners, special tastings, tap takeovers, beer education classes, beer celebrity appearances and more. Organizing all these would prove a bit more challenging than items Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Luckily, some networking, emailing and social media chatter helped populate the Asheville Beer Week calendar. Take a gander at the diversity of exciting events, from a free glass-trading party to a home-brewing fest, to a beer forum with beer sommelier Greg Engert, to a Root Ball beer tourney, to the third Beer City Fest. Restaurants, bars, stores, and, of course, breweries, located all over town (and beyond) are involved. We killed the cobra. And we ate it. It’s now up to you, beer lover, to decide how effectively we killed it, and to bring the festival to life. Not that we care, but if you’d like to give the Asheville Beer Week committee any feedback, you can do so by emailing The committee’s gratitude goes out to our sponsors, each other, the local beer industry and all you local beer drinkers. Your taste buds helped make this all happen. Thanks especially to the guy who took on the leadership of the Asheville Beer Week committee — the Honey Badger of beer, Mike Rangel, president of Asheville Brewing Company. We couldn’t have done it without you. Or without beer. Slainte! The Asheville Beer Week organizing committee: Julie Atallah, Caroline Forsman, T.J. Gardner, Anne Fitten Glenn, Mary Eliza McRae, Mike Rangel, Adam Reinke, Jimi Rentz, Tim Schaller, Simone Seitz. Anne Fitten Glenn has been Xpress’ Brews News columnist for almost 3 years. She’s currently writing a justbeer, brew book on the history of Asheville set toitpublish in Fall 2012 (if her liver survives beer week).

Not just for wine!

One of Asheville’s most EXTENSIVE craft beer selections. complete keg service • mix ‘n match 6-pack singles Mon-Tues: 10-6 • Wed-Sat: 10-9 • Sun: 12-6 86 Patton Ave. • Downtown at Pritchard Park 828.254.6453 • 2


1993: Smoky Mountain Brewery opens in Waynesville. It closes one year later. 1994: Oscar Wong and John McDermott start Highland Brewing Company in the basement of Barley’s Taproom in downtown Asheville. 1997: The Blue Rooster, Asheville’s first brewpub, opens next to Barley’s, featuring Highland beers exclusively. It closes a year later. Laughing Seed Café co-owner Joe Eckert opens Jack of the Wood pub/Green Man Brewery. Barley’s co-owners Jimi Rentz and Doug Beatty organize inaugural Brewgrass Festival, which will become one of the top beer festivals in the Southeast. Asheville Brewers Supply, Asheville’s first homebrew supply store, opens. Mountain Ale and Lager Tasters homebrew club begins meeting regularly. 1998: Two Moons Brew ’N’ View opens in Asheville. The next year, Mike and Leigh Rangel buy the business and change

Sample Over 100 Beers

$16 Beer Festival To Benefit JUST ECONOMICS

May 26th, 2-5pm At the Wedge in the River Arts District

PRE-SALE ONLY For info call: 828-505-7466

Mountain Xpress, May 16 2012  

Independant news, arts, events and information for Asheville and Western North Carolina

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