If you haven’t heard, Asheville is Beer City USA again this year and it is a true destination for lovers of craft brewing. Our local paper even has it’s own “beer guy” column. And now for the second year in a row the Asheville Brewers Alliance is hosting a week of tastings, dinners, seminars and beer related fun, ending in the Beer City Festival on June 1st on Roger McGuire Green. Live music and dozens of craft breweries will be at the Festival. The week kicks off with a party, of course, on May 24th in the new Mill Room, Asheville Brewing Company’s new special events space, with live music, catered beer and wine as well as the cornhole tournament signup. Yes there will be a cornhole tournament! I have to admit I had never heard of cornhole, but the American Cornhole Organization posts official tournament rules if you would like to learn more. Sounds like fun. There will be a Homebrew Festival featuring 50 home brewers on May 25th. LaZoom will have a special Beer Run on May 26th.
LaZoom is a hilarious tour bus comedy group that takes people on their big purple bus around Asheville. The Feral Chihuahuas comedy group’s special take on Asheville history will focus on our beer history on this tour and include at least one brewery stop. There will be lots of special tastings at the Thirsty Monk, and Bruisin’ Ales and a Sierra Nevada Southern Hospitality Beer Dinner at the Sunny Point Café. On May 31st there will be a Rare & Wild Beer Tasting that will be a benefit for Pints for Prostates. The culmination of the week, the Beer City Festival, is a team effort between the Asheville Brewer’s Alliance and the folks who put on the Brewgrass Festival here every September. Asheville hosts at least 4 Beer Festivals during the year, starting in January with the Winter Warmer Beer Fest and ending with the Asheville Oktoberfest. There are also brewery tours all year round and I’ve counted at least 20 craft breweries in the area. Our beer culture has attracted some big names like New Belgium and Sierra Nevada to locate here. A visit to just about any restaurant in town will present you with a huge variety of local beers on tap so you don’t have to wait for a beer festival to be part of the fun!