Asheville, NC. For 23 years I called it home. In the early ’90s, beer was consumed mostly outside of downtown in small taverns, local bars and on front porches. It was usually on special. It was almost always light in color and name.
Then the beer scene began to change. In 1994, retired engineer oscar wong moved to asheville and began brewing beer in a basement just under barley’s taproom & pizzeria. They served his beer upstairs, though many locals smuggled in more familiar varieties. Ones in a can, with red and white logos, imported from places like st. louis, mo and golden, co. Others would just ask for “your lightest beer” at the bar.
Fast forward to today. Asheville is now beer city usa. It is home to 9 breweries, a brews cruise, and many brew festivals throughout the year. The granddaddy of festivals though is the annual brewgrass festival. This past fall was my first trip home for the festival. Simply put it’s 7 hours, 5 bluegrass bands, and 40+ breweries. We made it a guys weekend, parked our cars on Friday and didn’t see them again til Sunday. All this with the beautiful asheville skyline and mountains as our backdrop. Mark your calendar for may, that’s when tickets usually go on sale. It only took a few hours to sell out last year. Make plans to join some of the best people in the world, in one of the most beautiful towns in the world, with a few of the best brews in the world…or at least the USA.
here are a few of my favs from the day, in no particular order.
sweet josie brown ale lonerider brewing company, Raleigh, NC
sue smoked porter yazoo brewing company, Nashville, TN
clawhammer octoberfest highland brewing company, Asheville, NC
rocket girl ipa asheville brewing company, Asheville, NC
13 rebels esb french broad brewing company, Asheville, NC
king don’s pumpkin ale catawba valley brewing company, Morganton, NC
(thanks to luke b. for the photo)