This week, from May 11-17 is American Craft Brew Week. It is organized by the Brewer's Association for people to declare their 'independence' by supporting breweries that produce less than 2 million barrels of beer a year (that pretty much covers everything but the big three, which aren't even American owned anyway). You may be asking yourself, "Self, what can I do to celebrate this most wonderful week?". Well I have gathered a few ideas for you.
Wednesday night at the Thirsty Monk, there will be a Duck Rabbit pint night. Buy a Duck Rabbit beer and keep the pint. That's a pretty nifty deal if you ask me. It has gotten to the point where the only glassware I use at home are pint glasses, but another one never hurts. The following night on Thursday, the Monk will be featuring Duck Rabbit again, only this time it is a cask ale. No pint to take home, but this will probably be the only appearance of their Coffee Stout, a limited release beer not available in bottles. The Monk has been featuring a Cask Ale every Thursday night, and it is definitely worth checking out.
Care to hear some music while you sip your pint? Why not swing by the tasting room for either French Broad Brewery or Pisgah Brewing. French Broad will be featuring local acts Utah Green on Thursday, Dave Desmelik on Friday, and Nikki Talley on Saturday. Or you can head east to Pisgah's tasting room, which has been hosting music for quite awhile now. Thursday night at Pisgah features the Pitch Slickers at 6 pm, followed by Soul Night with Cardeli, which ought to get your booty shaking. Chalwa, a local reggae band, will play at Pisgah on Friday night. Music + cold beer = happiness.
If you are feeling charitable, head on over to Craggie Brewing on Hillard Avenue on Saturday from 2 pm to 7 pm, but don't come empty handed. They are sponsoring a food drive for Manna Food Bank, so bring a couple of non-perishable items to the tasting. Five different beers will be available for sampling.
And of course, the real big event this week is the arrival of Sam Calagione, founder and President of Dogfish Head Brewing Company. Sam is highly regarded in the beer world, and is the author of several books as well as playing the part of beer ambassador to those who have not been converted. The fact that he is coming to Asheville shows that we are definitely on the national map as far as beer (have I mentioned that Asheville is Beer City USA?). The events begin on Friday with two beer tastings at Bruisin' Ales, but you must have tickets for them and they are sold out. Also sold out is the Dogfish Head Brunch at Zambra that is scheduled on Sunday. But fear not, for you can have your chance to see Sam as well as sample some of Dogfish's beer at the Thirsty Monk on Saturday, starting at 7 pm. The tasting menu is terrific, and includes the Burton Baton, the Midas Touch, the Immort Ale (yum), and the Red and White. I suggest heading over there early, and I suspect it will be a crowded event.
Well, if you can't find something to do for American Craft Beer Week, you have no one to blame but yourself. Happy drinking.