So its almost here. Perhaps the biggest celebration of the year for our local beer scene. Brewgrass started way back in 1996, when we had one brewery and one good beer bar. Things have changed a lot since then, but Brewgrass is still the annual event that everyone looks forward to. This is personally my 10th Brewgrass, and it is always a day filled with great beer, great friends, and I hear that they have great music too. This year should be no different. For a great rundown of this year's Brewgrass, as well as what to expect from WNC breweries, check out this Mountain Xpress article. As for other breweries, I will be on the lookout for Coast Brewing from Charleston, and Ham's Brewing out of Greenville, NC (some underated beer from this brewery). And I say this every year, if you are looking for tickets, check out craigslist, and if you don't have any luck there, show up early at MLK park and put on your best sad face. I always see people selling tickets outside. There will also be a raffle at tomorrow's Bruisin' Ales beer tasting for tickets. I hope to have a full writeup of Brewgrass next week.
If you are looking for some pre-Brewgrass activities, look no further than the Thirsty Monk. This Thursday night, that is tomorrow for those counting at home, there will be a cask from New Belgium brewery, a rare treat. In addition to the cask, they will also be tapping the Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. This is not in reference to Canadian Bacon, which is neither bacon, nor Canadian (discuss). The Canadian part comes from aging the beer in bourbon barrels that were used to make maple syrup. This is an extremely rare beer that I highly encourage you folks to try. I will definitely be there. Friday at the Monk will feature a cask all the way from Rogue Brewing Company.
The other beer news for the week can be found at this Mountain Express article (thanks for doing my job Edgy Mama). Of note is the new south location of the Thirsty Monk, which I will give a full report on soon, and also the news of a new beer festival that will be held in late spring in Asheville. Tickets will go on sale at the Brewgrass festival, and at local breweries starting this Friday.
And now for a rant. I am extremely excited that we will be host to another beer festival. In my opinion, there is no such thing as too many beer festivals. But please, can you wait until we get a little closer to these beer festivals before you put your tickets on sale? Brewgrass tickets went on sale back in FEBRUARY. There are many folks who had no idea that they went on sale until it was too late. And now this spring festival's tickets are going on sale a full 8 months before the date of the festival. I have no idea what my calendar will look like in May. Obviously, my advice to you is to buy the tickets, since it will probably sell out sometime before the last leaves fall off the trees. I will give credit to the folks at the World Beer Festival who do it right. Tickets for the Durham event went on sale one month prior to the event, and they never have a problem selling out. While I'm at it, can you also limit the amount of tickets sold to one person? Four would be a good number. The more people get a chance at tickets, the better. Okay rant over, and again, I appreciate the festivals and I know they take a lot of work to produce.
Happy drinking, and we'll see you at Brewgrass.