Friday, May 25, 2012

My Guide to Asheville Beer Week

Asheville Beer Week kicked off in great fashion last night at Highland Brewery, which held a fundraiser for the family of Ben Harris, who tragically died in a freak accident at Red Hook Brewery in New Hampshire.  There were kegs from just about every brewery in Western North Carolina on tap, as well as an auction, and all the proceeds went to help Ben Harris's surviving family.  It's a sobering thought that one could lose their life doing what they love, and it shows just how precious life is.  It also shows the spirit of Asheville Beer Week, which is raising money for various causes over the course of the next week.  If you didn't make it to Highland and want to contribute, they are accepting donations at the following address:

The Alysha Miller Harris Baby Fund c/o TD Bank,
20 International Drive, Portsmouth, NH, 03801

Since I am on a blogging roll this week, I thought I would highlight a few of the events this week that I am either attending, or hope to.  There are many more events that I unfortunately cannot make.  Have they perfected human cloning yet?

Green Man Brewing Session Beer Fest - All Week

The great thing about this 'fest' is that it is going on all week, so you can drop in anytime to see what's on tap.  I was able to try a Czech lager last night, and they have many different beer styles that will be available over the coming week.  The great thing about session beers is that you can sit down and have a few and still make it home safely.  This fest also shows that 'lighter' beers do not have to lack in flavor.  Speaking of flavor, get to Green Man quickly to try their Funk #49, their American Red Sour Ale.  It will not last long.

Bruisin' Ale's presents: Stone Brewing EPIC Vertical Tasting - May 29

First of all, you can't go wrong when Stone Brewing is involved.  This tasting features an assortment of Stone Brewing's beers, both old and new including four years of the oh so delicious Double Bastard.  Even better than having great beer from Stone, the proceeds go to local resident and musician Debrissa McKinney to help with her healthcare costs.  Asheville Beer Week is bigger than just beer.

Thirsty Monk and Curate Beer Dinner - May 29

Trappist ales?  Curate?  Do I need to write anything else?  If you haven't been to Curate, you must go, as they have brought world class Spanish Tapas to Asheville, with a celebrated chef who worked at the famous El Bulli restaurant in Spain.  That, combined with having great Belgian beer should be enough to convince anyone to attend this great dinner.

Bruisin' Ales, Pack's Tavern and Air present: Beerchef! - May 30

What do you get when you combine some of the most talented local chefs with Belgian style beers and guest appearances from representatives of our newest 'local' breweries, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium?  An awesome evening, if I do say so myself.  I love that this event showcases some of the local culinary talents of our great city, and it will be great to see what ideas the chefs have to pair with the variety of Belgian style beers.  There are eight, yes eight courses, so you ought to leave satiated with a grin on your face.  I am so looking forward to this.

Bruisin' Ales and Zambra presents: Beer Cocktails and Tapas - May 31

Beer cocktails you say?  Yes, part of me is a little scared.  But the mixologists at Zambra's, the original tapas restaurant in Asheville know what they are doing.  They are featuring spirits made by New Holland, Rogue, and Dogfish Head, in what is a growing craft distillery market.  The other good thing about this event is that it is a la carte, so you can spend as little or as much as you want.

Thirsty Monk Presents: Brux with Brian Grossman of Sierra Nevada and Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River - May 31

Russian River.  The first time I had one of their sour beers was a revelation.  Beer that to me is as complicated and exquisite as any wine, I have always cherished anytime I was lucky enough to come across a bottle of their beer.  Sierra Nevada and Russian river collaborated on a wild ale called Brux, which will be sampled at this event.  Not to mention that Vinnie Cilurzo, the founder of Russian River will be there.  I am hoping, praying, begging that one day they will distribute their beer here in North Carolina.  I will also be broke if that happens. Broke and happy.

Thirsty Monk Presents: Surly Brewing tasting and Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity fundraiser - June 1

Surly Brewing Company is known for their aggressive great tasting beers and they were one of the first craft breweries to embrace the wonderful beer delivery device known as the can.  This is a great opportunity to try a brewery that does not distribute to North Carolina, and support a great cause at the same time.

In what is my longest post ever, I still have not highlighted all the other great events happening during Asheville Beer Week.  For more information on the all the events, please click here.  Asheville, what are you waiting for?  Get out there and celebrate Beer City.

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