Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beer City Bash

Jason Sandford, a.k.a. AshVegas, has a stellar story in this week's Mtn. X. Go read the whole thing. Get your tickets to Friday's Beer City Bash to celebrate a strong local industry and some of the best beer in the nation.

From Sandford's story:
Buncombe County alone now boasts seven craft-brewing operations, with two more set to open later this summer. Related businesses have benefited from those operations. Restaurants with dozens of beer taps buzz with locals and tourists alike. The dozen-year-old Brewgrass Festival is one of the toughest tickets in town. Asheville's beer boutiques ship local product nationwide. Another local business leads brewery tours, and farmers in the area are being urged to grow hops as an alternative crop. Even local bakeries and ice-cream shops are getting into the act, incorporating handmade beer into their recipes.

Asheville has more breweries per capita than such standout U.S. beer destinations as Portland — which Asheville tied in a recent online poll conducted by beer guru Charlie Papazian, the founder of the Great American Beer Festival, the American Homebrewers Association and the Association of Brewers. The unscientific poll, which named Asheville the East Coast's "Beer City USA," carries little actual weight. But seeing Asheville hold its own against a city eight times its size did send beer enthusiasts atwitter. And for local beer producers and consumers alike, the designation has become a point of pride and celebration — 15 years after Asheville's sewage pipes were christened with a mediocre batch of handmade brew.

He wraps it up with a fascinating timeline of beer history in Asheville. Thanks Jason. Thanks to all the zymurgists. Thanks to the people in Asheville who have created a connoisseur culture while jumpstarting this homegrown industry.

The Beer City Bash is a $10 ticket that gets you two beers, three bands, and a heapin' helpin' of civic pride. See you there.

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