May 27th marks the beginning of the 5th Annual Asheville Beer Week, and to say that there is a lot going on would be an understatement. There are over 70 events planned around town including small batch beer releases, noteworthy tap takeovers, educational seminars, food pairings, and plenty of other festivities for everyone.
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to make every event, but we’ve highlighted a few events from throughout the week that we feel are definitely worth checking out. Maybe we’ll see you there!
As is tradition, Asheville Beer Week’s big kick-off event is the Beer City Festival, which features 32 breweries from the Asheville Brewers Alliance who will be showcasing the best beers in the region. There will also be a full day of live music from Big Chief Juan Pardo & Golden Comanche Mardi Gras Indians, The Cheeksters, Goldie & The Screamers, The Caesar Brothers’ Funk Box, and the Resonant Rogues. At this point, the General Admission tickets for Beer City Festival have sold out! However, they will have a limited amount of Designated Driver tickets available at the gate for $25 when things kick off at 1:00pm.
On Wednesday, June 1st at 5:30pm, Thirsty Monk Presents the 3rd Annual Not So Big Beer Festival in the Thirsty Monk Warehouse. This small, intimate festival will feature some rare beers from a small hand full of world class breweries, including, but not limited to Prairie Artisan Ales, Evil Twin Brewing, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Allagash Brewing, Boulevard Brewing, and of course Thirsty Monk Brewer. Tickets are only $10 and include a commemorative glass and a Thirsty Monk beer to-go, and you can purchase them here!
Asheville Beer Week will come to a close with the Just Brew It homebrew tasting and competition, presented by Just Economics. The area’s most notable homebrewers will offer samples of their best recipes while they compete for prizes and bragging rights. This is a great chance to try a lot of truly unique styles with a bolder approach than what you can find on tap from most brewing establishments. You must be a 2016 member of Just Economics to attend, you can sign yourself up here. The event will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 2:00-5:00pm.
Beer Week Is For Barrels
There are at least five brand new Barrel Aged beers being released during AVL Beer Week! Though the art of barrel aging beer is nothing new to the Asheville beer scene, it does showcase the immense amount of time and patience that our local brewers put into their craft. These releases will all be taking place at the respective breweries, some beers are available to-go while others are for on premises consumption only.
Asheville Brewing Company is releasing three very special barrel aged beers on May 28th at 12:00pm. Toasted Coconut Bourbon Barrel-Aged Carolina Mountain Monster Imperial Stout (say that five times fast), Brandy Barrel-Aged Ninjabread Man Porter, and Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel-Aged Carolina Mountain Monster Imperial Stout. The brewers will be on hand to talk about these beers as well as the process of aging them.
On Sunday, May 29th, Burial Beer Co is releasing a Bourbon Barrel Aged version of perhaps their most famous beer, Skillet Donut Stout. This version of the already delectable Skillet has been amped up to 9% ABV and laid to rest in Four Roses Bourbon barrels for 9 months, making it the “illest skillet” of all! It will be available in 750ml bottles for $18 (limit 2 per person) beginning at noon at Burial Beer, where it will also be on tap while supplies last.
You’ll definitely want to pace yourself though, because at 1:00pm Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain is releasing their newest barrel-aged 11.8% Imperial Stout, called Mountain County Stout. This huge beer was put into Four Roses Bourbon barrels over 11 months ago when it was known as Chocolatized, the GABF Gold Medal winner from 2015. In addition to the raw cacao nibs from French Broad Chocolates, they have also added a proprietary blend of dark roast coffee from their neighbors, Dynamite Roasting Company. 22oz bottles will be available at 1:00pm on Sunday, May 29th.
If you have recovered from that day of big beers, then head on down to the new brewery on the block, Bhramari Brewing, for their release of Rusty Buffalo, a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel aged Oud Bruin. Available on draft all day on Thursday, June 2nd.
Also on Thursday, Green Man Brewing will be opening a time capsule of two of their Barrel Aged offerings, Demon Dweller and Holly King. There will be multiple vintages of each beer on draft available as a flight or individually starting at 2:00pm.
If dark beers aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there are a lot of other styles being released from various breweries throughout the week as well. If hops are what you’re into, there is no shortage of IPA releases and other events to help you get your lupulin fix.
The hoppy festivities start off in a big way with Wicked Weed Brewing as they celebrate the release of their Ménage à Freak Triple IPA. The tapping of this huge 11% hop-bomb will coincide with the release of a new bottle from Wicked Weed, simply called “Batch 1000.” This very special bottle is a bourbon barrel aged imperial dark ale with turbinado sugar, dried cherries, golden raisins, star anise, rose hips, and plums. Bottles of Batch 1000 will go on sale when they open the Wicked Weed Brewpub at 10:00am on Saturday.
On Thursday, June 2nd, Bruisin’ Ales will host a Blind IPA Tasting to find out if people really know their favorite local IPAs. They’ll have 10 IPAs from various breweries around Asheville and the rest of WNC that participants will rate, then Bruisin’ Ales will reveal the winner at the end of the tasting! You’ll get additional kudos and even a chance to win some prizes if you can correctly guess which IPA is which. The tasting will run from 5:00-8:00pm.
Tap Takeovers are a great way to run the gamut of a given brewery’s options, or a style of beer in particular. Throughout Asheville Beer Week there are about a dozen of these events happening throughout the week. Sadly, we won’t be able to make them all, but here’s where you might find us!
Wicked Weed is hosting a couple of takeover events throughout the week, one at their Brewpub, and one at the Funkatorium. On Sunday, May 29th, they will be tapping 10 of their regular and seasonal saisons at the Wicked Weed Brewpub for Saison Day. Then on Friday, June 3rd beginning at 3:00pm, the Funkatorium will be hosting a very exciting collaborative takeover with Jester King from Austin, TX and Blackberry Farm Brewing from Walland, TN.
On Tuesday, May 31st at 8:00pm, Slick Rick The Ruler will be performing at The Grey Eagle while Lo-Fi Brewing in Charleston, SC takes over the taps for an unforgettable night of Old School hip-hop and great beer. Tickets are $22 online and $25 the day of the show.
Tasty Beverage Company is having a Beer Week themed tap takeover on Wednesday, June 1st that will fill their draft spots with 10 different beers from 10 different local breweries. Head on down there at 5:00pm and try a plethora of beers that Asheville has to offer!
The forecast for Asheville Beer Week couldn’t be better in terms of libations and weather. Go out and support the local beer scene, wear sunscreen, and of course drink responsibly.
Stay tuned to the Asheville Blog’s Instagram for real-time event coverage.
12:00 PM – Sanctuary Shakeup
4:00 PM – Highland’s Rooftop Grand Opening
5:00 PM – Dinosour release @ ABC
12:00 PM – Barrel Aged Threesome
1:00 PM – Beer City Festival
5:00 PM – Menage a Freak Triple IPA Release Party
12:00 PM – BBA Seasoned Skillet Release
12:00 PM – Saison Sunday
1:00 PM – Mountain County Stout
Natural Born Farmer Release Ben’s & Bhramari
Beer Cocktails at Top of the Monk
6:00 PM – Wicked Weed/Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover Extravaganza
6:00 PM – Evolution of English IPA (Circa 1750-2000) Lecture and Tasting
3:00 PM – The Dweller Vertical Tasting
5:00 PM – Bruisin’ Ales: Brewmaster’s Tasting with Don Richardson of Quest Brewing
5:00 PM – Asheville Brewers’ Tasty Invasion
5:30 PM – Not So Big Beer Festival
3:00 PM – Barrel Aged Vertical Tasting Green Man
4:00 PM – Skillet Six Ways
4:00 PM – Cask Night at Sierra Nevada Brewing
5:00 PM – Bruisin Ales: Blind IPA Tasting
3:00 PM – Wicked Weed, Jester King, and Blackberry Farm Farmhouse Ale Event
5:00 PM – BerLemon Weisse Release @ ABC
6:00 PM – Asheville Beer Ice Cream Flight Night
12:00 PM – Crawfish Boil & Hi-Wire Lager and Gose Can Release
2:00 PM – Just Brew It
6:00 PM – Bruisin’ Ales Presents: Flights and Bites