When it comes to beer, the styles and ingredients used can vary greatly by season. Sometimes it can be hard to choose a favorite, between drinkable Hefeweizens and Pilsners in the heat of Summer, Spiced Stouts in the cold of Winter, or pumpkin ales in… July?! Oh well, let’s not go there yet.
This Spring has been, and will continue to be, a good season for beer here in Asheville. This past weekend, Burial Beer Co hosted the Third Annual Sharpen The Blades Saison Festival. Breweries from all over WNC contributed more than 30 saisons and farmhouse ales. Salt & Smoke cooked up a delicious Belgian inspired menu and local Asheville group East Coast Dirt provided some soulful southern jams to groove to all afternoon.
This event coincided with the release of their latest 750ml bottle, Terrestrial Paradise, a Brett saison brewed with mango nectar. There MIGHT be a few of these bottles lingering at the brewpub, and if they’re not gone already, they won’t last long. You can surely get your hands on their freshest cans of Scythe Rye IPA and Ceremonial Session IPA that were both canned last week.
Hi-Wire Brewing is hoping to bring new attention to what they are calling a “misunderstood” style of beer, the Lager. How Do You Lager Fest? will showcase lagers from a dozen breweries from around NC and SC, as well as Smuttynose Brewing Co and Brooklyn Brewery on the guest list. There will also be 10 of Hi-Wire Brewing’s own specialty lagers as well as releasing the first batch of their Spring Maibock. This event takes place from Noon – 8PM on Saturday, May 14 at Hi-Wire’s “Big Top” location.
As for this weekend, you can stop by the brand new Funkatorium bottle shop and pick up a bottle of their sour offering, Myrtille, a barrel aged sour with 2lbs of blueberries per gallon. If sour isn’t your style, they also have 4-packs of their freshest IPA, Hop Buglar, which is brewed with blood orange and grapefruit. I would imagine we can expect a few sour related announcements from them in the coming weeks, as it’s almost Golden Angel season.
Mike Karnowski out at Zebulon Artisan Ales in Weaverville is rolling out quite a variety in his latest batches. Batch #5 (for Yoko Ono), a “Tokyo Style Gose” brewed with local white miso and pickled ginger was released last week and can now be found in the finest bottle shops in town. This very tart and tangy style is as unique as it sounds, and is perfect for the incoming warm weather. This batch is bottled conditioned for you collectors.
Two great historical recreations are being released this weekend at Zebulon, Batch #6 (for Krishnamurti) and Batch #7 (for Lemmy) will both be available at the brewery, which is only open on Friday and Saturday from 1:00-6:00pm. Batch #6 is an East India Pale Ale brewed the way it would have been around 1840, hopped up to about 140 IBUs and brewed with Brettanomyces wild yeast. If you’re expecting a fresh and crisp IPA you may be a bit surprised to find that this beer is extremely funky, so if you’re into that, this beer is for you! Batch #7 is an East India Porter that is historically accurate to the same era. Expect this to be much more hoppy than what you can expect from most of today’s porters. Both of these batches are also bottle conditioned.
If you somehow think you’ve run out of beer to try in Asheville, stop in to Asheville’s latest venture in fermentation at Ben’s Tune-Up. Since bringing on their new brewer, they have started offering their own ales, including Ben’s Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Candy Stout, and other small batch brews and collaborations with their neighbors on the South Slope. Stay tuned for more info from our meet-up with Ben’s Tune-Up’s new brewer, Jason Riggs. We’ll also have an update on what refreshing beers will be rolling out for summertime.