Asheville: Beer City USA!

The Beer City Festival is a Barrel of Fun!

By Charlene & Richard Mixa  

Roll out a barrel of fun at the Beer City Festival

Roll out a barrel of fun at the Beer City Festival

Roll out the barrel for a Beer Extravaganza! Asheville’s 2015 Beer City Festival! Celebrating a growing craft-brewing industry this mountain town cheerfully claims being the Examiner’s “Beer City, USA” poll four years running. Hailing more breweries per capita than any U.S. City! With our commemorative beer mugs it’s time for ample samplings of over 30 craft-breweries, all members of Asheville Brewers Alliance. Downtown Asheville’s Roger McGuire Green is a barrel of fun as it transforms into a Beer Paradise. Jam packed with brewery tasting tents, youngsters delighting in the splash pad, and plenty of live music ringing out songs of good cheer, beer enthusiasts sample awesome craft-brews at the Beer City Festival. Today, beer lovers rejoice and throw all their cares away. The Beer City Festival is the finale to Asheville Beer Week that rolls out an eclectic line up of beer-related activities of Pint Nights, Beer Dinners, Home Brew Events, Special Brews, and more.

Beer City Festival - So many brews to sample!

Beer City Festival – So many brews to sample!

Our wrist bands and mini-mugs allow us unlimited samplings of new, rare, and classic beers. Wow! Asheville easily boasts a 100 different styles of beer! Strolling the grounds, we find a creative and diverse selection of breweries from around Asheville and North Carolina. Big names such as Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues and New Belgium are represented having made Asheville their second home while local breweries of Highland Brewing Company and Wicked Weed are gaining in popularity. Tastings vary from mouth-puckering sour beers, hops bombs, barrel-aged brews, and a wide range of other beers that make the Western North Carolina mountains one of the best beer producing regions in the world. Beer styles include India Pale Ale, Lager, Pale Ale, Pilsner, Porter, Stout and Wheat Beer.

Roll out a barrel of fun on the green

Roll out a barrel of fun on the green

Pacing is ultimate to assure we enjoy the beer festival and stay sober. Happy faces bloom here and there is definitely no gloom as beer fans of all ages get in the swing for a barrel of fun, beer, song and good cheer. In a wacky spirit some tasters are dressed in fun-loving costumes while others sport the “Pretzel Necklace” – sip your beer and enjoy a tasty pretzel from the necklace. Arriving early has an advantage as we avoid long lines and some breweries that ran out of beer in the late afternoon. At Burial Beer Co. tent, owners Jess and Doug are hopping as they pour samples. Having just visited the Catawba Brewing Company’s tasting room in Biltmore Village, we sample their Brown Bear Brown Ale. Sipping the beers we learn they just opened their Rickhouse which ages beer in scotch, bourbon, whiskey or wine barrels on Asheville’s South Slope. A must visit while in town. Other favorites are Highland Brewing Company, Lexington Avenue Brewery, Green Man Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, and Asheville Brewing Company.

Nice cozy cool areas for relaxing and sipping beer

Nice cozy cool areas for relaxing and sipping beer

Sitting in the cool shade of an old oak tree, we relax, sip beer, enjoy the music, and the ambiance of this mountain setting. Later on another break, sharing a tasty slice of pizza, we meet the Brewmaster, Carl, of the Wedge Brewing as he takes a break. He educates us on the Wedge’s special IPA. The Asheville Beer Festival is a “Barrel of Fun!” A way to sample the local brews in an easy going setting. An extremely well run event, they have a special ticket for designated drivers and all proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina.

If you go:

Having visited Asheville the past few years we continue to check out the newest and latest breweries. On prior visits, brewery tours introduced us to Asheville’s local microbrews. The Asheville Brews Cruise educated us on the great beers and fun setting of the totally organic Pisgah Brewing and French Broad Brewery. Asheville Brewery Tours opened doors to Wicked Weed, Altamonte Brewing Company and Burial Beer Co. Then our BREW-ed Brewery Tours of Asheville gave us in-depth insight into beer and its extensive history while we sampled beers at Hi-Wire Brewing Company, Green Man Brewing Co., and Twin Leaf Brewery. Brewery tours are an awesome for visiting the local micro-brews. The insight gained into the history of the micro-brew as we sip their beers adds an extra element to the beer tasting experience. Plus on many of the tours, the owner or brewers share their passion for beer making and the microbrew industry bringing that personal touch to the tour.

Asheville Brewers Alliance, (Beer Week -May 22-May 30, 2015, Beer City Festival – May 30, 2015.
Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau,
Western North Carolina Beer Guide,

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About Charlene Mixa

Seeing new places, learning about cultures and seeing the sights has always been my dream. Growing up I was blessed with parents that enjoyed traveling and thought nothing of taking a family of seven on excursions. My career in Human Resources and later as a consultant for an international Human Resource firm offered some travel, but I knew as my husband and I approached retirement, my goal was to do more traveling and broader trips. The nine years since retirement has been filled with fantastic adventures from short local one day trips to several week excursions. Living in Florida, it is especially enjoyable to be away in the summer to cooler climates. Multi-week driving trips across the good ol' USA, settling in for a month in the mountains to explore the local area, or a combination of both fill much of our summer season. Our travels are predominantly self-orchestrated, bringing the fun and challenge of getting everything to click. It's all about doing and sharing! Experiencing a travel adventure is exciting. Reliving a special travel moment with a friend or family is exhilarating. I feel my heart race and pulse quicken, as I sharing that special moment. Thank you for joining in my travel adventures and allowing me to hear your stories.