Showing posts with label Beer Festivals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beer Festivals. Show all posts

May 7, 2014

Preview: NC Brewers & Music Festival

This weekend is the fourth annual North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival. I've heard great things about the festival -- not once but twice a cashier at the local Earth Fare told me I had to go. To give us a sense of what to expect from the fest, I asked Executive Director Jeff Fissel a few questions about the event.

LBB: As a first-time attendee of the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival, what should I know about the fest? What makes NCBMF different from other beer and music festivals?

JF: What makes this festival different is the effort and time put into both the music aspect of the festival as well as the beer side. We try our best to put on an event that promotes great local NC beer and pair that with some talented bands from across the country. If it is your first time at the festival just know to be ready to spend the day outside and to pace yourself, there is a lot of beer and a lot of bands to take in.

LBB: Why Rural Hill? 

JF: Rural Hill is a historic working farm and we do unique events year round to raise money for the site and our educational programs. The 265 acre farm lends itself perfectly as a unique outdoor festival venue and we are located just outside of Charlotte in Huntersville.

LBB: What makes NCBMF one of the best festivals in the Charlotte area?  

JF: What makes us unique is our venue and the fact that you can camp for the weekend. The campground is a great place to hang out and is filled with great people who are here to enjoy themselves. Live music from world class bands certainly helps as well and focusing on beer brewed right here in our home state is a big part of the festival's success.

LBB: Which musical act(s) are you looking forward to the most?

JF: Personally I love Greensky Bluegrass, but I am really looking forward to seeing Spirit Family Reunion for the first time on Saturday.

LBB: What beers or breweries are you looking forward to the most?  

JF: I also love to see what the crowd favorites like Noda and Highland bring, but I am also excited to try beers from some of the new guys like Primal and D9.

LBB: What eight words best summarize NCBMF?

JF: Fun, laid back, great moods, tunes, and beer.

LBB: Anything else we should know about the festival?

JF: Check out the website for all the scheduling info and FAQs and we will see you this weekend. It might also be good to know to get your tickets in advance just in case they sell out before Saturday.

Check back after the fest to see how it went! Cheers!

October 13, 2013

Wicked Weed Brings Asheville a Gold Medal

Enjoying the Gold Medal at the GABF
award ceremony (via Twitter)
Wicked Weed Brewing has made history by being the first ever Asheville brewery to bring home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival, the top brewing industry event in the country and the largest commercial beer competition in the world.

Despite the fact that they just opened this past December, Wicked Weed has proven that they've raised the bar on the quality of beer coming out of this city. Their gold medal was in the American-Style Brett Beer category for Serenity, a beer formerly known as Transcendence. "Brett" is short for Brettanomyces, a historically wild yeast that today's most adventurous brewers have harnessed to create beers with complex, funky characteristics. In the style category, Wicked Weed's Serenity surpassed 37 other entries, including those of California's Russian River (maker of what is arguably America's favorite craft beer) and Colorado's Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project (whose brewer literally wrote the entry on Brettanomyces in the Oxford Companion to Beer). This all bodes well for the New Belgium/Wicked Weed/Riverbend Malt House collaboration beer mentioned in my previous post.

This is only the third ever GABF medal for Asheville breweries. In 2011, Lexington Avenue Brewery won a bronze medal in the Brown Porter category. Prior to that, Highland Brewing Company earned a silver for Black Mocha Stout (2008, American-Style Stout category). Wicked Weed's is the first GABF gold medal for a North Carolina brewery since 2010.

Other 2013 winners from North Carolina include:
  • Silver - Old Ale / Strong Ale category, Irish Walker Barley Wine, Olde Hickory Brewery, Hickory, NC
  • Bronze - Bohemian-Style Pilsener category, Bohemian Pilsner, Mother Earth Brewing, Kinston, NC
  • Bronze - Robust Porter category, Genuine Oatmeal Porter, Carolina Brewery, Chapel Hill, NC
Congratulations to all the winners from GABF!

More results and stats from the Great American Beer Festival can be found in the press release from the Brewers Association.

October 11, 2013

Riverbend Malt House Announces Expansion, GABF Collaboration Beer

Asheville's Riverbend Malt House is in the middle of several exciting projects, including a major expansion and R&D with the North Carolina agricultural extension office. Plus, tonight in Denver, New Belgium and Wicked Weed will unveil a small batch collaboration beer made with Riverbend malt -- a Brett IPA brewed with experimental hops, German spelt, and Riverbend's Appalachian wheat.

Here's some more information about the collaboration and the release event:

September 11, 2013

Recap: High Country Craft Beer and Food Festival

It's been a busy past couple weeks in the craft beer world! It's the end of the summer, and it seems that everyone wants to squeeze out as many beer festivals as possible before the cold weather sets in.

This past Friday was the New Belgium "Clips" Beer and Film Tour in Asheville, while the weekend before was the High Country Beer Festival at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

August 22, 2013

Local Beer Event Roundup

A lot of exciting beer events coming up in the Southeast: beer dinners, festivals, New Belgium "Clips" Film Festival... Are you ready?

Tonight, Aug. 22, 2013 - Oskar Blues Pint Night at the Brew Pump

The Brew Pump is a brand new beer bar in a converted gas station at 760 Haywood Road in West Asheville. This is the bar's first pint night, featuring our new neighbors from down in Brevard. There will be bluegrass music with Steven Shealy, free Oskar Blues merchandise, and the El Kimchi Food Truck will be on site providing the grub.

See you there.

Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 - VA Craft Brewers Festival

April 2, 2013

It's NC Beer Month: 5 Ways to Celebrate in Asheville

If you live in North Carolina, listen up! If you don't, it's about time for a visit.

April 2013 marks the inaugural North Carolina Beer Month. Breweries and craft beer fans from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean will be celebrating the state's 70+ craft breweries with special tastings, events, beer releases, and festivities.

For those in and around the Asheville area, here are five fun ways to celebrate:

March 27, 2013

State of the Craft Beer Industry: A Report from CBC13

Happening this week in Washington, DC, is the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference, an annual gathering of craft brewers from around the country hosted by the Brewers Association. The BA is the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting small and independent craft brewers in the US. While I didn't attend the event, I listened in this morning to the Brewers Association "State of the Craft Brewing Industry" tele-press conference.

Craft Beer is Surging

Paul Gatza, Director of the Brewers Association, opened by talking about general industry trends. Over the past five years, the beer industry as a whole has been contracting, while the craft beer segment has been expanding rapidly at the expense of the large "macro" breweries. We've seen recently that regional craft breweries, such as Green Flash and New Belgium, have decided to build second breweries in other parts of the country to meet high demand and to facilitate the distribution of their products from coast to coast. Gatza speculated that we will see more of these satellite breweries in the months and years to come.

Gatza also mentioned the development of a new Brewers Association website, KegReturn.com, designed to help brewers avoid profit loss through lost kegs. There is an estimated cost of $5-15 million when kegs, owned by the breweries who fill them, go missing. (Read the press release here.)

March 8, 2013

Atlanta Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Fest Recap

Chef Christopher Davis of NC's
Little Red Pig Championship BBQ
Cooking Team
While James was enjoying the Panama Micro Brew Fest, my girlfriend and I traveled down to Atlanta for the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival at Atlantic Station. It was unusually cold, so cold that it actually snowed! (in Atlanta? in March? Yup.) As a touring festival with upcoming dates throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, here's a taste of what you can expect from upcoming editions (minus the cold, I hope).

The BEER

We started things off with a new local brewery, Monday Night Brewing from Atlanta, GA, and tried their Draft Kilt Scotch Ale (well-balanced bitterness, hint of smoke) and the Fu Manbrew Belgian-Style Wit (light, crisp, with a touch of ginger). Both solid beers.

March 6, 2013

First Ever Micro Brew Fest Rocks Panama

Brewdog in Panama
Scotland's BrewDog was one of the
international craft breweries
served at the festival.
Photo credit: James Bloomfield
This weekend, the Republic of Panama enjoyed its first annual Panama Micro Brew Fest. 

Casa Bruja, one of Panama's newest craft breweries, was instrumental in organizing the craft beer festival. Richo Fernandez, Casa Bruja's Creative Director, reports that 900 tickets were sold for the event.

I asked a friend, James Bloomfield, to share a few words and some photos from the festival.

-----

Panama isn't exactly known for its good beer festivals.

At least, not til now.

So what happened? Well, the first Panama Micro Brew Fest happened, throwing open its taps to serve Panama a decent pinta. With more than twenty different styles of craft beer, the brew fest hosted some of Panama’s best up and coming breweries. Alongside international craft breweries such as Scotland's Brewdog and Oregon's Rogue, local legends Istmo Brew Pub and La Rana Dorada served their best, while craft beer newcomers Casa Bruja and Cervecería Legítima introduced themselves to the Panamanian crowd.

February 20, 2013

Panama Gets Its First Micro Brew Fest

Craft beer and homebrewing are far from strictly American phenomena. The contagion has spread south and it can't be stopped.

On March 2nd, Funky Brewster and N Producciones will present the first ever Panama Micro Brew Fest in Panama City, Panama. The event will feature craft beer from local producers and heavy hitters from abroad.

Breweries slated for festival include:

Check back after the fest for an exclusive review from a local blogger!

February 11, 2013

Win Tickets to the Atlanta Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival!

The Local Beer Blog is teaming up with Drink, Eat, Relax and the Trigger Agency to give away two tickets the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival March 2nd in Atlanta, GA. The contest will run 48 hours only from 12pm EST on February 12th to 12pm EST February 14th. All you have to do to enter the drawing is retweet the message I send out tomorrow at noon. Follow me on Twitter so you don't miss it! On February 14th I will draw a random entry and announce the winner. 


[UPDATE - 2/14: We have a winner! Jamal Tolson of Manassas Park, VA, you're going to the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Fest! Thanks to everyone who participated! Cheers!]

January 30, 2013

Top Beers and Beards from the Asheville Winter Warmer

Both the beers and the beards were on full display at the Asheville Winter Warmer this weekend. Thirty-one breweries, a cidery, and some moonshiners each brought their finest to the show, while every bit of facial hair in the house was perfectly groomed -- for the most part.

These were some of the exceptional specimens from the event, in both the beer and the beard categories:

January 25, 2013

5 Beer and Cheese Pairings That Will Rock Your World


Image used with permission via Rogue Ales and Spirits
At the 2012 Great American Beer Festival this past October, nearly 50,000 people descended on Denver to sample over 2,700 beers from nearly 600 American craft breweries. What blew me away though, more than any hopped-up IPA or high gravity Belgian quadruple, was a series of beer and cheese pairings that left my palate in a state of shock.

During the Saturday afternoon session of GABF, the American Cheese Society and Atlanta Foods International presented a seminar titled, “The Best Wine for that Cheese is Actually…Beer,” in which five phenomenal, award-winning cheeses were paired with five world-class beers from Utah’s Uinta Brewing Company. I was thrilled to learn that a similar event will be presented this weekend in Asheville.

November 27, 2012

3 Gift Ideas to Support #GivingTuesday

In case you haven't heard, today is the first ever Giving Tuesday. After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an effort to balance all that commercial activity with some good-hearted philanthropy. The craft beer community is known for their good hearts, with many participating in the Movember cause for men's health issues.

But that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a good brew. To jumpstart your charitable giving this season, here are three holiday gift ideas that also support good causes:

November 20, 2012

Chapel Hill, NC: Homebrew for Hunger 2012

At the second annual Homebrew for Hunger festival, nearly 50 homebrewers and nine craft breweries teamed up to raise money and canned food for those in need.

The event, 
held at the West End Public in downtown Chapel Hill, raised over $8,500 through ticket sales and raffles to support PORCH, a volunteer organization providing hunger relief to families in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area. 

The event was expanded from one session last year to two this year in order to accomodate more tasters and to raise more money. Still, the event completely sold out in advance. 

November 5, 2012

Asheville, NC: A Weekend of Craft Beer, Community, and Good Causes

One month into being an official Asheville resident, I've had the pleasure of attending a handful of craft beer events in the new town. It's fantastic to be in a place where craft beer is mainstream. More than that though, this is a town where the beer business is aggressively involved in the community. More often than not, these events are tied to good causes of one kind or another. What better reason to go out for a beer?

Here's a brief recap of a couple events from the weekend:

Wee Bit Louder Fest

The first annual Wee Bit Louder Fest was held this past Saturday afternoon at Highland Brewing Company. Highland took fan suggestions for naming the festival, the "plugged-in" counterpart to Highland's Appalachian Breakdown Festival held in the summer.

The event started outdoors, taking advantage of Highland's new outdoor stage and the warm fall afternoon.

We started out by going into the Highland tasting room to sample the famed Sierra Nevada Beer Camp brews. In anticipation of their new Asheville location, Sierra Nevada invited 14 Western North Carolina breweries out to Chico for Beer Camp. They divided to the breweries into groups and brewed two commemorative ales:

October 25, 2012

GABF Recap: Part 2

The remainder of the Great American Beer Festival and the long weekend in Denver was a blast. A little hazy, a little rough on the body, but packed with good food, good times, and great beer. (Read Part 1 here.)

Friday

The Kitchen's Portobello Sandwich with a
Denver Beer Co. Summer Ale.
After some much needed sleep and lots of water, Friday began with another trek up the Cherry Creek Trail towards downtown. I stopped in for lunch at the Kitchen, located on the corner of 16th and Wazee St. in LoDo.

Anticipating that some veggies might help soak up the beer ahead, I opted for the Portobello Sandwich. Locally-baked ciabatta with sautéed red onions, gouda cheese, house-made hummus, and greens -- the sandwich was fantastic! The mushrooms, onions, and greens were all regionally sourced and organic. The sandwich was accompanied by house fries (from organic Idaho potatoes) and homemade ketchup. (Homemade ketchup? Gotta try that!) Some Denver Beer Company Summer Ale washed it down. Awesome.

Heading to the festival a little early, I walked around the convention center for a bit sans crowd and snapped some photos.

October 18, 2012

GABF Recap: Part 1

Last week, I went to the Great American Beer Festival as a representative of the North Carolina Brewers Guild. I didn't drink as much as a lot of people at GABF, but I had my fill and had an awesome time in Denver, probably one of the best beer and food cities in the US. Here's the highlight reel from my long weekend:

Wednesday

Arriving Wednesday afternoon, I went straight to Great Divide Brewing Company in downtown Denver on Arapahoe and 22nd Street. The place was slammed with GABF pre-gamers and a disproportionate number of bearded men. I got an Oak-Aged Yeti, a big, robust Imperial Stout, which at 9.5% kept me good and warm.

Next stop, I went with my cousin and his roommate over to the Walnut Room for pizza and a Fat Tire, the classic amber ale from Colorado's own New Belgium Brewing Company. It was nice to get away from the GABF hot zone for a bit to see part of the "real" Denver, which turned out to be a theme that carried on through the weekend and made for a unique experience.

After dinner, I played it safe and got some much needed rest for the days ahead.

October 8, 2012

Gracias Panama, Hello Asheville

It's time to announce a big transition for me and the Local Beer Blog. Over the past few weeks, I've departed Panama and moved back to the US. Until further notice, the Local Beer Blog will be based out of BeerCity USA: Asheville, NC! Makes sense, right?

September 6, 2012

4 September Beer Festivals to Enjoy this Fall

Fall is a great time for beer festivals. (Then again, when is it not a great time for beer festivals?)

The original 1811 Oktoberfest in Munich celebrated the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Bavaria, but it also coincided with the harvest of the grain crop. What better way to ring in a new season of brewing by finishing off the previous spring's batch? While Munich's Oktoberfest has strict standards for the beers that can be served, these festivals below allow the modern beer-lover a wide variety styles to explore: