Craft beer lovers were in a state of bliss this Saturday as Brewgrass Festival 2011 transformed Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Asheville, NC into a beer tasting paradise. Regional craft brewers Like Southern Appalachian Craft, Highland, and Green Man Ales teamed up with many other popular brewers such as New Belgium, Brooklyn and Lagunitas. Get the complete list here. Food was provided by local restaurants like Barley’s and Doc Chey’s, and a talented lineup of Bands kept the crowd energized.
One of the greatest things about Brewgrass is the festival goers. Everyone is there to have a good time and you always leave with new friends.; and the level of beer knowledge among the crowd is truly impressive. The brewers were equally friendly, and wouldn’t hesitate to discuss their brewing techniques, private reserves and plans for expansion. The economy may be struggling, but craft brewing continues to be a boon for Asheville, Hendersonville and other markets with a craft brew presence.
For those new to craft brew, it’s basically a dedication to making excellent beer with high quality ingredients, usually in much smaller quantities that mass produced beers. Love for the process is a big part of the craft brewing. Many beers adhere to the traditional Ale styles, Stouts and Belgians. Limited quantity cask brews were a big hit this year including Green Man Ale’s coconut firken. Southern Appalachian Brewery‘s IPA and Belgian Blonde were very popular along with the Copperhead Amber and Black Beer Stout.
Considering the 40+ brewers with an average of 4 to 6 beers per brewer, the only way to truly understand the beauty of craft beer is to be lucky enough to get a ticket to next year’s Brew Grass Festival. Tickets go fast, so once the sale is announced, you have to move fast. Hope to see you next year.