craftbeerACTThere’s no doubt about it– 2012 will go down as a momentous year in beer for Asheville and Western North Carolina.

The Openings

– In one of the biggest things ever to happen to Asheville, New Belgium Brewing will open an East Coast facility in West Asheville

Sierra Nevada Brewing, another national craft brewer, is opening its own East Coast facility in Mills River

Oskar Blues just opened its new brewery in Brevard

– On a smaller scale, Wicked Weed opened its new brewery/gastropub just last week to rave reviews

Other local craft brewers started making beer or announcing plans:

Catawba Valley Brewing told Ashvegas that it definitely had plans to open a boutique brewery in Asheville

– The boys at Altamont Brewing finally got around to making beer in West Asheville

– Oyster House Brewing, a small operation in the Lobster Trap restaurant in downtown, announced plans to move into the former Viva Deli restaurant on Haywood Road

One World Brewing is slated to open this spring downtown, below the new Farm Burger

Thirsty Monk announced plans to move its small brewery in south Asheville to bigger digs in Biltmore Park, where it will expand production

Burial Beer dropped some big hints about a move to Asheville

The Closings

– Despite interesting brews, Craggie Brewing closed. R.I.P. Word is another brewer will take over its location.

Other top brews news:

The Wedge’s Vadim Bora Russian Imperial Stout made a CNN list of  ‘Best beers of 2012′

– Asheville was named a top-seven beer destination by the Travel Channel

– CraftBeer.com readers said The Thirsty Monk is #1 favorite bar in the South, #3 overall

Pubcycles!

– Brewgrass backlash?: Neighbors complained about the popular fest, and fans did, too

– Beer 101?: A-B Tech, App State and BRCC want to get residents ready for the beer economy

– Hipster honors: Asheville is nation’s #2 consumer of PBR per capita

What will 2013 hold as New Belgium puts down Asheville roots? Where do we go from here?

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