asheville_beer_weekFolks attending the third annual Asheville Beer Week, which kicks off with a VIP party on Thursday, will get sneak peeks at three new beer drinking venues coming together on Asheville’s ever-vibrant craft beer scene. Here’s what I’m excited to see:

-Thirsty Monk’s future brewery site on Thompson Street: Thirsty Monk will host its ThirstyFest: No So Big BIG Beer Festival beginning at 6 p.m. on May 28 at 92 Thompson St. The site is in a warehouse district alongside the Swannanoa River near Biltmore Village. It will be the future home of a Thirsty Monk Brewery.

The new location will add to the nice little beer scene developing around Biltmore Village. French Broad Brewing has long been in the area on Fairview Road, and Catawba Valley Brewing is building a new brewery practically across the street from French Broad.

More about the beer week event, with tickets on sale now at $35 a pop:

With featured beers such as the 2010 Burton Baton from Dogfish Head, Avance from Allagash, a Belgian Tripel brewed for the Craft Brewers Conference by Victory, 2012 Silent Night by Mother Earth, bourbon barrel beers from Founders, and many more rare and one-off beers, it will be a can’t miss for Asheville beer fans. And, due to the limited availability and intimate setting, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended, because there are certainly more craft beer lovers and fans who would love to try these beers than there will be room for at the festival.

-Wicked Weed’s sour beer tasting room: Wicked Weed is planning one of the most interesting beer events of Asheville Beer Week. The event, beginning at 7 p.m. on May 30, will be held at 147 Coxe Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope in a venue the brewery is calling the Wicked Weed Funkitorium. The new 12,000-square-foot barrel aging facility will serve as a tasting room for the brewery’s popular sour beers. This will be the first big event for the venue.

This location is smack dab in the middle of Asheville’s South Slope, which might as well be renamed the Asheville Brewing District for all the nearby craft beer happening, action that includes Asheville Pizza & Brewing, Green Man Brewing, Twin Leaf Brewing, Burial Beer and Hi-Wire Brewing all within walking distance.

Tickets are $80 for this event, which will also include photography by Parker J. Pfister and fashion by the following team: R. Brooke Priddy of Ship to Shore (costume), Serenity + Scott (make up), & Amy Grooms (hair) for what they’re calling an installation. More:

Tickets for Funk Asheville are $80 with a $5 service charge via Etix. The event includes beer samples, food provided by Wicked Weed, music, art and the opportunity to hang with the brewers. A total of 500 tickets will be sold to the public for the event, which will be held on the eve of the popular Beer City Festival. A silent auction benefiting Pints for Prostates will be held featuring unique beer experiences and collectible items.

-VIP Party at 655 Riverside Drive: The Asheville Beer Week opening VIP party will be held at this salvage yard just north of where the Smoky Park Bridge passes above. The owner of Barley’s Pizza, Jimi Rentz, and his business partner are hosting the party.

I contacted the two a couple of months ago to ask them about their plans for the spot, and they declined to talk details, saying they’re still working out details. Word on the street is that the two are leasing six acres, including the salvage yard, and have plans for a riverside music venue. Sounds like it could be an exciting new hot spot, just a hop, skip and a jump away from New Belgium Brewing’s new East Coast brewery on Craven Street, and the new Smoky Park Supper Club shipping container restaurant – both under construction. This is an invitation-only event.

18 Comments

  1. Please give up on the “brewery district” moniker and concede to the existing, established “South Slope” name. The whole region boasts breweries and there are varied establishments coming this Summer to The Slope that are NOT breweries. Besides, “brewery district” sounds touristy/cheesy and I don’ know anyone around here who backs it. My preference would have been the traditional/ historical ‘Buxton Hill” subdivision name, but South Slope is more contemporary and obviously has more staying power as folks have been calling it that for a decade at least, to the best of my knowledge. Thank you.

  2. Smashville says:

    $80 is ridiculous for a 3 hour beer tasting event. Sounds like they are getting pretty full of themselves over at the ol Wicked Weed. An “installation” featuring photographers and a team of fashion designers. And let’s not forge the main draw: “the opportunity to hang with brewers” Ooooo! Gimme a break. Harry, the people that choose to pay $80 to get their make-up and hair done and hang with brewers for 3 hours are the kind of people that are ruining this town.

    I like Wicked Weed beer, but this sounds so pretentious I wanna vomit in a paper sack and hurl it into the crowd and then speed away on my scooter. Have fun at your party, I’m gonna buy a keg of PBR and wear my favorite jean shorts and trucker hat and get drunk in the confines of my backyard. No costume required.

    • franklonius says:

      Best comment ever!

    • luther blissett says:

      To be fair, the “brewers” aren’t just Wicked Weed: they’re inviting people from all over the US for this shindig, and I guess it’s like DragonCon for beer-spotters.

      However, it’s the kind of event that reinforces the idea that WW sees itself as an exclusive niche establishment, which is fine if there’s a sustainable business built upon beer-spotters and visitors drawn by the hype, but that’ll just make it the brewing equivalent of the Grove Park Inn: in Asheville, but not really of Asheville.

    • It is a charity event for Prostate cancer screening. There will also be beers from multiple breweries that may have never been tasted outside of the breweries’ walls. I’m betting there will be food there as well. I volunteered to help pour at last year’s event and it was awesome. Awesome enough that we bought tickets this year so that we could be on other side of the taps.

  3. $80 for a ticket to a beer tasting?! Seriously, go fuck yourselves…

  4. The river alongside Thompson Street is the Swannanoa. Just keeping you on your toes, pal!

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