Thirsty_Monk_NYE_KEG_2014As usual, there’s a ton of stuff happening on the Asheville beer scene. Here are a few things that are worth noting:

-Thirsty Monk keg drop: Asheville has a New Year’s Eve “drop” event worthy of its Beer City USA nickname. Here’s the press release:

Back by popular demand, after an immensely successful first year, Thirsty Monk is hosting its 2nd Annual New Years Keg Drop December 31st at Biltmore Park! This year’s celebration falls on Highland Pint Night, so look for a special tapping of Highland’s Cold Mountain as the 2-story keg drops at the stroke of midnight.

In its first year, the keg drop celebration garnered local and national attention, as the festivities were broadcast on WLOS and covered by CNBC, Citizen-Times, Mountain Xpress and additional outlets.

“What better way to bring Asheville together to commemorate our success and growth as a beer community in 2014, than dropping a keg while drinking some of our favorite beers,” says Vice President, Chall Gray. “New York City drops a ball, Atlanta drops a peach, Miami drops an orange, and in Asheville, we drop a keg!”

Keep up with breaking news, beer and brewery tap features on Facebook and Twitter @monkpub.

-Burial Beer jazz brunch: Burial Beer, on Collier Avenue on Asheville’s South Slope, recently expanded its space, then expanded its hours and now has expanded it’s offerings. Check this out:

Every Sunday, Burial Beer Co. will be hosting a Jazz Brunch starting at noon. The perfect marriage of good beer, fresh, delicious food and lively music. The food will be served from noon until it runs out. Payment for food will be available at the bar.

We all know how crazy places get on Sundays if you don’t make it there by 9 a.m. take your time in the morning and swing by Burial’s taproom at noon on Sundays for a beer and a taste of a New Orleans Jazz Brunch.

FOOD: Noon- until food runs out: Gary Sernak (of Zambra, The Admiral and Blind Pig dinners) as well as Josh Dillard (of Zambra, Esmerelda and Asheville Pizza Co.) are teaming up to bring you a seriously tasty brunch. New and fresh each week!

MUSIC: 1-4 p.m. Asheville musician Ram Madelkorn of The Mandelkorn George Project will be a permanent fixture once the holidays are over, but the music might switch up during December depending on their availability.

-Pour Taproom gift packages: Pour Taproom on Haywood Road in West Asheville is offering gift cards this holiday season, as well as event space for holiday parties. The cost is $75 for two hours.

-Highland Brewing releases last of its anniversary beers: Here’s the press release:

This Friday we are releasing #20 in our “20 beers for 20 Years” anniversary series, our 20th Anniversary Weizenbock Ale. The event is from 4:00-9:00 and features music from Doc Aquatic (6:30-8:30 pm) and bottle sales will be starting at 4:00.

On Saturday, we are hosting our Holiday Medley Winter Celebration (2-9).

-Beer & Premier fundraiser: This looks like a great event down in Hendersonville. Press release from loyal reader Gary:

The Blue Ridge Humane Society is pleased to announce the return of the Furry Friends Film Festival in January, including an exciting new event to launch this year’s fundraiser.

Beer & Premier from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25 will provide guests the first opportunity to view a series of short films during an exclusive beer dinner hosted by West First Wood Fired Pizza in downtown Hendersonville. The following two nights, Jan. 26 and 27 from 6 to 8 p.m., the festivities move to Southern Appalachian Brewery, where the films once again will be screened along with beer and wine, food from Farm to Fender food truck and a variety of exciting raffle prizes from local businesses.

The opening four-course dinner will pair special beers from Catawba Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Southern Appalachian Brewery with wonderful dishes designed by West First General Manager and Head Chef Matt Silva. Admission also includes complimentary beers served during a social hour, as well as a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of several beautiful 1-liter “flip-top” bottles of 2005 Cold Mountain Winter Ale from Highland Brewing Co. The Cold Mountains were donated by Lee Stevens, the widow of former Flat Rock Wine Shoppe and Blue Note Grille owner David Brannock, who had been carefully aging a case of the iconic beer before his death in 2010.

Representatives from the participating breweries will be on hand to greet guests and briefly discuss the beers that were chosen for the dinner during each of the four courses.

“Beer & Premier should be a very special evening for the 45 lucky folks who attend,” said film fest co-founder Gary Glancy, who created most of the short films. “We added the beer dinner for two reasons: One, I really wanted to grow the film festival to raise more awareness of the amazing work being done by the Blue Ridge Humane Society; and two, with the explosion of craft beer’s popularity here in Western North Carolina, I thought Hendersonville was ripe for a first-class event like this.”

Proceeds from all three nights will be donated to the Blue Ridge Humane Society. In 2013 the event raised close to $1,000 for the local charity, and last year the amount more than doubled to $2,500. …

This year’s feature film is a parody – a beer-loving George Costanza reverses his fortunes in the Seinfeld episode, “The Opposite.” Glancy’s 10-minute version includes several well-known Henderson County co-stars, including two high-ranking local government officials. It was filmed and produced by professional videographer Charles Cutler of Fletcher.

Other films include a brief, first-hand documentary of the Great American Beer Festival in Denver filmed by Glancy during his experience there in October, as well as three music videos. Two of those films feature breathtaking GoPro video footage and still photos of Glancy’s two trips to spectacular southern Utah in 2014, set to inspirational songs chosen by Glancy. The third is a fast-forward version of a drive up Laurel Park Highway to Jump-Off Rock in Hendersonville during peak fall foliage this year, also set to music. There will be a couple of short animal-related films screened as part of the show, as well.

Tickets for the Beer & Premier dinner at West First on Jan. 25 are $75 per person all-inclusive, and can be purchased in person by cash or check at Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique (828-697-7799) and Southern Appalachian Brewery (828-684-1235) in Hendersonville, or by credit card via phone and in person at the Blue Ridge Humane Society (828-692-4367) in Hendersonville. Seating for the dinner is limited to 45 people and tickets are expected to go quickly!

Tickets for the film festival at Southern Appalachian Brewery on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27 are $10 per person, and can be purchased in person by cash or check at Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique (828-697-7799) and Southern Appalachian Brewery (828-684-1235) in Hendersonville. Food from Farm to Fender and beer/wine from SAB may be purchased separately.

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